Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Literacy Pumpkin Patch

Our annual pumpkin patch is here!
 I just love seeing how creative our families can be.  Take a look at some of these. 
Now I wouldn't exactly call a Minion a "literary character" but there are Despicable Me books and he is REaDing so you gotta love it!

Amelia Bedelia

The Lorax

Splat the Cat

Dr Seuss... Isn't the shape of this pumpkin perfect!

Pigeon and Duckling (and Little Critter photo bombing)

Which is your favorite?

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Technology Tuesday: We are Illustrators

In kinder we have been talking about authors and illustrators for a few weeks now.  Last week, we read the book It's a Tiger by David LaRochelle.  
The students love calling out "It's a Tiger!" whenever the boy sees something that doesn't belong.  I love the illustrations in this book and after checking out Jeremy Tankard's website and how he uses ink and digital media to create his illustrations, I found the perfect app to try and replicate his technique.  So after we read the book last week and talked about the illustrations, I told the students that we were going to be illustrators like Jeremy Tankard but it was going to be a two-week process.  First we had to draw a tiger in our Library Journals (read more about my kinder journals here).  I found a step-by step guide to drawing a tiger and then using my airliner slate, I drew on the screnn while the students followed along.  Now, remember these are kindergartners so there was a wide range of tigers 

but as long as they tried, we were OK with what they drew.  

So this week, we reviewed how Jeremy Tankard illustrates and then they found their tiger drawing in the journal.  We then opened the Crayola Lights, Camera, Color  app.  
I was projecting my iPad onto the screen, so the students followed along as we started a new picture and then took a picture of our tiger.  The classroom teacher and I went around and helped the kids who needed help holding the iPad and taking the picture.  Then the app has a "vacuum" tool that sucks the color out of the picture and leaves an outline (our pictures didn't have any color on them but you have to do this step to go on).
Then the fun begins.  After you click the orange arrow and get past the stickers, a marker wheel appears at the bottom of the screen.  Students choose a color and with their finger color their illustration.  
Again, there was a wide variety of coloring, but I was going the experience ;)

All in all, I was please with the lesson and using the iPads with kinders this early in the school year.  And they loved being illustrators!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

3 for Thursday: Zombie Books

One thing that surprised me when I genrefied was that I did not have as many "SCARY" books as I thought I did.  And in my library, SCARY is anything with a ghost or zombie.   Zombies being the "in" thing in scary books after Dead City was introduced on our Bluebonnet List.  I anticipated the Zombie craze after reading Dead City over the summer and so I found some Zombie chapter books for my first book order of the school year.  And guess what?  They came in last week...just in time for Halloween (of course I forgot to take a picture of all the beautiful new books before the kids got a hold of them).  So here are my 3 for Thursday Zombie Books...

Zombie Chasers

All of a sudden one night, Zack's entire neighborhood turns into Zombies.  All except for Zack, his best friend Rex, and his sister's best friend Madison.  The three bond together to keep from being eaten alive, as they try to figure out the cause of the zombification and how to reverse it.  Undead Ahead picks up where Zombie Chasers ends except now it is the school that has been affected.  

Basement of the Undead

Lew, Gary and Lugnut venture into the basement of their school only to become trapped and discover what really lives under the floor of their school.


Ian, PJ and Kendra get separated from their class during a nature camp hike and find that the woods are not as they seem.  Part horror, part survival, the three stumble upon a wall with mysterious symbols and then an abandoned cabin where they decide to bunk for the night.  Unfortunately, that is where the zombies find them and they must run for their lives to escape only to find out they are now labeled as "Gravediggers" and evil will continue to seek them out.    In Terror Cove, the three are targeted by evil forces while on a family vacation and discover a zombie colony even stronger than the one they fought in the woods.  
Side note:  This series is labeled as YA and is a much harder read then the other three I have mentioned.  I see this series for my strong 4th and 5th grade readers.  

