Sunday, December 14, 2014

Hour of Code

The children were eager to get right into their coding.
They were able to sit with friends but all was quiet as they 'coded' away.
I loved watching the complexity of their plans unfold.
It was amazing to see the children so eager to work toward their own accomplishments.

Even when things went awry, students were there to support one another.
This group here was softly talking about how far they had come since
last year.  Not in competition with one another but rather themselves.
All the children had fun, coded happily and had a fulfilling Friday! 

Friday, November 7, 2014

News Flash

Please send your child with headphones or ear buds. They are listening to videos aimed at their own learning needs and playing games that help them develop their math skills. Thank you!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

What Does the Constitution Mean?

  • Why do people need government?
  • Why did the US need to make a new government?
  • What were some of the challenges the founding fathers faced?
  • How is the Constitution organized?
  • Why do we have a Bill of Rights? What are those rights?
Students had to create slides, type and create their own filmed videos to demonstrate their learning.  Can you figure out the video for each question?

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Most Academic Halloween Door

Happy Halloween!

Whether it be the Founding Fathers, King George or Paul Revere, heads were rolling in Social Studies for this section of our homeroom Halloween door
In Math, students found the Distributive Property quite scary. You may notice some familiar facial expressions.
Finally, ELA had so many ideas we couldn't choose just one. They chose me as the evil teacher.  I am throwing commas, synonyms for said, quotation marks all while trying to eat details and main ideas. 

A great time had by all!  But the best part was having the children be able to reflect on their learning.  They really know what they are learning here with us at Francis Wyman!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Happy Halloween

Making Tools Work

Throughout the first two months of ELA, students and teachers alike have been employing the idea of making tools work for us. This has included ideas such as taking open book quizzes and tests for grammar, using grammar books when writing to correct grammar, spelling and capitalization issues, using Snappy Words as an internet resource to use better word choice in writing and more. The goal is to teach the children to be problem finders and solvers. Take a look at some ways we use tools and how we are making one classroom tool to help.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

News Flash

All parents, Friday, October 31 at 1:30 is Francis Wyman's annual Halloween Parade. Please stop on by!

Homeroom parents are also invited Wednesday, November 5 to see our classroom presentations of 'The Constitution'. Please join us at 9:15 as we unveil our first iMovie presentations to demonstrate our learning.

See you soon.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Recess Time

Nothing Like a Little Recess Fun

Just last week some students came up to me requesting I play with them at recess. Not being dressed appropriately and feeling a little guilty about it, the next time I had recess duty I guaranteed I'd be ready.  

I came in to school with shorts, sneakers, and a t-shirt ready to learn this new spinning, jump rope, hula-hoop jumping game.  (And speed game!) I am not sure I was physically prepared for both the speed and effort involved in keeping up with these 10 year old girls.

Apparently, one child stands in the middle holding the handle of a looped jump rope with a hula hoop to swing around in a circle. The child in the middle spins the rope around at the desired speed of the children around the outside who then jump over the hula hoop as it gets to them.  

So I made my playground debut and held my own. I even successfully navigated their most expertise fast level. However, I will admit to being a little weary in the end. Thanks for the laughs girls!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Typhoon Joins 103

A Classroom Pet

A few students responsibly came to me last week inquiring about a classroom pet.  After careful consideration, I couldn't come up with a reason to say, "No!" So last week, we welcomed Typhoon to our class.

Typhoon is a male guinea pig.  Our guinea pig is about 5 years old. Guinea pigs are not very active.   When you hold a guinea pig, you must support its back legs.  It needs to get its vitamins from fruit and vegetables daily.  It is part of the cavia family.  They are nocturnal. and they like to hide in tall grass in the wild as camouflage and for warmth.  

Mrs. Pavlicek came with our new classroom friend and the students are already in love.  I can't believe how attentive the children are.  One student even wrote out the care and maintenance for our new pet. And, although, I got a printed copy of the directions, I feel strongly that it will be these nicely hand printed directions I will use as we enjoy our visitor.  

The children come in every morning eager to take him out and say hello.  I am proud of the class for genuinely caring about our new pet.  Not only do they pay attention to Typhoon but they feed him fruits and vegetables daily, change his water and clean his cage with no complaints.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Student Council

8 Responsible Students
Only 3 Seats to be Filled
What Will Happen?

Okay, so maybe I am being slightly dramatic, but you should have been here.  It was tense.  The children prepared to read their speeches.  I went through the typical discussion about their responsibilities as citizens to be responsible voters.  I heard the children talking about butterflies in their stomachs and being nervous about the speech and if they might win.  Listening really put it into perspective for me.

