Thursday, April 23, 2015

Friday "Wrap" Up

This is a short week for schools here in San Antonio due to our Fiesta celebration.  We are off today for the huge Battle of Flowers Parade downtown.  Besides giving STAAR for 3 days - blech!  We actually did get some poetry stations done with 4th grade for our upcoming visit from Poetry Alive.  I also moderated a twitter chat for my district librarians about things they brought back from TLA. And I participated in our district chat about education where each question (and some answers) were introduced with memes.  You can read about that chat on @Terrieichholz blog post .

My wraps this week are in honor of Fiesta time in San Antonio.... Lotus , the June Hostess Exclusive and Skinny Pink (I am not usually a "pink girl", but after having it on last week I LOVE it!

I have nothing to do with the first grade Fiesta parade that goes on at our school, but I just love how the whole school dresses up and lines the hallways.

And the floats that the 1st graders make are AMAZING!!  Check these out (sorry some are blurry, they were moving fast).

Some floats are carried
Some are on wheels

Of course there are plenty of Spurs floats!

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And my favorite... The Texas Longhorns!

Friday, April 17, 2015

Technology Tuesday: Adobe Slate

Love, Love, Love this app!

It's a vertical storytelling tool with the ability to add words, pictures, photogrids and links.  Our 5th graders had the option of using that as one of the options to show their ecosystem research.  The students were able to use pictures from within the app or add pictures from the camera roll.  Here are just a few examples.  

Not sure what the cat on the title slide has to do with ecosystems.  I guess she just liked it. 

We do need to work on organization a bit.

I am excited to use this app more next year.

Friday "Wrap" Up

This week I...
- continued 5th grade research with the class that did not research last week
- was asked to speak at the district board meeting for library month about using skype and twitter with students
- more poetry story time with kinder
- met with 4th grade Language Arts teachers about their research coming up in May
- had one 2nd grade class for poetry stations

And my wraps...  black floral and retired skinny pink.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Missing TLA

I chose this year to attend the TCEA technology conference in February instead of the Texas Library Association conference going on this week.  I knew that I would miss going to TLA, but felt that I really needed to brush up on my technology this year.  And while I am glad that I went, now, seeing all the tweets and facebook posts from TLA, I am sad to be missing.

I think next year, I am going to try to attend 2 days at each conference instead of 4 days at one of them.  I always feel guilty getting to attend conferences because our teachers do not get the opportunity to go anywhere but I do try to bring back and share as much information as I can.  

I hope my fellow librarians in our district bring back all the good things they learned and will share the knowledge! 

Monday, April 13, 2015

March Madness Book Brackets

We just crowned the winner of our March Madness book bracket title after a 4 week voting process!  I originally saw this idea through my PLN on Twitter.  Lots of schools have been doing this and I jumped on the bandwagon a little late this year.  I ran a report through our management system of the 16 books that had the most checkouts so far this year and was pleasantly surprised there was a mixture of Fiction, Graphic Novel and Picture books.  I paired them up and made a large bracket on the library wall.

Then I made a bracket using word and saved it as an image and a PDF.    
I then put the image on my library webpage along with a link to a google form for students to submit their predictions and the PDF in case they wanted to turn in a paper copy of the bracket.  I gave them a week to submit their brackets and this is the part that I would like to start earlier next year.  We started the week we came back from spring break and next year, I think I want them to submit over the week of spring break. 

The next week, I unlinked the prediction google form and linked up a voting form  where students could vote on the book they wanted to advance to the Elite 8.  We reminded the students to vote everyday on the announcements.  

The next Monday, we put up the pictures of the Elite 8 books and a new google form and let them have the whole week to vote again.  This last week, I let them vote on the Final 4 from Monday-Wednesday and then the Final book Thursday and Friday.  

Today on the announcements I announced that Creepy Carrots by Aaron Reynolds was the winner. We had Aaron visit last year and I love that they still enjoy his books.  
I don;t know if you can see on the picture, but it came down to Dead City by James Ponti and Creepy Carrots.  

