Saturday, March 9, 2019

If You Build It....

I start today with a famous quote from Field of Dreams.  (not that I have seen this movie, but I know the quote comes from it!)  "If you build it, they will come. " So what are we building at #SiglerNation you ask??  Well, we are building readers one by one, day by day and slowly but surely.  My principal set out this year to build a community of readers on campus.  He has embraced literacy full force and has made it his #1 focus for our school.  He does monthly read alouds in each classroom, does Facebook Live read alouds throughout the year and inspired me to take on a HUGE school wide literacy project #OneSchoolOneBook.  It has been an amazing year of literacy across campus and we are building that love of reading in each of our 400 plus students.

I am so excited that I got to play a small role is this love of literacy in our building.  I started this actually over the summer when I was looking for a grad school project that would encompass our school community.  Boss Man suggested that I look at One School One Book's website and see if I could come up with something.  That site is amazing with tons of information to view and choose from.  I needed to find a title that could be purchased in both English and Spanish since we are a bilingual campus.  Although that limited my choices, I still had many to choose from.  Once I decided on 3 books that might work, I then turned it over to our rock star librarian to do a book talk with the grade levels showcasing each book.  What was super exciting to see was that all three books couldn't be kept on the shelves.  They were all being checked out as soon as they were turned in.  We voted as a school and The Lemonade War  by Jacquline Davies was our big winner.  Once we had a winner we needed to send home letters asking parents which language they would want the book in.  We placed our order for over 300 books right before Winter Break.

January came and it was time to kick off this big project.  Families each received a book to read.  Teachers and parents recorded themselves reading chapters and posted to YouTube for families to view each week.  We had questions to answer about each chapter and teachers used grade level Twitter accounts to Tweet out answers.  We were having our own Sigler lemonade war and everyone wanted to be the winner.  As students read and answered questions about the book they would earn lemons for their grade level pitcher.  (see photos)  Thanks to our AMAZING art teacher who went above and beyond to make these look so much better than they did in my head!  The have the most lemons at the end and be crowned Sigler Elementary's Lemonade War Winner.  Students were stopping me in the hallway asking if they could tell me answers  and reminding me to add lemons to their pitchers.  Teachers were texting me to make sure I counted their Tweets.  It was an all out war.  (the friendly kind)  So what would make this school-wide reading even better, why tying in a little STEM activity as well as a little fun along the way.  That is EXACTLY what we did.  OPEN HOUSE theme this year.....The Lemonade War-Sigler Style.

Engineering Week happens to fall right before open house and there is no better way to learn about engineering than by building something and then making that something better.  What did we build?  Why lemon launchers of course.  (catapults)  Grade levels built lemon launchers and competed against each other.  Champions were crowned (with lemon trophies given-duh) and lemons were earned for grade level pitchers.  Now launching lemons is super fun for a bunch of 4-10 year olds, but so is making lemonade.  And yes, we couldn't have a lemonade war without lemonade.  Once again lemons were at stake so the competition really heated up.  After the launches 2nd and 3rd grade were neck and neck and it came down to who could make the best lemonade.  On Open House night, we set up a lemonade stand and severed lemonade to our guests.  Then, they voted to
determine who would win the war.

The suspense was killing everyone all day on Friday.  The big announcement would be made at our assembly on Friday afternoon.  So who pulled away with the big win you ask?  Well.......
3rd grade!  They were so excited and have earned some extra recess when we get back.

What an amazing experience for our entire community.  It truly brought everyone together for an amazing night of fun.  And the best part of the whole thing you ask???  It all started with a book.

Until next time,

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