Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Tomie dePaola Author Study Centers

I was so inspired by Nancy Jo Lambert's post about the Tomie dePaola author study centers she created for her second graders.  I love Tomie dePaola's books and decided to do something similar for my first graders!  This lesson took about an hour for each class.  For the first ten minutes, we talked about how having favorite authors means we can always find a good book to read!  I also gave students directions for each center.  Then I numbered the students and they spent ten minutes at each center.  Last, we cleaned up, returned to the carpet, and talked about our favorite Tomie books and where we can find them in our library.

Here are each of the centers that our students rotated through.

Center 1: Meet Tomie on PebbleGo
Center 2: Read Tomie's books
Center 3: View Tomie's books (Choose a book from this Blendspace lesson.)
Center 4: Meet Strega Nona (Watch the Barnes and Noble Strega Nona video, narrated by Tomie himself, and color a Strega Nona puppet.)

Download the checklist that students used as they completed each center here.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Monster Book Fair

We recently wrapped up our fall book fair.  Scholastic's fall theme is Monster Book Fair.  We transformed the media center into the Monsters University campus!  And added lots of little monsters everywhere.  The materials for decorations were very inexpensive.  We made monsters out of copy paper boxes and large cans donated by the cafeteria.  After setting up the books and decorations, I held a teacher preview after school.  Teachers snacked on pizza and monster cupcakes.  They also created wish lists of books they would like to have donated to their classroom libraries.  During this book fair, we held four family events: an All Pro Dads breakfast, two grandparent celebrations, and Family Fitness Night.  One of the most popular features of this book fair was the photo booth!  I purchased a Monsters University backdrop from Party City and put a table full of props next to it. I couldn't see the photo booth from inside the media center, but I know it was used because I saw the pictures on Facebook all week!  This was by far our most profitable book fair ever!  I'm looking forward to spending the money we earned on new books for the library, an upcoming author visit, and materials for our Makerspace!