Using google forms for the voting made it very easy to see who won from each pairing.  There is a "view summary" button that puts the information into a pie chart.  

This was a really fun way to promote books in our library.  Even though they were already the most popular books, I still had kids coming in to check out "the books we can vote on".  I had also told the students that the person who had the highest point total in their prediction brackets would get a $25 gift certificate to our May book fair.  I get to announce that on Wednesday!

Friday, April 10, 2015

Friday "Wrap" Up

Whew!  I am glad this week is over!  On top of having two 5th grade classes in the library at the same time all week for research, I lost my voice due to allergies.  But now the week is done and it is time for the weekend!

This week, as I mentioned, we started 5th grade research.  Our fabulous ITS, Laura Moore, and I were talking one day about the research coming up and we met with the 5th grade team to talk about some ideas.  After deciding on the topic of ecosystems, Laura came up with a Thinglink and the steps for our project (More about the actual research in a later post).  My 5th grade teams departmentalize so 3 teachers each teach reading to 2 classes and one of them has a third reading class.  So pretty much all day every day this week, I was surrounded by 5th graders.  

I did break away to do some more poetry reading to kinder and started poetry centers with 2 second grade classes.  

Two 4th grade class and I participated in the #stu2stuchat about technology on Wednesday.  

I still have my same wraps on from last week, so I thought I show you a picture of a Jamicure I saw this week on Facebook.  I just love this one and will definitely be trying it soon.  It is Prince Charming with Boomerang (a clear wrap) layered OVER it!  Isn't that awesome!

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Poetry Month

April is poetry month and for the first time in a long time I've got stuff planned all month!  I've been sharing some poems from some of my favorite poetry books.
I love the poems in  "Good Dog" becuase they are told from the point of view of different breeds... The Chihuahua poem shows hyper, yet tough personality.  The Maltese is a beautiful bride with a vow poem from her owner to love and cherish her. And my favorite is the Pomeranian who has just gone to the groomer and is admonishing his owner for embarrasing him by making him look like a "powder puff". 
Alan Katz visited my school 3 years ago and is just as funny in person as his Silly Dilly songs.  My favorite in this book is "Stinky, Stinky Diaper Change" sung to the toon of "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star". 
School Fever has great poems about the librarian who conquers a mouse in the library by reading to him, the cafeteria food, and my favorite from this one is a boy who professes his love for his teacher and since he can't tell her he loves her, drives her crazy instead.
And Judy Sierra take Mother Goose favorites and turns them into monster rhymes in this hilarious book.

We are also having Poetry Alive on May 4th and to get ready for their visit, another librarian and I created some centers based on the poems they might perform. My first class of 2nd graders visted today and had a great time writing a list poem, drawing the characters from "Don't Let Your Cat Wear an Apron" with DoodleBuddy on the iPad and using highlihters to find words that describe senses in "The Cat on My Lap". 

I have different centers for 3rd-5th grade that will start next week.

At the end of the month we are going to be connecting with other classes via skype to share poetry.  If you are interested in participating in that here is the link to the google doc.  We are also celebrating "Poem in My Pocket" Day on April 30. 

What are you doing to celebrate poetry month? 

Friday, April 3, 2015

Friday "Wrap Up"

Today is Good Friday and we are off today, so I am writing this post as I sit on the beach. 
This week our 4th and 5th graders had the first round of state testing, so my Monday and Tuesday were mostly taken up by that. The rest of the week, I worked more on my poetry centers and read poetry to my 6 kinder classes.  I also met with my 5th grade reading teachers to plan for their research that start next week. 

I procrastinated in ordering my Easter Jamberries and they didn come by last night when we left so I had to improvise. I actually like how these turned out. And I do think they are Eastery. Lollipop Chevron, Teal Mini Polka and Diamond Dust Sparkle.