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!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Camp Bournedale Memories

Camp Bournedale: Fifth Grade Trip

For those of you who do not know just how amazing Camp Bournedale is, let us show you just how special, educational, fun and friendship building it can be.  Our adventures begin with three 'classes'.  Our journey brought us onto the Lobster Tales in Pymouth Harbor.  We saw the Mayflower and Plymouth Rock on our way out.  But our physical learning began with hauling full lobster traps out of the water.  We learned the differences between boy and girl crabs and lobsters.  We saw babies still in their mothers and exactly what it takes for a lobster to be a keeper.  Not to mention the spectacular dance done by one of our very own fifth graders.  Shhhh, don't tell anyone but he's about to loose an arm to a giant lobster.

Next stop, Project Adventure! How do you quickly establish classroom community, friendship, trust and mutual respect for one another?  Put children in the position to need one another!  Children had to work together to solve problems, make plans and act on them.  First, how do we get someone over the Meatgrinder? Next, who goes first?  Then, who should go last?  Why should we do it that way?  Let's not forget that we need to get Mrs. Lynch and Mrs. Logan over it to.  Check out these problem solvers!

And, let's not forget our famous surgical skills for the shark dissection.  From beginning to end, we found the sex of the shark, the stomach, intestines, lungs and more.  All students had the opportunity to cut, t open and check out just what makes these guys work.  Did you know that sharks wouldn't be able to swim as fast backwards as they do forwards?  They have scales on their skin that point to the back making them more sleek going forward!

Thanks for the Great Memories Camp Bournedale!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Francis Wyman Garden, Seeds and Master Gardener Peter Coppola

What's Going on with that Garden Back There?

Room 103 students took a tour of the garden behind the school last week. We saw watermelons, pumpkins, tomatoes, beans and more.  This led to our main purpose, seed drying and classification...along with a short reflection of light energy and color.

Many vegetables are already picked and hopefully eaten, but how do we continue the process?  Did you know that some vegetables from school gardens go to local food pantries? 

Welcome Peter Coppola!

To keep the process going, master gardener Peter Coppola came for a visit with dried bean seeds for us to check out.  How did they become dry?  What can we do with them?  Why do the different seeds look different?  

Next comes a variety of tomatoes like Purple Cherokee and Moon Glow.  We noticed the differences between the different tomatoes.  How do we get these tomatoes  again next year?  Hmm!

Let's cut into the tomatoes and see what we can do. The insides of tomatoes are juicy, wet and filled with seeds.  If we scoop out the seeds and put them into cups we can begin the process of drying the seeds to keep these kinds of tomatoes in our garden for next year.

After digging out the seeds, we put them into water to sort the pulp from the seeds.  Next steps: daily stirring, drying out and seeing the differences in our dried tomato seeds.  Be sure to come back for more!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Explorations in Light

Welcome to our Exploration in Light

As the year begins, we start reviewing what we remember about light and color.  Students experimented with bubbles and light.  

They witnessed the frequency of the bubbles quicken causing rainbows to brighten.  The end result was finding out that violet has the highest frequency.  The bubbles were brightest at the end.  Then they would quickly turn black and pop.

As the children enjoyed their rainbow displays they were given the opportunity to talk in groups about what they were seeing prior to taking notes on their observations.  There was sharing of ideas and information as well as responsibility to the task.  One student even shared how the colors seemed to go through the spectrum in order of Roy G. Biv.  If you aren't sure who he is, be sure to ask your child.

Our second experiment was to use prisms to create rainbows.  As we were trying to make our rainbows, the children noted that the rainbow never traveled straight through the prism and out.  Rather the rainbow came out to the side. 

A great first day of experimentation was had by all.  The children took turns, listened to each other, answered their own questions and more.  

I can't wait to see what's next!