Prospecting For Treasure

Always prospecting for the next treasure of an idea.

Our Giant Medieval Paper Doll Project

This is Lady Maria. She is a noble woman.

For the last two weeks, we have been working on our Giant Medieval Paper Doll Project.  This is a group project that we do to learn about how the people of the middle ages lived.  I got this idea from the February/March 1997 issue of The Mailbox–Intermediate. 

Several times a year, I like to do something in the way of a research project with my students.  With 4th graders, this means I bring in the books, and we learn how to use the table of contents and index to find the information we need.  This year, with my new ventures into technology, we have also used the internet.  Usually I order a box of books about the topic, in this case — the middle ages, from our area education agency.  I also have a very large classroom library,  that I have collected over the years.  This year I also found some helpful websites, which I added to our  Read the Web class wiki.
 
As a class we learn about feudalism, and the impact this had on people’s lives.  I want my students to appreciate the freedoms they have to make their own choices about their lives, so I impress upon them the lack of free choice in the structured society of the middle ages.  Students sign up to study one group of medieval people.  Some ideas are:
  • A monk who lives in a monastery
  • A medieval peasant woman or man
  • A Lord of the manor
  • A medieval noblewoman
  • A knight
  • A jester or minstrel
  •  A merchant or guild master from the town
  • A child of the middle ages

Brother Lucas is a Monk.

 
I always begin by having the kids do some reading about their person.  We look for information about how the person lived, and what kind of  clothing they wore.  Here are the steps for creating the paper doll.
 
  1. Have one group member (usually the smallest) lie down on a large sheet of paper.  Bulletin board paper, butcher paper, or brown wrapping paper work well for this.  The other members of the group trace his or her body to make the outline of a giant paper doll.  I love watching the kids collaborate to do this. 

    Trace around one member of the committee to get the shape for your paper doll.

  2. Students research the follow information about their medieval person:  In what kind of home did this person live?  What did this person wear?  What did this person eat?  How did this person spend his or her day?  What hardships did this person face?  In what way was this person important to medieval society?  I provide each group with a folder (remember I love using manilla folders) with a note taking form that includes questions.  You can find some examples in the file cabinet.
  3. After the group has answered these questions, draw eyes, hair, and other facial features on the paper doll.  Decide on a name for their person.
  4. Work together to dress the paper doll by drawing clothing that matches the information gathered while researching.  Draw on  the clothing with crayons or markers.  Some people have even created a collage by adding paper or fabric scraps.

    Dress your medieval paper doll by drawing clothing and accessories.

  5. Cut out the paper doll.
  6. On drafting paper work as a group to write a letter from your person to the class. Use the information you have gathered to talk about your person’s life in the middle ages.  Be sure to write in first person.  Your person is helping the people of today to understand their life in the middle ages.
  7. Revise and edit your letter, and copy it on final draft paper.  I use paper made to look like a scroll, but you could use anything that you like.
  8. Display your letter and paper doll.
 

Elizabeth Esther Brown, The Merchant

 
 

May 6, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | 1 Comment

Our Castle Project

Emma's Castle

We  began our castle project last week.  It is completed as a homework project, and it is one of the highlights of fourth grade, or so some people tell me.  I have done this project for thirteen years.  I did quit for a few years because the castles had become so elaborate and huge, and they had become “Dad Castles” instead of “Kid Castles”.  I knew things had gone too far when I overheard  a conversation between two of my students who were complaining that their parents had taken over their projects.  Stacy was commenting  that she had her castle all planned, but her mom wouldn’t let her do it the way she wanted.  Stacey’s parents were in the heating and cooling business, and her final castle was made of sheet metal, welded and assembled with rivets.  Joey’s response was, “Yeah, my dad keeps calling it his castle.”

I make it a point to tell families that they may assist, but it should be mostly the child’s work.  When students bring their castles, we always interview them about how they planned and built their castle.  When asked what they liked best about the project, many respond with something they did with their parents, so I do allow family help.    I have restrictions about the size of the final castle.  It had gotten to the point that some castles were the size of two or three student desks.  I now request that they are no larger than the top of a student desk.

Brandon's Castle

I do not wish to cause a hardship for any family, so I  allow the option of creating a castle model or a detailed poster.  Almost all the kids create a model, and in all the years I have done this project, I have never had a student fail to complete it.

