Monday, March 7, 2016

Literacy Day

So in celebration of Read Across America Day, which is March 2nd in honor of Dr. Suess' birthday, the library had two events.

One was a reading lock-in for one of the 8th grade teams. Unfortunately, I had to miss that day after my little monkey got hit with a nasty ear infection. Earlier in the week, I was reminding my 5th graders that the library would be closed day due to the lock-in, and at first they were like "Why would you want to stay in the library and read all day? That sounds boring, etc." And I replied with "Well actually, most of them really enjoy it. They come in wearing comfy clothes, some of them even wear pajamas, and they bring in pillows and blankets, and we let them have snacks.  .  .they hang out all day, just lounging around and reading whatever they want.  .  ."

Well after they heard it that way, they quickly changed their minds and started protesting "How come only the 8th graders get to do that? We should be able to do that too" etc.

Haha. Fickle fifth graders.

Well, it's not like they never get to do anything fun. Friday they got to enjoy a full day of literacy-related activities. They started the day with a read aloud of the creepy book series Skeleton Creek, and then moved into a rotation of different rooms with different activities. I would have liked to see what the other rooms offered, but we were slammed all day.

In the library, we had four different Makerspace stations set up. One was a community art project, which was easy all around: gathering supplies, set up, and explanation. Each student simply took the eraser end of an unsharpened pencil, dipped it on the inkpad color of their choice, and stamped it onto a blank canvas. The finished product is a decoration for the library.

The second option, which was also easy in terms of affordability and set-up was the cardboard challenge. Basically, we gathered as many boxes, toilet and paper towel tubes and other assorted items, and told the kids to make something out of them. Some chose to make games, a la Caine's Aracade, and some chose to make armour/robot suits. We had a couple of well-designed marble runs and some other fun things, one being a life size Jack in the Box, featuring a life size 5th grader to jump out after the crank was turned.
a basketball arcade game in the making

The station that required the most set up time, and expertise was the sewing station. The kids who used this station brought in t-shirts from home, and then upcycled them into reusable shopping totes. It's pretty easy to do: just use some good scissors to cut off the sleeves and the collar, turn the shirt inside out, close the bottom of the shirt (by hand sewing or with a machine) and then turn it right side out again and it's ready to use. You can make them fancy by using fabric paint or adding embellishments.

The last station, which is my favorite, was the Art Journal one. I've blogged about my recent foray into this hobby, and it's been alot of fun, and a helpful stress relief as well. I explained that the books we're using are discarded from the library, showed some examples, and we provided tons of materials: stickers, rubber stamps, wallpaper samples, ribbons, yarn, buttons, magazine clippimgs.  .  .the list goes on. I also provided some ideas and journaling prompts on the whiteboard in case anyone got stuck.

We took a ton more photos and videos, and the kids really enjoyed the day.

And watching all the kids work on their art journals was really inspiring to me, as you'll see in my next post.

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