Rm. 202 Literary Lanterns Project

A few weeks ago I started seeing tweets about Literary Lanterns and they were so interesting to me.  Basically think of a pumpkin painted like your favorite book character, and that’s what they are.  We toyed with the idea of doing this on a school level, but it didn’t happen, so Rm. 202 decided to do it for ourselves!

First I showed my friends some examples of some pumpkins other kids had created, since I figured most of them didn’t really didn’t have any idea what I was talking about. 🙂

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Then we brainstormed a list of characters kiddos would like to create, with two minor rules: NO ONE could do Piggie or Elephant and NO ONE could do the Pigeon, because well, EVERYONE would want to do those characters and that would be a very boring pumpkin display.  Once everyone was clear on those guidelines (which really meant that EVERY OTHER BOOK CHARACTER in the world was fair game), kiddos got busy creating a list of ideas.

I pulled up our book pictures on our ActivBoard, and many also studied our door display (see?  Another reason why this project has been SO GREAT!).

Originally I was going to take our ideas and make a list and then have everyone pick the one they wanted, but instead had them circle the one they most wanted to create on the list they first brainstormed.  Then I just had to cross-reference everyone’s choice (which was much easier and much less work!) and surprisingly it all worked out really nicely.  Some kiddos were paired up (if they chose the same book) and some worked alone.

These choices were made on a Friday, so that kiddos could then work at home over the weekend to secure their pumpkin and any other supplies they might need.  To my surprise and delight, this showed up on Monday:

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Once we had our pumpkins, our plans and some time, we got busy!!

Oh my goodness they looked great!

Then we had a super idea about how we’d share them with our Robinson friends.  I asked Mrs. Meihaus if she would let us make a display of them in the library so we could show up our hard work and creativity, and she so kindly said YES!  Most teachers at Robinson know about our #classroombookaday challenge and how this went along with our crazy reading love, so were interested in what we were doing anyway.

Then we had another great idea: we would use this project as the basis of our learning on elections and voting.  Our display was set up, we created a sign to hang above our pumpkins and then everyone of them was numbered.  I created a Google form for Robinson friends, family and teachers (anyone who views the display, really) to cast their votes and now we’re off!  We are so proud and very excited to see what happens with this project now that it’s in place in the library. 🙂

And without further ado, here are our final products:

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We’d love to include you in our voting, too!  If you’d like to vote for YOUR favorite pumpkin, scan the QR code or click on the link below and cast your vote!  We’d LOVE to see how far this project can spread outside of our walls in Missouri, so please also share where you live!  THANK YOU in advance!!

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goo.gl/PXrKZb

Happy Halloween 2016!

This year Halloween is on a Monday, but our school decided to have our Halloween festivities on Friday instead.  We went ahead with our traditional Halloween Parade, which travels down the street near our school and snakes along the campus of Aberdeen Heights–a retirement residence next door.  We have a great partnership with them and love to delight their residents with our cute costumes, big smiles and happy waves as we walk by.

This year, however, instead of having a typical “party” after the parade, we decided as a grade level to have a more low-key afternoon, and just watch a movie and have a snack.  My kiddos seemed really excited about this (as excited as kiddos usually are for a “regular” party) and I was, too. Sometimes less is more. 🙂  I mean who doesn’t love some popcorn and a show?  Oh, and throw in a couple of Oreos and it’s even better, right?  I even heard a couple of friends say, “This is the best day ever!”

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At our school, kiddos bring their costumes and put them on just before we leave for the parade.  For us, that was around 1:45, which meant that they’d been waiting pretty much all day for it!  Sometimes (which I am sure is not surprising) this can mean that kiddos are little more amped up and full of lots of pent-up energy.

What was SO great, though, was that instead of that reality, this was THE BEST putting-on-costume time I think I’ve EVER experienced with a group of kiddos.  Part of it, I think , is that we really emphasized that costumes would be easy to put on and go over clothes (rather than having to have kiddos change anything), and so we could all just find a quiet spot in the room and quickly get ready.  Kiddos gathered on the carpet after that, and we even had time to read two books before they called us to line up!  Talk about efficient!  Forgive me for not having better pictures of the parade, but I was busy having a great time like the kiddos and couldn’t snap pics of it!

When we returned, however, we did have a chance to capture pictures of our great costumes!  We noticed that there were many costumes that went together, and so kiddos planned how we should group for our pictures.  Check it out!

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Superheroes!

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Warriors!

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Star Wars!

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Monsters!

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Miscellaneous-Amazing-Costumes-That-Are-Different-From-the-Rest!

We had so much fun!  Happy Halloween from Rm. 202!!

Another Number Skype–Inside Robinson!

On Friday we were able to have another Mystery Number Skype, with some friends INSIDE ROBINSON!  We’ve done this before, the last time I taught 1st grade when we were learning to Skype and we called Ms. Turken’s class who was in Mrs. Fry’s classroom.  This time we answered a call from Mrs. Dix and Mrs. Bell and talked to their second graders.  We were excited!

