Monday, February 24, 2014

More Rules For Moose From 2nd Graders Using Skitch!

Second graders loved reading This Moose Belongs To Me by Oliver Jeffers.  I had barely lifted the book to share when several students recognized his text and illustration style from another great book, The Day The Crayons Quit, a book he illustrated for author Drew Daywalt.  (...not to mention Oliver Jeffers' The Hueys series and Stuck!)

After reading the book, we watched the very funny Oliver Jeffers Author Film 2013, which only amped up student enthusiasm for this clever author-illustrator.  

For those who haven't seen This Moose Belongs To Me, here is a little peek from the book trailer.

The book features Wilfred who thinks he owns a moose and attempts to share all of his expectations in the form of rules.  Moose doesn't seem interested in following Wilfred's rules.  In fact, it isn't entirely clear that moose has even notice Wilfred, much less his rules.  

Second graders thought that maybe Wilfred needed to see if moose would follow their rules. They used the iPad app Skitch to illustrate over masterpieces, a style used by Mr. Jeffers in his book.    

They chose their own rules for moose.  Here are just a few examples.

Rule #17 - No peeing in the house.
Picture Source: THE PATH TO THE HEART — PALETTE KNIFE Oil Painting On Canvas By Leonid Afremov,

Rule #136 - Stay in the yard.
Picture Source: Xiamen E-oilpainting Co., Ltd.,

Rule #104 - Let me ride you and don't buck me off.
Picture Source:

Rule #123 - Never leave the yard.
Picture Source: Landscape by Rocambole,

Rule #104 - Always greet me at the door.
Picture Source: RAINY AFTERNOON — PALETTE KNIFE Oil Painting On Canvas By Leonid Afremov,

Rule #102 - Never eat my blanket.
Picture Source:

Rule #121 - Always stay in the yard.
Picture Source:

In the end, my 2nd graders, being the practical people that they are, seemed sure that moose probably wouldn't follow their rules either...but it was fun imagining!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Progress Update...Collaborating On A Google Presentation For Our 4th Grade I Spy Books!!

Several weeks ago, our fourth graders began an I Spy - Look and Find book project. (For a reminder - 4th Graders Take Their First Steps Toward Creating I Spy Books!) We had several interruptions, but this week we are back at work!

Students are collaborating on a rhyme to go with the picture that they took several weeks ago. We are taking our cues from Jean Marzollo's I Spy Books! Once the rhymes are completed, we are logging into a shared Google presentation and working together to create one slideshow per class. Once the slideshow is completed, I will export it as a pdf and upload it to to create an eBook to share! Stay tuned for the final publication!

3rd Graders Begin A Cookbook Project Using The Simply Cookin' App!

This week third graders are beginning a cookbook project! You may wonder why are students learning about cookbooks in media class? As part of a continuing study of nonfiction, we have been learning about books that teach us how to do things, make us laugh, and challenge us to solve problems and puzzles.  Students can learn a great deal from recipes and cookbooks! Text format, sequencing, writing directions and measurement are just a few of the lessons we will focus on!

Before we began writing our recipes, we looked at cookbooks and their standard format.  

We looked at examples of the recipes from our library's cookbooks and our MyOn eCookbooks!  We have some really great cookbook choices for our students!!

Each third grade class will be creating a cookbook.  I asked each student to bring a favorite recipe from home to share for their class cookbook!  After testing a great many recipe apps, I decided to have students use the app Simply Cookin' to publish their recipes.  I chose it because it seemed simple for my young chefs and because it didn't require them to use their email account to create an account. 

Students had to categorize their recipe!  Is it a appetizer?  Is it a beverage?

We will need a few class periods to finish our stay tuned for a blog post on our finished publications!!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Students Present Us With Words Of Wisdom From Past Presidents Using Haiku Deck...

President's Day gave my students the perfect opportunity to learn from the wisdom of our past presidents!  After researching a president and choosing a favorite quote, each student used the Haiku Deck app to create posters to share their favorite quote.  I used FlipSnack to create an eBook using their posters!

