Mrs. Lucy's class met Maine author Tamra Wight during a recent Skype visit! Ms. Wight, who is the author of the Cooper & Packrat series, lives in Poland, Maine. In addition to being an author, she is an Ed Tech at Whittier Middle School and also owns/operates the Poland Spring Campground. During our Skype, she shared many photographs she took of local wildlife as well as talked about her writing. Mrs. Lucy's 5th graders asked many excellent questions about her books and being an author. It was a very fun, informative Skype visit! Thank you to Ms. Wight for taking the time out of your busy schedule to Skype with us!
Last week Ms. Corrow's 4th graders learned to use the Britannica Online Encyclopedia, this week they put their knowledge of that resource to use for a library book hunt!
Most of my 4th and 5th graders are very familiar with my library book hunts. Teams receive a clue about a book. Examples of the types of clues I've used include book titles written in ciphers or riddles to solve. Teams use the clues to identify a specific book title, which they then search for on the Alexandria library catalog. If they have solved the clue correctly, they should then locate a book in the library with that title and, in the back of that book, they'll find another clue to a second book to locate. At the end of the book hunt, which typically involves each team locating 2 or 3 books, the final book will usually have bookmarks for each team member!
Yesterday, Ms. Corrow's class did a book hunt that required them to first look up information using the Britannica Online Encyclopedia. For each book they had to locate, they were given two clues to solve. If both clues were solved correctly, they would then have two words to type into Alexandria which would lead them to a particular book in the library. All the teams did a great job using Britannica Online and finding the correct books!
5th graders in Mrs. McAllister's and Ms. Libby's classes at George E. Jack are finishing up author research projects in the library! Several weeks ago they chose authors to learn about and then worked in small groups to locate facts about their authors by using online and print informational resources. Most groups are now in the project creation phase, where they are creating either a poster or video to share what they learned. I'm looking forward to seeing their completed projects!
Here are students in Ms. Libby's class hard at work on their posters!
It's time to vote for this year's MSBA winner! 4th and 5th graders who have read 3 or more books from the current list may now vote for their favorite!
Have you read three or more books from this year's MSBA list? If you have, then click here to vote! I will be accepting votes until 4:00pm on April 1st before sending our totals to the MSBA committee!
Maine's Virtual Library (MARVEL!), is an excellent site full of online encyclopedias and other web-based reference sites. This resource is available for free to all Maine residents. I frequently use MARVEL! in the library and often recommend it when students are doing research.
One of my favorite resources on MARVEL! is the Britannica Online School Edition. I remember using the print version of the Encyclopedia Britannica while in school. While many encyclopedia publishers still offer the print version, many also provide an online encyclopedia as well, including Britannica. The Britannica Online School Edition is a great resource that provides reliable information about numerous topics. All of the articles have a read aloud option, allowing students the ability to listen to the articles as well as read them.
Last week I demonstrated use of the Britannica Online School Edition to a couple of my fourth grades at GEJ, then followed it with an activity where students had to use this resource to find facts about different topics. Everyone did a great job using the online encyclopedia and many were eager to share some of the fun facts they learned about their topic.
Ms. Bunk's 4th graders met author Paul Durham on Skype last week! We originally were supposed to Skype with Mr. Durham in February, but the weather unfortunately got in the way of our original Skype date. Luckily, the weather was clear and we finally had our long awaited Skype on Thursday.
Mr. Durham is the author of the Luck Uglies series, an exciting fantasy novel that takes place in a dreary old village. The class and I had read part of the first book in the series together. During the Skype, Mr. Durham talked a bit about his books, then answered many wonderful questions from the class. It was a great Skype! Thank you to Mr. Durham for Skyping with us.
Mrs. Dunton's 2nd graders were so excited to meet author Dori Butler last week! Dori Butler is the author of many wonderful books, including a series called The Haunted Library. In preparation for the Skype, the class and I had read several chapters of the first book in that series. During our Skype, several students asked Ms. Butler great questions about her books and being an author. We are so appreciative to Ms. Butler for taking the time to meet with us and answer our questions.
On Thursday, March 3rd, three George E. Jack classes celebrated Dr. Seuss' birthday by sharing books with other classes around the United States! Ms. Bunk's 4th grade read a book about Maine to a class in New Jersey who, in turn, read a book to us. Mrs. Fries class, along with a 4th grade in Virginia, listened to me and the librarian of the Virginia class read a book together. Finally, to wrap up our Read Across America Skypes, Mrs. Evans' 5th grade read a book to a class in California. It was so much fun connecting to classes around the nation in celebration of Dr. Seuss' birthday!
In honor of Dr. Seuss' birthday, our Hollis kindergartners were read his funny story, The Foot Book last week. In that story they got to see all different sorts of feet! After, each student traced his or her foot onto a piece of paper, then colored it in. I'll use the different foot pictures to make our own class foot book!