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Thursday, April 16, 2015

State Award Winners Announced

The Iowa Association of School Librarians met earlier this week and announced the winners of the Iowa book awards. Students across Iowa voted in March, including the elementary schools in DCG. Each building had winners, and today we learned which books were state-wide winners.

At Dallas Center Elementary, students in kindergarten through second grade chose Scaredy Squirrel has a Birthday Party, while students at South Prairie Elementary voted for The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore.

We learned today, though, that with over 25,000 votes cast statewide, the winner of the Iowa Goldfinch Award--with 3,554 votes--was Creepy Carrots by Aaron Reynolds.

Students in Grades 3 - 5 voted on the Iowa Children's Choice Award. To be eligible to cast a vote, students must have read at least two books from the nominations list. At Dallas Center Elementary, Athlete vs. Mathlete was the building winner, and at North Ridge, The Ghost of Graylock was the top vote-getter.

And how spot-on were our building winner? Our North Ridge students voted in line with thousands of other students, who also chose Dan Poblocki's book The Ghost of Graylock as the overall winner for the year.

Books for next year's lists have already been announced; see below for the posters and links to them to get a head start on reading. 
CLICK HERE to access the poster online.
CLICK HERE to access this poster online.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

4th & 5th Grade Online Research and Presentation

Over the course of the last several cycles, 4th and 5th graders at Dallas Center Elementary have been completing an online research project in specific steps:

Step 1: Determine a topic
Students chose research topics of their choice with the only condition being that the topic be searchable in two of four different, Britannica Online, TrueFLIX, and MackinVIA.

Step 2: Collect information
Once students' topics were decided upon, they began collecting information from both of their research sites. Students focused on any pictures and titles or headings, main ideas and details, and related vocabulary when taking notes. 

Step 3: Transfer notes 
Because the students' final project would be an electronic presentation, they created screenshots that compiled their hand-written notes into their choice of apps: Popplet, Skitch, EduCreations, or Write About.

Step 4: Create video presentation
The final step in this app smash research project was to create a video using the screenshots that included information from their note taking. Students used the app PuppetEDU to insert their images, add music, and possible narrate their work.

Some of the students' work appears below. Just click on the link in the caption below each picture to see the video in full.