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Wednesday, March 12, 2014

The students are jumping on the bandwagon with me to do more things "paperless" here in Room 19. Instead of doing a good old-fashioned book report, the kids were required to do a book talk on their favorite Dr. Seuss book. Since we were celebrating his birthday that week any way, I thought it would be a good time to teach them about sequencing and summarizing and also how to post to YouTube. In case you were wondering, a book talk is a short talk about a book that tells the listener just enough about it to make them want to read it without revealing the ending.

Check out their Dr. Seuss book talks on my YouTube channel! -

Also posted recently - subtraction videos! To show their understanding of subtracting to 1000, they had to create their own subtraction problem which required regrouping. They could solve it with any of the strategies they were taught. They had to use the inverse operation to check their answer.

Why do I teach this way?
Here is an image of Bloom's Taxonomy made into a wheel (Remember and Understand were combined). It is my philosophy that students learn best when they are required to CREATE. By making these videos they not only have to understand a concept, they have to know it well enough to verbally explain and teach it to someone else. The vocalization of something can be much more difficult than simply solving.
These apps below are great ones to try for each level of Bloom's.

Mobiles that balance

Today we worked on a lesson from our "Balancing and Weighing" unit in science. I told the kids all about the man Alexander Calder who invented mobiles (like the ones in baby cribs). I showed them pictures of his HUGE mobiles that are hanging in museums in New York. I gave them 4 objects - paper clips, straws, construction paper and tape and asked them to create a unique mobile that balanced. 

getting started
Getting creative

Making a paper clip chain

All done!
Look what I made!
When the students were done they had 2 options - draw a picture of their mobile in their science notebook OR post a picture of their mobile with a caption on their class blog - Kidblog. There was a little frustration along the way, but they really had a good time with it. They were super excited to take them home today as well.

Is powerpoint the only way?

A student was eager to work on a "Big 6" research project and they sat down at a computer getting ready to find a way to "publish" their work when they posed this question to me. The tech-geek inside of me got pretty giddy and I quickly replied , "No!" I showed them a website called "Prezi" and helped them get started. I'm sure many more will follow, but take a look at what one student got started today. 

Great job! I LOVE it when my kids want to learn new ways to do things.

One other website that I haven't gotten to show them yet is "Glogster" ( Its like a blog and a poster put together in a virtual way. You can incorporate music, videos, photographs, etc. I'm hoping to use this with the kids by the end of the year. Try it at home if you get a chance!

Walk of Famous Faces

Friday, March 7, 2014

On Thursday, February 20, we had our famous faces "Walk of Fame." We did this to cap off our 6 week long study of nonfiction and biographies. Each child chose 1 famous person from history and learned all they could about them. They read books, researched information, and created a poster. At home, they (along with their parents) put together a costume that resembled something their person might wear. All the 2nd graders stood out in the hallway holding their posters while the 1st graders walked through and got a chance to chat with all of our famous people. The kids did great and their costumes were terrific. Great job to all!

Bye Mr. Jordan!

For the past few weeks we've had the pleasure of having Mr. Jordan from Athens State come and observe our class. He was required to do 6 days of a "field experience" in a 2nd grade classroom. He even taught a math lesson one day! He has really gotten to know these kiddos well and I think they'll miss him!

Class pic with Mr. Jordan
Mr. Jordan gave the kids a gift
A football to use at the playground!
And we made him a goodbye card

Thanks for joining us Mr. Jordan! Good luck on your quest to become a teacher. It is the most rewarding experience ever!

Building structures that balance

Today we began a new science unit on balancing and weighing. We are learning about different forces on our earth and how that has an effect on things around us. We started by cutting out butterflies and trying to balance them on an unsharpened pencil. Easier said than done!

It worked!
Hold it steady...

Then, I gave them three objects - a wooden board, a small piece of wood, and 20 unifix cubes. I gave them one task - create a structure that balances. They came up with some interesting structures...

Using teamwork to create a product
Great balance!
Not quite there yet
Getting creative