An Introduction to Mystery Skype

Students try to figure out where our Skype friends are in the USA.

Students try to figure out where our Skype friends are in the USA.



Our third grade students recently had the opportunity to Mystery Skype with another class in another state.  They had never participated in a Mystery Skype before and I wanted to provide them with a fun educational experience.  Typically, Mystery Skype participants have their own maps and atlases to use to work together to narrow down the options of which state we think our friends are in based on the responses to the questions that have been asked.  Before our Mystery Skype we talked about good possibilities for questions and where our state is located.  This initial preparation seemed to be helpful as we started the questioning part of our Skype.  Each class took turns asking questions about the other’s location.  Because this was the first Mystery Skype for these students, we had a map of the USA (on the web) projected to our screen, where I would point out states that were eliminated based on the answers to our questions.  For example, if my students asked if their state was in the Southwest, and the answer was, “No,” then I would point with the mouse and show the students where our friends were not located (not saying state names, but showing the general area).  As a first Mystery Skype, I think this was helpful for the students.  The next time that we have a Mystery Skype, the students will work more collaboratively, but more independently of teacher assistance in asking questions and eliminating possible states.  We look forward to our next Mystery Skype experience!IMG_2540


It’s Monday! What are you reading from Picture Books to YA?

This post was inspired by Sarah Wendorf of Page In Training.  Each Monday a group of bloggers posts what they are reading.

When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead is a book that I finished last week.  I had heard rave reviews on Twitter of this book and had to read it!  It was one of the few contemporary Newbery award winners that I had not read and I am glad that I did!  It made reference to one of my all-time favorite books– A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle.  If you have not read this book, it is amazing!  Don’t miss out!

First Light by Rebecca Stead is a book that I am currently reading.  This book has me intrigued about the connection between the two main characters- Peter and Thea.  The two seem very different and live in different times/worlds.  I’m glad that I picked up these two titles by Rebecca Stead!

The Chalk Box Kid by Clyde Robert Bulla is the chapter book that I am reading with my sweet four year old at night.  It is a short, chapter book that is filled with creativity and imagination that is just right for my boy.  The main character just doesn’t seem like he can fit in with others around him and it will be fun to find out how things come together for him.

Tree Map of Media Center Resources

Mrs. Carter’s 3rd grade class recently visited the media center to do our Fribble Mouse book study of The Secret of the Silver Key.  Students created their own tree maps of media center resources, the dictionary, encyclopedia, library catalog, non-fiction books, and newspapers, as we read about them in the story.  The students had wonderful ideas on their tree maps that I felt other students would benefit from seeing and reading.  Hopefully, the Media Center Resources tree map will help other students have a greater awareness of what our library media center has to offer


A Merry March for the Merry Media Center


Shelf SignsThis month we have shared The Secret of the Silver Key, a Fribble Mouse book, with 2 of our third grade classes. Through this book our students have learned about using reference books and online resources to find information.

Our school book fair is currently in full swing!  We have had a large number of parent volunteers, which has made all the difference!  Our volunteers are greatly appreciated!

New Shelf Labels

Right before the book fair started, we began the task of relabeling our shelves in the non-fiction and reference sections.  The Fiction section is almost complete and our next area to label will be the Easy section.  Our goal is to make it easier to find all of the books in the media center.

Another March activity that we have hosted in the media center has been a Skype project between a first grade class at our school in Georgia and a first grade class in Canada.  Students in both classes are reading the same book and are ready to discuss the events of the book!  We have enjoyed getting to know our Canadian friends in Ms.  Gaudet’s first grade class.

The month of March has been great!  It will be fun to see what April brings!

WebQuest for 3rd Grade Students

I have started my own little website for a class I am taking.  Yes, kids, teachers do take classes.  I thought that this would be a great place to show it off!  The site is not yet complete, but I have worked hard on the content that is there.  Some of the things you will find on my site are activities that go along with the book Scat by Carl Hiaasen (look for Operation: Author Help– it’s a WebQuest) and Love that Dog by Sharon Creech.

Here’s a link!  Enjoy!

If you could be any character….?

Mrs. Sikes as Franny B. Kranny

Mrs. Sikes as Franny B. Kranny

If you could choose to be any character from a book, who would it be and why????



I guess I should answer my own question, so my blog readers will know a little more about me.  If I had the chance to be any character from a book, I think that I would want to be Maude March from The Misadventures of Maude March.  She has many exciting adventures on her journey with her sister into the Wild West!  She does have some hard times, not always knowing if she will have a warm bed to sleep in at night.  Maude gets to ride horses and spend a lot of time with her sister while searching for a new place to live.  Camping and riding horses sounds like lots of fun to me!