Transmedia Poetry with Thinglink

Fourth graders have been working on a poetry project for a few weeks now.  The goal was to write poem based in the science standards of light and sound and incorporate figurative language.  The teachers also wanted students to use some kind of technology for the project.  I decided to use a tool called Thinglink because it allows you to take an image and make it interactive.  You can put multiple related links on one image to create a transmedia experience, which means that the poem is experienced across multiple platforms.  We thought students could explore their poem in different ways:  informational text, video, image, and poetry text.  Other options could have included song, online games, and ebooks related to the poem’s topic.

 

The sequence of lessons looked something like this:

  • Lesson 1:  Look at onomatopoeia, simile, metaphor, and personification in several mentor poems and then do a poetry dig in poetry books to find more examples of that figurative language.

 

  • Lesson 2:  Look at specific poems that focus on light and sound.  Examine the science standards and the idea of “found poetry” so that students might incorporate language from the standard in their poem.  Begin writing poems.

 

  • Lesson 3:  Finish writing poems in Google doc and begin Thinglink project.  This lesson took longer than we expected because students had to setup a Youtube Channel, create a Thinglink account, search for a creative commons image, and change the privacy setting on their Google Doc.  We did this step by step together.

 

  • Lesson 4:  Create a Thinglink.  The goal was to have an image with links to the Google doc, a video of the student reading the poem, and links to informational sites about the topic of the poem.

This was a fun project, but because there were so many accounts to log in to, it made the progress slow down significantly.  Students had a hard time remembering all of the steps that it took to login to multiple accounts at the same time and navigate back and forth between multiple tabs to get the links that they needed.  I think it really opened our eyes to some skills we need to focus on at the beginning of the year in order to make projects like this successful.

As students finished their work, they submitted their poem in a Google form and I added it to our Smore webpage of interactive poetry images.  Smore was very easy to use and a great way to collect and display a whole grade level’s work.  As students submitted their links, I copied the link and then embedded it on the Smore page with one click.  Then, on the Google spreadsheet, I highlighted the student’s name so that I knew I had already added their work.

I encourage you to take a look at the students’ work on our Smore page.  We could have made this project much more complex, but it was a great first step.  I think a second round of Thinglink would be much smoother.

Storybird Round 3

Ms. Carney’s Kindergarten Class came today to write storybirds in small groups.  Ms. Carney, Ms. Samuel, and I each facilitated a group and a parent volunteer rotated among the groups to assist as needed.  This class followed a similar sequence of lessons that other Kindergarten classes had followed.  Please see previous storybird posts for those details.

Here are their final results:

Pratt & the Pirates

Fluffy Bunny & Her Best Friend Frank

The Little Boy Lost in Space

The Black Cat Finds Friends

Student Co-teaching: A Participatory Experience!

Lucy shows off the page in Thanking the Moon where she helped me pronounce the word correctly based on her knowledge of Chinese.

Today something wonderful happened.  I was doing a lesson with Kindergarten comparing and contrasting the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival with Thanksgiving.  We used PebbleGo to read informational text about Thanksgiving and fact check with what we knew about Thanksgiving.  Then, we read Thanking the Moon by Grace Lin to learn about the Moon Festival.  At the end, we used an interactive Venn diagram from Read, Write, Think to compare and contrast.  During the story, I was first thrilled when a student was so excited that he recognized some of the names for sister, father, etc. in the story.  It made me remember the importance of students being able to see themselves and their cultures in the books on the library shelves and in the selections that are chosen for whole class lessons.

The second amazing thing that happened was when I came to a word in the story for older sister, Jei Jei.  I of course did not know the correct pronunciation, and I immediately knew I was wrong when the student who was so excited about the book did not recognize the word that I read.  Amazingly, Lucy, a student, was in the library working on a project and checking out a book.  She just happens to take a Chinese class after school, so she graciously shared the correct pronunciation and got us back on track.  She did this without any prompting.  I was so excited that she chose to participate and that she felt comfortable enough to interrupt my lesson in order to share that information.  These small moments really inform my bigger vision of the library as a site of participatory culture.  I hope that by sharing this, students will continue to find ways to get involved in any way they can in our library program.

Storybook Celebration 2012

Today was our annual Storybook Parade now renamed as “Storybook Celebration”.  The name change comes because we have expanded what this day means for our school.  Rather than just have an assembly and a parade dressed as storybook characters, we used the entire day to celebrate the joy of reading.

