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Thursday, April 13, 2017

Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue--Our Revised 3rd Grade Myths & Legends Unit

Such great times in 3rd grade recently! Each spring in library classes we work with our 3rd grade teachers to address the reading standards regarding myths and legends. (That's our "something borrowed," as these aren't mentioned specifically in AASL library standards.) We began our work with Greek mythology, gaining background knowledge from Britannica Online articles related to different gods and goddesses.

Students used this handout in Google Classroom to record their work. We were looking for how the humans interacted with the gods and/or how the gods treated one another.
You can access the handout HERE.

We then read and shared different star stories using the TrueFLIX book Constellations, including the story about the constellation Scorpius.

A favorite assignment among third graders, designing their own constellation and creating the story behind it was next--our "something old." In this two-day activity, students plan their stories and stage a picture for their final projects. Students brainstorm possible constellations and stories using the handout below.
You can access the handout HERE.
Check out some of the students' work on their constellations and stories:

And now for our "something new"--a visit to Scholastic's website called Myths from Around the World. Again using Google Classroom, students accessed the site and read myths and legends of their choosing from a wide variety of cultures.

After reading myths and legends of their choice, students then accessed a world map on Google Maps--the "something new." Their work came full circle as we returned to our original conversation about the purpose of myths--to explain something in nature, to teach a lesson, or to celebrate a hero's story. On the map, students were to place a pin on the country from their reading and identify the purpose of the myth. You can see their work below:

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

We're Flipping Over Flipgrid!

Dallas Center Elementary K-2 students have been using Flipgrid with recent lessons, and we all love it! This website and app allow us to record students' work and hear their thinking in their own voices. Each of the grade levels focused on different lessons but ultimately recorded their work in Flipgrid. Check it out!

Students have been reviewing the differences between fiction and nonfiction text. We looked at examples both from our own library collection, as well as pairs of books featured on BookFLIX. As a final assessment, students looked at various books at their tables and determined whether the book was fiction or nonfiction. As groups, then, students recorded their responses using Flipgrid.
After talking about ABC order and the importance of alphabetical order in the library earlier in the year, we circled back to those concepts to write and illustrate our own ABC books. After some read aloud examples, students looked at different kinds of ABC books in their table groups.

Students then wrote and illustrated their own ABC books, taking inspiration from the many examples they saw. It was then time to record them reading from their own books.

You can access their Flipgrid videos by clicking on the caption below:

2nd Grade
Thanks to a fellow K-5 teacher librarian, we tried a new lesson looking at books that have had very few or zero checkouts in a year's time. Reading a book together, we talked about the story and the pictures, offering our opinions about why the book is one that we should recommend to students or one that we should maybe remove from the shelf. Students then looked through books at their tables to choose one that they then used to complete the handout below.

After making decisions about the books they'd chosen, students then recorded their responses on Flipgrid.
If you're looking for an engaging and user-friendly way to assess your students--and want your students' voices to be loud and clear!--Flipgrid is a wonderful tool to add to your toolbox! 

Monday, April 3, 2017

Statewide Book Award Winners Announced

Earlier in March, K - 2nd grade students voted for the Iowa Goldfinch Award book winner after several weeks of read alouds and activities. Favorites like Ivan: The Remarkable Story of the Shopping Mall Gorilla and Sam and Dave Dig a Hole were contenders, but in the end, Gaston by Kelly DiPucchio was the DC Elementary building winner.

Students in Grades 3 - 5 also voted on the Iowa Children's Choice Award book after listening to read alouds of I Survived: The Great Chicago Fire, Dash, and Loot. If students had also read a second nominee, they were eligible to vote. Winning the Iowa Children's Choice Award at DC Elementary was Loot by Jude Watson.

Iowa teacher librarians met today for their annual conference and state-wide winners were announced. A drum roll please. . . the Iowa Goldfinch winner was The Book with No Pictures by BJ Novak. Statewide, 152 elementary schools participated in the voting with almost 6,250 votes submitted!

And the Iowa Children's Choice winner was I Survived: The Great Chicago Fire by Lauren Tarshis. This book was the second place vote getter among DC Elementary students. Statewide, 218 schools participated in the voting with more than 17,100 votes submitted! 

Stay tuned for the announcement of the 2017 - 2018 state award nominees. Remember, if you read two books on the list, you'll be eligible to vote. These great books make for some good summer reading!