We are getting so good at this and at asking questions that knock out a large group of numbers at once.  Our 2nd grade friends guessed our number and we did, too!  What a great way to practice what we know about numbers and place value!

Do you want to Skype with us, too?  Leave a message here, or tweet to us at @jbeardensclass@jbeardensclass.  WE LOVE TO CONNECT!

Location Lessons and a Human Bookshelf!

This week during our visit to the library learning commons with Mrs. Meihaus, we had a lesson on how to find things in the library.

She taught us how to find things in the library, using call numbers.  We learned the difference between FIC books (chapter books), E books (everybody picture books), and books that have PB in front of the FIC and E (which means that they are paperback).  We also learned (or were reminded) that nonfiction books have numbers along with the first three letters of the author’s last name.

Then, she had us create our own call numbers–because we are all authors, after all!  Some kiddos had blue cards that were for FIC books and yellow cards that meant we were E book authors.  Kiddos wrote their call number on the sheet.

Then, we created HUMAN BOOKSHELVES, ordering ourselves based on our names on the shelf.  This was really tricky, but since we are Roadrunners, and show our GRIT all the time, we did it!

Math Warm Ups: Week of Oct. 19-21, 2016

I used to blog our math warm-ups every week.  Then this year I changed our warm-up plan again and sometimes they are questions other than math problems and so I never really got into that routine.  This week, however, they were indeed all math warm-ups so I thought I’d share what we’ve been doing!

(This was a short week of school, with only 3 days and 2 warm-ups.  Small but mighty math thinking!)

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My kindergartener, Allie, created this one for Rm. 2o2 kiddos and was very excited to share it with them.  I was impressed with how they are getting better at telling stories and creating word problems to solve.

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Some highlights of the answers to this one:

We also tried one during math on Friday as an extension after we’d talked about the warm-up together.  We’re learning how to use Padlet, so it’s been the place we’ve been sharing our thinking lately (and since we’re still working on the logistics, some friends didn’t quite get their answer on the board).

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Great thinking lately, Rm. 202 friends!  More to come soon!

#classroombookaday UPDATE: Week 9

This was a short week at school (we only had Weds-Fri), so our list is a little smaller than other weeks.  But believe me it is no less amazing! (Oh, and by the way, I realized that picture looks like we’re a little closer to filling up our door than we actually are….still a couple more weeks away. 🙂 ).

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Here’s the close up of the week (which I realized I don’t usually share):

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This week we started with another Mo Willems title we hadn’t read, as well as a Kate Klise book that kiddos read last year before she came to visit.  On Thursday we were lucky to have Mrs. Sisul swing by with her brand-spanking new copy of Hotel Bruce, which she had promised to read to us when she came with Mother Bruce earlier this year.  She had a great story about how she had gotten her copy from her favorite local bookstore and had also celebrated Bruce’s book birthday last Tuesday.  We read two Pigeon books for our punctuation study, and The Reader for the Global Read Aloud this week.   Two of our books were recommendations from our friend Rachel, and then lastly we were lucky to have a familiar 4th grade friend come and read to us on Friday.  Remember when Allie came to read Naked to us?  Well, during that visit they had asked if Riley could come, too, and Friday he finally came!  His grade was having a whole day reading celebration and so he spent some of his time reading Mustache Baby Meets His Match to us.   We LOVED it!

Another successful reading week!  Our count is up to 161 so far, which is SO AMAZING!  Can’t wait to see what this coming week holds! 🙂

Global Read Aloud Week 3: The Reader

This week was the half-way point of the Global Read Aloud.  We have so enjoyed the texts we’ve read so far, and this week’s book was no different.  Lauren Castillo has become a new friend to all of Rm. 202 kiddos and we enjoyed interacting with another of her great books: The Reader.

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As we read this beautiful story of a boy, his dog, a cold, snowy day and a good book, we discussed many parts and made many predictions.  We talked about who we thought “the reader” was, where we thought they were going, and we even connected a part of the story with the punctuation investigation we started the other day (which OF COURSE I’ll tell you more about later on!).

We got to this page of the book, when the boy heads toward home, and thought that maybe something was missing (sorry, Lauren Castillo!).

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So…we added it. 🙂  And the best part was that Rm. 202 kiddos knew that it needed exclamation points to make it sound exciting, and they also suggested that it be written in all capital letters because that also tells the reader how it should sound. 🙂

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Great, right?  And of course, no disrespect to the way it was actually written.  Reading lots Elephant and Piggie books makes us see speech bubbles EVERYWHERE!!

After we read and talked, we decided to get artistic and kiddos were invited to paint in response to the story.  They were asked to answer one of these two questions: Where is YOUR favorite place to read? or What is YOUR favorite thing to do in the winter?   Once their paintings were complete, they chose a paper to matte their piece, and wrote a card to explain their creation.  We brainstormed words we might want to use and created a chart to use a resource in our writing.  I CANNOT wait to see what these look like altogether on the bulletin board at school, but I had to go ahead and share them individually with you here from home.  They sure are pretty!!

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And I know I have said this every week of the GRA so far, but maybe this is the week that we finally join the slow chat about the books we’re reading.  Maybe. LOL 🙂