The children took this opportunity seriously!  I am impressed.  I heard all about our CARES motto.  For those of us who might not be sure about this: Compassion, Accomplishment, Respect, Enthusiasm and Self-reliance.  I heard children talk about what they can do to help our school and how they can help others make similar accomplishments.  I heard them talk about responsible ways to help children who are being bullied.  I admired students for accepting that they will give up some of their own recess time to be a member of this community.  Good job boys and girls; I can't wait to see who will represent 103, the fifth grade and Francis Wyman!

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Commuting and Associating

It isn't Just for the Work Place.

This week was the introduction of some properties of math.  For those of us who don't remember, I always fall back to what the words mean.  I commute to work and I associate with people.  In other words, the order doesn't matter when you add or multiply.  The simple act of commuting just means you change the order while associating means you put numbers that fit together or make landmark numbers. Our first method of trying this out was using Popplet to move number bubbles around.

As this task grew, students were the numbers and the operations signs and they had to move according to my direction, Commutative or Associative Property.  More and more numbers came into play along with our addition signs.  As it came to a close, the children could give some great definitions for compatible numbers, landmark numbers, and the properties covered in this very class.  

The boys and girls were visited by two representatives from Google.  They came to observe what education in the elementary setting looks like today.  Some of their take-aways were all of the group work and desks being put together in table groups.  Things have changed since we were in school.

In this final picture, we employed the use of parenthesis to help us see where numbers associated.  Ask your math experts to explain how this all went down.

Light, Shadows and a Webquest

What are These SCIENTISTS up to?

We are finishing up our explorations of light with a webquest involving light and shadows, natural sources of light as well as some things that simply reflect (like the moon), and finally some confirmation of light traveling in straight lines.  My budding scientists had their work sent to them through Google Classroom.  They simply opened up the work, clicked on the links within the questions and answered from the interactive games. Classroom also allows the children to easily turn the work in when they are done.

The children were able to work at their own pace, test their own ideas and observe the outcomes.  This is yet another method for students to utilize so they can learn like scientists.  In the end, the students' answers were their way of explaining what they saw and how they understood it.

One student's notes from the online interactive game.

In the follow up activity the next day, the children made a t-chart of natural sources of lights and some items that simply reflect in their Notability Science folder. This led to the review of transparent, translucent and opaques items.  Our third grade review is complete as is our new fifth grade learning.

There is nothing better than watching a child take control of his or her own learning.  By allowing the children the opportunity to see various ways to learn science they are also learning the real ways scientists learn and use science.  The unit's close revolved around the class acting as scientists who use real life scientific methods from which to learn.  We come up with questions, use resources such as books and the internet to learn from, then we experiment or try it out and finally observe the outcomes.  This almost always leads to more questions...

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Notability is Up and Running

Technology Surrounds Us so Why Not Take Advantage

This week all the classes I teach set up their Notability accounts. What is Notability you say? Notability is an app that students can use to keep track of notes, pictures, etc. It syncs with GoogleDrive so that this personal iPad app is now accessible through GoogleDrive. What does this mean to you? Now you can see the work children are doing in school right at your fingertips. 
In Math, children worked on a math worksheet through the app, shared in GoogleDrive, and assigned and turned in through Google Classroom. The students are learning how to keep their work in an organized manner while enjoying the process of employing technology.  Parents can see this work from home by having their child log into their own Google Drive accounts because all the Notability work is synced with GoogleDrive.  Take a look to see just what these savvy mathematicians can do!
In ELA, children set up their folders and quickly were assigned to photograph various completed graphic organizers.  For the children, this means the increased opportunity for independence.  If you are asking how, let me explain.  These correctly completed exemplars are available for students to look at to review just how to use them.  This will simplify the process of selecting the right organizer for the job and exactly what is required for filling it out.  For parents, you can see just what your children can do and what is expected of them every day.

Here you can see Mr. Schersten, our technology specialist demonstrating the app set up.  Color coded subject folders were set up and linked to GoogleDrive.  Then children photographed the different classroom created graphic organizers and titled them correctly for later use.  Independence and empowerment are set up!

In science, this meant we were set up to be the scientists we should all be to test and learn about our world and how it works.  Children photographed their already completed prism experiments in a note called Prisms.  As the week progressed, students used the app to organize, question, plan, experiment and observe outcomes of experiments.  They drew pictures for plans, utilized text books to locate various ideas and scientific terms, typed a list of necessary materials and made predictions about what they thought the outcome might be.  Now, they can look back and 'reflect' on the learning and the process.  Look at that, they are learning like scientists already!
In this experiment, children were testing their ideas about refraction. They noticed that the pencil, straw, ruler or spoon look broken as the light travels from the air to the water.  Next week we will try to come up with why that might be.  Be sure to ask. 

Refraction in action!