It's always good to end the week on a positive note. Sometimes we concentrate on the negatives. We have a choice. Choose positive. Choose to celebrate. I will be joining Ruth Ayres and her weekly link-up, Celebrate This Week. Check out all the other celebrations HERE
Last week I wrote about what this year's Schneider Family Book Award winners meant to me. Today I celebrate the work I did with my students around this award this year.
While our school was busy with many Mock celebrations - Newbery, Caldecott and Geisel - I wanted to introduce my 4th grade reading students to the Schneider Award. We've been doing some work around tracking out thinking and writing longer about an important thought.
We started with modeling. I wanted to make sure they all heard Laurie Ann Thompson's Emmanuel's Dream, which I already had fingers and toes crossed would win the 2016 award! Using post-it notes, we worked together as a group making notes of our thinking. Some were questions, some were thoughts, some were quotes we liked. After we were done and just talked about the book, we went back through the post-its. We made piles - thoughts that were interesting but we didn't need to dig deeper into, thoughts we wanted to talk about more, and questions. While questions are often something to explore more, today was not the day we were going to do that. Today, we really wanted to dig deeper into those thoughts that made us think. After looking through them, we picked one to write longer about. Instead of writing in our notebooks, we went a different route. This time, we used padlet as our writing medium! We wrote about the disability, what we noticed from the text and then added our thinking around what the text said. We've been doing this work for awhile using other texts, so I knew students were ready to do this individually.
I had pulled from different libraries the Schneider picture book winners from the past years. Students picked out books to read, got post-its and pencils and got to work. While students read and added thoughts, I conferenced with students. I took note of their thinking, were they just picking random thoughts, were they making deeper connections with the story, did they find important events to note, were they only asking questions. After students read, they went through their post-it notes and put them into piles. Sometimes they could pick what they wanted to write about, sometimes they needed to go back and add to their thinking. Once they were ready, they got iPads and wrote longer on the padlet. I loved seeing students put their thinking together with what they read at the end of each post. Most of them did a nice job drawing conclusions and adding their thinking to what was said in the book.
Here's a look at the padlet they created: