My time with the upper elementary students at Nathan Hale was unfortunately, a little uneven due to holidays, standardized testing, snow days, and schedule changes, but we still managed to get some great learning done.
We began with a biography project focusing on famous African Americans in honor of Black History Month (3rd grade), and a general selection of famous personalities for the older grades. 3rd graders used Glogster to express their learning, while the older kids created "scrapbook pages" of their work. Unfortunately, I neglected to take photos of their work, but I do have a video showing the 3rd graders' work:
As I alluded to in the previous post, 3rd grade also had a great time exploring the world of fractured fairy tales.
The other major focus of working with the older students was getting them ready for the author visit by Joseph Bruchac. I had an anthology of Iroquois stories for them to read, and to my surprise, the students asked if they could read aloud. I hesitated a moment before handing over the reigns, and I found myself delighted by the outcome. Instead of being fidgety, the students got really into reading, clamoring to be the next one to get a turn, and listened carefully to each other. In short, it was everything you hope for as a teacher: students being engaged and genuinely taking control of their own learning.
Just as the year came to an end, I also had the chance to explore a little bit of poetry with students in all grades. Joyce Sidman's This Is Just To Say met with a lukewarm reception, but Nikki Giovanni's brilliant Hip Hop Speaks to Children was a resounding success. The kids lit up at the sound of familiar beats and rhythms in the poetry, and even got a chance to do some jamming (I'd post the adorable video I have, but since I can't edit out faces, you'll just have to trust me that it was the cutest thing)! Once again, the older kids vied strenuously for the chance to read the poems, and we even had a great discussion on the similarities between rap and poetry. All in all, though I wish I could have done more, the poetry unit was a huge hit.
My name is Ms. Bery. I am a PK-8 library media specialist in the Boston area. In addition to being a certified school librarian, I am also certified in instructional technology, and have a strong interest in exploring and integrating technology in new and exciting ways in the classroom.
I am also a 2016 PBS LearningMedia Local Digital Innovator, and a 2015 recipient of the Massachusetts School Library Association's President's Award.
Check out the Sandbox for apps and websites I've found useful in supporting student learning and creativity. I also review children's, middle grade, and young adult books on Instagram.
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