Monday, February 18, 2013

Story Laboratory Book Fair

Our Spring Book Fair at Parkview is almost here! To get the kids excited, I put up a simple bulletin board using the fair decorating kit available from the Scholastic School Resource Catalog. The borders were also purchased from there.

You can visit our online fair here until March 12.

As I get more ready for the Fair, I will be sure to share.  I know I am always looking for ideas!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

WI Golden Archer Awards - Week Five - Happy Pig Day!

I saved the book Happy Pig Day! by Mo Willems for the last book in our Golden Archer program.  I did this because I knew the kids were excited to hear it and I wanted to keep that excitement going until the very end.  Dangling the carrot perhaps?

This is another Elephant and Piggie book in which Gerald, the elephant, feels as though he has done something wrong.  He receives a big surprise though and all is well in the end.  This book is written through dialogue and the students really enjoyed it. 

For our activity, I took two pages from the Happy Pig Day! Event Kit published by Pigeon Presents for Children.  Students were able to help Gerald get dressed for the big event or create a Pig mask of their own to wear.  The pig mask was more popular by far but Gerald had a few fans as well. 

Next week is voting!  I can't wait to find out how my kids vote, as this year all of the books are very good in my eyes!  Are you participating?  Please share in the comments what you are doing that works well for you! 

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

WI Golden Archer Awards - Week Four - A Ball for Daisy

Week four of the WI Golden Archer Awards program brings my groups to A Ball for Daisy by Chris Raschka.  This book was the 2012 Caldecott Medal winner.  I chose to do this book next so that we could practice our new skill of reading wordless books.  Students remembered right away to not cheat by looking ahead at the pictures to come on the page.  This is especially important for the climax of this story. 

As a follow up activity for A Ball for Daisy, I chose to have students divide their paper into four parts and draw a wordless story of their own.  In most classes, the telling of the story took 20 minutes so they weren't left with a lot of time to draw but many of them had good beginnings.  Here are some of my hard workers:

This story features a cat named Rosie.  In the second frame, her owner is taking her for a walk.  I am having a bad memory right now but this student had an entire story already going with just these two frames.  She was very excited to take her paper with her so she could finish the story at her next opportunity.  Perhaps she will bring it back to share next week? 

This story is of a man who goes on the hunt for a shark.  It takes him a long time but eventually he finds one. Again, the amount of detail the student was telling me while explaining the photo was amazing.  Students are amazing! 

I found that my second grade classes were the best at telling this story because they were really able to put themselves in the place of Daisy and think about her feelings throughout the story.  All of the levels understood the story but second grade showed the most empathy for Daisy. 

Stay tuned - two more books to go! 

Monday, February 4, 2013

WI Golden Archer Awards - Week Three - Polo and the Dragon

It is week three of our Golden Archer Awards program and we are reading Polo and the Dragon by Regis Faller.  This is a wordless book in which a little dog has some trouble with his boat and enters a jungle only to meet a fearsome dragon!  Nah, the dragon turns out the be nice and helps the dog with his boat trouble.  

Many of my classes had not read a wordless book before so to introduce the process, I showed one page from another nominee and 2012 Caldecott winner, A Ball for Daisy by Chris Raschka.  Students learned how to navigate a wordless page by starting to read from the upper left corner, just like if there were text there.  We examined an entire two page set before moving on to read Polo and the Dragon.

When reading the story, students were awesome at coming up with text to accompany the pictures.  In almost every class it took the entire 30 minute period to tell the story.  Students were engaged with bright eyes and sharp minds.  They especially loved when I screamed because there was a dragon behind Polo in the book!  (Again, maybe you had to be there...)

This book won over several students who I thought it wouldn't.  Yes, it's that good.  I really am starting to wonder who is going to get the most votes here at my schools for the Golden Archer Award.  Only two more books to go and then we will find out!