Wednesday, March 27, 2013

4th Grade Readers Theater

This is the fourth year that a gifted 4th grade language arts teacher and I have collaborated on a readers theater class for the year. We meet once a week for an hour. We have changed it up throughout the years, but the main focus has stayed the same, use readers theater as a way for students to enhance not only their reading skills, but also their confidence in reading aloud, their "stage" presence when they present their readers theater and their writing skills by writing blog posts and other reflections pieces.

 Check out their most recent blog posts on their class blog.

 We Skyped a few weeks ago with author Melissa Stewart and Melissa found our kids blog posts about her visit quite comical and she blogged about it here.

The students are in the middle of writing their own readers theater scripts using Patricia Polacco books, I can't wait to see how these turn out!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

World Read Aloud Day 2013

Full Image

My students and I had SO much fun connecting with other schools last week for World Read Aloud Day.  We had classes performing Readers Theater (4th grade), we had teachers read to us a Georgia picture book nominee (Same Same but Different) and we read/ sang Pete the Cat, Elephant and Piggie and Punk Farm. We connected with schools in Athens, GA, Iowa, Massachusetts, Maine and Connecticut (my kids were so jealous of all the snow most of our Skyping friends had or were getting). And even though my district does not allow us to use Skype, we were able to connect using a cloud program called BlueJeans (where we use a program called Polycom to connect and the person on the other end uses Skype or another video conferencing program).

I can't wait to connect with some of these same schools (and others) for Poem in Your Pocket Day in April!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Georgia Children's Lit Conference Presentation

Welcome to new followers if you are getting here because you attended my presentation on Kindles, Nooks and eBooks at the Georgia Children's Literature conference on March 8 at UGA.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Winter Time in the South

Here outside of Atlanta snow is an abstract thing most years (watch, I bet I just jinxed us) and while most of our kids have seen snow before, it is not a thing we live with on a regular basis. So each January I try and introduce some snow to my lessons.

For story time this week (Grades K-2) and next we will be reading one of my favorite picture book biographies, Snowflake Bentley by Jacqueline Briggs Martin.  This book  is also on Scholastic BookFlix if you happen to have a subscription to this (we do!).

After the story, we are making coffee filter snowflakes (a find on Pintrest and it just so happened I cleaned out my pantry and found 300 coffee filters I no longer need - gotta love the Keurig!!)

For my older grades we are making snowflakes online. I love this online snowflake maker, and it even gives you the option to print the snowflakes. I talk with the kids about the science of snow and snowflakes (I am showing them the BookFlix Snowflake Bentley book mentioned above) and also about symmetry as they make their snowflakes. BrainPop has a great winter and snow spotlight page that I am using with the students too. BrainPop is a subscription site, but has a free movie everyday, watch their twitter account (@brainpop) to see what the free movie of the day is if you do not subscribe (but I highly suggest looking into subscribing, my teachers love this site!)

Next story time I do will be a favorite here, we make Steve Spangler Science's Insta Snow!!  Hopefully that will be the closet my students come to actual snow fall this year - as a southern transplant, I have grown to love non snowy winters!

Happy winter everyone, hope you are warm and cozy wherever you are!