Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween Word Study

Keeping with the spirit of all things "weird and wonderful", my students donned their Wacky Eyeballs, suffused with powers to help them discover "tricky" word patterns. 
Happy Halloween!

Pretty snazzy, don't you think? And yes, what a "treat" it was, this diversion from the norm.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Wow, what a BIG day for global learning!

      Can I just say that I was as excited as my students today, as we Skyped for the very first time--not once, but TWO separate times, with TWO separate groups of people! How thrilling is that? (See? I told you I was excited!)

      We started off the morning with a surprise Skype from a new friend all the way over in--wait for it---Nepal! We chatted for about 15 minutes, and it's surprising how much information can be swapped in such a short amount of time. AND how it inspires conversation throughout the day! (Of course, some students told their other teachers they "scraped" another class, but  they finally know the word "Skype".)  ;)

      The second exchange was with a 3rd/4th class in Quebec,Canada, who are reading the same book as we are as part of the Global Read Aloud 2012. My normally chatty 3rd graders donned their "shy" costumes and barely said a word for the first 15 minutes. Then, all of a sudden they all wanted to talk when they realized how this whole "Skyping thing" worked. Those few minutes really showed them how important it is to listen to others' questions, and how to think before responding, and asking followup questions. Such important life skills, which had remained a mystery for some reason until this little session.
        Something both groups of my students noticed was that everyone else we spoke with today speaks more than one language, just like them. The Nepali girls actually speak 4 languages--very impressive!!

Here are some pictures of our Skyping session. Come back tomorrow for opinions and feedback from the students about Skyping and meeting new people.
Our first Skyping session (ever!), discussing The One and Only Ivan with
a combination 3rd/4th grade class in Quebec, Canada.

2 of my students explaining a poster they created on their own,
at home, about the main characters in the book.

A view of our Smartboard, showing the class in Quebec, as well
as our class in the right hand corner.

Absolutely captivated by the discussion--this group was not shy at all!
Skyping with Govinda, a Nepali teacher and "school principal",
 and his daughter in Nepal. They are 9:45 ahead of our time!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Collaborative learning at its best

The kids are so excited--each day they come in to see the map on our blog, to see which cities, states, and countries our visitors are from, and to check for comments. We will post pix of our map next week! Learning geography while reading about a gorilla...whoda thunk it? ;)

Please click on our One and Only Ivan page for more about this project.

Looking at the map on our blog every time we come in the room! 
So excited to see what cities, states and countries our visitors are from!

Checking to see if there are any comments.

Collaborative learning at its finest. :)

Friday, October 5, 2012

Making our sentences Fabulous!!

This past week we have been learning how to make our writing more descriptive using adjectives. Our goal has been to change our boring sentences into FABULOUS sentences. Read some of our creations!

We started by reviewing parts of speech. Here you can see the
students using manipulatives to scaffold more complex sentences.
Making "rainbow" sentences was quite the challenge, since 
we're learning how to describe without using "is", and learning
instead how to use one, two, or three adjectives before the noun!
Resistance was futile! By the third day, they could teach each other. 
Some were handily tossing around multiple adjectives, 
while others were using one, but all were before the nouns!!