Thursday, December 29, 2011

International Day Pictures--Part Two

Now onto the North Pole, Germany, Russia, and Japan.  I forgot to mention that our Office Area was the United States.  They had it decorated with Christmas and Hanukkah decorations.  Over the PA system they played "traveling" holiday music when it was time for the groups to move to a different country.

North Pole
*had "snow" on the floor for the students to walk through
*had arctic gear for the kids to try on
*had hot chocolate to drink

*decorated gingerbread men
*made Christmas trees
*listened to a German song and had root beer and pretzels

*made a set of nesting dolls
*watched a power point about Christmas in Russia
*watched a performance of The Mitten and listened to Russian music
*ate blintzes and drank tea


*wrote haiku (had a snowman haiku with a picture to color for the primary kids)
*made origami
*ate sushi with chopsticks (small pieces of rice crispy treats with a swedish fish on in and wrapped with a piece of fruit roll-up)

Sorry about the big spaces.  I was having trouble with the pictures and I got frustrated.  These pictures only give you a taste about what our International Day is really like.


Wednesday, December 28, 2011

International Day Pictures--Part One

I'm finally feel well enough to post the pictures of my school's International Day.  I'll give you a little background about the day.  Each of the "houses" (which are groups of 3 or 4 classrooms), were assigned a specific county when the school was built.  The countries are Mexico, France, China, Germany, Russia, and Japan.  When my school used the trailers the country assigned was Australia, "the Outback".  It was funny because they were located in the back of the building.  This year our one Kindergarten class that is located in small hallway that connects our primary and intermediate hallway was the North Pole.  Also in between France and China is where our Guidance Counselor and our ISIC (In School Intervention Center) offices are located.  They decorated their small part of the hallway into the UN.  They hung doves from the ceiling and had a huge poster with the word peace in many different languages.  

Our school only does International Day every other year.  For the past two International Day's we have done it before Christmas, so we have incorporated holidays around the world.  So each house area decorates their common area and classrooms based on their county.  Each classroom has either food from that country, activities, games, or plays.  I'll list below what each county had going on in their area along with a few pictures.  The teachers divide their class into two groups.  Using parent volunteers, the first group travels in the morning spending about twenty minutes in each country.  Everyone gets a passport and gets it stamped when they reach a new county.  Everyone eats lunch at the same time and then those that stayed in the house area to help with the morning travelers get to travel in the afternoon.

*made sombreros
*ate Mexican wedding cake
*watched a power point about Christmas time in Mexico

*made a pointillism picture
*made a Noel banner
*made a yule log (braided pretzel with icing and sprinkled with chocolate chips)  

*made a dragon
*ate a sticky rice ball (a rice ball dipped in sugar) and drank tea
*played Chinese games and played with toys from China
*read parts of Grandfather Tangs story and made tangram shapes


I'll post the North Pole, Germany, Russia, and Japan tomorrow.  Hope you have enjoyed seeing the first three countries.  Does anyone else do anything like this at their school?


Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Fog is Clearing!

I think I am finally starting to feel better!  The fog that has taken over my brain for the past three weeks is slowing beginning to clear.  Hopefully I will be able to really enjoy the last part of my break.  Though, I have begun to think about school.  

I started a new display to highlight books before the break.  I got the idea from the website Library Displays. If you haven't see this website, it has some great ideas about displays in the school library as well as the public library.  I'm doing a version of "Now Recommending", which is at the bottom of the webpage.  I'm going to have one for each grade level to put up in the primary and intermediate hallways by the Media Center.  I'm going to be creating a form, which I'll post, for kids to fill out if they want to participate. I'll also post pictures along with instructions once I get it up in the halls.

Hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and enjoying their break. 


Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas!!!

I hope everyone has a Merry Christmas and  Happy Holidays!  I also hope that everyone is a lot healthier than I am.  I was hoping to be doing some posting over break, but I'm just trying to get better.  I have a feeling that I'll end up feeling 100% right before I have to go back to work. :)  


Friday, December 16, 2011

Last Day before break!!

This has been a long last week!!  International Day went so well on Wednesday.  It is a great experience for the kids, but a very exhausting day for the teachers.  I'll post some pictures over break.  I've also been fighting a cold, which makes having the energy for the kids a challenge.  I have to get through three classes in the morning, but they are doing the book pass activity I posted about before.  Then I only have two classes in the afternoon, but one is happening during our sing-along, so it is not really class time.


Thursday, December 15, 2011

Fiction Book Pass

Another blog that I follow, The Organized Librarian, by Susan Couture a few months ago posted about a really great activity to do with new books, called the Fiction Book Pass.  She had an article published explaining the activity in the October Library Sparks magazine.  (Which by the way, is a great resource for the Media Center.) I had to wait for a while to do this activity until my new books came in.  Well, I've been doing it with my 4th and 5th Grade students last week and this week.  Oh my gosh do they love this activity!!!  I made a big deal on how they were getting a sneak peak at some of the brand new books for the Media Center.  I knew I had a great activity when after we finished, the kids asked me if we could do it again the next time we had class!

I even used it with 3rd Grade today.  I have an easy chapter book section that is new and many of the students were not going over to that section.  So my assistant suggested to use some of those chapter books to do a "Book Pass " in order to get the kids excited about that section.  Well it worked, all I heard during the class was "Wow, I didn't know we had this book."  I had a lot more students visit that section during check out time today!

Thank you Susan for such a great activity!  It has really been a lifesaver for me during these last two weeks before Winter Break!!


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Power of Book Trailers

I posted awhile back (July 21st) about this great blog I came across, Watch. Connect. Read. by Mr. Schu.  He believes that using video book trailers is one way to connect kids to books.  Well let me tell you, after the beginning of this school year, I am a believer!!!  I started slowly with my Fourth and Fifth Graders, showing a few when I had a few spare minutes.  Well, those books began flying off the shelves!  I next started on my Third Graders.  I'm still putting holds into the computer for the book trailers that I had them watch!

I had my Fifth Graders in one class watch a book trailer for the series The Sisters Grimm by Michael Buckley, along with two others.  Once check out started, this series was gone off the shelf within seconds!  I was amazed because I had been trying to get some students interested in the series for a few years.

I'm going to be using book trailers with my primary grades in the new year.

If you haven't checked out Mr. Schu's blog yet, I would highly recommend it.  You will hopefully get as much inspiration and information as I have.


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

It's December 7th already????

Wow, time is really flying at school and at home.  At school we are getting ready for our HUGE school-wide activity, International Day.  This is a gigantic undertaking by staff and students.  Each of our six groups of three or four classrooms (called houses) are a different county.  Each house decorates the shared area and then there are activities set up in each classroom.  In the morning half of the school travels around a visits each country, then a break for lunch, and then the other half travels.  It is a great day, one that the kids will always remember, but a whole lot of work.

I'm getting my reading incentive program up and going.  Which is a lot of work for me.  I'll explain my program in my next post.  My theme this year, to keep track of the students progress is Reading Across the Countries.  It goes along with International Day.

I just can't believe how fast the holidays are coming!!  I'm not close to being ready.  It seems like they come faster each year.