Friday, May 22, 2015

Publish Your Students' Work with Scholastic (totally free!!)

I was so, super excited to see that our books arrived! Scholastic (Student Treasures) gave teachers the opportunity to write a collaborative book with their classes and publish one copy for free. If students chose to purchase a copy for themselves, well awesome! Then Scholastic makes money, but either way, I get a copy for the classroom for FREE! There are no strings attached and it was so much fun to do!

Once I filled out the form online, Scholastic sent me all of the materials that I needed for this to happen. About a week later, the box arrived.

Creating the Book
First, the class had to decide what the topic would be since it was a book they would be writing together with the intention of leaving one copy in the classroom for future students. They decided it should be all about 5th grade at Friends School.

Each student wrote a page either about a favorite thing they did this year or advice for a future fifth grader. Next, they wrote their draft, revised and edited. When they published, they also included an illustration.

After everyone was finished, I collected all of their work, put it in the envelope and attached the shipping label, all of which Scholastic provided.

A few weeks later, the package arrived! Since most of my students ordered their own copy, this will be a really awesome "Fifth Grade Memorabilia" type of thing for them.

Cover Page

Dedication Page

I'm not gonna lie, this page is pretty cool! 

Favorite part of the school year

Monday, May 18, 2015

Reading Activity: Matchbook Folders!

Disclaimer: I found this idea on another blog and wanted to try it with my class and share with you!

I needed a fun, interactive project to incorporate with the reading students are doing in the classroom. With it being 3 weeks before the last day of school, I wanted to get in another project before we finally conclude. I also needed something that sounds fun and exciting because who wants to do work when the sun is shining, birds are singing and the foursquare court is calling your name?! This felt like the perfect choice for the 'fun' aspect, but also because after the initial explanation, the students are able to be on their own with it. This also makes for a great "when you finish early" activity. So basically, it pretty much is awesome all around.

Materials Needed:
File Folders
Construction Paper
Index Cards
Markers, Crayons, Colored Pencils
And of course, a book of choice :)

The objective is to summarize each chapter on an index card which is folded to depict a matchbook. Students label the bottom of the matchbook with the chapter number and draw the main scene from the chapter on the front. Inside, students summarize the chapter. For longer books, such as The Hunger Games, I told my kids that they could do 2-3 chapters at a time.

The cover of the folder can be created with construction paper and then glued onto the front of the file folder. Such a fun project and (even better) so easy to prepare and execute!

While I was walking around watching students work and answering a few questions here and there, I thought this could be adapted to work in so many different ways!

Ways to Adapt this Project:

1. Students could make "Character Folders" and have each matchbook be about a different character.

2. Students could do new vocabulary words and have students make a matchbook for every new word they learn in their reading.

3. Students could turn this into a game and write comprehension questions on the outside of the matchbook and have their friends, who have read the same book, try and answer the questions!

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