Friday, June 3, 2016

Showing Students that Their Opinions Matter

I spent last week visiting three schools in Upstate New York, and I was blown away with all the terrific nonfiction reading and writing projects they’ve been doing this year. Their classroom teachers and teacher-librarians Camelia Moses and Ann Morosini are full of great ideas.

To get ready for my visit, first graders at Carthage Elementary made drawings to help me come up with ideas for future books. Looks like I’m all set for a few years. J
 
Here’s a close-up view of one:
 
Fourth graders at Black River Elementary made this fabulous cocoa tree with all the animals that depend on it and interact with it. Wow!
 
What was my favorite project of all? Third graders at Carthage Elementary and third and fourth graders at West Carthage Elementary read my books and wrote book reviews. Here are a few examples from West Carthage students:





 
It was great to see these posted around the library, but what’s even better is that, after a little proofreading by teacher-librarian Camelia Moses, the students typed the reviews into the school district’s library catalog, which is hosted by Follett.

The catalog is designed to serve the district’s three elementary schools, a middle school, and a high school, but it can be accessed by anyone anywhere in the whole world—including the children's parents and grandparents and family friends.
 
And if you're interested in taking a closer look so you can try something similar with your students, you can access it too. Here’s the link: http://destiny.carthagecsd.org/

Just click on one of the school links, such as Carthage Elementary School Library Media Center. If you type “Melissa Stewart” in the FIND box, you will get a list of my books owned by that school. When you click on a book’s title, you can see the student reviews.

What a great way to make kids feel like their ideas and opinions matter!

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