Today was a day of meeting several new friends from new places! Mrs. Ghoreyeb's class of 2nd graders connected with Mrs. Crook's class from Gaston, North Carolina. We shared some of the Morse Code messages we had written on the trading cards!
Mrs. Lundt's 2nd graders met some 4th graders from Chattanooga, Tennessee. It was wonderful to meet Mrs. Kapp their library teacher as well. We read The Dot and shared Trading cards with them. We also learned some interesting facts about their school, such as that it is round!
Mrs. Lundt's class came back after lunch to meet with Mrs. Reed's 1st graders. We read The Dot together and are going to create buddy dots to send to them in Newton, Massachussetts.
Our final Skype of the day brought Mrs. Canning's kindergarteners connecting with Jerilynn Schaefer's kindergarteners in Hawaii!!! We shared art work with one another and also talked about our locations. Both groups were amazed at the time difference. It was 2:30pm EST in Connecticut, but only 8:30am in Hawaii. My students loved the fact that we were getting ready to go home, when our buddy class had just arrived at school.
I truly cannot think of a better way to have my students develop an understanding of different areas of the United States and the world. Next week in library, we will begin looking at maps to see where our connections live. A great way to learn and grow!
Connecting 1st graders with a shark scientist was one of the most amazing skypes in which I have participated! Jillian Morris, founder of Sharks4Kids, met with Mrs. Burns' class on Friday, June 6. They were so excited to be talking to a real shark scientist. This spring, the students had been learning about oceans and all of the different living creatures that live there. When I saw Jillian's offer to skype with students, I jumped at the opportunity! What better way to learn?
Jillian is a marine biologist and videographer located in Bimini in the Bahamas and is passionate about shark education. Sharks4kids began because she wanted to help create "the next generation of shark advocates through education, outreach and adventure." This came through clearly throughout our skype!
As soon as we connected, Jillian's passion for sharks came through! She shared all kinds of facts and information with the kids, asking them questions and showing them amazing photographs! You couldn't help but get excited! Students were fascinated by all the different kinds of sharks she showed them and the equipment that she uses. They took to heart her message about protecting sharks and many times explained how these creatures are not looking to eat people. Patience is essential when speaking with 6 and 7 year olds. I think the jumping sharks were a favorite!
At the end of the skype, Jillian asked students to work hard to take care of sharks. She challenged them to create posters to share things that they had learned. We got started during library that day. You can see some of the completed ones in the photo gallery below.
Connecting with a scientist inspired my students to take action! Jillian and the other folks at Sharks4kids have a wealth of knowledge, resources and passion for educators to take advantage of. I hope you take some time and take a look.
When I asked students what they liked most about author Barbara Mariconda's visit, 2 answers came to them immediately. Her journals and the family mysteries. Students and staff at Korn School had the wonderful opportunity to visit with Ms. Mariconda in June. Like many authors, Barbara began by telling them a little about herself and how she began writing. It is always fun to see pictures of an author when they are a child and it is really true that they began writing when they were little! It means a lot to the students when they can see that this published author started out just like them.
Barbara talked about all the things that she uses as an author to get ideas and to do her writing, including her little dog! A big point to students: write EVERY DAY!
A unique part of Barbara is her traveling and her journals. What works of art! One that I walked around with was from a trip to Egypt. The journal was filled with pictures, tickets, writing, colorful sketches, cut-out sections to highlight a particular item and more. Many of us (myself included) were inspired to create a journal of our own about our summer adventures.
Throughout her presentation, Barbara spoke about questions she has asked, family mysteries, and interesting stories that she learned about during her travels. Students were fascinated by these stories and loved seeing how she made them come alive in her books. Barbara shared an old family photo album which provided writing ideas. As she spoke about the Lucy P. Simmons trilogy, students could see how her trip to Ireland led her to include the legend of the Grey Man.
At the end of her presentation, in addition to some questions from students, Barbara also did some writing with them (once a teacher, always a teacher). The focus was on helping to create an image through writing. I love how Barbara explained that when you write, you want everyone to get the same picture in their head - so if you are writing about a pirate, describe the pirate you are seeing. What kind of hat, hair, expression on the face, clothing, etc will your pirate have? Students excitedly offered ideas to include in this shared writing experience. Teachers came away wishing we could have Ms. Mariconda visit for a whole day!
For the rest of the day students were clamoring to see if we had copies of the Lucy P. Simmons books and one of the teachers came down and took the copy Barbara left us for her last read aloud of the year. What a wonderful way to end a year of celebrating reading at Korn School!
If you would like to contact Barbara Mariconda or learn more, visit her website:
Mrs. Lussier is a Library Media Specialist at Brewster and John Lyman Elementary Schools in Durham & Middlefield, CT. I am passionate about getting kids reading (ok, everyone!), wondering, using technology and having FUN!
The Nonfiction Detectives
A Year of Reading
Great Kid Books
Free Technology for Teachers
The Styling Librarian
The Book Whisperer
The Busy Librarian
Barrow Library Media Center
Watch. Connect. Read.
Kid Lit Frenzy
The Daring Librarian
Librarian in Cute Shoes
Read Write Reflect
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