Our reading photos today come from two of our blogging friends in other parts of the country! Isn’t it great that blogging can open up connections with people near and far?
Sarah, a former student from Mrs. Yollis’s class in California sent us this photo of her reading with her mom. Here is what she wrote to me with her reading photo:
I love reading with my mom in the evening. I pick a difficult book with many high level words and my mom helps me understand the book. Right now, I am reading one of my mom’s favorite books called Anne of Green Gables. It is about an orphan girl named Anne Shirley, and her life in a small farming village. Anne has very red hair that cause her great distress. She also has an excellent imagination that helps her get through difficult times.
Mrs. Krebs, a teacher in Iowa, heard about our summer reading contest and sent us this photo of her reading! I love how she chose an unusual perspective on reading! Here is the link to comment on Mrs. Kreb’s blog. If you are wondering what book Mrs. Kreb is reading, it’s called The Book Whisperer by Donalyn Miller.
A HUGE Thank you! to our blogging friends for sending in their reading photos! You can also contribute a photo to Mrs. Yollis’ 366 project with the permission of your parents. Join in on the reading photo fun!
Mackenzie and Jake recently traveled to Philadelphia, PA where they visited the famous Liberty Bell. Do you know why this bell is such an important part of American history?
You don’t have to be far from home to enjoy reading! Here is Emily at a horse riding camp this summer! I wonder if she is reading a horse book? What do you think?
Nothing says, “Fun!” like balloons! Isn’t it great that you can learn how to make crazy designs by reading a book?What I want to know is if Josa learned how to make those balloons in the photo!
Mrs. Yollis and I were able to meet face to face recently in San Diego. To thank her for all the comments she has made on our blog, I brought her a copy of the book, Because of Shoe and Other Dog Stories. Buck really likes this doggie book, but apparently wanted to eat it! Oh no, Buck!
BB – our Australian student commenter extraordinaire is one of our judges again! Here she is reading one of her favorite series, Alice Miranda down under with some of her stuffed animals. I hope you will visit her blog too and leave her a comment!
Thank you to all of our friends for sending in these awesome reading photos!
Don’t forget – YOU can join in the fun too! Just have an adult email me a photo and I will put it on the blog. This link will give you directions on how to join in on the fun.
This is a blog post about celebrations!
Celebration #1! We are completing our 2nd year of the Bulldog Readers Blog. We have had over 30,000 visitors in the past two years. It’s been a wonderful experience meeting and conversing with people all over the world. These conversations and the things I have learned from my blogging friends have led me down paths I never thought possible. This has led to celebration number 2!
Last Friday I received the notification from Microsoft that my Partners in Learning US Forum application was accepted! I will be attending the US Forum at the end of July to showcase our 4th grade book trailer project. You can read about our project in our Taste of Hollywood post. I first learned about making movies from our blogging friend, Mr. Avery. He is a master at movie making and urged me to give it a try! After making a few book trailer movies, I knew that our students could do this too! At the forum I will have a chance to meet other educators and learn about their projects while also showcasing ours. More professional development is included in the three days so I can start next year with a new set of ideas! This leads to celebration #3!
People often ask me where I get my ideas, and more often than not, I tell them from people I meet on Twitter! Last spring I ventured into the Twitter world because I was curious. I had heard that you can get lots of information and ideas from fellow educators. I wanted to see for myself. Sure enough, they were correct. After watching a webinar from ISTE11 (International Society of Technology Educators) last June, I decided I didn’t want to watch from home anymore, I wanted to go and experience everything this gigantic convention has to offer first hand. So, on the last two days of school, I will be in San Diego absorbing everything I can. I also will have the chance to meet some amazing people who have helped me like Mrs. Yollis in California and Mrs. Morris from Australia!
I will also meet a fellow librarian Miss Tiffany Whitehead, also known as The Mighty Little Librarian in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Her idea of making a year in review for her blog has led me to celebration #4! After reading her Year in Review, I decided that would be a fun project to share with our readers. Many hours later, here it is! I hope you enjoy our celebrations and have many to celebrate yourselves!
What has been the best part of your year?
What are you celebrating?
What do you hope to learn this summer or winter?
Our 5th grade students have been learning about the research process in library through our Famous Artist biography Project.
In their art class with Mrs. Lustgarten, they learned about a variety of artists. Then in library, they chose an artist as the focus for their research. We got the idea for this project from Mr. Avery in Massachusetts. You can see some of his student videos here.
Students used books and websites to find out out the answers to these questions:
When and where was the artist born?
What interesting event happened during the artist’s childhood?
Did the person ever get married or have children?
Where did the artist live for most of his or her life?
What kind of art is the person known best for?
What other interesting story happened during the artist’s adult life?
What painting did the researcher like the most?
Some students used the information they found to create Wordles. www.wordle.net is a program that uses text to produce a “word cloud”. You can make some words more prominent in size, alter the font and color of the wordle. These can either be saved or shared with friends. Here is an example of a few Wordles the students made:
While the 6th graders made interview videos acting like the artist, the 5th graders wrote biographies in the form of a comment to this post. Their assignment was to leave a comment as if they were their artist, including facts they learned from their research.
