Sunday, September 1, 2013
So the first week of school we did the typical get-to-know-you stuff, went over procedures, did a learning style inventory and a True Colors test, and took our summing reading test. The kids all read Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins for summer reading. Until the movies started coming out we read the series as a school - sixth graders read Hunger Games, seventh graders read Catching Fire, and eighth graders read Mockingjay. Now we are phasing it out, so this is the last group to read them in class. With the switch to Common Core this year I really don't have time to read the novel in class, so I did it as summer reading. Week two and three of school are devoted to the fun activities I found to go with the book! Last week we worked in pairs to map Panem. I gave them a blank map of North America, a list of "clues," and an iPad to do some research, and they figured out what they thought Panem looked like. We also tied knots like Finnick (i gave each kid a 14" length of rope and ten knots to try), and we made silver parachutes and competed to see which group's fell the slowest. The mapping Panem activity and the silver parachutes were adapted from Tracee Orman's Mockingjay teaching unit on TPT (here). The kids loved it, especially the parachutes! And next week we are recreating the propos from chapter 8. On Friday I gave them a crash-course in Windows Movie Maker and showed some examples from last year. They are PUMPED and can't wait to get into the computer lab on Tuesday!
I went back to Second & Charles yesterday and got another bag full of books. This group has some serious readers! Two weeks in and we're on page SIX of my library log! They are going through my books like crazy. My morning classes finally got to have our library orientation on Friday and they got to check out some books. Sadly, our librarian had to close the library the second half of the day to attend a funeral, so my afternoon classes were really bummed. They'll get to check out at the start of the period on Tuesday, though. And I did some book talks with them and let them check out from me if they wanted, which placated most of them. :)