Summer Is Here!

The inventory is done, the books are shelved, the students are gone.  It is time for summer!  Here is a beginning list of what I will be reading this summer.  Hope you have some good books to read this summer, too!

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Summer Reading

I can’t believe the school year is almost over!  Our students have been busy getting ready for summer-and for reading!  We held our Get Caught Reading campaign over the last three weeks to get students excited about reading.  There were many tickets issued!  Winners won a book of their choice.

Our June book fair started this week as another way to get kids to read over the summer.  I hold the book fair during the last full week of school so students have plenty of great books to choose from to read over the summer.  Along with the book fair, our student participate in Scholastic’s Summer Reading Challenge.  Our school’s goal is to read 200,000 minutes this summer.  If we meet that goal, our principal and assistant principal we get up on stage and dance the macarena for us.  Keep your fingers crossed!

I also spent time book talking some exciting new titles to students to help them create that summer reading list.  One of the books I mentioned was Cynthia Lord’s A Handful of Stars.  Everyone loves dog stories and this story was a favorite read of mine this spring.  For the older students I recommended Dave Barry’s The Worst Class Trip Ever.  The story is fast paced, funny, and full of twists to keep readers hooked on reading. It was so great to hear students asking for these books at the book fair, even though the books weren’t available at the fair.  I reminded the students to visit the public library this summer to borrow the books.

We also have the public library coming to talk to students about their summer reading program.  The year’s theme is Every Hero Has a Story. I know I will be visiting my local public library a lot this summer to read and I am hoping my students will too.

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Wrapping Up the Research Projects

I  shared first, second, and third grade research projects in previous posts.  All of these were great projects on animals.  The fourth and fifth graders also finished up their research projects;  Their projects were designed to add College and Career Readiness standards, focusing on the decision-making process.

Fourth graders research natural disasters such as earthquakes, tornadoes, forest fires, and hurricanes.  As part of their research  they had to create a safety plan for themselves.  In addition to understanding the disaster itself and how to stay safe, students had to apply the safety knowledge they learned to their own life, making decisions on what to do in the event of the disaster. Students created a PowerPoint presentation to share the information they learned.  This was a great way to review the skills learned earlier in the year on making a presentation.  Learning how to make PowerPoints must have worked because one of the teachers commented on how the students are creating PowerPoints for everything now and talking about animations and transitions!  It is always great to hear how the work done in the library is transferred back into the classroom.

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The fifth graders conducted career research.  Each student chose a career and researched what the career was, what education was needed, famous people or contributions made in that career, and what character traits were needed to be successful in that career.  Students used many different resources including the Bureau of Labor Statistics, encyclopedias, and college/university websites.  Students were very excited about the research, working on it outside of library as well.  Some students decided after their research that they are no longer interested in that career, but now they have the skills to research other careers that interest them.  Fifth grade also created PowerPoints to share their knowledge and present the careers to their classmates.  The teacher commented that students were also working on the presentations in their classroom and students were teaching each other how to add sound, pictures, animations to students who needed help.  I love hearing that students are able to teach others the new skills they learned.

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