Friday, August 22, 2008

Book Week - CBCA Awards

Many Australian schools celebrate Book Week in the week following the CBCA's (Children's Book Council of Australia) announcement of the Books of the Year.

At my school this year, we did this through a day of book related activities. Each of the teachers in years K-2 chose one of the nominated books and prepared related activities to last a total of 45 minutes. Students in these grades were divided up into mixed-grade groups. We ran two 45-minute sessions before lunch, and one after lunch, followed by a sharing and reflection time in own class groups. This meant that each teacher taught the same lesson to three different groups, and each student experienced the lessons of three different teachers.

The talk amongst the teachers at lunchtime was all very positive. We enjoyed the opportunity to meet and teach kids from other grades. We had a chance to polish our teaching through the repeated lessons. And we had fun, developing lessons around the chosen text.
The reflection of the students was also mostly positive - focusing on the enjoyment of working with different people for the day. The negatives were mostly about not getting the teacher they wanted or being with the kids they wanted.

I tried out a circle time for the mode of mine, and again it worked really well. I found it actually worked particularly well in this setting because it seemed quite normal for everyone to be "Checking In" by saying their names, and this served a valuable introductory purpose for the group. One of the things that really stood out to me was how quiet and settled everyone was compared to my usual group! I felt almost as though I needed to tell them that it was okay to talk to each other and get to know everyone.

For those interested in the actual lesson, it went as follows...

CHECK IN: Hi, my name is _________ and I am from class ______.
MIXER: Students lucky-dipped a bookmark and found someone with a matching bookmark. They sat together while they coloured-in their bookmarks. This was also how I formed the pairs for working together later as well.
ACTIVITY: I read the story "Parsley Rabbit's Book about Books" by Frances Watts. (As the title suggests, this is a book about books!) We then discussed favourite books, and students filled out a worksheet about their favourite books. Their partner helped with spelling etc. If they finished early, they could choose books from the displays to read with a partner.
DEBRIEF: Students told their favourite book.
ENERGISER: We danced to an old song about a rabbit. (Sorry, but I don't remember the title. I recorded it back in the days of cassettes!).
CHECK OUT: Hi, my name is ________ and I like to read books that ________.

We have a Maths day coming up in a few weeks, and I think I will use circle time again - this time to teach concepts in Chance and Data. I'm really looking forward to it.

1 comment:

  1. I think that your students must have greatly enjoyed your activites. I like the way your are incorporating things acroos learning areas as well.We also had a lot of fun, especially on the Thursday when our boys made paper planes. We then had the launching. Year 7 through to year 12 students lined up to see who could make the "best" flying planes. It was chaos but enjoyed by all.


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