We began our school year in the Learning Commons by sharing the wonderful Each Kindness by Jacqueline Woodson. Students discussed the importance of never missing an opportunity to be kind. We also had fun with Munsch’s Mortimer and built our beds with the lego.
Some classes problem solved to see if they could decipher the construction blueprints for the new school addition. Students were very interested to figure out the symbols and plans. We also designed our own school – complete with basketballl hoop in the library!
This week primary classes enjoyed this wonderful book by Kate Jane Neal. Words and Your Heart is a great book to spark discussion about the power words can have, both positive and negative. We shared the story and then worked in groups to build structures whilst at the same time ‘building each other up’ with kind words. After clean-up, we reflected on our collaborative work and how the powerful words made us feel.
This week some students in Grade 2, 4 and 5 created turtles as a follow up to the wonderful story Always Remember by Cece Meng with illustrations by Jago. Students in Grade 4 and 5 painted the egg carton pieces. This allowed them to dry overnight for the Grade 2 students to add the details the next day. Inspiration for the project from EmmaOwl.
We combined our creations with a Shark Lady display from my colleague Michelle Donaldson
I have recently updated our Martha Currie in-house collections of titles that support Adrienne Gear’s Reading and Writing Power Books. I have also added a resource list for Powerful Understanding.
These are listed in the Library catalogue under the side navigation Resource Lists >Public Lists or use the direct links below.
Here are some great resources to help raise awareness and undertsanding of Autism. Currently available in the Martha Currie collection. Click the image for additional information.
This simple story, I Help by Caitlin Dale Nicholson touches on a number of core competencies including helping others and caring for the environment and well as the principles of respect for family and learning traditional knowledge from elders. Wonderful illustrations brought up lots of discussion. Kindergarten students created lego berry baskets complete with red rosehips. Our library also has the companion book I Wait.
Todd Parr books are always popular in our Learning Commons. This week we read “Reading Makes you Feel Good”. Students are easily able to identify the bold colours and simple style of the illustrations and love the humour in the images. Some classes created some ‘selfies’, drawn in the style of Todd Parr. We discovered the bright colours and black lines around each colour helped us to create a representation of his style.
I saved discarded and damaged copies of the books to use for these door displays.
For our first week back in January we shared two stories that were great fun to read, super discussion starters and helped students think about the classroom dynamic. We read Interrupting Chicken by David Ezra Stein and My Mouth is a Volcano by Julia Cook. I shared our reading on Twitter and both of these authors responded to our work. It is always fun for students to see that their reading is acknowledged by the authors.
This month we decorated the Learning Commons with a Winter Wonderland theme in preparation for flashlight reading. We shared winter and holiday stories and then students partnered up with a flashlight, comfy cushions and a cozy ‘fire’ to read books together. Lots of fun.
This month all of the classes, K – 4/5 spent one period in the Learning Commons focusing on Jacqueine Woodson’s wonderful book Each Kindness. Beautiful illustrations by E.B. Lewis. Students were engrossed in the story and keen to discuss so many threads the plot introduced including poverty, peer dynamics, cliques and the unintended consequences of inaction. What seemed to have so much impact with the students was that, unlike so many stories they read, there was no happy and satisfying resolution to Each Kindness. They hoped for a sequel or asked me to check that there wasn’t one more page in the book.
Jacqueline Woodson and E.B. Lewis
The message of the book is to never miss a chance to be kind. Why waste it? Although another opportunity might come, that chance for kindness will be ‘more and more forever gone.’ Students commented that the book, ‘made you think, even after you finished the story.’ Yes!
We shared our activity and Jacqueline Woodson liked our tweet!