This idea is adapted from a biography project that Mrs. Yollis did with her class last year. You can read what her students wrote on this biography bonanza post.
Our blogging buddies and friends are welcome to leave a comment as a famous artist as well! The object is to share some interesting facts, have a comment that is lively and interesting to read, use your own words, and write the comment in the voice of the artist!
Calling all girls who like to read fun mysteries! I have just the book for you!
Alice Miranda at School is a story of 7 and 1/4 year old Alice-Miranda Highton-Smith-Kennington-Jones who is attending boarding school for the very first time! When she gets to her new school – the Winchesterfield-Downfordvale Academy for Proper Young Ladies, she quickly realizes that there are some strange things happening.
Why doesn’t the headmistress Miss Grimm ever come out of her office? Why aren’t there any flowers growing on the grounds of the school? Why can’t Mrs. Oliver go on vacation to visit her grandchildren? Leave it to Alice Miranda to find out the answers to these questions and more!
This is book one of a very popular Australian series. Our blogging buddy BB told me about it months ago, and finally it arrived! Here is what she had to say about it!
So girls, here’s what I have to say. I thought it was a very funny story and I love how spirited Alice Miranda is without being rude. However, you don’t have to listen to me! Listen to BB! She knows her Australian books and is the same age as you! Better yet, visit her blog and leave her a comment! BB’s Awesome Blog
Who is going to be the first one to try this awesome Aussie story I wonder??? In the meantime, Miss Yeoman in Melbourne, Australia told me her library is hosting Jacqueline Harvey on March 23rd! You can read about it here. Ms. Harvey also has her own blog which you can visit.
Plus, if you love blogging and Alice Miranda, why not comment on her blog too? Yes, Alice Miranda has a blog and loves visitors. You can visit it here.
What is your favorite series of books to read?
Do you think you would like going to a boarding school?
Should we buy more of this series for our library?
It’s February 29, 2012 which means it’s a leap year and we just got an extra day to the year! It only happens once every four years! People born on this day in a previous year are called Leaplings. So why do we have this strange extra day? Watch this video to find out. Then visit the world’s biggest blogging project Feb29th.net today before midnight and share what you are doing!
How will you celebrate Leap Day?
Do you know anyone who was born on Feb. 29th?
Today’s post is about dots. Colorful dots. Big dots. Small dots. Medium sized dots.
Seem like a crazy idea for a post?
Well, yes, unless you have read Press Here, an interactive picture book about how a dot can change itself everytime you turn the page.
“In this exuberant book, acclaimed graphic designer Craig Frazier does more than simply showcase a vast variety of dots, he encourages young readers to look closely at the world around them. Through his energetic images, the ordinary becomes extraordinary. Buttons are dots. Wheels are dots. Ladybugs have dots. And so do the fried eggs on your plate. Lots of Dots is lots of fun!” Text by Chronicle Books
On Twitter, I learned about the extraordinary work by the 82 year old Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama, whose “Obliteration Room” is currently on display at the Queensland Art Gallery in Brisbane, Australia.
Yayoi started with a typical living room with the walls, ceiling and all contents painted white. Then she gave children brightly colored, adhesive dots in a variety of sizes to children to apply to whatever surface they desired!
These two books and the Obliteration Room gave me an idea.
Why not create our own dot book display in the library?
We could take dots and write titles of books we have read and staple them to our walls and ceiling! We will cover as much of the ceiling as possible while we are in our temporary library space.
Then when our school opens and the tractors and destruction equipment come to destroy the old building, we will see a rainbow of dots float to the ground as the ceiling collapses!
So, that’s exactly what we are doing! Our dot display is a celebration of reading! We have already coverd the bulletin board and the wall above it, and now we are up to the ceiling!
Mrs. Hembree has her own mini-dot display of the titles of books she has read in 2012. She has set a goal of reading 366 books this year, and students can track her progress on the lavendar dot display. It’s on the lower portion of the display.
Students and staff are writing the titles of books on dots. Any book counts whether you read it, it was read to you, you listened to it on an audio-book, or read it on an e-Reader. Reading is Reading!
So… What’s Your Dot? Every time you read a book, stop by and fill out a dot. You can take some home, write the titles on them and bring them back! Every time you walk in the library, it will look different as our dot book display grows! Join in…..it’s fun!
What do you think about our dot display?
What book have you already read in 2012?
Have you seen or heard about The Obliteration Room in Australia?
Yesterday, the Edublog Awards were announced and it was a big
day for the Bulldog Reader Blog!
In the Best Library Blog category,
we were the runner-up!
Mrs. Hembree is the happiest runner-up Librarian in the world!
It’s quite an honor to be short-listed with all of these other fabulous teacher librarians! And it’s all because of our world-wide support system and your votes!
Big congratulations to Mrs. Ducharme the winner of the Best Library Blog category! TryCuriousity is located in Budapest, Hungary at the American International School of Budapest. We nominated her for this category and are so thrilled she won!
Thank you so much for voting! Edublogs had the most votes ever! There were a total of 35,083 votes cast on 1792 nominations in 18 different categories!
