Snow Day!

1F has been so stupendous this year in the library that they earned their second reward day already!  They decided they wanted to spend a class outside playing in the snow, so they arrived in the library in all their winter gear and we read a quick winter book: Over and Under the Snow by Kate Messner.

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It was “snow” much fun!

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They wanted to get together for a group shot and leap.  Ready?

One…

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two…img_0686

three…img_0687

Go!img_0688

(We’ll have to work on their synchronicity.)

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It was a wonderful way to kick off snow season and end a busy day at school.

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I hope more reward days end this way!

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Shape Shifters

Pre-kindergarten through first grade spent last week enjoying books exploring colors and shapes.  I also promoted one of my favorite picture book authors, Michael Hall, author of My Heart Is Like A Zoo and Perfect Square, in addition to Shape Shift by Joyce Hasselberth.

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After enjoying the illustrator’s masterful and playful use of shapes throughout these books, the students chose 2-3 shapes of their own to create their own works of art.  I gave them zero instructions other than to use the shapes to create a picture, inspired by the concept in Hasselberth’s book.
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Examples from Hasselberth: Creating an angry bull or a diving fish from a trapezoid and a crescent.

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That was all the encouragement they needed!img_7196

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A symmetrical face

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A man with a beard

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A tree with a bird flying

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A snow man

The younger students just love doing art projects that extend what we are reading about, and I love to see their talent and creativity!  On to historical picture books next!

Hour of Code

Last week was national Computer Science Week and the grades 2-5 teachers were kind enough to allow me an extra 15 minutes so all students could participate in an Hour of Code! Listening to them persevere through challenges and their pride and excitement when they completed a task was so thrilling.  It was an awesome week!

img_7173img_7174img_7172 Writing in code is basically learning to speak computer language.  Students dragged blocks into particular sequences to get the computer program to do what they wanted.  The Hour of Code website features characters like Moana, Anna and Elsa, Minecraft, Star Wars, and more!  Have your students show you what they learned and create an account so they can save their progress at home!
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As it said in the Hour of Code’s video explaining the rationale behind learning coding that we watched, computer programmers are the rock stars and wizards of tomorrow!  Encourage your students to show you their magic powers!

Youth Uplift Challenge

Our students were amazing this week!  Discussing a thought-provoking poem by Langston Hughes, making connections to their own lives in their journals, learning about the powerful story of William Kamkwamba and how he persevered through great adversity, and finally creating a beautiful reproduction of their own hands which are literally lifting up other students in poverty through the Youth Uplift Challenge.  I couldn’t be more proud!

These are just some of the awesome photos I took of all their hard work as they created 200 hands, which equals $380 for the Save the Children Foundation in Nicaragua and Indonesia.  To see more, visit the library’s Facebook page here!

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We started this school year talking about empathy and have never stopped.  What a perfect way to reflect on the Thanksgiving week and look forward to the holiday season of giving!