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Monthly literacy backpacks
Old 03-10-2007, 09:32 AM
 
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I am interested in starting a monthly literacy backpack project in my class for next year, but I'm kinda stuck on how to do it. I had thought I would choose a theme each month for the backpack, and include a book on the theme, a stuffed animal on the theme to read to, a picture to take of them and the animal ath their house reading, and possibly a journal to write in what they did with the animal the night they had it. I thought I would do it Monday-Thursday. I would have approximately 20 kids in my class so it should work out good for each child to have it once a month. Has anyone ever seen anything like this or done anything like this? I would love to find some web sites with more information about this. My ideas so far were:

September: ????????? and back to school book
October: scarecrow and autumn book
November: ???????? and thanksgiving book
December: Elf and Christmas book
January: Snowman and snow book
February: ???????? and a valentine book
March: Leprachaun and St. Patrick's Day book
April: Bunny and spring book
May: ????????? and a summer book

Anymore ideas you have would be greatly appreciated!!

Thanks so much!!!

Rachel


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Traveling Bookbag
Old 03-10-2007, 01:15 PM
 
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Hi, I do these in my first grade room! I call it a Traveling Bookbag. I usually end up doing a new one every 2 months because some kids forget to bring it back the next day, so it takes awhile to get to everyone's house.
I include a book, sometimes a stuffed animal, several games/manipulative, a word search or cut-out puppets (something they can keep), a student journal, glitter crayons and a parent journal. For example, in October I send a Gail Gibbons book about pumpkins w/seeds for sorting and counting, special crayons and directions for students to draw their own silly pumpkin in the journal and write about it, a pumpkin card memory game w/ different sizes and shapes, etc.
I have directions on the baggies for all the games & seeds, I also have directions attached to the bag explaining it and directions on the student journal and parent journal.
Before I start it, I send home a letter explaining its purpose and the fact that its optional. I explain the rules for taking care of it and returning it on time. Then if they choose to use it, parent and child both sign the contract and return to me. I put the names of everyone who signed the contract on a clipboard and the children sign the bag in and out each day. Let me know if you want anymore specifics! Have fun with it - the families love it!! :-)

Lisa
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What kind?
Old 03-10-2007, 05:44 PM
 
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What kind of bag do you use? Does it last all year or do you have to replace it? Do things (animals, journals, manip.) get lost often? I really would like to do this maybe even starting when I get back to school after spring break. If not, then definitely next year!
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Sharon D. W. Sharon D. W. is offline
 
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Sounds great!
Old 03-10-2007, 06:00 PM
 
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This sounds wonderful. I'm still worried about things not coming back but I guess the signed note helps weed out those who are not ready to participate.

I am thinking to keep the topics a little bit less holiday themed and also to try and include more non-fiction titles/activities. All feedback with my topics and any additonal suggestions would be appreciated.

September: back to school/Autumn: The Seasons (Daily and Seasonal Changes are one of our science clusters)or Mammals or Alphabet and Numbers

October: Bats/Spiders/Owls (We usually study one or two as a class.), Fire Safety, Thanksgiving

November: Snow/Winter The Seasons (Daily and Seasonal Changes are one of our science clusters) (I live in Northen Manitoba Canada and we usually have snow by Halloween...) Remembrance Day

December: Winter Holidays (not just Chrsitmas) or The Five Senses

January: Polar Bears/Penguins or Reptiles and Fish, Peace (Martin Luther King Jr.)

February: Friendship or Our Canadian Flag (Flag Day is Feb. 15) or The 100th Day. It is also I Love To Read Month!
* I would love to do one for Science Cluster 3: Characteristics of Objects and Materials but have no ideas. ALL Auggestions welcome!

March: Food and Nutrition or Nursery Rhymes and Fairy Tales

April: Earth Day/Recycling/Environment or Spring The Seasons (Daily and Seasonal Changes are one of our science clusters) or Farm Animals or Ants or Birds or Animal Habitats

May: All The Seasons (Daily and Seasonal Changes are one of our science clusters) or Amphibians

June: Jobs/Careers or Summer The Seasons (Daily and Seasonal Changes are one of our science clusters) or Dinosaurs

I was thinking of keeping the same mascot all year from, month to month. What do you think about trying this? Do you think this would be a problem? I student taught in a K/1 class and my master teacher sent home a journal with the stuffed toy (diffrent each month) and the kiddos wrote in the journal and drew a picture of their visit and then they shared it the next day with the class before we went home. She had sticks with the names of the students in a can and the student who just had a visit randomly pick the next student to take the writing case home.

I was thinking I would start out with:

- one maybe two books
- a stuffed mascot
- a journal
- pencils/crayons/earser

I might add a colouring page or activity page after I see how it all goes the first few months.

I am thinking I'd like to put it all in a new zippered luch bag for easy carrying.

sdwl
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Thanks!
Old 03-10-2007, 06:59 PM
 
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Thanks for all the great ideas so far!! I am really getting excited about this! I found a really cute backpack at Wal-Mart that I am planning on using. I like the idea of incorporating some science and social studies ideas!! I said picture earlier, but I meant to say camera. I thought a disposable camera would be great! Keep the great ideas coming!!

Rachel


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Old 03-10-2007, 10:26 PM
 
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I plan on doing this next year. In fact, I'm applying for a grant from our local foundation. So as a test run, I sent a penguin pack home last week.
We are studying penguins, so it just fit. I included a stuffed penguin, a journal, and a camera. They write about their visit and take a picture. they share the next day. I also let them keep the penguin on their desk the next day, as long as it's not a distraction. I also included a fiction and nonfiction story (The Emperor's Egg and Tacky) a board game that I made with a filefolder, and an activity packet with various penguin things.
It has been a really big hit! The kids are excited about it. The parents and admin have also commented. Even my struggling students are writing and reading.
There are lots of websites that talk about literacy bags. I have attached one that I found helpful.
As far as content, I will be attaching my bags not only to monthly themes, but also to curriculum; such as math concepts, penguins, whales, snakes, butterflies, neigborhoods, community helpers, compound words, etc... The possibilities are endless.
Also, the craft stores and Oriental Trading have canvas bags for about $3. The site I linked shows using these decorated for the theme.
Good Luck. I look forward to what others have to add.

http://teacherweb.com/SC/Blythe/madden/ap2.stm
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