Anna's Castle

We begin in class by learning why castles were built, and how they were built.  Castles weren’t just houses, they were war machines.  We learn about the planning that went into the defense of these castles, and children are encouraged to include these details in their models.

Tyler's Castle

I am a big consumer of manilla folders, and I use them for this project.  I staple step by step directions for the project on the left side of the folder.  You’ll find a copy of these directions in the File Cabinet.  On the right side I include diagrams labeling  the parts of the castle.  This is actually one of our in-class lessons.   I also include ideas about possible ways to construct a model. Most of my ideas come from the books, Knights And Castles, By Teacher Created Materials and The Middle Ages Independent Learning Unit, By Lorraine Conway.  You can read more about the resources I use in my previous post, Medieval History for Kids.

Roger's Castle

The kids and families never cease to amaze me with their creativity.  I have seen castles made of wood, cardboard, styrofoam, sugar cubes, marshmallows, sand (that was not such a good idea), clay, craft sticks, and rocks.  Every year, there is some new idea that I would never have thought of and have never seen before.

Marissa's Castle

We do a lot of writing.  We write about why castles were built.  We write about the kids’  thinking and planning for their castle.  Kids write a description of their work to be displayed at Core Knowledge Night.  At the end we write fairy tales about what happens when an evil wizard shrinks us and our castles become real.

The third graders come in to check out our castles.

On the day the castles are due, we invite students from other grades to come see them, which is why kids come into 4th grade asking when we’re going to build castles.  All the castles pictured in this post were created by my students from last year. 

This year our castles are due on Wednesday, May 5th, the day before we have our big school celebration, “Core Knowledge Night”.  Afterwards we will display them on top of our lockers and in the library.

April 24, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

Medieval History for Kids

My school is a Core Knowledge school, and one of the highlights of the year is our study of the middle ages. 
 
We begin by building a timeline, so that the kids understand how this period of history fits in.  This is easier at a Core Knowledge school, because the children have already learned about ancient Egypt in first grade, ancient Greece in second grade, and the Roman Empire in third grade.  You can learn more about Core Knowledge curriculum by visiting The Core Knowledge Foundation website.   I also include some map skills, because I want to be sure that the children understand what part of the world we are talking about.  It is important to compare and contrast maps from the middle ages with Europe of today.
 
I like to teach Core Knowledge across the curriculum.  While some of our medieval history is taught during social studies time, much is done during our literacy block and even during math.  I usually start with small group reading groups exploring non-fiction. 
For read alouds I like to read:
  •   The Whipping Boy by Sid Fleishman
  •    Catherine Called Birdy by Karen Cushman (I edit this one as I read.)
  •    The Door In the Wall by Marguerite De Angeli
 
I have reading groups reading:
  • Adam of the Road by Elizabeth Janet Gray
  •  King Arthur (Scholastic Junior Classics) by Jan B. Mason and Sarah Hines Stephens.
  • Robin Hood of Sherwood Forest by Ann McGovern
 
As we build this background, we stop to explore some things in more depth.  As we learn about feudalism, I impress on students and help them to imagine what it would be like to have their dad pick who they would marry.  I want them to think about what it would be like to be sent away from home at the age of 7 to become a page.  I want them to appreciate the freedoms we have today to make choices about the work we do, and the opportunities we can take advantage of.
 
I try to fill the room with non-fiction to read during free reading time.  There are some great books out there to use to learn about the middle ages in Europe. Here are some of my favorites.
  • EyeWitness Books, Castle by Christopher Gravett
  • Eyewitness Books, Knights by Christopher Gravett
  •  See Through History, The Middle Ages by Sarah Howarth
  • Knights by Philip Steele
  • Stephen Biesty’s Cross-Sections Castle
  • Usborne World History, Medieval World by Jane Bingham
  • Castle by David Macaulay

There are also some excellent teacher resources to help you plan your unit.  I like:
  • Knights And Castles, By Teacher Created Materials
  • Medieval Times, By Teacher Created Materials
  • The Middle Ages Independent Learning Unit, By Lorraine Conway
  • Knights & Castles, 50 Hands-on Activities to Experience the Middle Ages, by Avery Hart & Paul Mantell
  • Exploring Ancient Civilizations, Medieval Times by Robynne Eagan

We are beginning our Castle Project this week.  My next few posts will talk about some of the special projects we do to further our understanding of life in the Middle Ages.  If you have additional ideas, I would love to hear them.

