Friday, January 6, 2012

New Thinking

I loved my week at school-it was short and easy-such a perfect way to end our holiday break.  This week and into next I am reading Jan Brett and Karma Wilson books to 1st and kinder students.  2nd graders are learning about ABC books and we plan to  make one some how-I haven't figured out the how-so if you know of a spectacular online (free) program that would create individual books with graphics let me know.

I did use this  alphabet organizer from Read, Write, Think as a mini project and we did it together using the Promethean Board.  It was a stretch getting them to think of one word for each letter that fit into their topic and it was a good way to begin but I want something I can import graphics into and make it into like an e-book for them.  I don't need to print them out, too much paper waste but would like to share them using the board during parent night.   Any ideas?

In my forever quest for learning I picked this book up from the library after Janssen raved about it on her blog, Everyday Reading.

Po Bronson's and Ashley Merryman's book, NurtureShock has literally shocked me of many of my previous thoughts on parenting and as an educator.  Can Self Control Be Taught? is one chapter that I plan to use as a jumping off point to recharge the kinder experience in my library. This chapter discusses a pre-k program called Tools of the Mind; I'm fascinated with the idea of this play-based classroom where self-regulation is more important than trying to teach youngsters to read.  By learning to regulate their social, emotional and cognitive behaviors students take charge of their own learning.

While I can't build this entire curriculum into my daily kindergarten classes I like the idea of pulling portions of it in and trying it.  One section of the chapter (162) describes how students study a topic by playing it out in all aspects.  The example given is that when you study fire stations they would then act out what they've learned about all aspects of a fire call from the family who makes the 911 call to the dispatcher who takes the call and on down the line.  By playing out the scene to its fullest students learn to work their brain instead of getting distracted.  At the end of this 45 minute play time the clean up song is played and students stop what they are doing and begin to clean up.

The idea of buddy reading is shared next-which I know our school does-but I don't know about at the kindergarten level.  It says kids partner up and share their books by talking through the book's pictures.  When my 4 classes of kindergarten classes rotate through next week I'm going to demonstrate buddy reading and let them do it all around the library.  I need to make ears and lips for this though as the listening child holds a set of ears and the reader holds a pair of lips.  I think I will make them on large Popsicle sticks form Hobby Lobby. Even though I'm not a fan of nonfiction I've loved reading this book; it takes me to a higher place (of thinking).


TheBookGirl said...

This sounds like it was the perfect book for you at this time :)

I agree that that idea of "playing" what they are learning is a good one.

Hope that your ebook project is a success.

Janssen said...

I am SO glad you're liking it. I need to read it again, now that I actually have a child.

Unknown said...

I've always been intrigued by Nurture Shock! Thanks for the reminder that I still want to read it :) And I DO know of an awesome online site for creating stories: It's free, and super fun and easy to use! Good luck!!

Lisa said...

I loved that book, but sadly only remember bits and pieces of it. It is one that I wish I had my own copy of so I could go back and skim it again.