Students had a difficult time understanding some of the quotes, so we had great conversations about what they meant!  It was a perfect opportunity to discuss the fact that though times have changed, and people express themselves differently now, people are still the same in many ways. It was a topic that begged for more time than we had!!  Even though my students had to dig to understand some of the quotes of past presidents, they seemed to grasp the value of their words.

We used a few helpful websites!

The Presidents / The White House


Why I Officially LOVE Twitter!!!

I like to think that I am sort of an early adopter of technology. Maybe not on the bleeding edge of new technology, but definitely somewhere toward the front of the line! But I was not that way for Twitter. I dragged my feet to try it. It took me a while to see why I would want to write everything in short bursts of 140 characters. (For those of you who know may be wondering how I would ever be able to shorten up my many many words!  My motto is: why use 5 words when 20 will do!) And then there is the hashtag!!! WHAT IS THAT ABOUT!!! (Thanks to my 18 year old daughter, Alex, and Digital Learning Coach, Chris Myers, for patiently tutoring me on how to use hashtags!) 

Well, this morning, I am officially a devoted fan of Twitter!! Yesterday I tweeted (to my huge list of 23 followers!!) about Friday's lesson centered around Drew Daywalt's book "The Day The Crayons Quit". (Check out the blog post from yesterday!) This morning when I checked Twitter I had received a message from the author Drew Daywalt! Wow! I officially love Twitter!!

Though it may seem like I am a little star struck...for a librarian and teacher, making any connection with a favorite author is really great!! I can't wait to tell my students!

I have found so many other great things about Twitter in the few weeks since I began.

*I can follow leaders in the field of technology education and learn from what they are discussing - creating my own PLN - Personal Learning Network!  (Thanks to recently followed Lynn Ford @LynnHillFord for introducing me to the term!)

*I can participate actively or passively in twitter educational chats around the nation - here is a list of their times!

*I can follow my 10th grader's results from her speech tournaments each Saturday - even before she texts her father and I!! (Thanks to Tracy Loth for putting me on to this!)

*I can read what my favorite Olympic athletes are saying about their experience - TJ Oshie and Gus Kenworthy saving puppies!!

Oh so many tweets!!! Such a great resource and so much fun!!  Thanks to Drew Daywalt for the shout out and thanks to the many people who helped me figure it out...albeit a little late!

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Students Write Valentine Letters To Their Crayons...In Response To Drew Daywalt's "The Day The Crayons Quit"!


Recently the Oak Hills students selected the book The Day The Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt as their 1st choice to win a Caldecott!  Sadly, it wasn't chosen by the official Caldecott committee, but it remains a huge favorite for my student and I!!

This is a book trailer for a flavor of this very funny, creative book...

So my students wanted to help Duncan convince the crayons not to quit!!  They wrote Valentine letters to the crayons!  Hopefully the crayons will come back!!!

Friday, February 14, 2014

A Tribute To Our Dearest Alyssa

The Oak Hills community recently lost one of our own - Alyssa Ettl.  Alyssa attended Oak Hills Elementary from 2002 - 2007, a memory that we all cherish.  Alyssa's Horizon Avenue neighbors generously donated funding for new library books in honor of Alyssa's love of learning and her joy for life.  The books were selected based on her interests and are currently on display before going into circulation at the Oak Hills Library. 

Valentine's Day Fun!!

Today was Valentine's Day and my students and I took a break from our media lessons and projects to have a little fun!

First graders brainstormed words to put on their virtual candy hearts before trying it themselves using the Acme Heart Generator website. With lots of HUGS, XOXO, and BFFs, first graders kept me busy reading their hearts!  They saved their hearts for a fun addition to their future 1st grade digital portfolio!

Fifth graders wrote about what they love in the heart shaped word generator from Festisite. As they wrote about what they love, I was so touched by what I read. They were articulate and thoughtful. I asked for permission to share images of their work.  Here are just a few samples!!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Early Morning Staff Inservice - Thanks Digital Learning Coordinator, Trish Harvey!!

Bright and early this morning, while our students were rolling out of bed, Oak Hills teachers gathered in the computer lab to learn how to effectively utilize MyOn, our newly adopted eBook Reading Program.  Trish Harvey, ISD194's Digital Learning Coordinator, gave teachers just what they needed to get them started!!  Thanks Trish!!