April 12, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | 1 Comment

Our New Student Blogs

We just finished a very stressful week filled with daily test-taking.  It was our week for Iowa Tests of Basic Skills. This is how Iowa schools are judged as successful or failing, so much rides on these tests.  The actual testing was the culmination of several weeks of “test preparation.”  We actually took less of the test this year, but I felt more stressed than ever, and went home exhausted each night.  Our school has been one of the few in our part of town that has managed to stay off of the “watched schools” list, and hopefully we will be able to accomplish that again this year.
 
It was a regular school day the the rest of the time, and my students spent time reading each other’s new blogs.  Everyone now has their very own blog at Kidblog.org.  I introduced the new blogs when we came back from spring break on March 22nd.  We spent that week writing, editing, and posting, so it wasn’t until last week that the kids could really see their published work.  Now that the kids are seeing their own blogs, and reading and commenting on other student’s blogs, they are getting excited about this project. 
 
The Kidblog website is really easy to use.  I introduced the project using the list of Ten Blogging Ideas from A Geeky Momma’s  Blog.  I set up our blogs so they are public, but all posts and comments must be approved by me.  Mine is not a paperless classroom.  We started with our initial draft written on paper, and we did our first edit on paper. Then students began to post on the computer.  I like the fact that there is a button to “Submit for Review”.  At this point I printed a copy of the blog, so that students could edit once again before posting on line.  
 
I was feeling pretty frustrated.  The content of the posts was good, but my students are not using correct capitalization, punctuation, and spelling.  I don’t know where you stand on this, but I do believe that if I continue to edit their work, it is no longer their work, so mistakes or not, at this point we posted.   
 
I sent out a link to their blogs, so that others in our building could see what they are doing.  The website is very well organized so that you can access all our class blogs from one page.  It is also easy for the kids to sign in.  All they have to do is find their name in the drop down menu, and sign in with their password.  Our blogs are grouped as Ms. Day’s Class
 
The other teachers in my building have been great about writing comments on the kids’ blogs.  I like the fact that the comments show up on the right side of the screen, next to the students post.  This way the kids can easily see that people are responding to their writing. 
 
The third grade teachers are impressed with how much their writing has improved.  I felt reassured by this, but even more important, one of my students got on line from home at seven in the morning, and wrote a second blog post.  She also wrote very nice comments on other students blogs.  This student has been a reluctant writer in the past.  Now I’m excited!  I hope some of the other kids feel as motivated by the response to their work, and will continue writing on their own. 
 
In the meantime, we are using a Daily Oral Language approach, to work on our editing skills.  It can’t hurt, and it just might help!

April 4, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | 2 Comments

March Reflections

I just completed two days of parent-teacher conferences.  I’m happy to say I had the opportunity to speak with all of the families of my students.  We are lucky to have great parent support in our school, so this is not unusual.  As I prepare to visit with the families, I can’t help but reflect, not only on how the kids are doing, but also on how I am doing in teaching in the most meaningful way possible.  This is even more important this year, since I have tried so many new approaches, mostly through technology.  While it’s nice to feel I am being more  innovative, it’s imperative to be sure that I am meeting my academic goals, and not just providing a lot of electronic fluff.

We just completed a project using Storybird.com.  The kids had a ball creating digital books on Storybird.  They worked in partners, with some students teaching others how to use the website.  They select a picture to use, drag it onto the page, and then write.  It’s a great website, but I was disappointed by the quality of the writing.

Even though I modeled a book for them, and talked with the kids about writing a real story, most wrote one sentence per page.  Some were funny, but I didn’t see that they were really telling a story, and I certainly didn’t feel that they were doing anything to improve their writing.  I want them to be writing much more developed stories by the second half of fourth grade. I am also frustrated that they are still not self editing, even with the simplest things like capitalization and ending punctuation. 

I had some frustrations with the website itself, as well.   Some of the kids were working on stories that, for some reason or other, would not save.  We could never figure out why.  This was frustrating, because there were many instances of lost work.  Sometimes we were able to resolve the problem, but other times we just had to abandon that digital book.  This website also has some very tight standards as to acceptable content.  We had two digital books that were not accepted, and I’m still not sure why.

