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Tuesday, September 29, 2015

We Did a Google Hangout!

Mrs. Updike's 5th grade class recently participated in a Google Hangout with Mrs. Washington's 2nd graders at South Prairie. It was a great morning for all of us--especially some of the 5th graders who'd had Mrs. Washington as a 2nd grade teacher. Our plan for the lesson was to read a book together, meet a partner & share two things we liked, and design and create a robot based on our partners' likes.

We began by sharing the book Boy + Bot by Ame Dyckman in a read aloud. This was one of our Iowa Goldfinch Award books last year, so some of the 2nd graders recognized the story.

Students then introduced themselves to one another, giving their names and two things that they liked. Frequent, common likes were Minecraft, pizza, basketball & football, and chocolate. Students recorded this information onto a handout.
CLICK HERE to access the handout.

Finally, the completed robots are ready to send to our new 2nd grade friends! We're eager to continue our collaboration and look forward to "hanging out" again!

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Celebrating Dot Day

September 15 is International Dot Day, so we celebrated for several days around the day itself. At every grade level we read a complementary book along with The Dot, by Peter H. Reynolds. Our conversations about using our imaginations carried over from a previous lesson, and students carried The Dot forward with suggestions as to how the boy could turn his squiggle into different pictures. Then our dot fun began!

Kindergarteners listened to Patricia Intriago's book Dot before reading The Dot.

These students created large dots in table groups, and each group's dot was matched to another class's dot. Now their dots are stuffed and hanging along the long wall in the library!

First grade students listened to and participated in an activity related to Herv√© Tullet's Press Here. Then they designed dots and made their marks on paper plates that we've grouped together into a display.

Second graders read another Hervé Tullet book--Mix it Up!--before working on their dots, which now hang in a display in the hallway.

Our third grade students read the book 10 Black Dots and talked about the things they could make with black dots. Then they worked on their dots for display--dots designed on coffee filters and then sprayed with water to give a watercolor effect. These now hang above the library doors.

Fourth grade students read and talked about the book Lots of Dots before working on buddy dots. They designed dots, cut them into fourths, and then we reassembled them into a display that features all students' dots.

Finally, students in fifth grade listened to Andrew Clements' book A Million Dots and then created dots that were attached front-to-back with others and then hung in a mobile-like fashion around the library.

After celebrating Dot Day for the first time, we know that it will become a yearly event for us! We made our mark that week--how did you make your  mark?

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Library Centers in the New Year

The start of the new school year means another round of library centers after check out time! To talk about our library centers, we read Dan Santat's book The Adventures of Beekle the Unimaginary Friend.

After the read aloud, we talked about using our imaginations when we read and how we might use our imaginations in other ways in the library, including during our library centers time.

Centers at Dallas Center Elementary include some old favorites--like the computer center and the cash register--and some new items like the Keva Contraptions and tangrams with templates.

Other centers in the rotation this quarter include our computer center, where students can access a grade-level Symbaloo with links to books, authors, and other literacy websites; a Boggle board; an optical illusions and I Spy book box; and intricate coloring pages.

Along with their table centers, students also have the choice to visit the reading corner for some read to self or read to partner time, or they can choose to work on our 1000 piece puzzle. New library centers come around at the start of each quarter, so look for different centers in mid-October!