Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Cameron 11/29

In our penultimate meeting at Cameron Middle, we decided to push forward with our reading of Skeleton Creek. The students seem engrossed in the plot, and terrified by the well-produced videos and the stellar pacing of the text. As we took turns reading the novel, we were delighted by the progress that our students have made in their abilities to decode words and find their meanings. We've left off with about twenty pages remaining, and the students seemed excited to finish it all up!

We've also had some students keep up with tracking clues throughout the novel, and they're a great help in assisting their fellow pupils when it comes to putting the pieces together. They're also getting great practice at noticing specific details and making predictions! We've also had students work on some of the interesting tidbits throughout the story, such as a portion of the text that relies on Morse Code!

Though last week will be our last time together, we truly look forward to it, and we've enjoyed the time we've spent together. We plan on handing out some books, taking some final orders, and finishing up Skeleton Creek. We may also make some holiday cards for the children to give to the important people in their lives. Great job Cameron Middle!

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Wright Middle School 11/28

RAPS was exciting this week!  We had an all time high with 21 total students, more than half new to RAPS.  Because of this, book ordering took some time, as new students were choosing a November book and all were pre-ordering their December book choices so that we can get them to students before the winter holiday begins.

With so many students, we have to introduce our Wright Comic Book project to our newcomers.  So on the projector, we shared our Stepping Stones tale so far, and we brainstormed ideas of what should happen next and how the story should end.  Next week, we will continue this project and have some engaging reading time.

Friday, November 17, 2017

McMurray 11/17

We had a wonderful week at McMurray Middle School! In order to capitalize on our reading from last week, we wanted to make our own stories, similar to the ones we read about. While the stories we read were created using pebbles and rocks, we used buttons and pieces of paper. The goal was to construct a story about our students' journeys to Nashville, or their daily journey to school.

As you can see, the students' work turned out great! We can't wait to hang it up in Wyatt!

We also had a rotating section for quick reading, where we read some short, scary stories that the students seemed to really enjoy! The stories, from the Creepypasta blog, allows for a lot of further reading, especially once our students got to engage with a genre that they love! Finally, we were able to stitch together the pieces of fabric from last week, creating a larger story about our class' experiences in life. It looks wonderful!

We can't wait to be back after break! Our students seem excited to see us again, though it will be our last time together this semester. 

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Apollo Middle School 11/15

Though our group today was small, we had a great time!  Two of our three students today got their October books, and wanted to spend time reading.  Another newer student got to choose a book from our RAPS library.  Reading and then retelling a version of Frankenstein and how all of the other monsters want to cut off their heads so they can get new(er) heads as well was pretty fun.  Another student shared her jokes from her new book. 

After reading for a while, I asked them to think of their favorite part of the story so far and recreate it in their own short comic.  Two finished, and their products are pretty entertaining!  Check them out!

Next week is Thanksgiving, so we will not be meeting for another two weeks.  We hope everyone will have a joy filled and safe Thanksgiving!

Cameron 11/15

We had another great week at Cameron Middle School! We continued our work with Skeleton Creek, getting about halfway through the texts and videos. Now that we've gotten deep into the plot, the children seem to be spooked and hooked. We're also having a great time tracking our clues and inferences as we read. Many of the students have some great predictions about what's going to happen next, and they're capitalizing on both the videos and the novel.

Our students also got to order another set of book! As always, they're excited to have the chance to own their own books, and they can't wait to have them before the winter holidays. We can't wait to be back after Thanksgiving and hand them out! We hope our students have a great break!

Wright Middle School 11/14

We keep growing and growing. Last week we had five new students join our RAPS book club. This week, two new students came as well. So over the last two weeks, our old timers and new comers both ordered November books. In addition to growing in numbers, our books came in for October and some for November, so many students had multiple new books to excitedly explore!

