Fall means it is time to read some of my favorite stories to kindergarten. We started with the Little Old Lady Who Wasn’t Afraid of Anything and finished with The Teeny Tiny Woman. Both stories have items associated with fall that need to be put back together. Teeny Tiny woman, skeleton and Little Old Lady Who Wasn’t Afraid of Anything (scarecrow).
After students moved to the table the real fun began. Each student was given a paper with a chart and a bag of bone candy that had different bone parts. Students sorted, counted, and began graphing their candy. We ran over so students were given a baggie to put their candy in to finish in the classroom and to eat later. This was a deliciously good time.
On October 17th Ingrid Law, author of Savvy and Scumble, took the time to talk to the 4th and 5th grade Cover 2 Cover Book Club students.
Students finished reading the book a few weeks ago. They also prepared questions ahead of time to make the most of the time they had with Ingrid.
During the visit Ingrid talked about why she became an author and what inspired her to write Savvy. She also encouraged the students to not give up on their writing and to take their ideas and turn them into their own stories.
She also answered all of their questions including what she would choose as a Savvy, how it feels to be a famous author, what she would change about the story if she could, which characters she connected the most with, and so many more. With each question the students learned more about her and the books. They also learned that there will be a 3rd book, Switch.
As our time was winding down students gathered around the SmartBoard to take a picture with Ingrid. We ran into a little technical difficulty, but Ingrid was very gracious and hung in there until we worked everything out.
Thank You Ingrid for a wonderful visit.
The Cover 2 Cover Book Club is in full swing. We meet every Wednesday during lunch and outside time from 11:15-12:00. Students bring their lunch into the media center and then we either break into groups to discuss the books or practice answer questions with buzzers in preparation for the Gwinnett Readers Rally.
So far students have read and discussed The Lemonade Wars by Jacqueline Davies, Edgar Allan’s Official Crime Investigation Notebook by Mary Amato, Who Was Helen Keller by Gare Thompson, and Savvy by Ingrid Law. Students also wrote questions in preparation for the upcoming Skype visit with Ingrid Law on October 17th.
I love our weekly meetings and a chance to get to know these students better as we discuss books.
Second graders learn about early Georgians during the 1st nine weeks. We start off with an easy two day project, that includes research and making a magazine cover from a template.
The first day they start off by using Pebble Go to find three facts about their person. They also include the year James Oglethorpe (one of the early Georgians they study) founded Savannah to include as their magazine date.
The second day they return to type their information on the magazine template. There are 3 magazine templates for them to choose from. Once they select the one they want to use they type their information into the template.
Working on their research using Pebble Go and typing into the template.
A few examples of the finished magazine covers. We have about 180 second graders at Gwin Oaks. The rest of the magazine covers will be added to the teacher web pages later in the year. Most of the teachers also print out their magazine covers to display in the hall outside their classroom.
I see the 5th graders for their technology special every 7 days. The first technology project 5th graders worked on was a Civil War research project. I wanted to have the students do a project that combined research and multiple technologies. Since Instagram as well as almost all social media is blocked we did a fake version of Instagram instead.
The project began with students being reintroduced to Encyclopedia Britannica. Students were given a research sheet and selected one of the 7 people they learn about during the Civil War to do their project about. Students started by gathering their facts and then reworded their information so it was in the correct voice and in 1st person.
The next time students focused on selecting a profile picture and a scene picture. The students would be putting themselves into the picture, so they selected their pictures with this in mind. Originally students were going to use Britannica Images but there were downloading issues so I ended up later downloading and adding the pictures to my webpage so students could select the pictures they wanted.
The second half of the class was sent exploring the Civil War trunk. I contacted the Civil War Trust and was able to borrow a Civil War trunk that contained uniforms, soldier gear, pictures, and other artifacts. The students were able to rotate from table to table to explore the different items. I loved the conversations we had about the different items.
Now that students selected a picture they wanted for their scene we were ready to take their picture in front of the Green Screen. Since we still had the trunk for a few more days most of the classes were able to put on the clothing if they wanted a full body shot in their picture. While I called students into the broadcast room one at a time to take their pictures in front of the green screen the rest of the students worked on typing their research information into the Instagram template.
The project is now winding down and coming together. Students learned how to use Coral Shop Pro (my county doesn't have Photoshop Elements in the elementary school). We went over how to zoom in and out, erase a background, and how saving as a .png file allowed a transparent background. The students did a fantastic job editing their photos. It was so great to see how focused they were to remove any unwanted background (or body) from their photo.
After 5 weeks the 5th graders were finally finished with their project. They merged their original Civil War scene with the edited picture of themselves.They then saved an added their picture to their Instagram template along with the profile picture they selected.
The students were so proud and I was so pleased with how well they looked when completed. We will have about 175 of these completed when we are done and will load them on their teacher's webpages. Until then I have included a small sample of some of the finished ones below.
Kindergartners at Gwin Oaks joined millions of others today to celebrate Read for the Record. This year's book choice was Otis by Loren Long. To make sure all classes could participate they came down in groups of 3 or 4 classes. Also because we love to read so much at Gwin Oaks we also read Otis and the Tornado. I know the next time the kindergartners visit the Media Center all of our Otis books will be checked out.
Each year Gwin Oaks hosts 2 book fairs. During this time the Media Center is transformed into a book store. The theme for the fall book fair is Reading Oasis. Ms. Lyons, the part-time Media Center clerk, does a fantastic job of transforming the Media Center.
Students eagerly browsed the new books and wrote down books they wanted.
Later in the week they returned to purchase the books from their list. This year the big sellers was the Jabba the Puppet, Spirit Animals, Gabby Lost and Found, Star Wars Jedi Academy, Wierd But True 5, Barbie Mariposa & the Fairy Princess, Ningago Pirates vs. Ninjas, Rescue Princesses, I Survived the Tsuanmi of 2004, and much more.
As always our wonderful volunteers helped to make the book fair a success.
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