Monday, May 27, 2013

Morning Announcements

Here's a peek at how each school day starts for me--with morning announcement duty! Our school has a talented team of 5th graders who work hard both in front of the camera and behind the scenes. Here's one of our news anchors:
 The anchors read a script from a monitor, updated daily by one of our computer programmers:

Something we added this year to announcements is a daily "Did You Know" segment. Teachers and students send in interesting facts about things they're learning in class, and we feature one each day on announcements. One of our first grade teachers, the fabulous Reagan Tunstall, has even made this into a center for her students! Here are examples of some of the facts submitted by her class:

"Did You Know" facts--1st graders read about this in one of their small reading groups. Don't you love the pictures?

We also have national and local weather reports each day. Here is the script written for one of our weather reporters to read while in front of a green screen:
Hmmm, an oversight on my part--we normally don't use the term "work week" during announcements, but I love the official-sounding weather vocabulary in the rest of this script! The students go to one of our local TV station's websites for weather forecast information and pictures.

And here's someone with a super important job--switchboard controller! He is in charge of the transitions between our two cameras and the computer, and makes volume adjustments when necessary.

Our teachers turn on announcements as soon as the bell rings. Before doing the pledge and patriotic song, we start each day with upbeat music and a funny picture like this:

Here's a short video sample from last week. Please note that this is not the entire morning announcements; I edited out a few things like the pledge, patriotic song, and moment of silence. I did include a little behind-the-scenes practice to give you an idea of our format: 

I really like the way we do our school announcements--in fact, it's a duty that I don't mind doing at all! By this time of year, the kids know exactly what to do and they are well-behaved, too.
How about your morning announcements? Do you have a "Did You Know" segment, too (or something similar)? Please leave a comment--I'd love to hear about the cool things going on at other schools during morning announcements! 

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Biography Bonanza!

One of my favorite collaboration projects with my 3rd grade classes this year was a biography unit, done in conjunction with the library's Biography Bowling lesson. The teachers had each student select a famous person to research and then work with different technology tools to create what I'm calling a:
Mary Kay, Milton, Albert, Paul and Elizabeth made an appearance at our Biography Bonanza!

The students spent a lot of time reading about and researching famous people. For their final projects, the kids used Keynote (on Macs) and a really fun app called Funny Movie Maker. Have you used this app? It allows you to use any picture and insert a recording of your own mouth. For example, a picture of Albert Einstein could have your lips saying one of his famous quotes, such as, "Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile." Talk about bringing history to life for students! They proudly shared what they learned in a wax museum-style evening presentation at the library:

All in all, it was a great project, and one we're planning on doing again next year. And since my library has a "Wild about Reading" theme this year, I'll sign off with this adorable picture:


Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Teacher Appreciation Sale

It's that time of year when teachers are recognized for doing what we do best--teaching! Join fellow educators in the annual TpT Teacher Appreciation Sale and save on lots of great resources:

My entire store is on sale, and here are a few of my newest products that might come in handy now that it's the end of the school year:
Puppy Palooza-themed awards

Peacock-themed awards, blank

Peacock-themed awards

Happy teacher appreciation, and happy shopping!

Sunday, May 5, 2013


1. Library Light--visible from a long distance in my school so students know the status of the library before walking in

2. Mobile Bookshelf--for very young students who don't check out from the regular library shelves

3. Reading Wagon--up to four well-behaved students get to read in this awesome place

That's it for today's post--short, sweet, and random! Please feel free to share favorite things about your school library (even if you're not the librarian) in the comment section below!