Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Boston Monument Project in third grade.....

For weeks.... (8 weeks for 3GH and 9 weeks for 3W) third grade has been working on their Boston Monument Projects.  It is an ambitious research project that requires a lot of focus from our third graders.

What does it involve?  Every third grader is assigned a Boston monument or landmark.  Students research his or her monument and take notes.  Students are then assigned a partner who has a different monument.  They write a script in which they teach their partner all about their monument. After rehearsing, I film them in front of the green screen (their monument is plopped behind the student).  It is A LOT of work and this past week, right down to the wire, third graders finished up.  We celebrated in class with our "World Premier Boston Monument Film Festival".  Students snacked on popcorn and watched everyone's videos.





It's the end of the road for Axis 360....

This mostly affects students in grades 3-5.  I wanted to let you know the state has decided to end its pilot with Axis 360 for e-books and e-audiobooks.  Access will stop as of June 30. Wellesley Free Library does have Axis 360, so if your child wants to continue using it at home you can use your public library card.

We are hoping to have another option for e-book reading in the fall-- stay tuned!

Monday, June 4, 2018

Summer Reading Suggestions!

I am so excited about summer reading!  The Wellesley elementary librarians all worked together to come  up with some really great suggestions.  Our online version is here.  Students will also go home with hardcopy packets.

If you lose any of the summer reading paperwork, fear not-- you can reprint everything on the library website.

What's in the packet?  All kinds of great stuff in very bright colors (!!!)!


  • Upham reading log
  • For students entering grades 1-3, a reading Bingo sheet opposite the log
  • For students entering grades 4-5, a reading "Mission" sheet opposite the log
  • New this year- the optional "Book Buzz" sheet- if your student would prefer to write about favorite books instead of keeping a log, he or she can give this a try
  • All students receive a bookmark with summer reading links

Summer reading is meant to be fun and enjoyable- nothing is required.  I hope your student is excited to read this summer (I am!  I am!) and these are just suggestions.

And lastly, don't forget to help your student "get caught" reading.  Take a photo of your student reading somewhere unusual and fun-- I can't wait to see what Upham students come up with!  We'll hang these photos on our September back to school bulletin board.  I'll post my own photo later in the summer (here's mine from last year!).

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Storybook character day!

Upham students celebrated their April break reading challenge win by dressing up as storybook characters.  Kids were asked to borrow or create their costumes-- so it was fun to see the different ideas they came up with!

Some of our Upham kids:








Gerald (Elephant and Piggie books by Mo Willems) -- his costume trumpeted like an elephant!


Greg (Diary of a Wimpy Kid) and Garfield again!


Can anyone figure out who I am?!  Add your guess in the comments below!

(Hint: my book was written by a Newbery medal winning author, published in 2002)

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Imagineering planning

Last week in library, grades 2-5 started to brainstorm and map out their plans for the day of Imagineering at Upham (May 23).  We started by reading Papa's Mechanical Fish by Candace Fleming:


It's a wonderful story about an inventor who never gave up-- it perfectly matched our imagineering mindset of looking at failures as a learning opportunities (there are no failures!).

Following our story, students mapped out their ideas by brainstorming and drawing what their model might look like:










Upham students are excited to try out these ideas on our actual day of Imagineering!

Sunday, May 13, 2018

April reading challenge results!

I forgot to write a blog post about the April reading challenge results!  If you haven't heard the news yet, Upham Students DID it (again!).

Over break, students read for 47,960 minutes!  They surpassed our goal by almost 3000 minutes-- this was after I upped the minutes when they blew away the February reading goal!

Students have all earned storybook character day!  It will be this Friday, May 18.  Students may dress up like a character from a children's book.  I'm asking students to recycle/borrow/reuse/create costume pieces instead of purchasing costumes.

I also want to recognize our classroom with the highest participation.  By far, the highest participation was 4G with 100% of students turning in logs, again!  They earned extra recess time.  Coming in second was 5D at 85%.  Great job to 4G and 5D!

I also want to point out the classes with the most number of minutes read:
#1- 4O (again)
#2- 2C
#3- 3GH

And finally, I want to recognize our top readers in the challenge:
#1- (again!) Kayla from 4O-- 3017 minutes
#2- Karishma from 4O-- 3017 minutes
#3- Riley from 2C-- 2526
#4- Ellery from 4O-- 1790 minutes
#5 (a tie!):
Lila W. from 3GH-- 1190 minutes and Lily H. from 4O with 1190 minutes

Great job to everyone who read over break and turned in a log!

Friday, March 30, 2018

Read Across America Day....

I wanted to share our wonderful day of celebrating reading -- Read Across America day.  At Upham, we celebrated on Wednesday, March 7.

Our top two readers from the February reading challenge, Kayla and Lily H. (both from 4O) helped me with the Read Across America assembly.  To kick off our day, we announced the February break reading challenge results.


Next up-- reader's theater!  Upham teachers and staff performed our rendition of The Day the Crayons quit by Drew Daywalt.  Students had been asked to dress in their favorite color to tie in with our crayon book.

Thank you to the fourteen teachers and staff who participated or helped with the set!


Following our reader's theater, I showed a slideshow I had created featuring Upham students and staff reading.  This year I made sure *every* Upham student was featured in the slideshow!

Mr. Ito, principal from the Wellesley Middle School, graciously continued his tradition of visiting the fifth grade.  He spent time answering students' questions about middle school (and there were A LOT of them!) followed by a read-aloud of the Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore by William Joyce.



Classrooms also participated in a school-wide DEAR (drop everything and read!).  Additionally, I provided each classroom teacher with 1-2 picture books to read aloud to their class.

It was another successful Read Across America day at Upham!