Friday, January 22, 2016

"Snow" Day - 2016

Found out last night around 10 p.m. that school was cancelled for today.  One of those, "better safe, than sorry" situations, where we probably could have attended school, but stayed home and used our ItsLearning platform to learn instead.  I got time to work on a new book order list for this spring, and time to update my much-neglected blog.  (And time to catch up on some household chores!)  So, without much further ado, here's what I've been up to instructionally since my last post in September 2015...

In October, I found this cute jack-o-lantern in the storage closet, and used it for our "Carve Out Time to Read" Halloween/Fall book display.  

I also tried to incorporate spiders in kindergarten's lesson on "Verbs" and in first grade's lessons on taking notes from nonfiction books and identifying nonfiction book text features.  We also worked on our nonfiction writing in conjunction with our school's adoption of Lucy Calkins' writing program this year.

Did a bit of "How to" writing using PicCollage on iPad for 'how-to' do different things in the library.

Over several lessons, fourth grade students worked on drafting a book review to practice their writing skills.

Then, our ITS, Mrs. Angela Wilson, helped me get students set up on their Google Drive on our school's new Chromebooks.  Mrs. Wilson also collaborated with me to pull small groups of students who had finished their book review draft.  She showed them (and me!) how to make a voice recording of their book review on  (Our county has provided each child with their own Google email, so they each have access to their own Google Drive through the ItsLearning platform.)  We saved their Vocaroo recordings as QR codes to their Google Drives, and then students went to a desktop computer and printed out their QR codes.

During a later lesson time, students created a colorful title and author card and glued their QR code to the back.  I used their book review QR cards for a shelf-top display.

Later, I moved the display to an empty shelf by the dictionaries, and put out a basket of all of 4th grade's QR codes.  Some of the books are not books our library owns, but I wanted students to be able to share their work anyway.

Worked with second grade on learning about the different periods in the Dewey Decimal system.  I feel like I tricked them into learning about them, because I created some choice centers for each, and they gladly worked on them each time!  Plus, most were able to tell me about the different topics in each period afterward!!   

We started enjoying our demo ActivPanel from Promethean.  We LOVE that more than one student can contribute at a time!  We ended up purchasing one.  It's so nice to have a reliable tool that the students can use.  It teaches them to work together, be patient, communicate, and be kind.  Bonus!!

Our HUGE 279 books order came in, and I tried out this "Mrs. Daniels Recommends" display for some books that I personally loved reading.  I found those adorable speech bubble bookmarks on Pinterest.  SO cute!  (I added "Return to Mrs. Daniels" on the bookmark part that you can't see inside the book.) As soon as the speech bubbles went in, the books started being checked out!  :D

We also got 100 new eBook titles on our Follett Shelf.  Excited to see that so many students are checking out and reading online too! 

We've also started reading the Georgia Book Award picture book nominees, and second, third, and fourth grades have started working on book centers.  I've been reading the book nominees to kindergarten and first grade, so that we can work on story elements.  It warms my librarian heart to see students have time to read and enjoy a good book in the library!  (It's also been fulfilling to be able to help other students find books when my classes are working on their center activities or to get an armful of books shelved, straightened, or taped!)  

Lastly, I gave the T.R.A.I.L.S. (Tools for Real-time Assessment of Information Literacy Skills) online formative to third grade and will be giving it to fourth next week.  I like having the data to drive my lessons for the end of the school year.  It feels good to know that we will be working on information literacy skills that students need additional practice with and may even see on the state test!  :D

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