Friday, February 19, 2016

Busy week of Ivan!

This week has been very busy with The One and Only Ivan as our One Book, One School project. Students have been LOVING this book and really empathizing and making connections. We had guest readers from our District Office, School Board, and community come to read to grade levels on Wednesday.

In addition, each of my classes has been doing an Ivan based project. 6th graders have been creating QR codes to link to Ivan websites using, 5th graders came up with activity/game ideas for our school dance, 4th graders did mini-research "wonder" questions about animals, 3rd graders did a bookmark creation contest, 2nd did abcya storymaker jungle stories, 1st did tagxedos about the book, and K turned a letter "G" into a gorilla. We had a lot of fun this week! Next week is our grade 1/2 musical that is jungle themed and our all-school art show in a jungle theme too. Hope you can join us Thursday, February 25th 5-6:30 art show and 7pm performance!!

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Organization Trial #99812

If you know me, you know I love to organize! The problem is, I have yet to find a GOOD way to organize 501 library cards. I used to have these small white bins that I put at tables with the cards for that day in there. Problems: I have to put them out and away each day, AND when kids return them on the wrong day, I can't find them because I store them in coupon organizers by day.
So, then I got these new pocket charts from my Scholastic points. They are magnetic (barely; had to reinforce with magnet clips) and I labeled each with teacher code and class number for students in grades 3-6 to take out and return as they check out. Problem: kids STILL don't return them and they don't look pretty. I did buy command hooks so maybe I will put them in a less obvious place.
Next problem.. crayons. My students do a lot of projects and responses that involve crayons or markers. So I have ziplock containers of them that I take out and collect. This is seeming to be a lot, I find crayons on the floor, etc. So I bought these new bins from amazon for crayons, pencils, and K-2 library cards. (I still pass out and collect these!)
So why not just throw in the towel and create a barcode binder? Because I want the students in grades 3-6 to be able to self check out. It really frees me up to help kids find books and shows them a sense of responsibility. Does anyone have any organizational tips they can share?!

Super 3 Project for 1st Grade

Our first graders are working on a Super 3 (Plan, Do, Review) project related to polar bears. We thought about what we already knew about them, read a non-fiction book together, wrote 2-3 facts we learned, then the next week read another book and added at least one new fact and a picture. This week, we read The Best Nest (image from as an example of how you can always add to something to make it even better, and filled out our self-reflection rubric. Many really were able to reflect and choose something they could do better next time.

Monday, February 1, 2016

It's the One and Only Ivan!

Today we revealed our One Book, One School title! Kohls Wild Theater came to present The Great Global Extravaganza, which talked about ways we can help conserve the world for ourselves and animals, like recycling, eating only sustainable fish, and eating more fresh fruit and vegetables to eliminate packaging.

  Then we announced our book.. The One and Only Ivan. We read 5 pages as a school and will continue this reading journey for 5 weeks!!

Battle of the Books

Our Battle of the Books competition was on Friday! We had the 4th grade battle at 9:15 and it was so much fun! The Speed Readers took the title :)

Then at 2:45, we had the 5th and 6th grade battles. The Magical Cupcakes took the 5th grade title and the Pink Fluffy Unicorns took the 6th grade titles, as well as the school champs title as they battled the winners of each grade level. We used Kahoot again, a fun game show style website, and students had so much fun! Wish us luck at the state level this month!