Pumpkin Skype

Students in Mrs. Atkin’s Class skyped with a first grade class at Green Valley to compare the number of seeds in a class pumpkin, to tell jokes, and to read descriptive paragraphs.  Students had a great time!  Check out their favorite pumpkin joke below:

Pumpkin Skype from elemitrt on Vimeo.

Cross posted on the Oak Grove Digital Archive.

Hour of Code

Students in 2nd and 4th Grade at Clearbrook and 2nd Grade at Oak Grove joined 15 million students around the world as they learned an Hour of Code last week.  They explored the basic concepts of Computer Science with drag and drop programming using a game-like tutorial starting Angry Birds and Plants vs. Zombies. They also briefly  explored MakeyMakey and Little Bits.

There are some activities that I know students will enjoy, but then I still get blown away by their excitement.  This activity was one of those things.  The kids were beyond excited.  I was amazed by their problem solving skills, how they helped one another, and some of the solutions they came up with.  I’m pretty sure some went home and coded some more.

Here are some pictures from both schools.



Being a Kind Friend (with Sock Puppets)

Mrs. Pettipiece used Sock Puppets with students in first grade to have them practice friendship skills (sharing, taking turns, being kind and poilite). Students had to share an iPad with a friend to create a puppet show. In their puppet show, students acted out scenarios, practicing good friendship skills.

Here are a few examples of their work!

Video Nov 18, 2 15 34 PM from elemitrt on Vimeo.

Video Nov 18, 2 17 52 PM from elemitrt on Vimeo.

Sock Puppet Friends 3 from elemitrt on Vimeo.

Cross posted on the Oak Grove Digital Library



Presenting the Oak Grove Digital Archive

The teachers at Oak Grove Elementary decided, during a faculty book study meeting, to create a digital archive on their school website to display all the wonderful projects there students were creating for STEM, PBL, and 21st Century Learning.  They wanted a way for parents and students to have “copies” of the three dimensional group projects the students were creating. Also, they wanted to showcase digital projects that their students were creating with iPads and other devices.  Take a look here:

The Oak Grove Digital Archive

The newest step in this adventure is to also post QR codes around the school.  Parents can scan the QR codes to see the virtual projects or read more about the things their children have been creating in class.  It is a physical way to display work in the hall with a digital link.  Take look at some of the teachers’ displays:

I’m really excited about the ways teachers are taking technology to the next level at Oak Grove.  Stop by their site and see what you think!

Spanish on iPads

I have had a few requests for good Spanish apps.  I haven’t found any I LOVE, but I did find something in iTunes U.  For those of you who took the last inservice, you know I professed a love for Boyne City Schools.  They have issued iPads to EVERY student, so they have tons of units in iTunes U that students can complete on the iPads.  And lo and behold…they have a 5th grade Spanish unit (but I think it would work for 3-5)!!  It has some great videos, and ideas for activities to do on the iPads. If you want to take a look on your teacher iPad, first download the iTunes U app.  Then search the catalog for Boyne City Schools.  The unit is called 5th Grade SPN Resources. Check out the other units while you’re there!
And, because of that unit, I found a new app that I love! It’s called FaceTalker!  It’s free, and could be used in any subject (or grade level).  I don’t like a couple of the available themes, but they aren’t too too bad, and I won’t download them on student iPads.  The idea is that you take a picture (with the camera or one you already have–think famous American), and then make the picture talk.  (It reminds me of a modern version of Blabberize).
Here the links to all these things (use your iPad to click on them):
I’d love some suggestions for good, kid friendly apps for Spanish that are free.  If you know of any, please let me know!

STEM in 4th Grade Virginia Studies at Clearbrook

Students at Clearbrook in Mrs. Schlosser’s class participated in a STEM project to learn more about the Regions of Virginia.  Students were divided into groups and given boxes and various art supplies (paper, Q-tips, playdough, puff balls, yard, beads, and a few other supplies).  Using the materials they had and research materials (textbooks and various websites), their task was to create a Mystery box full of clues about the region of Virginia their group was assigned.

They needed to have at least 14 clues, including clues about products, industries, land forms, water features, animals, renewable and non-renewable resources. At least four of the items had to be 3-dimensional, and one clue could be a written word.

At the very end, students created a QR code to place on their box with the answer to the “Mystery Region.”  Other students can now use the clues in the box to guess what region the box represents, and then check their answer by scanning the QR code.  They also wrote each day in their journals to describe what they had learned during their work that day.

Not only did students learn about the Regions of Virginia with this project, they used the 21st Century Skills of Collaboration, Communication, Creativity, and Problem Solving.

I can’t take credit for writing this activity.  It was written by a group of us during a STEM committee meeting.  Here are the handouts if you want a look!

It’s a Mystery Design Brief

It’s a Mystery Student Checklist

It’s a Mystery Journal Prompt

Second Grade Rule Posters

It’s a new school year, and 2nd graders at Clearbrook have been discussing the rules for 2nd grade, their school, and their community.  They used Pic Collage to make rule posters!

This was a great project for introducing how to use Pic Collage, for practicing working in groups, and for learning to transfer work using the dropbox app.  I’m looking forward to see what other things they create with this app in the coming months!

Math Class Needs a Makeover

I absolutely love this guy, Dan Meyer, and his push to develop “patient problem solvers.”    He suggests that math teachers should:

1.  Use Multimedia.

2. Encourage student intuition.

3. Ask the shortest question you can.

4. Let students build the problem.

5. Be less helpful.

Here’s his TED Talk.  Love it!

Take a look at his blog too! http://blog.mrmeyer.com/

iPad Apptivities for All Learners

Here’s the handout from the Salem City Schools SPED Presentation:

iPad Apptivities for All Learners

App Lists