The Edublog Awards were announced in a ceremony via Blackboard Collaborate at 4pm yesterday afternoon. Anyone who wanted to participate could log into the live webcast and watch the proceedings.
People from every continent logged in and had fun chatting in the back-channel before the awards began. Many of the attendees were students who were nominated for Best Student Blog. I watched the event on my computer at home with my dogs Reese and Kasa next to me. They couldn’t figure out why I was home and not taking them for a walk!
When the library blog short-list was announced, I guess I got a little excited and pretty soon both dogs were barking and running around the house wondering what all the fuss was about! It was a fun and noisy afternoon at the Hembree house!
Many of our blogging friends either won or were short-listed in their categories!
Mrs. Yollis also won Most Influential Blog Post and came in second in the Lifetime Achievement category!
Mr. Avery’s Classroom Blog was third in Best Use of Audio/Video/Podcast!
The Best Student Blog went to Jaden, a 4th grader in California! He was in Mrs. Yollis’s class last year!
A really special moment for me came after the ceremony was over when BB came on the microphone and congratulated all her friends and teachers! We get lots of comments from BB and I have even received packages from her, but I had never heard her voice before! She was in Mrs. Morris and Miss Kelly’s classroom for the ceremony.
BB hosts BB’s Awesome Blog and is an almost 4th grade student in Australia and always leaves us a comment! Our students love her and she is held in the highest regard around our school for her blogging skills! She will be going on summer vacation next week, and won’t be blogging much over the holidays, but I know she would love a comment!
My last big congratulations goes to Ms. Joyce Valenza who won for Lifetime Achievement. She is a fellow teacher/librarian and contributes so much of her knowledge to our librarian team.
Have you ever won an award before?
Which are your favorite blogs to visit?
This week we have been having a lot of new visitors. We think it’s because we are in the voting round for Best Library Blog! The voting ends on Tuesday, December 13th at 9pm PST. You can vote everyday until then. Go here to vote.
This morning when Mrs. Adair’s 3rd graders came to class, we looked at our flag widget and saw this.
Our newest country visitor was from Zambia on December 7th! It was very exciting to have a visitor from Zambia. However, we looked at each other and asked, “Where is Zambia?”
That question led us to our district databases to find out. Databases are like online filing cabinets. They have lots of great information for reports and research.
We decided since we were looking for information about another country, Culture Grams was the best database to use for our research.
Where in the world is Zambia? We knew it wasn’t in North America. One person said they didn’t think it was in South America either. Someone guessed it might be in Africa, so we clicked on the continent Africa and this is what we found.
Zambia was in Africa! Then we clicked on Zambia and then used our Netbooks to research and learn more about this country.
Here are some facts about Zambia:
The eagle on the flag stands for freedom.
English is the official language, but most of the people speak tribal languages too.
They have dry seasons and wet/rainy seasons.
Victoria Falls is in Zambia.
Zambia is ahead of us in time.
When it is 4:00pm here, it is 2:00am the next day there!
We decided that since Zambia is half-the-world-away from Seattle, Washington, it was amazing that they found our blog. We wonder how they did it! Chances are we will never know! If you are our Zambia visitor, thank you for visiting! It was fun learning about your country and we would like to know so much more from you! Next time you visit, please leave us a comment!
How do you think our visitors find our blog?
How would you find a blog in another country?
Last week Mrs. Adair, Mrs. Higgins and Mrs. Hembree hosted our first ever Bulldog Family Tech Night!
To keep a completely technology format AND to save paper, all invitations and reservation confirmations were delivered via email. Then on our Tech Night families came to the library to learn about educational blogging.
After we talked about how blogging helps students academically, we watched Mr. Avery’s Fraction video that he made last year. This is an excellent example of how technology can enhance learning. Mr. Avery is a 6th grade teacher in Plympton, MA. You can view his fraction video here.
Then it was time to learn about the blogs we have here at school. We have 7 active classroom blogs and more on the way. We reviewed the rules for making comments on a blog.
Posts and comments are like peanut butter and jelly. Both are okay by themselves, but much better served together!
Commenting on the blog is easy and fun! It’s just like writing a friendly letter. The key is to compliment and use your best digital etiquette. Our audience is world-wide!
The Bulldog Readers are urged to spend time with their families at home writing comments. It’s a great way to learn new skills and spend quality time together.
How do you keep up with the blogs? An easy way to keep up with any of the blogs is to subscribe via email or RSS feed. Then every time there is a new post, an email is generated and goes directly to your email. It keeps you updated, without having to waste time looking to see if there is a new post. Look on the sidebar for Subscribe by email to enroll.
If you weren’t able to attend this Family Tech Night, don’t worry! We will host another one in the winter months.
In the meantime, if you would like more information about blogging, Kathleen Morris and Kelly Jorndan, two teachers in Victoria, Australia, and moderators of the 2KM and 2KJ blog have made a wonderful video about blogging with their second grade classes. I highly recommend you take time to watch this at home.
In addition, Mrs. Yollis’s third grade class in the Los Angeles area has also made a great video explaining how to make a comment. You can view that video here.