Tuesday, December 6, 2011

This past Friday students in Mrs. Rudberg's 3rd grade class at Pattengill Elementary spent the afternoon making holiday decorations for the Ann Arbor Ozone House. The Ozone Houseprovides shelter to runaways, homeless youth, and at-risk families in our community. The students and University of Michigan volunteers made paper chains, snowflakes, ice crystals, and winter animals. The Ozone House was so grateful for the decorations and the students had a great time making them!

Fall with Fourth Graders

This year's BookMARK has been great so far with Ms. Miller's 4th grade class from Eberwhite Elementary School. Our BookMARK sessions so far this year have consisted of assisting Ms. Miller with classroom instruction and review of materials. One session, the students were learning about being archeologists where Ms. Miller dumped out the trash can on the floor and the students were to decipher the "excavation site" and theorize what the civilization used each item for. The kids were totally grossed out, but it was a fun and inventive way to display the concept! As BookMARK volunteers, we helped each student see past a Coca-cola can to something that a distance culture may have used as a flower vase or maybe a pop-up chair. We have been having a great time getting to know Ms. Miller and her class and look forward to next semester!!

The Little Historians

Hi there! I work in Mrs. Brieloff's 4th grade classroom. Each Friday morning, a troop of volunteers and I work with the students as they learn about social studies. One recent Friday morning, the kids played one of three roles: either political scientist, writer, or, my favorite, historian.
The Little Historians told a story about their pasts but some of them also put a futuristic spin on the assignment -- some wrote about where they live now, but others wrote about where they dream of living. As part of the assignment, the kids drew a map and wrote some reasons why they wanted to end up where they did.
Many, having spent their lives in Michigan, wanted to keep living here. They have friends and families here, and a few even wanted to go to U of M! Still others aimed for California and New York. One earnest young historian said he wanted to live amongst the skyscrapers.
Until next time,
Mary D.

Letter Writing Experiences!

In my second grade class at Erickson Elementary School, letter writing is a big event. Because many of the students are still struggling with spelling and sentence structure at this young age, helping them write letters that make sense can be a bit of a project. Because BookMark Coordinators are not always a big part of the letter writing process, being such an important part of the letter writing process has been a lot of fun. I was excited when Mrs. Graessley asked for our help with their letter writing, and I hope the kids letters have benefited from it too.

State Projects at Northside Elementary

This week, the 3rd grade students at Northside Elementary in Mrs. Sheets class are learning about the State Symbols. Students split into pairs to research the different symbols of Michigan, including the State Bird, The State Flower, The State Tree and so on. Each group made a colorful poster that explained the information about when each symbol was officially announced and any interesting facts they found. To conclude, each of the groups recorded their presentation of their symbols, and hung their posters in the hallway for all of Northside to see. Great Job, 3rd graders!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

President’s Day with Ms. Gorbaty’s Class at Holmes

In celebration of the recent holiday, Lauren and I coordinated a fun project with Ms. Gorbaty’s class of third and fourth graders at Holmes Elementary. We read to them from the book So You Want to be President? by Judith St. George, which gives some funny and quirky stories about some of our past presidents, along with some of their accomplishments, showing kids how they are just normal people like us. We then had them complete the sentence: “If I were President, I would…”, filling in a mini president silhouette with their answer. We glued each kid’s response onto a large piece of brown paper with a tree on it, so each silhouette was a “leaf” on the tree. The students’ answers ranged from, “I would buy me a mansion and a black mustang,” to “I would clean up the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.” A common theme was “giving money to the poor people,” and one kid even wanted to “build a new White House”! Overall, the kids really enjoyed the project, and they were able to learn a little more about the U.S. Presidents!

Service Rocks!

On February 4, 2011, K-grams pulled out all the stops, sponsoring the first annual Service Rocks variety show! This Mock Rock-inspired event was tons of fun, and a great fundraiser at the same time. Members of Circle K, Dance Marathon, DoRAK, and ONE Campaign took to the stage at the Mendelssohn to perform for a star-studded judges panel. Alex Wood of Michigan Men’s Soccer, Ellen Gorbaty, a wonderful third and fourth grade teacher from our BookMARK program, and David Hines Jr., Michigan Marching Band Drum Major, awarded DoRAK the first place title! Of course, an enthusiastic group of K-grams directors and KPC members strutted their stuff as well! I had a blast helping Elementary Programming Director Marissa Fellows with choreography for a school-themed dance number, featuring songs such as Here Comes the Sun by The Beatles, ABC by The Jackson 5, and We’re All in This Together from High School Musical! It was incredible to see what a great routine we put together in such a short amount of time. I can’t wait to see where this show will go in years to come!!