"A Swisstastic Journey of Me and My Students"

Friday, December 5, 2014

Sir Readalot Book Fair a huge success!

Each year we have two book fairs at Summit...one in November and then another in February.  This is the way our Media Center earns the bulk of its funding for new resources.  This book fair was a Sir Readalot Medieval theme.  Our students participated in daily book talks over our WSUM morning TV announcements, participated in a Boys vs. Girls All For Books contest (we raised $99.91 to give towards our PTA's Shop and Share in which they help families in need during the holiday season), had a poster raffle, voted on "How many mints does it take to freshen a dragon's breath," had a school-wide reading contest (the top reader from each class gets to be principal for the day), and the top classes got a special storytime from our principals.  Also we raised over $2,000.00 for the Media Center and teacher classrooms.  So much fun!
Principal for the Day
These students read the most minutes during our Book Fair week.  Their reward was to be principal for the day.  They got to participate in morning annoucements, carry the walkie-talkie around and visit rooms, monitor lunch duty, and hold a staff meeting.  FUN!  

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Patricia Polacco visits our school

We were so fortunate to be chosen to have the amazing author, storyteller, and illustrator visit our school. She was in our area promoting her new book, Fiona's Lace.  We were chosen by Barnes and Nobles to receive this opportunity at no visit. It was amazing to hear her speak about how her childhood memories have impacted her writing life. I would highly recommend any school to have her...she is amazing. At the end of her presentation she has a piece of the meteteor that landed in her grandparent's farm when she was living there as a young girl. She encourages every child to touch the rock and make a wish. The only rules are as follows: 1.) You can't wish for money 2.) You can't wish to change someone 3.) You can't wish for anything that can be bought with money.  Here are some pics from the day.
After her visit I encouraged my third graders, using Google Docs, to write down their wish. They also learned how to place an image into their doc via the research tool on Google Docs and we talked about citation of the images. Here is some of their work:
A. Christensen
H. Reister

Loved this project and it was great having them up on the wall right before Christmas break was great!  This is what the board looked like.

Digital Citizenship with 5th grade

5th graders have been learning about Digital Citizenship. We created a template on Google Docs and students then used their artistic side to create a bookmark, which was printed off, laminated and then available for all students in the entire school to take from the Media Center.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

SOLE: 6th graders research "What do we need to know about Ebola"

We began our 6th grade SOLE projects the last part of November. For those of you who aren't familiar with SOLE (Self Organized Learning Environment) it is a high inquiry research question that goes beyond being "Googleable" and requires students to create quick presentations (in whichever format they choose) answering the question. Here is a toolkit for those of you who are interested in learning more about SOLE. These projects are leading up to our Genius Hour projects, which we will begin in January. Here are the steps we followed: I covered the expectations of the SOLE: 1.) I am not a teacher I am a facilitator (I will not answer questions but when our SOLE Sheriff comes around midway through the research phrase you can submit questions to him/her and they can ask me the question) 2.) No more than 4 in a group and no less than 2 3.) If your group doesn't have 4 in it and someone asks to join then you have to let them join 4.) Listen to each other 5.) WORK HARD There is alot of freedom in the way the students can present their findings. No instructions are given. Most groups tend to use Google Drive to create a Google Presentations. Here are some of the projects. *I did not focus alot on the kids citing their sources here b/c I didn't want them to feel pushed to do one type of format for their presentation but in the future I will let them know if they choose to use Google Presentation they will need a Citation slide.