Sunday, February 24, 2013

Prepping for #NEAReads

I am so nervous and excited for this coming Friday, March 1st. It is of course Read Across America or Dr. Seuss's birthday. A day to celebrate reading. A day for my students to see all the positive there is related to being literate and bookish.

This is my second year facilitating a day long event for my school. I worked a lot to make sure it would be unique and meaningful. 

Last year, I started by inviting people from the community to come and read. Our school had local firefighters and police officers, SIUE basketball players, St. Louis Symphony Orchestra members, and so on. Basically, I become a networker for my students because I believe 110% that they are worth it. They deserve to see strong role models in their community.

This year, I'll let you know what guests I invited in a post next weekend. It's a pretty sweet list if I do say so myself.

Main point of this post is talking about how I get my students involved in this day. Three weeks ahead of the event, my students start creating decorations to hang up throughout the school. This year, I wanted to incorporate some curriculum aligned decorations. My second graders wrote letters to either The Cat in the Hat or Thing 1 and Thing 2 based off this awesome teacher's templates, This template scaffolded the letter writing process for them by giving short fill in the blank prompts for the body.

Some of my younger students need a bit of a reality check when it comes to understanding who Dr. Seuss is as a person. An overwhelming amount think he is The Cat in the Hat. The first graders are shown a picture of Dr. Seuss from World Book Online. one of my 1st grade classes is ahead of the others because of holidays and now snow days, so they made birthday cards for Dr. Seuss.

The third graders read a short biography on Dr. Seuss and answered comprehension questions. Then, they wrote a letter to Dr. Seuss without using the prompt paper. I am also having the third grade and 4th grade creating banners to hang. All it takes is butcher paper (acts as tracing paper), crayons, blue painters tape, and a Promethean board.

5th grade is working on pollution research papers a la The Lorax. They have just started, but the beginning research has been going pretty well. More on this in a later post.

Here's to a spectacular Read Across America event!

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