Friday, December 7, 2012

We have moved!

Unfortunately, I recently learned that this blog has a finite amount of space for images! If you have any ideas on how to fix that (without subscribing), please let me know! In the meantime, I will be posting at this site instead. Please follow me on over, but if we can get this one back up, I will be back at this address. Thank you all for reading!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Turkey Time

As Thanksgiving approaches, I took the opportunity to use the Super 3 with first graders to learn more about wild turkeys. To show them how to use a variety of information sources, we observed them in this 1 minute clip from ARKive, read about them on this website, and looked them up in an online encyclopedia (we used Amazing Animals from Grolier through NC Wise Owl.) After gathering information, I asked the kids to draw a turkey and write four facts they learned on the tail feathers. They did a great job! Here are some of their pictures/facts. I hope you can read the facts because they did a good job remembering a lot of neat stuff like they sleep in low branches, can have up to 18 eggs, use their feathers to attract females, the skin on their head can change colors (which I didn't know!), and they eat seeds and insects. You can also see some of the information they gathered in details they have in their pictures. Great job first graders!

Wampanoag and Pilgrim Life

After a lesson comparing Pilgrim life almost 400 years ago with our lives today, I wanted to add on to that knowledge with a comparison between Wampanoag and Pilgrim life. I pulled together images of things like Pilgrim houses, clothes, cooking methods, etc and the same for Wampanoag houses and such. Then, we folded a paper and drew pictures to represent each side of life. I got all of the images from Creative Commons. Here are just a couple of the images I used to show them what life looked like:
On a side note, Creative Commons is a great source for images. If you search this way, most images that come up have granted permission to use them. Some have certain restrictions such as attribution, share alike, or not for commercial use, so make sure you check for that and make sure what you are using it for fits in those parameters. I use it all the time to jazz up my SMART notebooks and to show students images that add to what we are learning, and it is a great source for images for student projects also.

But back to this lesson, here are some of the end results from the Kindergarteners.


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Change Over Time with the Pilgrims

A lot of the new essential standards include something about change over time, so I am taking advantage of the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday to work on change over time with my Kindergarteners. Scholastic has a wonderful website that compares daily life elements of the Pilgrims and the Wampanoags. You can also see what the journey here was like and see more about the first Thanksgiving feast. (They also have virtual field trips you can sign up for - last year it was sort of like an interview with a couple of the Pilgrims and Wampanoags. I thought it was interesting, but the older language style made it harder for the kids.)

We started with a Super 3 review and brainstormed questions we had about the Pilgrims and where we could find more information. I focused just on the Pilgrims daily life section with this lesson and had the students compare life then with their life now. Then, we did a sort on the smartboard with items the Pilgrims used then and things the kids use now. If we have time, I might do the same thing with the Wampanoag side of the site. The kids had fun and liked the site because they use photographs of people dressed in the time period clothes. If you have not used this site before, make sure you check it out!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

When the Technology Fails... have to have a Plan B. 
But first, let me catch you up.

I have been working with 2nd grade on animal research. We spent two classes researching the animals, then we made a powerpoint. Here are some of the examples they have done. I have to point out how great they did with including the citations like we talked about! All the pictures are from clip art in powerpoint.

 Then, today the network crashed and we were without computers - they could not save, they could not go on the internet, I could not even open my SMART notebooks, so I had to do some quick adjustments. Instead of doing powerpoint, we did a paper slide. The kids did a great job working together and most of them finished or almost finished in one class! It is amazing how reliant we can become on technology, but the kids still adapt so well. Here are some of the results from today - they have the same elements as the powerpoints above with facts, a picture of the animal in its habitat, and a citation.
Splitting up the duties
This group decided to each do a picture since they both wanted to do it.

Great work second graders!! What do you do when technology fails?

Friday, November 9, 2012

Pumpkins Pumpkins Everywhere!

Our third graders recently completed a book report in which they had to read a mystery and create a pumpkin of a character in the book. They were so creative and had so many good ideas! Here are some of the results on display in the media center.
Magic Tree House

Geronimo Stilton
Cam Jansen
Cam Jansen

Chet Gecko

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Animals Everywhere

It seems like everyone is learning about animals this time of year - 4th grade has been studying animal groups to be able to create their own animal, 2nd grade has been researching animals, and a first grade class is working to partner research an animal and create a powerpoint as part of the common core informational writing standards. The first grade group came today to start their powerpoint with the graphic organizer we had already filled out. They are making one slide for each question on the organizer. They did such a fantastic job! They worked together, took turns typing, got way more done than I thought they would, and are excited about the project. Tomorrow, they will be back to finish typing and add colors, pictures, etc. Here are some pictures of them working on the research portion. We spent one day using books and one day using an online encyclopedia through NC Wise Owl.