This week, since our numbers are increasing, we rotated around small group stationed activities. Our first station was getting books back, ensuring they ordered a November book, and a chance to engage with them. Our second station continued our class comic book. Each student takes turns adding different panels to a story with a few agreed upon characters. Our current story is called Stepping Stones, inspired by the book we read last week also called Stepping Stones. Our third station mimics the art and writing process of Stepping Stones, in which the stone art was made first, then the text. For this, they created mosaic collages using small cut of pieces of paper and buttons (mimicking stones) to tell the story of how they came to Nashville or how the come to school. A few finished, but we will continue to create and then add our narrative portion as a next and final step. 

 Next week is the week of Thanksgiving, so we will not be meeting for RAPS.  We hope everyone has a wonderful holiday with friends and family. 

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Litton Middle School 11/9

Since MNPS had Friday off from school, the Litton RAPS crew gathered early Thursday morning to work on book trailers, read, play, and hang out with one another. It is so hard to believe that the semester's end is approaching!

Book trailers are looking great so far. A few of our students are using a program called Storyboard That to create their depiction. Storyboard That is an awesome digital tool to animate stories, build digital storyboards, or craft a graphic novel style book trailer.

Other students are learning to use iMovie on the iPads to create book trailers. iMovie gives the creator many freedoms to add details, dramatic features, and make decisions like a director.

A few students discovered the Mad Libs app on the iPads and got swept away by the silly stories. The Mad Libs app is a wonderful tool for reviewing specific grammatical vocabulary, while playing in a silly and creative way. They couldn't get enough.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Cameron 11/8

We had another great week of reading at Cameron! We decided to pick back up with Skeleton Creek, and the students are absolutely falling in love with it so far. The combination of the journal-style text and videos makes the story seem so real that many students need constant reassurance that these events didn't actually happen.

We managed to get through a solid chunk of the text and videos, but we wanted our students to think deeper about the genre. We checked for understanding about the moves the author was making about the suspense of the text, but we also added a quick "clue sheet" that would allow students to track what they thought would happen next based upon the clues that the characters had found. 

Next week, we will continue our work with Skeleton Creek, but we also hope that we'll be passing out some of the books that they've ordered as a treat before their Thanksgiving Break!

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Litton Middle School 11/3

On Friday, Litton students continued working on their storyboards, characterization, and creative decision making. They enjoyed exploring different digital media options to create their book trailers also. Some students will choose to use Storyboard That, iMovie, or Animoto.

Here is the creative process behind making a book trailer for Guardians of Ga'Hoole by Kathryn Lasky. 

Using iMovie on the iPads gives students a look into what real movie producers do to create an effective trailer. Students can choose transitions, music, time, and even end credits!

While some students chose their favorite book to use as the focus of their project, two of our RAPS stars (below) are using an original work that they are co-authoring. They have been able to design their characters and incorporate them into Storyboard That's templates. We can't wait to see the final product!

Friday, November 3, 2017

McMurray Middle School 11/3

We had a great week at McMurray middle school with our fun and engaged class! This week, we decided to set up stations with the three teachers in the room. At the first station, students got to put in another order for free books! After having some time with their books last week, they were very excited to be able to have more!

They also worked together to put quotes and pictures from Show Way on a green bush cutout that we'll put in the Wyatt Atrium. Having had some time to let the book sit with them, they enjoyed going back through to find the parts that stood out to them, whether they were text or images. 

At the next station, students read the book Stepping Stones, pictured below. The story details a refugee family's journey through Syria, struggling to find freedom and peace. The children adored this book, and seemed engaged and compelled by the narrative.

Finally, students worked to make their own "Show Ways." These were flags that detailed something about themselves that they wanted to share. This could be how they see themselves, something they enjoy, a description of their family, or their journey to Tennessee, if they were born somewhere else. Now that we have all the pieces, we hope to sew them together and make a large quilt with everyone's contributions!

After a productive day filled with fun activities, we can't wait to be back at McMurray!