Monday, January 20, 2014
Fall Back

Part 1

Since we have been given an "extra" hour today, I decided to spend it blogging to you.  There has been a lot going on at school.  I have enjoyed my time with the students and working together to become better learners.  Since we are on a six-day rotation schedule, I have much more time for lessons and activities.  Here is what we have been working on so far this school year...


As with every school year, teaching students responsible book care and the parts of a book has been a priority for the beginning of the year.

We read the following books to learn about book care:

The Shelf Elf

For more information on how I utilize this book in the media center, see the post on my Golden Shelf Elf Award.

Penelope Popper Book Doctor

A Book Is Just Like You

 We have also read a book about Johnny Appleseed and colored a picture of Johnny.  We have also studied book by David Shannon and Rob Scotton.  Additionally, we read a fiction story about Halloween and played an ABC matching game.  And just last week we read about the life cycle of a pumpkin and the students completed a cut/paste activity for the life cycle of a pumpkin. 

Every week we have focused on the parts of a book and this is one of my Student Learning Objectives for this school year.  I hope by the end of the year, most of the Kindergarten students will be be able to name all of the parts of a book.

1st Grade:

As a review to good book care, we read the following books:

Never Let a Ghost Borrow Your Library Book

Penelope Popper Book Doctor

My major focus for 1st grade is ABC order.  It is important for students to learn ABC order of words at an early age, so that they may excel in the upper grades in the use of dictionaries and thesauruses.  We have also read a story about Johnny Appleseed, studied author Steven Kellogg, and a Halloween story.  We also spent the past 2 weeks studying books that have received The Caldecott Medal or Honor.  They have really enjoyed reading these books and exploring the different types of illustrations.

2nd Grade:

The 2nd grade students review proper book care and read the same books as 1st grade.  We also read Perfect Square, one of the YHBA nominees, and the students created a class book making a picture with a square and writing a sentence about their illustration. 

We also worked on reading nonfiction and writing facts we learned about our nonfiction book.  We read a book about spiders and completed a graphic organizer on 4 facts we learned about spiders.  
by Sian Smith

I downloaded the free graphic organizer from The Library Patch.

The following week, we read a nonfiction book about pumpkins.  After we read, I had the students use the iPads and World Book Online to complete a graphic organizer with 4 facts about pumpkins.

We also spent a week browsing the magazines available in the media center and reviewed fiction and nonfiction with a group game.

Lastly, with all of the grades, we also used the SmartBoard to review book care.

This is the end of part 1 of Fall Back.  Stay tuned for Part 2...

This school year is already flying by.  We are 6 weeks into the school year and I feel like we are halfway through.  I have already had the book fair and it was a success.  Our sales are always lower in the fall than in the spring, but it went well.  I am hoping the spring book fair will be even better!
My schedule this year is very different.  We are on a 6 day rotation, so for 3 days I see classes for lessons and the next 3 days I see classes for check out.  I have never experienced this kind of schedule before, but I am making the best of it.  The greatest advantage is that I get to spend more time with the students and we have more time for lessons.  I believe this will really help the students become better learners.

I have added a free resource to my TPT store.  I like to keep track of the when the students return their library books.  At the end of every nine weeks, I hand out certificates for the students who returned all of their library books.  I would like to do even more this year, to recognize students and classes.  I purchased a resource from TPT to coincide with my theme this year.  I will post pictures as the school year continues.  Click on the picture below to download my free resource!

Book Return Spreadsheet

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