"I have always imagined that Paradise will be some kind of library." ~ Jorge Luis Borges

Thursday, March 31, 2016

All Sorts of Making Going on in the Library

A tree went down in the wind storm today and knocked out power in the neighborhood. For the afternoon, our school was running on the generator, which meant no wireless access points, which meant no wireless, which meant there was no way to go forward with my afternoon lesson.

It was time to pull out the story telling games and Lego boxes.

Four classes came through the library and fell into a wonderful hum of productivity. 

Maybe I'll just pretend there is no electricity next Thursday afternoon...

The Little Elliot Polka Dot Express Makes a Stop at Our School

Little Elliot's Polka Dot Express 
stopped by our library this week!
We became part of Little Elliot's BIG FAMILY!

Little Elliot arrived tucked into his bed.

Inside Little Elliot's box 
was a collection of trinkets.

The students decided that we should add a birthday pencil and a principal super star.

What should Little Elliot be recognized for?

Little Elliot's box also contained books from his other school visits.

My students made a book about family.

 All too soon, it was time to get 
Little Elliot back on the road.
We decorated his box, so he would have something nice to look at.

We added our book about family

 and Little Elliot's Principal Super Star.

Here's a closer look at our visit and the things the students made:

Safe travels, Little Elliot!

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

"I learned that lots of Black people changed our lives way more than I thought."

The fifth graders engaged in a gallery walk of their biography poster projects. After reading and exploring the posters, the students reflected on the project.  I was going to use a rubric, but went for less rigid feedback. Based upon what I read, I am happy with this decision. I think the students were able to interpret the questions more broadly and respond more honestly. 

Which poster inspired you to want to read and learn more?
*I put their responses into a Wordle. The larger the name the higher number of responses for that person. I love seeing Shirley Chisolm hanging around with more well-known names.

What would you change about your poster?
I again used Wordle to see themes in their responses. Handwriting was the number one thing the students would change. I need to figure out a different way to talk about this in the future as we talked about handwriting and what published work should look like. I like that the students wished they had added more examples of author's craft. This was an important element to the posters and the unit.  That they could see how the use of color can impact the readability of the content reinforces what we've been exploring. 

I would have liked to see this number much higher. I wish I had included a following question asking the students what might have been a better way to get them excited, if this project did not.

What did you learn during this project?
I learned about the struggle for civil rights
I learned people worked hard to fight for their rights
Its hard to work with a big group that has good and big ideas.
There were a lot more black heroes than I knew about.
Shirley Chisholm was the first black woman to run for president 
that people made a difference
Andrea is good at author's craft. 
You have to be patient to have neat work 
It was a fun project and then seeing everyone's work
To work better with group members.
I learned more about history
That lots of Black people changed our lives way more than I thought.
The importance of blacks and how they changed our lives for the good.
Ella Fitzgerald, wrote the famous song, A tisket-a-tasket 
many people can make many differences
I learned that Ella Fitzgerald created a new kind of music
Many blacks did amazing things
If you believe in a cause you can change the world
I learned how different people made a change in the world.
I learned more about the people that helped in the Civil Rights Movement
there were many important leaders
all the people stood up for their rights either in their talents or their rights.
Bill Picket was a very courageous person 
I learned a lot about Duke Ellington 
I didn't know there were that many people that changed America.
I learned the names of a lot of new people and something about them
I learned all about the black leaders of America
I learned that not all history is boring
I learned the names of a lot of people 
I learned it is challenging for the whole group to agree on parts of the poster.
I learned about authors craft and about how Andrea Davis Pinkney and how she likes to write
it can be hard to work in a group and make sure you have good white out
It's hard to work with a group 
I learned that lots of black people had a hard living life. Also, most people had a lot of determination. I found it fun to work with my group and also I think we all had an even amount of work on the poster and answering questions.
Sometimes people who don't seem important are important.
a lot of cool things about some important people.
Bill Pickett bit cows.
women can make a difference
I learned many different examples of authors craft
that Bill Picket was the first African American  in the cowboy hall of fame
I learned different types of author's craft that Andrea uses
That when you work in a group, you always need to use teamwork.
Sojourner Truth changed her name
I learned that Bill Picket was the first African-American to be inducted into the National Cowboy Hall of Fame 
That you have to be careful
we have to be patient 
There were more important people that changed history than I expected.
that Jackie Robinson was really determined
I learned about Thurgood Marshall
I learned a lot about Ella Fitzgerald 
I learned who Sojourner Truth was
How many people I didn't know had so muck impact on our world now.