Saturday, July 27, 2013

Book Jacket Redesign

As I was going through my stacks of stuff, getting my classroom ready, I found some laminating to be cut.  I realized that it was something that I had intended to blog about, but had completely forgot.

In my classroom library, I have rings that hold book jackets that were created by sixth graders.  They choose the book that they most enjoyed reading throughout the year and redesign its book jacket.  I do this at the end of the year, so I choose my favorites.  I have quite a collection as I have done this a few times and on average, I have about 100 sixth graders each year.

We start by analyzing current book jackets.  I put a pile of books out for each table group and they brainstorm a list of things that they have in common.  I ask them to note what they look like and important elements that they all have.  Then, we make a master list to use as a rubric.  Usually it includes things like

  • a bold title 
  • author name
  • quotes and reviews by authors or publications
  • great use of graphics and colors (no white space)

My sixth graders this last year were awesome.  I could brag about them for paragraphs.  Each and every one of them was and is wonderful. I have so many awesome book jackets this year, I didn't know how to only share a few, but here they are:

I punch a hole in the corner and put them on rings.  Then I hang them up in the classroom library (pictures soon to come).  So when kids have free time they can take a set of jackets on a ring to their desk and see if there are any books that they are interested in reading.  Many of the reviews on the jacket are quotes from other sixth graders that also read the book.  This year, my new sixth graders will get to read jackets from the last two years of sixth graders; they are often kids they have looked up to at school.

A great way to get kids interested in literature because it isn't coming from you, but from their peers.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Class of 2014 Quote

So, I admit it.  I snuck over to work today and spent some time working on my room.  If I ever get it back together again, I will post pictures.  I am SUPPOSED to be on vacation, but... Well, if you are a teacher, you know.  As I was putting together a to-do list I realized that my team and I had not yet decided on a quote for this year's sixth grade class.

Let me explain...
A few years ago, one of my team members in 6th grade thought it would be a good idea to choose a quote for the year.  Something that brings all of the sixth graders together and is sort of their "motto" for the year.  Then, we design "Class Of" t-shirts with the quote on the back and we post the quote up in all of the sixth grade classrooms.  Here are a few of the tshirts we have had in the past few years...
t-shirt designs for 6th grade
We all wear our 6th grade tshirts on Spirit Days at school and important events (like camp and playing dodgeball with the Airforce).  So, here are the quotes we have used since we have started this great sixth grade tradition:

"Be the change you wish to see in the world." -Gandhi
"Be true to your work, your word, and your friend." -Thoreau
"The time is always right to do what is right." -M.L.K.
"You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem and smarter than you think." -Christopher Robin

And as I said, I am in search for this year's quote.  I have a Pinterest board just for quotes and I keep an eye out everywhere.  I feel like when I find it, I will know.  I am a HUGE fan of Robby Novak, so I am on the lookout for great Kid President quotes.  He is so fun.  I found these great posters from Shane Read Creative and I would love to design a tshirt that was a little more hip this year, like this...

Anybody out there have some good quote suggestions for the class of 2014?  I would love to hear them!