Students began the day with guest readers arriving in their room to read  story.  We’ve never done guest readers as a part of storybook celebration, and it was a challenge to find people.  Many of my regular guest readers were unavailable, and I found myself struggling for readers.  The power of digital communication and social networking came through for me though.  Many thanks to Jen McDowell, David Ragsdale, Ellen Sabatini, and several other unnamed parents who willingly recruited readers for our classrooms.  We ended up having 2 readers in almost every room.  Here are a few of the reactions & reflections from some of our high school readers this morning:

My experience with reading to the Kindergarten students at Barrow Elementary today was very fulfilling. The kids interacted and seem to respond to me asking them question that related to the book. And it made me day to be asked out by a kindergarten student today. Seeing their faces light up while reading to one my personal favorite child hood stories was absolutely amazing.
- Jackie Gordon
 
The reading was fun. I think the kids were excited. A lot of them already knew the story and wanted to help me read it. The teachers were very nice, too. 
-Jada Haynes
Reading to younger kids has always been an uplifting experience for me.  Reading to the kindergartners at Barrow Elementary was no exception.  The kids engaged in the story, were respectful, and were very cute.  I had a great time and really enjoyed sharing books with elementary school students.
-Henry Siebentritt
 
I had such a great time reading with the kindergardeners! I went to Barrow for seven years and it brought back so many good memories. The class I read to was the cutest ever and it seemed like they were interested in what we were reading to them. I want to go back next time there is an opportunity like this! 
-Chloe Alexander
 
I really enjoyed reading at Barrow this morning. I was in a 2nd grade class and I read A Pirate’s Guide to First Grade. It was a fun and cute story and the students seemed to enjoy it. One girl was especially enthusiastic about the pirates. A parent read a story about a square pumpkin before me and I enjoyed listening to him. This was a great experience overall. I loved getting to share such a fun book with kids and getting to be back in an elementary school again. 
- Katie Googe
 
My experience at Barrow Elementary was fantastic and very nostalgic. I had a lot of fun reading to the second graders and seeing my old teachers. I hope my other classmates enjoyed this experience as much as I did.
-Michelle Legette
 
There is a kind of magic that pervades the classrooms, offices, and halls of an elementary school, Barrow in particular. Upon entering the school, it is impossible not to be enveloped in a kind of warmth. When we went to read, I was immediately drawn to the bright decorations adorning the school, crafted by students, and the enthusiastic, costume-clad staff ready for the wonderful Storybook Parade. Although in a different building, this day, this atmosphere, this school is exactly the way I remember– it is as joyful as it ever was. Seeing children at this age is so special, because there is so much excitement for everything–to read a book, to dress up, to walk in the halls. The love for learning in this school is nearly tangible. I loved getting to come back and enjoy stories together, focusing on appreciating each next sentence and page. Thanks for setting this up! 
–Dory MacMillan
 
I had a fantastic time reading to the children.They were good listeners and I was happy to be there. It brought back good memories of my time at Barrow Elementary. 
-Patrick Humphrey
 
It was nice to go back to elementary school and read to kids. I enjoyed their costumes and appreciated their interest in the book I read. 
-Nida Javaid
Today, volunteers were given the opportunity to read at Barrow Elementary. I read a book by Lemony Snicket, 13 Words, That taught the kids words like “despondent.” Reading to the costumed kids was an enjoyable –experience, and more people should do it.
- Alanna Pierce

Following the readers, we enjoyed our huge outdoor space at our temporary school by going out to the fitness loop (track).  Grade levels sat together along the inside perimeter of the loop.  Parents and guests sat on the outside of the loop.  Each grade level stood and paraded around the fitness loop while the whole school cheered them on.  I served as the announcer and read blurbs from each grade level and some individual classes.

After the parade, 5th graders enjoyed some hot chocolate while the rest of the school went back inside to begin reading activities for the rest of the day.  Grade levels individually planned how they would spend the day.  All of the specials teachers and the library offered literature-related activities for classes to sign up in the place of their specials.  For a 30-minute block, teachers had common planning time while their class was at a “special”.

In the library, I read election-related books such as Grace for President, Duck for President, My Teacher for President, Babymouse for President, and Otto for President.  After reading some of these (and looking at a few others), students used our 10 iPads and a Google form to vote for which storybook character should be president.  Once voting was complete, we analyzed the results on the smart board and saw who was taking the lead throughout the day.  The students and I used my phone to tweet the live election results via our media center twitter account and facebook page.

It was a busy day with many kinds of reading taking place across the day.  Now, we’re ready for a 3-day weekend!