I have a couple of ideas which I hope will help solve some of these problems.  I set up student blogs through KidBlog.org, which the students will begin using after spring break.  I got this idea from Lee Kolbert (@teachakidd on Twitter).  She has some great ideas on her GeekyMomma’s Blog.  I think we will do some work with the old Daily Oral Language approach.  I’m also thinking of printing off some of their blog posts and having them proofread and edit.  Anybody out there have better ideas?  How do I get them to recognize and correct their own errors?

Later in the year we will make another try with digital storytelling by using the website Storyjumper.com.  This website has lesson plans to spur character and plot development.  I hope that by developing and writing a story first, the kids will do some better quality writing.

For now though, I have the next ten days off!   I will go into school sometime during this time, and now that the snow has mostly melted there will definitely be yard work on the agenda.  Mostly I’m going to enjoy spending some time at home.

March 12, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | 1 Comment

Puzzle Parties and Other Classroom Celebrations

This was my student teacher’s last week before he moves to a different grade level in a different school district.  I wanted to give the kids an opportunity to have a going away party for him, but my district and school are pretty strict when it comes to time allocation.  We are permitted just two real parties each year, a fall party and a Valentine party.  For this reason, I always look for an academic connection so I can justify time spent.  I believe if you put the word party after any word or phrase, it gets the kids interested.

Puzzle Parties

On Thursday we threw a Puzzle Party.  With the prevalence of video games these days, many kids have little experience putting together an old-fashioned jigsaw puzzle.  Putting together a puzzle involves many thinking and problem solving strategies, so before we began, we discussed some of these.  The kids who sometimes work puzzles with parents or grandparents help to teach the others about finding the straight edged and corner pieces to assemble the frame.  They know about categorizing and sorting pieces according to color and details.  They teach the others about using the picture details on the box as a reference to guide them in constructing the puzzle.  We review the geometry terms; slide, flip and turn, and talk about how this applies to puzzle solving. These are important problem solving skills that adults often take for granted, but we learn them through experience.

We used 100 piece jigsaw puzzles, and students worked in groups of three or four  to put them together.  it turned out that a couple of the puzzles I bought were I Spy puzzles, so the kids could play a game with it once it was put together.  We  worked on either desks or the floor, wherever people were most comfortable.  Our wonderful student teacher, Mr. Lillie, brought the kids juice boxes and cookies, so it really did turn into a party.

 
 
Improve Fluency With a Poetry Cafe
 
Before our Puzzle Party, we had a  poetry reading.  I like to use poetry to build fluency.  I have collected many poetry books over the years, and the kids enjoy reading them.  This time students partnered up and selected a poem to practice and then present to the class.  The kids like doing this, and it builds important fluency skills in reading.  On Thursday we just did a quick reading of  poetry, which in itself is a celebration of their reading.  Sometimes we get fancy and have a Poetry Cafe.

During the week before the cafe, students read, select and practice poems  they want to share with the class.  They can also write their own.  Students may read by themselves or with partners.  We push desks together to form tables, and I picked up plastic tablecloths from the dollar store to create the cafe atmosphere.  Juice boxes help with this too. 

We applaud the readers by snapping our fingers beatnik style, and praising them,  “Cool Man!!!”  One time I even borrowed bongo drums from the music teacher, but you do not have to get this silly.  It’s fun and educational, however you decide to do it.

Reading Parties

Occasionally I throw a Reading Party for the class.  This may not seem very exciting, since we’re reading all day, but the kids enjoy them.  For a reading party, the kids can bring a blanket or throw and pillows.  We push all the desks back to make room on the floor.  They can bring anything from home that they want to read, as long as it is school appropriate and they have their parent’s permission.  There isn’t a whole lot of reading that gets done, but sports and entertainment magazines, along with books  like  Guinness Book of World Records and even comic books are acceptable.   The kids have fun looking at them together.  Sometimes I either provide a snack or allow the kids to bring a snack from home.   

These are just some of the ways that I try to celebrate the learning we are doing, and reward our class for hard work.  What kind of classroom celebrations have you tried with your class?  I’m always prospecting for new ideas.

March 7, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Using Google Docs to Create and Embed an On-line Quiz

I am a Google Docs novice.  I just started using them about a month ago.  This week I learned how to create a quiz using Google Docs forms.  Then I embedded it in a page of our class wiki.  Many of you may be saying “Well, duh!,” but I didn’t know you could do this, and I think it is so cool. 
 
