Monday, November 4, 2013

In the Media Center (Weeks 7 - 9)

Elementary Media Center
In the Media Center is going to be a new regularly appearing post from me. I plan to talk about what my students and I did the past week during their media classes. I am a K-12 media specialist who spends half days at the Elementary building and half days at the Middle School/High School building in our district of approximately 1300 students.

This semester I am starting my days at the Elementary building and seeing fifth graders and third graders on a four day rotation (50 minute classes) and traditional first and second graders on an alternate day rotation (25 minute classes). Our elementary school has a fixed schedule where all students in a grade level attend "specials" (art, media, music, and phy. ed.) at the same time so that their teachers have a common preparation time. 

Week 7 was a short week with students only attending school Monday and Tuesday. There were Parent-Teacher conferences on Wednesday and then the break for the Minnesota Education Association Annual Convention. 

Week 8 began with an inservice day for the teachers on Monday where we all gathered with 6 other area schools to learn more about PLCs.

Week 9 was the final week of the first quarter. It ended with an Early Out on Friday which made for shorter classes that day for each of my groups and added two more grade levels - Kindergarten and Multiage - to the groups I saw that day.

Fifth Grade Week 7

We are still working on the Scavenger Hunter for the USA-SOS Internet Safety Challenge.  

Fifth Grade Week 8

Some classes are still working on the Scavenger Hunt but two classes have finished, studied, and taken the Post Test. We are currently in 8th place among the competing schools for the September to December contest.

Fifth Grade Week 9

The final classes finished the Scavenger Hunt and took the USA-SOS Internet Safety post test. We are still in eighth place among the fifth grades participating.

We also began our next project. Students will be creating a spreadsheet in Google Drive to keep track of the number of pages they read outside of school. Students all brought their current Accelerated Reader book to class. We read for ten minutes and calculated each student's reading rate so that we could set a weekly goal.

The students were unfamiliar with spreadsheets. I had prepared a sample that the students used to create their own. We got as far as putting in the labels for the columns but haven't added any of the formulas yet. Students were really excited to find that their spreadsheet would fill in days of the week and dates if they just gave it a pattern. They also learned that the pattern wouldn't work if they spelled something wrong. Tuesday is a hard word for some fifth graders to spell!

Third Grade Week 7

We are still struggling with Microsoft Office Word 2010 while trying to type in the words that will be on our book ad posters.

Third Grade Week 8

Microsoft Office went much more smoothly this week as the Technology Department concentrated on getting my teaching lab working correctly. Two classes have chosen their fonts and adjusted sizes of their words and will be ready to begin doing their pictures next class.

Third Grade Week 9

All classes completed the words for their book ad. Two of the classes began laying out where the words would go on their poster and tracing the picture they chose for their ad. It was fun to see kids crowding around the windows in my media center to get more light for their tracing. Luckily, most of one wall is windows!

Second Grade Week 7

We were still sampling the mystery genre this week. I read one case from an Encyclopedia Brown book and we all tried to see if we could solve the mystery. 

Second Grade Week 8

This week I introduced Science Fiction to the students. I read one book from the First Graders on Mars series and we listed some elements of science fiction books.

In the lab, students used the search bar of their browser to find the Arthur games at PBS kids. After everyone found the website, they could play any game they liked.

Second Grade Week 9

In the library, we looked at Historical Fiction. We talked about what makes a book fit into that genre. Then I showed them Klondike Gold by Alice Provenson. The book was too long to read in our available time but they did enjoy the illustrations and were fascinated by the list of supplies that each miner was supposed to bring with him.

On Wednesday, we watch the Ron Roy interview at Reading Rockets and I read the first two chapters of The Absent Author.

On our lab days, students were introduced to Up to Ten Kids and learned how to find the many games that are available there. 

First Grade Week 7

I read First the Egg by Laura Seeger Vaccaro which was a 2008 Caldecott Honor book and paired it with Hurry! Hurry! by Eve Bunting.

First Grade Week 8

I read a variety of Caldecott winning alphabet books to the classes including Alphabet City by Steven Johnson, The Graphic Alphabet by David Pelletier, and Gone Wild: An Endangered Animal Alphabet by David McLimans.

In the lab, students navigated our computer file system to get to the First Grade Folder where they had a variety of websites with math games to choose.

First Grade Week 9

In the library, I read Creepy Carrots by Aaron Reynolds in honor of Halloweeen.

On Wednesday, we read poetry books together. I read from Red Sings from the Treetops by Joyce Sidman and was encouraged by how well the students did with the figurative language.

In the lab, students went to ABCya where they all played Shape Construction to work on Geometry skills and then played games of their choice.

Thus ends the first quarter of the 2013-2014 school year. I got to spend the weekend assessing and marking report cards for all my classes.

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