Thursday, February 27, 2014

Grand Canyon Essay Contest Winners

Gold Medal Winner!
Earlier this year every student wrote an essay for The Grand Canyon Essay Contest. This is the largest essay contest in the United States and this year they received over 7,000 entries from students in public, private, parochial and home schools throughout Arizona. Congratulations to our very own Liam for winning 1st place in his grade level and earning a gold medal! Below is the video clip of Dr. Davis presenting him with his well earned prize!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

QR Code Scavenger Hunt

We learned about all of Arizona's "Five C's" as we prepared for the 102nd birthday of our great state!
To learn about cotton, students participated in a QR Code Scavenger Hunt. Working with a partner, they found clues all over the room and scanned them with an iPad.
The information they scanned came in a variety of formats including video messages, audio messages, slide shows, documents, websites and plain text. 
Students took notes during the scavenger hunt and decided which information was the most interesting and relevant. Then, they created a cotton collage, displaying some of the new facts they had learned.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Mustang Spirit!

We showed the MOST spirit of any class in the entire school last month, so we have the privilege of hosting the Mustang Spirit Banner in our classroom!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Happy Birthday, Arizona!

 Along with Valentine's Day last week, we also celebrated Arizona's 102nd birthday!
It was a lot of fun learning about "The Five C's" and we did at least one activity per "C." Ask your child if he or she can tell you the Five C's, why they are relevant and how we learned about them. 

Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day!

We have been working the last week or so on a special Valentine's Day project. First, students had to write a Valentine message in Google docs. 
Next, I recorded each student wishing their Valentine recipient a happy Valentine's Day. Each movie was uploaded to YouTube and the privacy setting was changed to "anyone with link can view" (meaning it can't be searched or found, so the movies could remain a bit of a surprise!) I emailed each student their link and they went to, shortened the URL and created a QR Code. Then, students copied the URL for the QR Code and pasted it into their document. We printed all docs and QR codes and glued them to our Valentine greeting. 
A QR Code is a type of matrix bar code. QR stands for “quick response” and the code is able to hold significantly more data than a traditional bar code. Additionally, the code can link directly to text, a website, a telephone number, a vCard, a video and more!
We have been using QR Codes in the classroom all year, as it is one of my favorite learning and teaching tools! I did a TED Talk about QR Codes last year and still find them to be extremely engaging. The QR scanner app we use in the classroom is called i-nigma, but there are many other free QR scanner apps available. QR codes can be scanned using any smartphone and most tablets. If you don't have access to any of those devices, they can also be scanned on a Mac or PC using QReader, QuickMark or QR Code Reader.
If you have any challenges scanning your child's special Valentine QR Code, please shoot me an email and I will gladly help!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Learning About Martin Luther King Jr.

As part of a Social Studies unit, my class learned about Martin Luther King Jr. 
Students completed a webquest, took a virtual tour of his childhood home, did research and created timelines. 
Students also had a spelling list devoted to MLK and many chose to present what they had learned to the class. Watch the video below to see a montage of some of the awesome presentations!

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Tweeting In The Classroom

Click here to read about some of the ways we have used and will use Twitter this year! 
We have interacted with Steve Spangler, Mrs. P, The Daring Librarian and even the White House this year via Twitter. We also followed our buddy class (Mrs. Bird's class) as they tweeted from their adventure in Catalina Island. I love using social media to learn!