Once again this is something I learned through my ongoing professional development on Twitter.  I’m not even going to try to explain it to you, because I couldn’t possibly do it as well as Richard Byrne, (@rmbyrne on Twitter), on his blog, “Free Technology for Teachers”.  His post from Friday, January 29, 2010, How to Publish a Quiz Using Google Docs  explains it all.
You can create a quiz including multiple choice questions, essay, check lists, or a short line of text.  I found it easy to create the quiz and easy to embed it.  Once it was embedded, it was simple for my fourth graders to use.  
I tested it first, by taking the quiz myself.  This turned out to be a really good idea, because then my answers were posted first on the spreadsheet, and that gave me my answer key.  Your first question needs to be “Student Name” so you know whose work you are looking at.  All the answers that students give are displayed neatly on a spreadsheet.   
I really liked the spreadsheet.  It made it easy to analyze the questions that my students had difficulty with.  Now I know where reteaching is necessary.  When it came to grading the quiz, I found it easier to print off the spreadsheet.  Then it was very easy to correct the quiz and interpret the results.   There is also a date stamp, so you know when each student completed their work.  
 
Google Docs are so great for those of us who work on multiple computers.   Thanks, Richard Byrne, for teaching me something new!

February 28, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | 4 Comments

An Update On Our American Revolution Webquest

After completing our research, students wrote persuasive letters.

A few weeks ago, I wrote about the webquest we are working on:  A Revolution is Coming!  Which Side Will You Be On?  We finished our webquest last Friday.  This week I have been looking at everyone’s work.  This includes their webquest notes, graphic organizer, and letter.  The kids did a great job reading on-line information and taking notes about the causes and events that led to the beginning of the American Revolution. 

 
It is important for students to understand that support for separating from England was far from unanimous.  We talked about how the war divided families, pitting father against son, brother against brother, neighbor against neighbor.  After taking notes, we formed teams, and students drew slips of paper to determine if they were going to write their letter from the viewpoint of a patriot or a loyalist. 
 

The art work was done by my son, Michael Day and his friend, Brandon Archer, when they were in fifth grade. They are now 22.

This is where we began to have problems,  The half of the class that were to argue from the perspective of the loyalist were very upset.  They all wanted to be patriots.  We also found that information for the loyalist perspective was much more sketchy, since historians have done better record keeping for those who supported the revolution. 
 
We also ran into problems as teams began to use the Read, Write and Think Persuasion Map    I could not find a way of saving their work, so they had to complete the entire task in one sitting, which our schedule did not permit.  I solved this problem by printing off a copy of the final organizer, and having teams work on it with pencil and paper.  
 
 Overall, it has been a good project.  It just needs some modification.  Next year I think I will model and write the letter from the viewpoint of the loyalists.  then the students can all be patriots.  To encourage them to give more details, they can write to their cousins in England describing the events taking place in the colonies, and explaining why they are patriots, and wish to fight for independence.
 

February 21, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | 2 Comments

Learning With Storybird and Edmodo

I have a really good student teacher, who is now teaching most of the day.  During the next two weeks, he will be teaching full time, and then he moves on to a different grade level, in a different school,  in a different town.  It occurred to me earlier this week, as he was teaching a social studies lesson, and I was working with a small group in the hall, that having two people in the classroom, is just about the only way to accomplish all the interventions, small group support, and individual attention that a teacher needs to provide each day.  While he has been teaching, I have been able to make up work with students who have been absent, run small groups to share writing, and meet more frequently with students who need the extra support.  It also gives me extra time to just connect and have fun with kids.

This extra time meant I was able to explore the website Storybird with a group of students.  Storybird is a digital story telling website.  The website is very easy to use.  The first time we visited the website we spent time just reading other people’s published “Storybirds.”  The next time we got together we looked at the tutorial, and then we plunged right in.  My students are collaborating, and their first task was to agree on a picture to use for their first page.  As soon as they made that choice, they were provided with a large selection of other artwork by that same artist.  From there on, it was simple.  Just drag the picture you  want to use onto the page.  Then write about it.

I do have one caution.  When you go to the Storybird Homepage it says “Start a Storybird Now”.  Be sure to log in or register first.  Don’t make the mistake I did, and just begin the story.  We saved our work, but because we were not logged in, we lost it.  Fortunately, the kids had such a good time, that they have forgiven me for that one.

Students carry on a book discussion using Edmodo.

I have another group working on Edmodo.  This group is made up of some very strong readers, some of whom are at least 2 years above grade level.  Edmodo is a closed social networking site, that looks similar to Facebook.  In fact, when we returned from our winter break in early January, I discovered that some of the kids had been on it over vacation, and were using it like Facebook.  Students access the website with a unique code, which keeps the discussion private.  Edmodo is a very cool website and the kids love getting on there.  We have been using it to discuss a book we are reading. When we started the book, I was able to introduce them to the author and build background knowledge by providing them with links to websites.  There is a component for making assignments and grading, as well as conducting a poll.  I think it would be an even better platform for reading and discussing non-fiction topics. 

We started out strong with some thoughtful discussions, and students soon figured out that they could shape our conversation  by posing their own questions and thoughts for discussion.  We have had several talks about courtesy to one another, and the importance of staying focused on our reading discussion.  The problem that I have been having is that one or two students are being very thoughtful in their comments, while others are being silly with comments like “Yeah, what she said.”  “Me too!”  or “Ditto”.  This week my student teacher and I told them, if they weren’t going to use Edmodo responsibly, we would go back to paper and pencil.  It has improved some, but I am looking for ideas on how to use this great website, and keep our time productive. 

Please tell me what has worked for you.  How have you used Edmodo?  What other websites do you recommend for small group work?

February 14, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | 4 Comments

Engaging Book Reports

Our Biography Presidential Posters were due this week.  I teach at a traditional school, where we assign homework on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday nights.  I have been looking for ways to have that homework be a way of practicing important skills, instead of just completing worksheets.  Part of our homework, most nights, is to read for 20 minutes.  I started out having the kids write a summary of what they read, each homework night, but that became tedious very quickly, and I want them to love reading, not learn to hate it.  I also need for them to have some accountability.  In the past,  I have had them complete the usual book report forms, but this year I was looking for something different to do.

Can you tell what book each cereal represents?

During the month of December, my students read fiction, and created a Cereal Box Book Report. Students were to invent a cereal based on a fictional book that they had read during the month.  They were to think of a name and shape for the cereal,  that was somehow connected to the book they had read.  We covered real cereal boxes with paper, and each side of the box was to follow a specific guideline:

  • Front:  the name of the cereal and picture to go with it.
  • Back:  A game based on the story, which must include information from the story.
  • Right Side:  Ingredients—the characters and story setting.  (Some of the kids got confused on this one and just listed food ingredients.)
  • Left Side:  A  summary of the book, including the main conflict and resolution.
  • Top:  The title and author of the book, and the student’s name.

The last step was for students to plan and present a commercial for their cereal to the class.  I was very pleased with the results.  We had 100% completion of this project, and the kids seemed enthusiastic.

I didn’t come up with this idea myself.  It came from the book 24 Ready-to-Go Genre Book Reports by Susan Ludwig (published by Scholastic).  I like the fact that the instructions for each project are well laid out, with a teacher page that describes the project, and reproducible student directions that take the kids step by step through the project.  Each project also has an evaluation rubric, which can be used by the student or the teacher. 

By Susan Ludwig

During the month of January, we read biographies.  Students were to “nominate” the person they read about for president.  Then they made a presidential poster to describe the person’s qualities and background. The posters included:

  • Character traits that made this person a good leader.
  • Background:  information about the person’s family, education, home, etc.
  • Jobs and accomplishments
  • A drawing or photograph of the person

Each student then presented their poster to the class, by telling us about the person they had read about.  Some even gave little campaign speeches or brought props.  There are lots of other ideas in this book that I haven’t tried yet, but I’m sure I will in the future. 

This month we are working on a social studies project instead.  We are writing state reports.  Each person is reading a non-fiction book about one of the states in either the northeast or southern regions of the United States.  This is a shorter project and I am using a form from a different source.  When that is complete,  I think we will do something less formal for the end of February and during March.

I saw this idea in the Really Good Stuff catalog.  A pocket chart for kids’  book recommendations.    If you haven’t checked out ReallyGoodStuff.com, you should.  They really do have a lot of really good stuff.  Mmmmm…..that advertisement gives me an idea.  I’ll let you know where we go with this one.

What have you tried in the way of alternative book reports?  How do you keep the kids reading and keep the interest up?  I’d like to know.

February 7, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | 2 Comments