Monday, September 30, 2013

One Book to Connect the World

The Global Read Aloud 2013

What is the Global Read Aloud?The purpose of the Global Read Aloud is to take one book and use it to connect readers around the world via Skype, blogs, email or any other way teachers choose. There are 4 books chosen this year for various grade levels. Teachers can choose to read books outside of their grade level.  Students in Topsfield will be using edmodo,  skype, kidblog, as well as teacher emails to connect.

Kindergarten and Grade 1: Eric Carle books
Grades 1-3 Marty McGuire by Kate Messner
Grades 4 and up Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper

Who is involved?
The Global Read Aloud began in 2010. It was founded by Pernille Ripp, a teacher from Wisconsin. It was her desire to foster world-wide connections using a common read aloud as a springboard to build relationships. Click on her name to see maps of participants from around the world.

As a school system we have connected with Highland School in Danvers.  Grade Levels have set up edmodo groups and students will be sharing their reactions to the books. 

Many classes have made individual connections as well.  Mrs. Truhart is connecting with Mrs. Truhart in Connecticut.  Our second grade has a connection with Seattle, Washington.  We have a third grade connection to India and Alabama.  Grades 4 and 5 have a connection to Brandon, Manitoba, Canada. Grades 5 & 6 have a connection in Indiana.  We are hoping to expand this list.

This year the Global Read Aloud for upper grades is Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper.  I read this book this summer and just LOVED it.  
Here is the summary of Out of My Mind from Goodreads.comEleven-year-old Melody has a photographic memory. Her head is like a video camera that is always recording. Always. And there's no delete button. She's the smartest kid in her whole school—but no one knows it. Most people—her teachers and doctors included—don't think she's capable of learning, and up until recently her school days consisted of listening to the same preschool-level alphabet lessons again and again and again. If only she could speak up, if only she could tell people what she thinks and knows . . . but she can't, because Melody can't talk. She can't walk. She can't write.
Being stuck inside her head is making Melody go out of her mind—that is, until she discovers something that will allow her to speak for the first time ever. At last Melody has a voice . . . but not everyone around her is ready to hear it.
From multiple Coretta Scott King Award winner Sharon M. Draper comes a story full of heartache and hope. Get ready to meet a girl whose voice you'll never, ever forget.


Tuesday, September 24, 2013

"Tweet Tweet"

A Little Birdie says "Tweet Tweet"
Miss Strobl's Science Classes have been tweeting!

HI everyone!
We are happy to announce that the 6th Grade science team has a Twitter Account!!!!! We will be using the account to keep you up to date on what we are learning in science class. You can follow us @Grade_6_Science. In order to follow us you would need a Twitter account. We can’t wait to start tweeting!
Thank you,
               The 6th Grade Science Team


Sunday, September 22, 2013

iLove My New iPad


Dear Parents, TEF, TESPTO, and School Committee,

     The teachers of Topsfield thank you for all your efforts in improving technology for our students.  New iPads for classroom teachers were set up and distributed to many happy teachers thanks to your fundraising and support.  The boys and girls were very excited to know that their classroom was getting an iPad to use in their room.  We look forward to using these new iPads with our students for many exciting learning opportunities this year. 
                          The Teachers of Steward and Proctor Schools



Saturday, September 21, 2013

Meet Kevin Henkes

Kevin Henkes Live!
Kevin Henkes was live in the Steward School Library! 
Steward School Second Graders were lucky enough to participate in a Live Webcast this week with Kevin Henkes filmed at the Bank Street College Of Education New York and sponsored by Greenwillow Books.

Kevin Henkes is the creator of nearly 50 books for children. He has written both picture books and novels; his picture books include Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse; Chrysanthemum; and Kitten’s First Full Moon, a winner of the Caldecott Medal. Among his novels are the Newbery Honor Book Olive’s Ocean and the upcoming middle grade novel The Year of Billy Miller.
Mrs. McCarthy's Class
"We learned how to say his last name correctly.  Kevin has two children.  His new book is called A Year With Billy Miller- and he read part of it to us.  We found out he wrote forty-seven children's books.  He uses a typewriter instead of a computer.  He doesn't have a cell phone.  He's old fashioned.  We didn't know he wrote stories about people we thought it was only mice.  He's 52 years old.  We have a lot of his books in our school."
Mrs. Madden's Class

"Our second graders had a wonderful opportunity this week to meet the famous author, Kevin Henkes through a live podcast. He has written 55 children's books, and our classroom favorite is Chrysanthemum. We learned that Mr. Henkes was an artist at a very young age, has always loved to read books and published his first when he was only 19 years old. I wonder how many students in my class will one day be famous artists and authors?"


Friday, September 20, 2013

Behind the Scenes

Teachers have been preparing for Parent Seminars all week.
This is what happens when no one is looking.
Teachers clean classrooms.
Students clean classrooms.
Work is completed and hung everywhere.
New Bulletin Boards are displayed.
Volunteer sheets are created.
Packets of classroom routines and schedules are prepared.
Technology is checked and rechecked.
Powerpoints and slide shows are edited.
Blogs and Websites are updated.
Students write letters to visitors.
Desks are organized.
Teachers clean classrooms.
Part of my job is to help teachers get ready for this big night.
 Mrs. Murphy is showing her class their new class blog~ Team Murphy.

Teachers have taken to blogging for the first time and it has been very exciting.
We created a permission slip for parents to allow students' photos on blogs.
Teachers had on display a QR code for their new blogs for parents to scan or to take home and save.
Take a look at these new classroom blogs.  They would love it if you left them a comment.
Grade K
Grade 2
Grade 3
Grade 4
Grade 5

Sunday, September 15, 2013

It's Time To Be More Awesome!

This week I watched students and teachers come back to new routines and begin a new school year full of excitement and dreams.
One of my favorite keepsakes from my years of teaching are the numerous cards and notes from both parents and students.  I have a special folder full.  From time to time I pull them out and take a walk down memory lane.
I thank all the awesome teachers and awesome students that have been a part of my life.  This is for you.
"Kid President believes we're all teachers and we're all students. What are you teaching the world? Who are you learning from? Share this with a special teacher in your life!"


Wednesday, September 4, 2013

First Day!

First Day pictures are fun to take and more fun to look at as the little ones grow.
I saw many families taking that First Day picture outside this morning on my way for My First Day of School.  (I have had a few First Days of School)
 Welcome Back.
Students at Steward School had a GREAT First Day!

Principals greeting students in the morning.

Look at my new sneakers.

This looks like Make Way For Ducklings.

Proctor School Students had a MARVELOUS Day!

 Principal saying goodbye in the afternoon.

Have a WONDERFUL Year Topsfield Students!


Monday, September 2, 2013

Welcome Back!

I have always loved the excitement of Back To School~
new supplies, new clothes, new shoes, new teachers, new friends
This summer I worked with a group of teachers learning more about teaching the genres of reading.  We were challenged with the task of creating a title for our summer.
Here are the books in my "Summer 2013 Library":
"Sitting on the Dock:  The Adventures of a Summer Reader"
"I Thought this was the Ferry to Edgartown"
"Ice Cream: Too Many Flavors, Not Enough Days"
"Follow Me to the Lake"
"How To Buy a New Car"
"She's Up!  She's Down! The Life of a Boat Spotter."
Your Challenge:
What is the title of your summer?  Leave your thoughts in comments.