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Monday, November 25, 2013

Our Technology Follow-Up with Otis & the Puppy

Today was Round 2 with our 2nd grade friends in Mrs. Zweibohmer's Mason City class. The plan was to work in partner groups that matched with the other class's partner groups, and together the 4 students would create an illustration related to a portion of Otis & the Puppy. When all of the pages came together, we'd have our very own class book!

So how did it go? Well, the advance planning was great. . . until our link invites needed to be refreshed during class time. :) Then the collaborating could begin! Here's a glimpse of what it looked like from our end:

We didn't get as much time to work together as we were hoping, but we're all about being flexible. :) That means that we're chalking up today's work to practice, and we're going to try again when we're back from our holiday break. Ultimately, we're hoping to create our own class book of an Otis & the Puppy retelling.

As class ended, we did get a final farewell in--lots of waving and good-bye-ing! Until next time, our Mason City friends!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Otis, Part II

What an exciting few days! When Mrs. Stine's class used Google Hangout to meet with a 2nd grade class in Mason City, we learned that Otis author Loren Long was going to be at a book signing event in Omaha, NE. How could we stay at home?!

Loren Long appeared with author Jon Agee at The Bookworm, a bookstore in Omaha, to promote their Christmas books An Otis Christmas and Little Santa. A big "thank you" goes to the staff at The Bookworm who were so kind and generous--they even gave Mrs. Ellis their promotional items so the authors could sign them!

Both authors shared their books with the audience--and even offered sound effects and took on speaking parts in one another's books. 

Loren Long confirmed something for Mrs. Ellis that she had wondered about ever since reading Otis more than a year ago. In one scene, Otis looks out over the farm with his friend the calf.

Loren Long shared that one of his favorite books as a child was The Story of Ferdinand, by Munro Leaf. (It's one of Mrs. Ellis's favorites, too! You can read about it HERE and HERE.) This particular scene in Otis is a tribute to a scene in Ferdinand--notice the similarity?

Jon Agee and Loren Long then took time to talk with the audience and sign items for everyone who was there. They shared Otis and Little Santa ornaments and tattoos (be on the lookout for Mrs. Ellis to sport an Otis tattoo soon!), and they graciously talked with everyone, young and not-so-young alike!

Mrs. Ellis's daughters joined her on the trip, and we all had the chance to be in a photograph with Loren Long, who also signed Mrs. Ellis's copy of An Otis Christmas

The trip was extra special, as Mrs. Ellis hadn't originally planned to make it to the event. She commented on Twitter about the event, and Loren Long replied!

And we're not finished with Otis yet! Our 2nd grade Mason City friends will be joining us in the next two weeks to finish our activities with Otis using Aww, an online whiteboard, where students will draw and share their favorite parts of Otis and the Puppy. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Animoto Book Trailers

For most of November, students in the 5th grade reading group worked on putting together an Animoto project. Working in partner groups, student first chose a book, then found images from iClipArt to correspond with their descriptions related to the story.

You can check out their completed project here: 5th WIN Oct-Nov2013. Enjoy!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Otis and the Puppy, Part I

What an exciting day in the Dallas Center Elementary library! After much planning by email and Google Hangout, the DC Elementary 2nd graders in Mrs. FitzGerald's class joined Mrs. Zweibohmer's 2nd grade class from Harding Elementary School in Mason City, IA!

The classes met online--again using Google Hangout--to celebrate Picture Book Month. Librarians Mrs. Staudt and Mrs. Ellis are big fans of Loren Long's character Otis the tractor, so they chose Otis and the Puppy to read aloud to their classes.

Once introductions were made--and all the waving was finished :)--students visited Loren Long's website where he has links related to all of his Otis books, as well as the other books he's written and illustrated.

We began with the book trailer for the story:

Then they listened to Mrs. Staudt and Mrs. Ellis take turns reading the story.

Finally, we watched Loren Long talk about his Otis character, like the kind of person Otis is and the development of the artwork.

So what's next for these two classes? More meeting online, that's for sure! In an upcoming session together, the two classes will follow the lead of another pair of collaborating librarians to work together online. Shannon McClintock Miller and a librarian from New Hampshire met recently and used two websites to have their students share their work. (You can read about their work here.)

And what will our students do now that we've finished reading the story together? Taking our cues from these two librarians, we'll use TodaysMeet and Aww later this month to learn and work together to share our ideas about Otis and the Puppy.

Mrs. Ellis gave a preview of their work by drawing Otis herself on Aww as the students watched. The caption says it all: "Poor Mrs. Ellis can't draw so well. . . This is supposed to be Otis, our favorite tractor!"

Stay tuned for Part II! There's more excitement and more Otis coming soon!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Using Popplet and Lino

Third and fifth grade students have been listening to Iowa Children's Choice Award nominees Ghost Dog Secrets by Peg Kehret and The Unwanteds by Lisa McMann. In addition to using a reading comprehension strategies booklet to respond to the reading (see this previous post), students also used the iPads to respond using Popplet and Lino.

Teacher librarian Sarah Staudt from Mason City offered much support by sharing her students'  experiences with Popplet--thank you! And third grade teacher Mrs. Nims and fifth grade teacher Mr. Motz were helpful in getting everything set up, from the iPad cart and app download to a quick Reflector tutorial.

So what did the kids do on Popplet? First, we talked about two different discussion questions:
1) What are some events or evidence that justify Rusty taking the dog?
2) What outcomes do you predict for Rusty, Andrew, and Ra when Rusty's mom learns that they are hiding the stolen dog in the fort?

Working in pairs, students accessed Popplet and chose to respond to one of the two questions.

Students were able to export their Popplets as jpegs, which loaded onto the iPads' camera rolls so they could be printed later. Here are a few examples:

When the fifth graders used Lino, they were responding to two of five different questions related to The Unwanteds:

Again students worked in pairs to respond.

Here are two examples of posts: