Friday, May 10, 2013

Manga Mania!

This week, we hosted our second annual Manga Mania event. In collaboration with East Wake HS Anime Club, some of our former WMS students, we had rotations through stations:
  1. Writing Hriagana and Katakana style
  2. Drawing Manga characters
  3. Roll-a-story with Manga elements
  4. Bento box webquest and Vocaloid introduction
We were having so much fun together, that we ran out of time for the webquest! Here are some shots of our activities from the event.

The eyes start with a target shape

Roll-a-story. Goku and Kenshin at night during an eco-disaster!

EWHS president, Gina and Stephen help out with elements of Manga drawing

How do you write "Sensei Dextre" in Hiragana?

Which one is really his?

We used print materials to guide our drawing
Refreshments always spark the creative process, right?

Rolling the die to pick our story elements

The Story:
Goku uses instant transmission to get out of the tsunami. Kenshin's adreneline surges, so he swims out. When he got out of danger, he realized he was close to death.

Goku is confused and teleports right to the beach where the tsunami is coming! Kenshin is mad because Goku teleported with him accidentally. Kenshin and Goku are fighting when they realize they are wasting their time before the wave hits them.

Goku teleports directly to heaven. Kenshin didn't go with him, instead, runs away to a safe spot... or is that a "save" spot? Kenshin threw his controller to Goku to end the video game they were playing.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

March and April Activities

We used the famous pair trick for creating our groups.
The questions were the same for all groups. They used bells to ring

in their answers first. They learned that Claire Daines' birthday can't
be found in an atlas. hee-hee!

I think it's found in an almanac. Hurry!

Our new CIA 6 group has been spending lots of time learning , in-depth, all the resources available to them for finding information. We are exploring multiple formats together, learning to analyze the information, taking notes on a topic of their choice and figuring out the best way to share that information with an audience.

I'm proud of their interest so far. We have some great topic choices, including: genetic engineering, using volume formulas for real-world applications, panic disorders and Shakespeare's Globe Theatre, just to name a few.

Today, we went 'old school' and used print resources to find information. The students learned the difference between an atlas and almanac. The groups had the same questions, then had to make split-second decisions to determine where their team might find the answers. The first team to find the answer rang a bell to answer first and won a little prize for their efforts.

To see our whole lesson structure for the four week class, go to the wiki here:
Ring the bell, you found it!

Our 6th Grade Social Studies students just finished a week-long activity in learning stations. We were so busy, that I forgot to take pictures!
They were learning about Ancient India in five stations:
  1. Land of the Indus Valley multimedia webquest from BBC Kids. Students jigsawed their parts by taking notes on their topic and sharing in the classroom.
  2. Analyze the differences between Hinduism and Buddhism using print resources. They created a t-chart comparing differences.
  3. Monsoon trade winds. Students read an expository passage, answered questions, then viewed a captioned slideshow from National Geographic Education.
  4. Ancient civilizations: students used ipads to get bullet-point information about their ancient culture then translated those notes into a Popplet mindmap app.
  5. Mythology: Students searched print resources to find an ancient Indian myth. They found the title, characters, setting and plot, wrote them in paragraphs then drew a captioned icon to represent the myth._______________________________________________________________________________
I wish I could rotate these images. Alas..
Our last CIA group finished up a few weeks ago with their Best Part of Me project.
Based on Wendy Ewald's Literacy Through Photography framework, the class explored photography skills, writing and presentation of information they know the most about: themselves!
I was so proud of their work that it's posted at the front entrance. I see lots of people stopping to check it out.
Good job, guys!!

We're just recovering from Book Fair in March!
 It was great fun for our students and student crew members. Although it wasn't as financially successful as years past, it was certainly fun and exciting for boosting morale in our school's resource center! We added a good supply of hot titles for our students. They are already gobbled up!

Here are some images from our fair:

We are so grateful to Hicks Landscaping in Wendell for the beautiful greenery! They did an amazing job, just to help out.

Scene from The Hobbit: or there and back again

Lines are long at Family Night


Friday, March 8, 2013

Work, Work, Work.

 What a busy day!

Our CIA5 Group is one week into the Literacy Through Photography (by Wendy Ewald) experiment. They learned how to analyze a photo. We talked about photo elicitation, or how we emotionally respond to photos. Students had an assignment to represent a typical school night in their homes. At home, they took photographs on cell phones, digital cameras and even one Polaroid!

After printing off the image, students were asked four questions about their image and responded in journals. They swapped images with another person, then had to guess their story, using the same questions. They met at the end to learn the real story behind the images. We had a few technical difficulties and a handful of those who chose not to participate, but the work produced was compelling and beautiful. Kudos!! Next week, we work on self-portraits and writing about our strengths.

WMS had an amazing opportunity today to participate in a live webcast with NASA. They celebrated twelve years of science at the International Space Station by going live with a moderator speaking to some of the support team at the Payload Operations & Integration Center (POIC). The POIC is kind of like "mission control" for the science experiments that happen at the ISS. Participating schools  watched a video tour of the facility. Through e-mail, some asked about some of the science experiments from the ISS, and had questions about their careers. This is the first time NASA was "live" there, so we were fortunate for this opportunity!

Our shire is coming along nicely! Mr. Corbitt's 8th grade elective class came in to help build the setting. It's getting so close to completion. Thanks, guys!

Believe it or not, I help out too.

Sure, he's that tall!

Making stones for the path. (We know you didn't cut this one ;)

Artists at work
At the end of the day, I met with some of our Battle of the Books team. We nailed down procedures, quizzed ourselved dizzy, then had a serious discussion about some strategies for tomorrow's competition. We can do this!! 

Don't we look serious? You can't even tell we're eating chocolate!

Book Fair is Coming!

We are building excitement with WMS staff and students. Our Make Reading a Hobbit Scholastic Book Fair is coming next week!

Our Student Crew has been working to promote and decorate the fair. Mr. Corbitt is lending his theatre expertise to help us stage a "shire" setting and work with his select students to participate in our Reader's Theatre on March 19th.

Here are some snapshots from yesterday's set building crew:

Crew member is painting our hobbit hole entrance. Thanks to Mr. Gallagher for lending art supplies!

cutting leaves for our tree

making parchment with leftover coffee

Our artist perfects his work

Mr. Corbitt transforms the entrance to a forest!

The PTA will have a general meeting before the event, 6:00-6:30PM. Parents are encouraged to join in.

Our family event will begin at 6:30PM with introductions and performances from The Hobbit, or There and Back Again by J.R.R. Tolkien.

Our Family Literacy Event will entertainment, refreshments and door prizes. We're hoping the whole community comes to participate in the event!

See information, including class schedules, volunteer options and some great book selections to be offered at this year's book fair here.

Stay tuned to watch progress as we complete the shire before opening day next Friday.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Our Learning Commons Today

     What a great day for learning! Our information center was buzzing with activity today. Ms. Shaw's science classes visited our lab to participate in her "Flipped Classroom". She records lessons that she executes in her classroom, then posts them on a private YouTube link for her students. She links it into her Blackboard Page, then allows students to follow along at their own pace. They complete guided notes to help them focus.


Ms. Craig's Social Studies group came in for their second day of seeking information about Middle Ages themes. Each station covered Critical thinking questions about a specific topic. Groups had a team leader who divided up the questions. Students had to use information skills to seek the information in non-fiction texts, then write their answers in complete sentences. In the classroom, they will jigsaw all the items together to learn how they fit together within their topics. We will see all 6th grade classes by Friday.
Learning about craftsmen and their roles in building Gothic churches.

This team is working on all the different aspects of Medieval Society.
There is a ton of information to search through!

Changes in Government covers William the Conqueror, Norman Conquest,
Magna Carta and Hundred Years' War.

The arts and culture team reads about art periods, the poet Dante
and how art was used during the Middle Ages.

And, Finally...

Our Battle of the Books Team is in the last days of preparing for our competition on March 9th.
We are ready!! Today, our team used MyBOBTeam to drill themselves on the books they have read. We're starting a 'sudden death' title and author quiz now, so I need to go. I'll post more adventures at WMS Media Center later. 

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

February Fun

Our information center is busy, busy, busy! That's just the way I like it. We are hosting a wide variety of activities this month: book promotions, class visits for circulation, "CIA" or curriculum enrichment, Battle of the Books workouts, computer lab activities and research with various groups.

Here is a photo highlight of some of February's Fun:

Our small but powerful BOB team works hard to categorize book themes.

Our Black History Month display is getting some attention. I need to keep this stocked often.

Thanks, Pinterest, for this idea! Blind Date with a Book is going well! The kids love it!
Our fines and fees go to a good cause - fresh books for our collection!

My CIA student turned in a project early! They have a choice of three options:
from their novel reading, they create a magazine review with alternate book cover (above), Voicethread book trailer, or script and record a video TV interview. Our alternate group is creating picture books from non-fiction themes.
Adopt-a-book is a repeat from last year.
Students can win a prize for giving your time and attention to an unloved book.
These have not been checked out in two years.

I'm gearing up for our Hobbit-themed book fair, coming up in March! Our Student Crew already had their first meeting and is working to promote the fun. We have a lofty goal of $5800.00 in sales this year. Can we do it?

Monday, February 18, 2013

Civil War research

Our 8th grade just finished studying the U.S. Civil War. They used our resource center for two weeks for primary and secondary, print and online resources to create a well-rounded learning experience.

Using some art supplies to create Ft. Sumter

Checking out some primary resources on an ancestry website

Union soldiers invade by boat

Using National Archives online to find primary resources

LearnNC has some great resource links too!