Sunday, June 14, 2015

We are dreaming BIG!

The last couple of weeks of the school year always brings up a wide range of emotions: excitement for the summer and the break from routine it brings, feeling overwhelmed by the amount of work that still needs to be accomplished, and of course feeling bittersweet about saying goodbye to students and colleagues. In our school we really say goodby to our rising second graders as they are off to a new school at summer's end.

It's also a time for reflection.You can watch some of what we did in this Animoto. Surveys have been sent to staff and to the other school librarians in our district to assess our collaborations, to collect meaningful stats and to seek suggestions for improvements. A new library assistant joined our school this year. Dorothy Redding has quickly become a true partner, occasional hero(!) and all around awesome assistant.

I have also asked my students to reflect on the past year in the library and the library program initiatives. They were not shy in sharing their thoughts as you can see in the padlet below:

For our final library class of the year I often give students a choice of which book(s) we read. A few classes very wisely chose, If I Built a House by Chris Van Dusen.

 One kindergarten student noticed that Chris Van Dusen is the illustrator for the Mercy Watson series and Leroy Ninker Saddles Up all by the great Kate DiCamillo.He noticed that the style of the illustrations were very similar and he recognized the name. What a connection! The kids got all excited examining how the main character in If I Built a House had many artistic features in common with Kate DiCamillo's characters. But the main story here is how this book entertained and ignited all of their imaginations. This led to another padlet:

I just love to hear what our students are thinking and boy did they ever dream BIG!
Here are some kids working on their dream rooms, inspired by the book we had just read:

As you can see, this was a very fun and imaginative activity. We love when books bring out this kind of excitement.

Oh yes, talking about BIG, each of our 8 first grade classes did an Inquiry/Wonder project. Our young students learned how to use a database (PebbleGo) and how to take notes (just the "nuggets"). They worked in teams and decided which facts were the most interesting and important. Then they learned how to take those notes and turn them into sentences using their own words.They learned how to cite their sources - we're talking about being good digital citizens here. Then we shared our learning with others. This is authentic work! Here is an example of one of our finished projects:

On another note, this has been a very BIG year for my family. In February our first grandchild was born. I could never have dreamed what a BIG deal this is! She is the new BIG love of my life. 
Liv and Nana (that's me!)

Then in May, my son married the woman of his dreams.
Congratulations Emily and Alex!
I wish them and all of you a summer of BIG dreams, BIG fun and lots of reading too.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for visiting the Memorial School Library Blog!