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Technology Tuesday: Amelia Bedelia Homographs

Third grade teachers needed books on homophones, homonyms and homographs last week which gave me the perfect opportunity to pitch a lesson idea using Educreations on the iPads.  In the past I had done a paper and pen version of this activity but I thought Educreations would be the perfect tool to digitize it.

 First, I read them an "Amelia Bedelia" book.  Any one will do since she always is misunderstanding multiple meaning words.  For this lesson, I read Good Driving, Amelia Bedelia
After reading we talked about how she mixes up words I gave each student a phrase with a word that has multiple meanings.  The students got their iPads and opened Educreations.
(I had previously saved a template in dropbox and then saved it to the camera roll of each iPad so they didn't have to write the word, but they could easily write or type them)
Once in Educreations they retrieved the template from the camera roll and typed the phrase that I had given them and drew a picture to go with what Mr. Rogers meant and what Amelia Bedelia thought he meant.

Then they went off to a quite place in the library to record their explanation.
Here are a few of their finished products.




Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Tecnology Tuesday: TinkaMaker and Skitch

Last week I posted about an activity I did with 1st grade using Tinkamaker and ChatterPixKid for our upcoming Kate Klise visit.  The kids had so much fun with TinkaMaker I decided to use it again with 2nd grade.  The lesson was the same up until after they had created the picture of their "meanest mother" and saved it to the camera roll.  Then we opened Skitch
and wrote our sentence on the picture instead of recording it.  We talked about how our moms weren't really the meanest mothers on Earth, but sometimes they make us do something or won't let us do something and we feel a little angry.  But just like Little Rabbit, we always got to sleep loving them.  I loved seeing the difference between what the 1st graders and 2nd graders though was "mean" and how much more elaborate the 2nd graders thoughts were. 

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Connected Librarian Day

I am finding so many cool things to help me grow as a librarian from being connected on Twitter. Last night I participated in two sessions in the Connected Librarian Day Conference.  

 These sessions were streamed on Blackboard Collaborate.  The first session was "When Sherry Met Matthew: Finding Your Educational Soulmate and Helping Kids Rule the World.  This session was presented by Matthew Winner and Sherry Gick.  These two are an amazing team who are not even in the same state.  Matthew is in Maryland and Sherry is in Indiana.  However, the connected on Twitter and planned some connected activities with their students and are what they call "educational soulmates".  I love that term!  After a tremendously successful collaborative experience they cal "Earth Pals", they are opening the same type of experience up to others in their GeniusCon arena.  Read more about it on Sherry's Blog.  

The second session I participated in was Jennifer LaGarde's (aka Library Girl) "Imagining Library Spaces of the Future Today".  I heard Jennifer speak at our Texas Library Association Conference last spring.  She is an amazingly inspirational speaker who makes changing the face of libraries seem easy.  In this session, she talks about ways librarians can help students become thinkers and learners, solve big problems, engage and collaborate.  My favorite quote from this session was "in libraries of the future students CREATE instead of CONSUME".  I haven't figured out what that looks like in my library program yet, but I am sure I will get plenty more ideas from my new PLN on Twitter!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Technology Tuesday: TinkaMaker and ChatterPixKids

We are so excited about our Kate Klise visit coming up in November! Today with First Grade I read her book Little Rabbit and the Meanest Mother on Earth.
Before the story, we predicted why she could be the "meanest mother on earth".  After the story, the students completed the sentence My mom is the meanest mom when she....  Then on the iPad we used the app TinkaMaker 

to create what our meanest mother looks like.  The kids had a great time adding wild hair, different shaped heads and ears and experimenting with different eyes and mouths to make her look mean.  
We took screen shots of our creations (that was exciting with first graders) and then opened the ChatterPixKid app.
Here we were able to take our meanest mother picture, add a mouth and record our sentence.  

Both of these apps are free and tons of fun to use by themselves, but put them together and watch what happens.