Monday, September 26, 2016

Organizing Book Club with OneNote

I love talking books with our school's most dedicated readers!  Many of these students are in our Firebirds Book Club.  Our book club students receive a new book each Monday and have one week to read it, although many students read and return their books by the end of the next day.  All of the books we read are Georgia Children's Book Award nominees.

Book club students are organized into four groups.  The students in each group read the same book each week.  During book club meetings, students participate in four stations.  At one station, students compete against each other to answer questions on the buzzers.  We use the results of these mini-competitions to select the students who represent our school at the county Helen Ruffin Reading Bowl competition.  At another station, students check out their new books and begin reading.  A third station involves students working collaboratively to complete a graphic organizer about the book.

And at the last station, students add content to our book club's OneNote notebook.  In the notebook, each of the books we read has a separate page with two subpages (Book Response and Questions).  On the Book Response page, students write a review of the book.  On the Questions page, students write their own questions to practice for the Helen Ruffin Reading Bowl competition.

We have now had two meetings in which students worked in our OneNote notebook.  The first time, it was a slight challenge for them to understand where to type their responses without overlapping someone else's.  But by the second meeting, students were easily able to log in, find the page they needed, and get started with almost no assistance.  They love seeing their group members' responses on the page as they work.  In the past, we have maintained a blog, a wiki, and several shared documents with book club information.  The OneNote notebook keeps everything in one place and makes it easier for students to access the information they need.


Saturday, September 10, 2016

Bookaneer Book Fair

The book fair is at my school this week!  Scholastic's fall book fair theme is Bookaneer Book Fair: Where books are treasure!  Our decorations include seven large palm trees, a pirate ship flying the Jolly Reader flag, and a treasure chest.  I also used the Make Me Pirate app to take pictures of our staff members and turn them into pirates.  Then I printed these pictures and displayed them outside the media center.

After my volunteers and I set up the fair, I held a teacher preview.  Foods included the catch of the day (tuna salad in mini-croissants), seaweed dip (spinach dip) with Polly's crackers, berry'd treasure (strawberries and blueberries), and cannonballs (peanut butter and coconut balls).  Teachers browsed the new titles and created their wish lists during the preview.


This fair, my students and teachers are most excited about Dog Man by Dav Pilkey and Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier.  Also all things Pokemon.  We aaargh looking forward to a successful book fair!