"Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much." -Helen Keller
Welcome back, Teachers! We hope you’ve had a great summer. We are excited to be working with you this year! We hope this newsletter will help you find some back to school inspiration for your classroom and some ideas of how we can assist you in your classroom!
Big Plans by Bob Shea
Big Plans by Bob Shea is a fun and interesting story with a plot straight from it's title. It about a little boy that has a contagious enthusiasm for his big plans. This book is fantastic for brainstorming as a community for classroom goals and/or setting individual goals for the school year. This book can be used as an unplugged activity. You can find an idea for a foldable book at Write on 4th Grade.
If your students are already familiar with Google Slides or you want a Google Slides introduction activity, you can create a collaborative Google Slides to share with the whole class through Google Classroom. Once the presentation has been shared, each student can add their own slide and type their big plans for the school year. After adding their big plans, students can comment on one another's slide. It's a great time to talk about digital citizenship by discussing the power of words in a digital place.
The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore
The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore by William Joyce is a tale about the curative power of a story. There are great lessons to be taught such as care of a book, sharing stories with others, etc. Amanda would often use this book to introduce her writers about the power of their words. They would usually start several days before reading the book so each student will have the opportunity to practice oral story telling during writing workshop. Once everyone had the chance to tell their stories, students would discuss the types of stories their friends would tell: families, trips, fiction, etc. Amanda would give each student a piece of paper as a prompt to write how they thought they would be as a writer (see picture below). Later, they would read The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore to jump start their writing during writing workshop. Each student received a writing folder to organize their story writing. On their folders, they wrote the mantra from the book "Everyone has a story. Every story is important." Our Littles should feel empowered about the stories they have to share and that those stories are important to the world around them.
What About Moose?
Materials: one pack of index cards per team of students, ruler or yard stick, small stuffed animal like a Beanie Baby. Students will not use tape or glue for this activity.
What about Moose? is a fabulous book written by Corey Rosen Schwartz. In this book, the animals are working to build a tree house. During the building process, Moose is bossing the other animals around. Moose's behavior leads to great conversations on how to work better with a team.
Amanda's favorite follow up activity is to ask students to design a tree house for Moose by working together as a team. It is a great way to use all those Beanie Babies from the 90's as a "Moose". Students will work together with a pack of index cards to create a tower that can support a Beanie Baby. Towers should be at least 12 inches tall. You'll need to give students 5 minutes to work together to plan before building. Once planning is finished, give students 15-20 minutes to work on their buildings.
After 15 minutes of building, groups should share the towers that they have created. Encourage groups to share what they learned about teamwork, encouragement, perseverance, or any other learning they discovered during the activity. If you would like to more resources for What About Moose including a really cool bookmark, check out this link to a PDF of activities!
What can we help you with?
Contact us at any time to schedule planning for these activities or more.
- Connect on Twitter: Create your PLN!
- Mystery Skype
- Mystery Number Skype
- Global Connections
- Technology integration in classroom instruction (whole group/small group)
- Typing Club
- Dot Day Activities for September 15th
- Global Read Aloud activities and connections
- Google Apps for Education: Docs, Sheets, Slides, Sites
- Seesaw Digital Portfolios
- Digital CItizenship