We had our first meeting of the 2014-2015 school year today! It was so nice to meet new friends as well as be reunited with old ones. We began today by taking photographs of all of our students and having them fill out a reading interest inventory. It is important to us that we get to know who our students are as people and also as readers.
Next, we heard an overview of the program. Students learned about our expectations of them for the year, as well as some fun facts about our founder, James Patterson. We also talked about how our goal for this year is to accomplish the three E's; experience books, express ourselves, and engage with the Vanderbilt and Nashville communities.
We then did a fun interview activity. Students paired up and interviewed each other about various topics. The interviews were recorded, so look out for those to be posted here soon!
Next, we went outside and had snack and played games. We played a fun icebreaker called the "Name Game", where students had to throw a ball to each other in a certain order with the goal of learning everyone's names. Next, we played a minute to win it game called, "Face the Cookie". Students had to see who could get a cookie from their forehead to their mouths without using their hands. It was a funny sight to say the least! We finished up with a game called "If" that has become a student favorite. After we were all hot and sweaty and had expended all of our energy, we headed back inside to read.
Dr. Pendergrass and Dr. Hundley led us in some book talks. Students then had the chance to choose between James Patterson's Middle School: Get Me Out Of Here!, Rick Riordan's The Lost Hero, and The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman. Students read independently from their books while taking notes about what they read on post-its. After reading, students were encouraged to discuss what they had read in small groups.
We finished up by going to the computer lab and creating comic avatars using the website, Bitstrips for Schools. It was a blast! Some of the avatars truly resembled the students, and others made us laugh! We plan on using the avatars and the comic creation software to share what we've read later in the semester.
Next week, we are headed to the Vanderbilt football game. We are excited to give our students the experience of going to a college football game and cheering for the black and gold! Anchor Down!