It has been an exciting first full week of school, especially due to some new things I've/we've been doing/trying.
1. We are now doing a video newsletter for our grade level! Not only was it fun, but it saves SO much time! We plan to still send a paper one home for those without internet. My teammate and I wrote a grant for two video cameras last year, so this is one way we will be using them. We would like students to participate in the newsletter by showing their families their learning, instead of sending home a written newsletter. If you'd like to check out our first attempt, go to this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UM2E-kaZtaQ&feature=youtu.be
2. I have already had the students decorate and begin using their reading and writing notebooks. In the past, we've waited, but I am not sure why we did. Many of them have completed more than 1 book (some 2, 3 or 4) towards their 40 book challenge! I think they are realizing that it is fun and doable.
3. We've been reading, reading and reading. For the first time, I showed book trailers in class. Basically, they are like movie trailers but for books! In the past, I have shown Book Talk videos from Scholastic, but now I am adding book trailers. The kids enjoyed the videos. Here are the links to two great book trailers: Drama and The One and Only Ivan
4. After showing the book trailers for Drama by Raina Telgemeir and The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate, I decided (after inspiration from @mrschureads) to have a book raffle for the kids to enter. The winner of each book raffle will be the first person that gets to borrow these books. It is interesting how presenting new books this way is really getting them excited! Plus it solves the problem of kids saying they want to check out a book that I just recommended and me getting in trouble by double-booking ;-)
Off to a great start!