Sunday, April 9, 2017

2017 Georgia Children's Book Award Winners

This year's Georgia Children's Picture Book Award winner is Gaston written by Kelly DiPucchio and illustrated by Christian Robinson.  Gaston was also the winning book (by a huge margin!) at my school.  My students and teachers loved this sweet story about a poodle and a bulldog who were switched at birth. 

This year's Georgia Children's Book Award winner is Fuzzy Mud by Louis Sachar.

Although my students enjoyed Fuzzy Mud, our school winner is The War That Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley.  

Monday, January 30, 2017

First Grade Introduction to Research

To prepare my first grade students for their first big research project, we recently completed a smaller research project together in the library.  I chose iguanas as our topic, since animal research is common in first grade.  I started by asking students what they already know about iguanas.  Many students confused chameleons with iguanas but most knew that iguanas are a type of reptile.

We logged in to Pebble Go and read the article about iguanas.  At the end of each page, we stopped and reviewed what we learned.  Then we collectively decided on the most important fact from the page and wrote it on a graphic organizer (below).

Iguana Facts from Jennifer Lewis

We also read several books about iguanas and compared the information in each text to what we read in Pebble Go. 
Next, students created a Sway to present what they learned.  Sway is a Microsoft app that allows users to create interactive presentations with content cards.  Sway searches Bing for copyright-friendly, appropriate images for students to use.  We spent one entire class typing their text into cards.  Then students were encouraged to add images and change the format of their Sway.  My first graders found Sway easy to use.  Several came to our next lesson and told me that they created more Sways at home during the week. 

About two months after our iguanas research, my first grade students started their big research project.  Students independently navigated Pebble Go and most of them were able to find the main idea on each page and write it on a graphic organizer. 

Here are some screen shots from the Sways that my students created!