Friday, March 19, 2010

Northwest Pacific Tree Octopus?

We are beginning a unit on the Fact and Opinion by researching and finding out more about the Loch Ness Monster in Mrs. Grubbs third grade class. Yesterday we began by looking at different online resources and talking about looking for fact vs opinion and the purpose of the sites - are they for information, do they want to sell something, do they want you to vote for them, or do something. Today we looked closer at a website about the Northwest Tree Octopus. Students had to look through the information and find both facts and opinions, understand the purpose of the site, and decide if they thought the tree octopus is real or made up. They had to support their stance with evidence from the site and will post their opinions and evidence on the class wiki. I am interested to see what they say - about half believe it is real and half believe it is made up. What do you think? (Be sure to look at the information tab, the FAQ tab, and the sightings tab.)

North Carolina Children's Book Award Votes from CCES

The votes are counted from our students here at CCES! They have been submitted to the state and I will let you know when we know the final winner from the state. The top vote earner here at CCES was Two Bobbies which received 75 votes out of the total 197 picture book votes. The winner from CCES for junior books was The Willoughbys. All votes for all titles were submitted and will be counted in the final totals. Stay tuned to hear the final winner for the 2010 North Carolina Children's Book Award!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Skyping with the Olympics!

"This was the best thing we have done all year!" is what one student said as they were leaving the media center today. I wish I could take credit for it, but what they had just done was have the opportunity to Skype with the Chief Umpire from the Olympics for Curling!

Rae Kells was kind enough to spend a little over a half hour telling our 3 fifth grade classes about her experiences with curling and with the 2010 Winter Olympics. They had the chance to ask questions, and did they ever! They had so many great questions and we all learned a lot more about curling than we already knew from our research about the different winter Olympic sports and Canada. Questions included what is the weather like in Canada, what kind of shoes do you wear to curl, why is it called curling, is there overtime in curling, and many more. A big thank you to Rae Kells and to Marlo Gaddis in the WSFCS Technology Department for helping set up this great opportunity. The students are still so excited!

Friday, March 12, 2010

WOW! 50,000 Books for Africa

WOW! What a district we have here in WSFCS! We just found out today that district wide, our schools collected over 50,000 books for schools in Africa. Our school alone collected over 1,100! The African Library Project said it has never before had such large participation. Thank you all - the schools there will benefit tremendously. This school never ceases to amaze me!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Create a mini-you!

Voki is another fun site that you can create an avatar and either record or type in text for it to say. This would be a great new way to do animal projects or biographies or various other things. You can only do a short clip though.

Here is my Voki I made to try it out.

Get a Voki now!

Blabberize is a second site that would also be great for animal projects, biographies, or just presentations where the kids are too nervous to speak up on their own. This one does not allow you to type in the text as Voki does however, students must record the audio themselves.

Here is my sample Blabberize:

Animoto uses

We had a workshop today on Animoto and we are all excited about some of the uses for it. Kids can create a short video of mammal pictures, spring pictures or all sorts of topics that it puts together with music to create a fun way to present information. Text can even be added. Here is a sample I made in about 5 minutes about Spring just using pictures already in the Animoto gallery. I am thinking of all sorts of uses for this from students acting out a retelling of a story to showing different types of energy to classifying seasons or animals, etc. Technology is fun!

Create your own video slideshow at

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Read Across America Day 2010

We had a blast today with guest readers, door decorating, and best of all - dressing as your favorite book characters! Many classes were very creative with their door decorations and were sure to get permission from authors if they used the specific characters. For example, one of our Kindergarten classes had a Skype session with Mike Artell and asked for permission to use his Petite Rouge cover for their door. A fourth grade class created a Blackbeard door and emailed the author for permission to print and use the book covers. Great job guys!

If you look closely you can see the chat where Mike Artell granted Mrs. Kidd's class permission to use his cover art.

The author granted the use of her book cover through an email request from Mrs. Smith.

Several staff members and students also dressed up as favorite book characters. Due to protecting students, I am not posting student pics, just staff, but they are playing on the TV kiosks in the school this week.

Elephant & Piggie from Mo Willems

Harry Potter

Things One and Two

Dopey and Doc
The Sneetches
Bad Kitty
The Cat in the Hat even in Spanish!

We had a wonderful first annual Literacy Day - Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss!