Sunday, September 29, 2013

Mean, Median and Mode

For the past two weeks we have been learning about mean, median and mode in math class. We decided to participate in Jennifer Wagner's O.R.E.O. 2013 Project. Each student got two attempts to stack Oreo cookies and compared their results. 
We then figured out the mean, median and mode of the results of the entire class and compared this data with other classes around the country. Watch the clip below to see what we learned during this exciting project!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Celebrating Dot Day With Augmented Reality

My class is always up for a celebration, so last week we celebrated International Dot Day.
Each year on September 15 (or the 16th if the 15th happens to be on a weekend) educators worldwide celebrate Dot Day to encourage creativity and unleash potential. Inspired by Peter H. Reynolds' classic book The Dot, students are encouraged to "make their mark."
In the past my class has celebrated International Dot Day in a more traditional way, by drawing dots. This year, I stumbled upon the colAR App and decided to take our dots into the 21st century!
I simply printed out the Dot Day pages, students decorated the blank dot and with our buddy class, we used the colAr app on iPads to make our festive dots come to life!
This technology is called Augmented Reality and really needs to be experienced to be fully understood. The students enjoyed watching their creations come alive, and I am looking forward to bringing Augmented Reality into the classroom in new and innovative ways.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Thank You!

Thanks so much for all the special birthday treats! I had a wonderful day and sincerely appreciate the generosity and thoughtfulness. 

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

We Are Bloggers!

We have been blogging! We started out learning about cyber safety and some of the "rules" of blogging. The presentation I shared with the class can be viewed here.
After learning about blogging, every student logged into his or her very own blog through and started writing. is an amazing tool because it includes all the wonderful features of blogging sites like Blogger and Word Press, but makes teacher management and safety very easy. It is incredible that 1st and 2nd grade students are using the same tools as adult bloggers and getting this excellent writing experience, while still remaining safe online.
 Safety has been such a focus of this unit that some of the students decided to create a video about cyber safety. Click below to see their work!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Ice, Ice Baby!

This week we continued learning about states of matter and took a solid, watched it turn into a liquid (partially) and then turn back into a solid.
We tried to lift an ice cube using string. Students had little success. Then, we sprinkled salt on the string and waited about three minutes and tried again. 
Salt lowers the freezing point of water to below 32 degrees Fahrenheit. When we added salt to the ice cube, the salt lowered the melting point of the ice. The salt is in a thin layer, so it melts a thin layer on top of the ice cube. The water from the melty ice cube re-freezes itself around the string, almost as if the string were a part of the ice cube all along. Click below to watch this experiment in action!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

September 11th

With such young students, 9-11 is one of those sensitive topics that is better discussed in depth at home. However, with such a globally aware, bright group of students, it is hard to let the day pass unnoticed.
We read the book shown above, which is the best book I have found to use as a discussion piece regarding 9-11 for primary students. When we finished, we had a nice class conversation about patriotism and then we created an American flag craft. Students used their best handwriting to write the Pledge of Allegiance on the back.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Career Interviews

We have been learning about communities and careers in Social Studies.
Each student had to choose someone to interview about his or her career and present the information to the class. We learned about doctors, lawyers, musicians, athletes, engineers and many other fascinating professions! Click the clip below for a peek into the student presentations.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Cisco TelePresence

The View From The Classroom
We have been doing some video-conferencing with Jeff Billings, IT Director for Paradise Valley Unified School District. My students always enjoy chatting with Mr. Billings and they learn a lot from him. Along with such a wonderful resource in Mr. Billings, we also feel very lucky to have this amazing Cisco TelePresence unit in the classroom!
The View From The Other Side
We can use this powerful device to teleconference with anyone else who has a Cisco unit and soon, anyone with a computer. A huge piece of 21st century learning is authentic assessment  with experts in the field, and the TelePresence unit has the potential to open up the walls of our classroom and bring in experts. If you know anyone with these capabilities, especially at Universities, please let me know! We want a rich, authentic academic environment! The clip below shows you a snippet of one of our conversations with Mr. Billings last week.