Tuesday, January 14, 2014

2013-2014 Iowa Goldfinch Award Unit Kicks-Off in Grades K-2

After teaching the Iowa Goldfinch Award unit last year (2012-2013 school year), for the first time, I have decided the Iowa Goldinch Award unit is my most favorite unit to teach.  I LOVE the Iowa Goldfinch Award and how it encourages students to read more and better books.  More importantly, the Iowa Goldfinch Award unit has allowed me develop positive teacher-student relationships and foster a love for reading.  It also allows me the opportunity “to provide an avenue for positive dialogue between teacher, parent, and children about books and authors.”  The Iowa Goldfinch Award allows students to have a voice in what they love to read, as students are the ones who decide the winner of the award.

A Little Background Information
What exactly is the process of the Iowa Goldfinch Award?  The Iowa Goldfinch Award is sponsored by the Iowa Assocation of School Librarians.  Books are nominated by students to the Iowa Goldfinch Award Committee.  The committee reads and creates a list of books from the nominations.  Students must read at least five titles to be eligible to vote.  It is acceptable for students to read these themselves or have heard them read aloud.  Students may vote for only one title and may not vote for any title they have not read or heard read.  Voting will be conducted on ballots produced by each attendance center.  Each participating school will send the results by web ballot.  The winner is announced at the annual spring Iowa Assocation School Library conference, which is typically held in April.

Starting Off…
Last cycle (Jan 3-10), I gave a “mini-pep assembly” during each class’s scheduled IC Skills class time (grades K-2) to “kick-off” the 2013-2014 Iowa Goldfinch Award unit.  I pulled all the books from this year’s nominee list and placed on a cart to show students.

To help make a visual connection with these books, I showed each book to the class and the students took turns locating the book on the poster on the wall.

Then I read last year’s 2012-2013 Iowa Goldfinch Award Winner “The Boss Baby” by Marla Frazee to refresh their memories of the great fun we had last year.  Despite reading this book last year, it amazed me how much the students LOVED the book just as much this time around as when I read it last year.  This illustrates why readers can read the same books over and over again for enjoyment.

1st Book in the Line-Up
This cycle (January 13-21),  I am reading “Chicks Run Wild” by Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen.  After reading the book, students are going to the computer lab to create their own chicks "running wild" using Google Draw.

“Behind the Scenes” Work
Our K-4 students will be receiving Google email accounts soon, but, for now, I set up a Google Draw page for each student in grades K-2 through my own email address.

Then, I “share” the page by going to share at the top right hand corner.

Next I click on “change”.  The next screen allows me to click on “anyone with the link.” Towards the bottom, I allow the user to “edit” by clicking on “can edit”.  Finally, I click “save.”

The next screen that appears allows me to copy the link.

I copy the link and paste into a class Google Doc.  Each student is assigned a number, so the student knows to click on his/her number to access his own Google Draw page.

Let the Creating Begin...
Students access their Google Draw page, by going to my website “knOWLedge is a Hoot” on the Harding Student Portal.

Students click on Iowa Goldfinch Award link on the left hand side of the screen.  Students scroll to the bottom to access the Chicks Run Wild Google Draw Project SYMBALOO .

Students click on their class name, and find the Google Doc that allows them to click on their student number. 

Students are now ready to begin drawing their own chick “running wild!”

Check out what my chick looks like!

Here are pictures of my little friends hard at work creating their own chicks “run wild.”