Tree Frog Blog!

the official Chase Street Elementary School Library blog

100 Things We LOVE to Learn About!

On Wednesday, January 23rd, Chase Street Tree Frogs celebrated our 100th day of school!

This week, students have been busy counting to 100, creating trail mix using 10 sets of 10 yummy snacks, making crowns with 100 items glued to them, and–one of my favorites–setting class goals to complete 100 acts of kindness:

Click to visit Mr. Brooks' 3rd grade blog post about this!

Click to visit Mr. Brooks’ 3rd grade blog post about 100 acts of kindness

Our PTO also organized a fun after-school event with snacks, games, a frog scavenger hunt, and a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the brand new pavilion that several Chase Street parents worked together to build between the front parking lot and the playground.

Read more about this in Sofia’s newest post on the 5th grade blog, and enjoy a few snapshots from the event:

Of course, we also celebrated in the library! 🙂

There are tons of great “100 Things…”-themed activities out there, but since there are so many topics we can read and learn about in the library, I called our project “100 Things We LOVE to Learn About!”, and our PreK and kindergarten students each added their own pages to the presentation:

Click to view our finished project!

Click to view the finished project! (Our Google Presentation will open in a new window.)

Keep reading for the technical details, if you’re interested in trying something like this with your own students. 🙂

I started by creating a new Google Presentation, selecting a theme, creating a title slide, and then creating a blank template for the pages with a number at the top and a teacher’s name at the bottom.

Then, I duplicated the template to make 100 pages, and edited the text a little at the time throughout the week to keep the numbers and teachers’ names up to date.

When classes came into the library, we talked about how it was the 100th day of school and how much we had learned in those 100 days.

Then, I projected the title slide that you see pictured above–I called this the “cover”–and explained that we would be making something like a book, but on the SMARTBoard, and that each student would get to add his or her own page.

We talked about what kinds of things might make good pages for our book–our favorite animals, sports and activities, places we would like to visit, important people–and I also made a rule that students couldn’t pick the same topic as someone else in their class. I wasn’t necessarily against repetition (and, across classes, you’ll find several common themes!), but I wanted to make sure each student got to add something unique.

Then it was time to start adding content to our book!

The kids took turns picking the topics for their pages, and as we went along, I typed each student’s topic at the top of his or her page.

Then, for the illustrations, we used Google Presentation’s built-in image search feature to find pictures of our topics:

To get to this screen in Google Presentation, click the "Insert" menu, then choose "Image" from the dropdown list, then click "Search" at the bottom of the left sidebar.

To get to this screen in Google Presentation, click the “Insert” menu, then choose “Image” from the dropdown list, then click “Search” at the bottom of the left sidebar.

This easy-to-use feature of Google Presentation allows users to conduct an image search without opening a new tab or window, and you have a choice of a (limited) Google Image search, a search of the Life archives, or a stock photo search (which was, mostly, what we used).

The most fun part of this activity was that after telling me a topic, every student got to come to the SMART Board to choose their favorite picture from the search results to illustrate their page.

The kids LOVED coming to the board to select their images and then watch them magically appear on their pages!

They also cheered at each other’s choices, shrunk back when they saw scary snakes and lions and spiders, and sighed a collective “Awwww!” when a puppy or bunny or kitten appeared on the board. It was pretty darn cute.

Of course, I had to do some minor text editing and image re-sizing as I went along, but once the template was made, I really didn’t have a lot of work to do beyond taking students through the activity.

Things did get a little loud and crazy, especially towards the end, so I think it might help next time for me to plan a really engaging activity to occupy the kiddos on the rug while they’re waiting for a turn or finished with their turn. My PreK classes did rotate through centers instead of coming to the rug as a whole class, and that helped, but the transitions were still a little nuts. 🙂

In the end, this project was so fun–not just for the kids, but for me! I loved seeing what kinds of topics the kids were interested in, and if you click through the slideshow, you’ll see that while some kids stuck to the ever-popular topics of sharks, puppies, cars. and sports, there were also some truly unique topics that I would never have expected.

Bullet trains? Modern dance? Giant squid? Oh my!

If you made a page for our presentation, what would you add? Let me know in the comments!

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2 comments on “100 Things We LOVE to Learn About!

  1. gpicone
    January 25, 2013

    Counting to 100! Those were the days! 🙂

  2. Pingback: Six more weeks of winter, or an early spring? « Tree Frog Blog!

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Image credits

Background via freeseamlesstextures.com, used with attribution under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Tree frog image public domain via openclipart.org.

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