After our Hour of Code in the library, I had several girls come up to me fascinated by coding and 3D printing. This group of girls routinely comes in during lunch time and during their Friday recess to learn about how to create with the 3D printer, learn coding, and other various personal interests. It's been a joy helping them in their pursuit of knowledge!
Our ELA department met with parents for a literacy night to talk about how parents can help their children read at home (at the middle school level), what the deal with all this Lexile talk is, and how to connect through AR Home Connect. Because this is Super Bowl season, we went for a football approach for our literacy night theme. Our Beta students provided snacks and served parents football themed goodies. All student and parent volunteers were amazingly helpful. Thank you to all of our teachers who volunteered their time to help our parents as well.
For parents who missed it, thehandouts are below!
1) Literacy Handout for Parents-explains Lexile information more in-depth
2) Middle School Reading Handout for Parents-explains 5 ways to support your middle grade reader and includes are most popular books with their Lexile information
3) Literacy Night PowerPoint-the PPT our staff used as a guideline for our discussions
All students who met their AR goals for 1st and 2nd nine weeks were invited to attend a movie with delicious treats during the connections time the week before we left for holiday break. I made homemade chocolate chip cookies, homemade icing, and brought in some rich hot chocolate to make the movie even more fun with a cookie decorating contest (which turned into how much icing can I pile on a cookie-engineering project anyone? :) ). We had a great time celebrating our reading achievements and sharing what some of our favorite books are before we started the movie. I'm so proud of all of our students for their hard work and reaching their AR goals throughout the first semester. I hope we keep it all up so they can join me at our end of the year water extravaganza party!
Teachers, please complete the following survey so that I can plan for next school year. Thank you!
If you have not read any of the I Survived books in our library, you may be new or living under a rock. The I Survived series is the most circulated series on our school and for good reason. The stories are emotionally compelling and the researched historical events are extremely detailed with added adventure and suspense. Lauren Tarshis's writing transcends the reading levels we have at our school where our lower readers and advanced readers savor them alike.
So you know I had to beg her to speak to our students! It took me two years of e-mailing, but I was finally able to connect with her and set up a Skype date for our uber fans.
Yesterday, dreams were made for the uber fans! Mrs. Tarshis was so wonderful with our kiddies. She answered every question and was so personable. A few of our students were so nervous they were excited and nervous. One student took at least twenty minutes to gather the courage to talk with Mrs. Tarshis, then we couldn't tear him away from the screen. I'm so proud of our students and their critical thinking about the text, the characters, the plot development, and her writing style. Most of students did not know Mrs. Tarshis hated reading and writing until high school.
At the end of our Skype, she read the first chapter of her book about the Hindenburg disaster! All I saw were mouths open, enthralled by every word she read...You could have heard a pin drop. We will also be lucky enough for her to send us an advanced copy of her new book so we can finish it! Mrs. Tarshis, this was an amazing experience for us. You made many students feel valued, excited about reading, and read in a different genre than their usual. Thank you.
I have to give a shoot out to Mrs. Hughes as well. Her gifted students have been reading the I Survived series with Mrs. Grooms class in order to promote reading and build literacy skills. All of Mrs. Grooms' students finished their books and passed their AR tests! Woo hoo! In addition to that, these students formed bonds over reading and their projects over the books.
Some thoughts from our students on the reading buddy program:
"I think I learned as much as she did. It was a wonderful experience."--Gunnar Henderson about his experience with his reading buddy.
"My reading buddy normally doesn't talk, but he really blossomed while we were reading together. It was fun making a new friend and to encourage reading like that."--Stephanie Tirado about her experience with her reading buddy.
"I used to hate reading, but now it's not so bad. I think I want to read another one of those books."-Ramon on his reading buddy experience.
For those who reach their AR goals for 1st and 2nd nine weeks, we will be holding an AR party on December 16th from 1-3pm in the media center! We will be serving refreshments and watching a movie which YOU pick! This is all about YOU so we want to hear what you want to see. Use the poll below to tell us. See you on the 16th!
Game club meets every Friday afternoon during our school's Friday recess. Usually we play chess, Life, trade Pokemon cards, or Risk. On November 20th, however, our kids were met with a treat for International Game Day! KONAMI donated a Yu-Gi-Oh! Trading Card Game Kit. It was a blast learning a new game and the students LOVED it. The teacher in me really likes the critical thinking that goes into each play with an opponent and which cards to trade. (They're learning and using their brains without realizing it! Cue evil laugh!) Even our more 'conservative' board game players were into it. Check out the pictures below of our fun International Game Day experience.
Reading enthusiast and technology innovator