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Sunday, November 29, 2015

Author Julia Cook Visits DC Elementary

With a generous grant from our PTO, Dallas Center Elementary secured an author visit on Tues. Nov. 24, 2015, with award winning writer and former guidance counselor Julia Cook.

Julia's schedule that day allowed her to speak with our 3rd - 5th graders for approximately 60 minutes. She talked about how she became a published writer and read three of her books to the students.

She also talked with the students about managing their time, especially when electronic devices and activities can take up so much of their time.

Using two staff volunteers, Julia also talked with students about the importance of face-to-face communication. She used the example of tossing a ball back and forth: when we tell our partners or show them where the ball is going, the likelihood of catching the ball increases. When we don't communicate face-to-face, catching the ball becomes much more difficult.

Julia also introduced the students and staff to one of her popular characters, Kirby. She is one of the featured characters in the book I Want to be the Only Dog, a story about sibling rivalry.

Julia Cook also took time that morning to talk with our students in grades K - 2. Using a similar format, she shared her writing journey and read books, including Soda Pop Head, a story about controlling one's anger.

Later in the day, Julia spoke with students in small groups. Students were able to ask questions about her life and books, as well as her writing process. Kirby also returned to make an appearance!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

ABC Order in the Library

Our first graders at Dallas Center Elementary have been talking about using ABC order in the library. For several cycles we've been reading ABC books, talking about the arrangement of books in the library, and practicing using ABC order.

We began with ABC books like Bad Kitty, Superhero ABC, and LMNO Peas.

After talking about spine labels and their connection to ABC order and the arrangement of library books, students created their own spine labels, using themselves as the authors of the books. They then stood themselves in alphabetical order so we could put their "books" on our hallway "bookcase."

Even with the book fair in our space, first graders were able to continue their ABC work by using different apps on the iPad to practice ABC order.

And we wrapped up our work with ABC order in stations: 1) LEGO station, 2) coloring sheet, 3) magnetic words, 4) book characters, 5) seasonal items & animals, 6) book spines, and 7) cup stacking.

Our assessment for this work was to create a short video on ChatterPix. Students took one another's pictures, then used the app to tell why ABC order is important in the library. They could also edit the project as they wished. A few of their videos appear below: