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?


Summer Technology Opportunity for Teachers

Last summer, I had a chance to go to the ISTE 2011 conference in Philadelphia. This was amazing as I heard great keynote speakers including John Medina, the author of Brain Rules, and Chris Lehman, the principal of Science Leadership Academy in Philadelphia. Plus, it was a great opportunity for networking and hearing about the latest trends and updates in technology.

This conference happens every year, and this year it takes place in sunny San Diego from June 24-27th, 2012.

ISTE 2012

Here’s a brief description from it’s website:

“Now in its 33rd year, ISTE’s annual conference and exposition features an amazing array of professional learning and collaborative networking opportunities. As part of your conference registration, you can choose from three inspirational keynotes and more than 700 concurrent sessions including: lecture, panel, Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), model lesson, research paper, poster, student showcase, and Birds of a Feather discussion formats. Also be sure to check out our special focus playgrounds and networking lounges for even more hands-on exploration and one-to-one connecting.”

Even if you are not officially an I.T. teacher, it is beneficial for all. I do wish I could go again this year,  but things are going to be a bit busy for me this summer. Hopefully, I can go in 2013!

Summer Learning Opportunities!

I’ve actually been waiting for quite a while for February 13th. That was the day registration started for the Teacher’s College Reading and Writing Project summer institute! I feel really dorky admitting this, but it’s true.

I’ve been going for the past 3 summers and it has been one of the best professional development opportunities I’ve had as a teacher. Each time, I come back fired up and excited to teach reading and writing workshop. This year, I’m not sure which one to sign up for. At first, I thought that I would go to the writing institute, but after reading through the brochure at the course offerings, I decided to sign up for the reading institute institute advanced session. I submitted my application yesterday and now I’m just waiting and hoping I get in!  I have absolutely loved going to the writing ones in the past as well. If you are interested, you should definitely apply this week. The spots get filled up really quickly.

For the July reading institute, here are the speakers! Soo excited….

Lucy Calkins

Kathy Collins

Christopher Paul Curtis

Mary Ehrenworth

Lois Lowry (Number the Stars & The Giver author!!!!!)

Jennifer Serravallo

Is anyone else planning on going to either the writing or reading institute this summer?

I was in a class led by author James Howe, two summers ago at the writing institute!

Loved meeting an actual author and getting feedback from him on my writing!