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LL8 Virtual Comic Workshop with Jarrett Krosoczka

I have long been a fan of Jarrett Krosoczka’s illustrations and writing.  His Lunch Lady comics are among the most popular comics in our library.  I was thrilled to learn that he was doing a virtual comic workshop today via Ustream for free!  I advertised this to teachers a few weeks ago so that they could watch in their classroom or in the media center.

Today a small group of 3 students and their teacher came for the 10:00 session.

My largest group came for the 12:00 session.  In this group, I had 2nd grade Spectrum students who will be studying graphic novels very soon.  Last week, I did an exploration lesson with their class to identify some of the elements of graphic novels.  They began constructing some of their questions for Jarrett.  Later, they will read multiple graphic novels before constructing their own.  Another group that came at 12:00 came by choice.  One of Jarrett’s biggest fans, Marquavious, is a 5th grader at our school.  Marquavious re-read all of the Lunch Lady books to gear up for today’s webcast.  His teacher gave him permission to leave class to come, but he did some detective work and found several other 5th graders who wanted to participate in the workshop, too.  All of these students brought their lunch to the library and ate while they watched.  I also put drawing materials out on tables for them to draw their own comics along with Jarrett.  

All of this setup really helped us when Jarrett had technical difficulties at the 12:00 session.  Since the session was delayed until 12:30PM, I had time to have the students eat lunch, create mini-comics, and read some of Lunch Lady and the Author Visit Vendetta.  Even though the food ended up all over the tables and carpet, it just seemed appropriate to have lunchroom food during our virtual comic workshop.

Jarrett showed the kids some pages from his newest book, a sneak peak of the cover of his book coming out in April, and ended by creating a comic using ideas from all of the viewers tuning in.  The kids had a great time, and they were thrilled when they heard their suggestions read aloud by Jarrett and were even more over-the-top with excitement when he used one of their ideas in his comic.  Thanks for a great FREE event, Jarrett Krosoczka!

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Digital Alphabet Books

 

 

Two Kindergarten classes have been collaborating with me in the library to support their study of the alphabet.  First students came to the library for a lesson on alphabet books.  We explored numerous alphabet books, upper/lowercase letters, and the sounds letters make.  I used LMNO Peas by Keith Baker to look specifically at upper/lowercase letters.  Next, we used Gone Wild: An Endangered Animal Alphabet by David McLimans to continue looking at upper and lowercase letters, but in an animal format.  We put each illustration under the document camera, guessed what letter the animal was making, looked at the standard upper/lowercase letter, and talked about how the animal’s name started with the letter.  We ended with Alphabet Explosion: Search and Count from Alien to Zebra by John Nickle.  We put a few illustrations under the document camera and had students identify as many things as they could find that started with the letter of the alphabet represented on the page.  At the close, students checked out an alphabet book from our wide selection.

In class, students were each assigned a letter of the alphabet.  They decorated an uppercase & lowercase letter, added an illustration that represented that letter, and wrote the word for the illustration.  They also began practicing saying the letter, the sound it makes, and the word for their illustration.  In small groups, they brought their finished illustrations to the library to use the scanner to scan their images.  While students waited to scan, they continued practicing their scripts.  After 2 days of scanning, I imported all of their pictures into Photo Story.  Then, in small groups they came back to record their scripts for their assigned letter(s).  Once again, while students waited, they practiced.  After all students recorded their voices, I finalized the Photo Story and uploaded it to Youtube.  The students will come back to the library the next time they check out books for a premiere of their video, but you can get a sneak peek of one class below.

Poem In Your Pocket Day 2012 (Part 1)

Today, 14 classes came to our poetry cafe to read their original and favorite poems.  Many people attended via Adobe Connect:  parents, grandparents, other Barrow classrooms, and more.  If you missed the day or want to relive it, you can view the archives below.

Mrs. Sheppard’s 2nd Grade

Mrs. Hart’s 1st Grade

Mrs. Wyatt’s 1st Grade

Mrs. Em’s Kindergarten

Mrs. Li’s Kindergarten

Mrs. Watson’s 1st Grade

Mrs. Stuckey’s 1st Grade

Mrs. Shealey’s 3rd Grade

Mrs. Brink’s 2nd Grade

Mrs. Brewer’s 2nd Grade

Mrs. Yawn’s 2nd Grade

Ms. O’Prey’s 5th Grade

Mrs. Boyle’s Kindergarten

Mrs. Vertus’s Kindergarten

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