Friday, March 23, 2012

Book titles + Stacking = POETRY!

I heard of book spine poetry for the first time a few years ago, thanks to Travis Jonker over at  I tried it with 5th graders for the past 2 years and they came up with some amazing poems.  This year, my student teacher and I decided to try it with first graders - and we were very impressed with their creativity!
A selection of the 1st grade book spine poems, ready for sharing!

They had been learning about the Super3 (Plan, Do, Review) and we decided to make creating book spine poems an activity to practice the process of planning, doing and reviewing.  Honestly, I was a little worried about the chaos that would ensue, but it was totally worth it!  We preselected some titles for them (just for the sake of time) and put them out on tables all over the library.

The rush to pick titles!

The book spine poems they came up with were witty, insightful, funny and silly. It was a great experience for all.  As a follow up, each class reviewed what they did to create their poems and planned out a lesson to teach to first graders in a different school.
Class brainstorm to plan the Skype lesson!

Yesterday we held a Skype session to teach those first graders about book spine poems and how to start making their own - it was a huge success!  The kids felt invested in the process and proud to be the "teachers" - giving directions and sharing their examples.  I can't wait for more poetry fun in April!

Here's some of their work:

Rose 1H

Niamh 1W

Daniil 1W

Gaby 1W

Owen 1H

Vivi 1M

Lyanna 1W

Amanda 1M

Sam 1M

Ross 1M

Saturday, March 10, 2012

World Read Aloud Day!

One 5th grade class had the perfect connection to WRAD:

Over the course of the day, I got the chance to connect with 10 different classes of students - 6 in my own school and 4 through Skype! We read stories together, I jumped in to take over their read aloud books, or I simply talked about WRAD and took pictures! It was an amazing day of stories, laughter and even disbelief (that there are so many in the world that don't know how to read). It made me realize that we have to do even more in my school and district to really make our students global learners.

Some of the books that were read aloud over the course of WRAD:

I had a great day- here are some highlights:
  • Read one of my 1st grade classes from another school a story (they LOVED Pete the Cat) - Thank you Mr. Gaita!
  • Read a few chapters of Wonder aloud to a 5th grade class 

  • Witnessed a dictionary race in another 5th grade class when I read the word "curtailing" aloud
  • Shared I Want My Hat Back with Ms. Lightfoot's 4th grade Animal Ambassadors via Skype (and had them each come up to share if they were more Team Bear or Team Rabbit)
  • Observed 1st graders reading aloud to each other in small groups (Henry and Mudge!)
  • Connected with Mrs. Reed and Mr. Schu via a double Skype session!
It was a whirlwind day, but worth every second of running around and troubleshooting connections.  I even got to learn about sharing my screen on Skype so I could use the ELMO to make the book easier for the other classes to see!

Hope everyone had an amazing World Read Aloud Day!  Thank you LitWorld!