I was lucky to collaborate with a friend in theater and a friend who uses ASL fluently to plan a book sharing experience for kinder and second-grade students recently. I wanted to share the clever little book Pizza Pig because, well, do you have to have a reason to read about either pizza or pigs? Not in my book.
Before reading we brainstormed our favorite places to go out to dinner, and what we liked best to have there. We also covered some basic ASL signs we could repeat throughout the book; pizza, pig, eat, hungry, and some various animals. Please and thank you are always good signs to use when eating out, too. As we read the book, we stopped to discuss what a bear might really want to eat other than pizza, and if he could order pizza topped with those things at this restaurant.
After we read we had two closing activities students really enjoyed; creating a pizza that showed either their favorite toppings or the toppings they thought would be best for a favorite animal. My son decided to create a pizza slice for a blue whale (the animal he recently read about in the library). He topped it with squid and plankton. Students also paired up to act out taking a pizza order over the phone. Partner A had to guess what kind of animal might be calling to order the pizza based on Partner B’s list of toppings! Great speaking, listening and writing all from one little book.
This week we are making mini-books on any topic students feel moved to write about. Sometimes writing is a lot more fun when you take it down a notch. Don’t let the tiny size fool you though, this assignment could pack a big punch. Mini-books on the life cycle of a fruit fly? Busy buzzing and learning. A guide on calculating perimeter will measure up even at a small size. Quick summary on the importance of washing your hands in flu season? The story will stick with you instead of the germs. I can’t wait to see what little libraries happen for classrooms soon. Maybe we will even see some sequels!
You know what is so 1987 that is still happening in classrooms all. the. time? Reading logs that are LAME. There are so many choices, from google forms, docs, keep and slides to flipgrid to…paper with CHOICE. Our reading programs in the library sometimes must include a log to prove required minutes (the company sets the terms to earn free tickets). But why should we limit choice on logs when we can encourage reading reflection that engages and does the job of documenting growth? I decided to do my own reading log for what I am reading this summer (ok, I left off at least one title that students probably just don’t need info on). It was interesting and I learned that a student would have to reflect on the themes and major points in the book to write/draw a thorough sketchnote or visual journal. I decided to try to “connect” some of the books by putting words or phrases in common between the two books. If course, I could expand that to make more of a venn diagram with images approach, but this is my first rodeo with this type of documentation. Imagine the amazing pieces you would have from students by the end of the year! What an amazing reading portfolio instead of snooozee……reading logs. I don’t even draw well and I still gave it a stab- only your perfectionists would decline- so maybe they could COLLAGE. So exciting. I may try that next!