End of the Year Book Buddy Activity!

I know, this is a bit late. It wouldn’t be the first time I underestimated my ability to do a thousand things at once.

It is nice to be back in America for the summer, but even during the break— do teacher’s minds ever take a break? We are constantly thinking of the next best thing! I am excited to share my ideas and great buys (I am on the hunt for large-pad sticky notes) this summer… but FIRST, I wanted to give you an idea that Jee Young and I did at the end of this past  school year. When our classes got together during the last week of school, one of her students calmly raised her hand and asked me, “Are you sad that your best friend is leaving?” I looked at her surprised, since we had just asked the fifth and second graders if they had any questions about the activity, not our personal lives. “Are you trying to make me cry?!” I responded as Jee Young turned her head to the side and silently wiped away a couple of tears.

YES, I will miss working with my best friend. Here is the last activity we did together, if you look at the activities packet I attached to this post, you will find it in there.

First, as our classes gathered together for our second to last book buddy meeting, I read aloud this book (look familiar?!)

The students LOVED IT. I have never seen students so involved in a book. There were so many gasps, and exclamations, and giggles as Jee Young and I presented the “story” to them.

Afterwards, we told the students they were going to design their own “Press Here” book. They received a rough draft paper, giving them six pages to work with, it looked like this:

After the completed their outline/rough draft they were given stickers, and a blank book, and went to work!

The students used their dots in such creative ways; it was a joy for Jee Young and I to watch! We shared a few of the final stories during our last time together. Overall, the project (including reading the book) only took two, 45 minute class periods.

When I do this again, I will look for different size dot stickers.

What did you do at the end of the year with your students? What book buddy activities have worked well for you?

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The World Peace Game

John Hunter is an elementary school teacher in Virginia who is doing something extraordinary and innovative with his students called the World Peace Game. There is a documentary on his work called: World Peace and other 4th-Grade Achievements.

He also did a TED Talk about the impact this game has on his students. Make sure to watch for some extra inspiration!

What I’m wondering is how he is able to set up this game and how does he prepare his students to play this game. I tried to find more information on the webpage: http://www.worldpeacegame.org/ However, it seems like, there is no manual or way to purchase this game as of now. If you are interested in doing this in your classroom, he suggests that you create it on your own!

Oh the Places You’ll Go!

It has been a whirlwind adventure this past month for both Melody & I. We were both moving schools and apartments and dealing with the end of the year craziness.  Also, Melody was busy graduating from graduate school all at the same time! So unfortunately we needed to take a break from our blogging, but now that we are on vacation and stateside, I’m finding some time to blog again!

So first thing is first, congratulations to Melody, Dyanne, Semy and their Simpson University Korea Cohort on their master’s degre! As Melody mentioned before here, she has been working hard on getting her master’s degree in education while teaching full-time here in Korea.  I was honored to attend her graduation here.

In honor of your graduation, a few words of wisdom from Dr. Seuss!

Oh, the Places You’ll Go!

by Dr. Seuss

Congratulations!
Today is your day.
You’re off to Great Places!
You’re off and away!

You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes
You can steer yourself
any direction you choose.
You’re on your own.  And you know what you know.
And YOU are the guy who’ll decide where to go…

On and on you will hike
and I know you’ll hike far
and face up to your problems
whatever they are.

You’ll get mixed up, of course,
as you already know.
You’ll get mixed up
with many strange birds as you go.
So be sure when you step.
Step with care and great tact
and remember that Life’s
a Great Balancing Act.
Just never forget to be dexterous and deft.
And never mix up your right foot with your left.

And will you succeed?
Yes! You will, indeed!
(98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed.)

KID, YOU’LL MOVE MOUNTAINS!

So…
be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray
or Mordecai Ali Van Allen O’Shea,
you’re off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting.
So…get on your way!

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