Blog Archives

Literacy-O-Lanterns

Pumpkin Pic 2014 group

Each year our school displays several “Literacy-O-Lanterns” in the Media Center for students to enjoy. Armed with only a Sharpie and some acrylic paint, I decorate the pumpkins with characters or cover art from popular children’s books. This year’s crop features some new titles and old favorites. Our ultimate goal is to foster a genuine love of reading, and to get kids talking about their favorite books.

How many of the characters & books represented on the pumpkins can YOU guess?

Hints:

  1. One of the pumpkins above is connected to the 2014 Global Read Aloud created by Pernille Ripp. Check out the hashtag on Twitter #GRA14 and be sure to follow @PernilleRipp for more global literacy opportunities for students.
  2. One of the pumpkins features a boy named Wendell (who also happens to be the world’s worst wizard). The title is also part of the #WorldBookTalk project. The book’s cover is a trigger image powered by Augmented Reality. Huge shout-out to John Spencer for co-authoring this enchanting read! Be sure to follow @EdRethink on Twitter to catch all of John’s blog posts too.
  3. One of the pumpkins pictured above is part of a series that my daughters LOVED. With more than 100 titles, the series kept them reading, and reading, and reading…it was awesome!
  4. One of the books below was written by my friend, Todd Nesloney. The message of the book is that we all have something important to offer the world. You can read more about the book, Spruce and Lucy, in this blog post.

Pumpkin pic 2013Pumpkins 2012PumpkinsPumpkins Mosiac 2014

Advertisements

The Great Character Carving Challenge! (Powered by AR)

Ivy and Bean Pic

Looking for a way to integrate cooperative learning, research, tech integration and FUN into a super cool “autumnal lesson of awesomeness?!?”  Click the link below to take the challenge!

 Great Character Carving Challenge

Several years ago I combined my passion for art and reading to create some “Literacy-o-Lanterns” that were displayed in our Media Center.  The tradition continued each year until I had amassed quite a few pumpkin pics.  Through collaboration with our school’s magnificent Media Specialist, talented Technology Para-professional and book recommendations from my own children the project evolved into this year’s challenge.

Franny K Stein Pic

The challenge is simple…students are to work cooperatively in teams to complete a chart representing various authors and storybook characters.  The characters range from classics to newer student favorites!  This activity is ideal for a classroom that has access to at least one digital device for research (iPad, BYOD, or desktop computer).  However, technology is not required to participate.  This year we’re taking the fun to a whole new level using Augmented Reality (AR).

You might be wondering, “What’s the deal with this Augmented Reality stuff I keep hearing about?!”  FANTASTIC Question!!  The Great Character Carving Challenge is powered by AR.  This means that if you follow three easy steps your students will be able to access some additional book clues and YOU will be able to see this lesson’s learning targets.  The technology has been meaningfully integrated into this activity to engage students and to support their learning.  Besides that….AR is just plain cool!  For me, the technology represents possibilities, creativity and new learning (all really good things if you’re a principal).

         You’re just 3 Quick Steps away from using AR:

1.) Download the app called Aurasma on a mobile device.

2.) Using your mobile device, go to http://auras.ma/s/cqE9t

3.) Open the Aurasma app and aim viewfinder at the pictures of the pumpkins on the PDF (see link above)!

**If you need ANY support in accessing AR please don’t hesitate to contact me via Twitter @GustafsonBrad.

Six Pumpkins Pic

Some of the “Clues & Book Facts” spaces on the chart have been left intentionally blank…they’re open-ended for a reason.  Use the blank spaces to customize this activity to skills your students are working on (author’s purpose, genre studies, digital citizenship and more).  Challenge students to dig into their research and cite multiple sources as time allows!  I’ll update this post closer to Halloween with some possible answers for the chart that’s on the PDF.  Here’s the link to the challenge once again…HAVE FUN!

Great Character Carving Challenge

ANSWER KEY

The Principal of Change

Stories of learning and leading

In Kids' Shoes

Inspiring the Next Generation of Innovators

Reading By Example

Thoughts on Literacy Education and School Leadership

Adjusting Course

Responding to the Needs of the 21st Century Student

On The Leaders Edge

A Reflection of Life, Learning and Leadership

Digital Eyes

Looking at Education Through the Lens of 21st Century Skills

Shelley Burgess

Reflections of an educational learner and leader

The Principal's Principles

A Middle School Principal, striving to make the world a better place, one day at a time.

Thrasymakos

True, he said; how could they see anything but the shadows if they were never allowed to move their heads?

Engaged and Relevant

Just another WordPress.com site

Pernille Ripp

Teacher. Author. Creator. Speaker. Mom.

The Thesis Whisperer

Just like the horse whisperer - but with more pages