Sunday, September 28, 2014

Emailing The Future

This week my returning students were excited to receive emails from... themselves! These emails were written last year when they were mere 1st graders and they got to read them this week as much older and mature 2nd graders. 
After reading their emails from their younger selves, students wrote again to their future selves, and this time the letters will arrive when they are in high school! 
We used a fun and free site called FutureMe  to send ourselves emails in the future. Students told their future selves about themselves right now and included information like their current favorite color, what they liked to eat, what they liked to do at recess, etc. Students are looking forward to seeing how much they change by the time they receive these emails! They also asked themselves questions and made a few predictions. FutureMe was a fun way to get my class excited about writing! 

Monday, September 22, 2014

Mustang Money

Wow, the class was so excited to hear the announcement that we are currently #1 in participation in Mustang Money donations! Our prize was a free round of mini-golf at Crackerjax for each student. These tickets were sent home Friday.
Thanks so much for your generous donations! The school we be collecting Mustang Money for a few more weeks and donations may be any amount. Please let me know if you have any questions!

Friday, September 19, 2014

International Talk Like a Pirate Day

September 19th is one of my favorite days of the year: International Talk Like a Pirate Day!
Students read a pirate themed readers theater and then answered some comprehension questions. Next, we broke into small groups, students chose a character like "Peg-Leg Peggy" or "Captain Goldtooth" and rehearsed with their team. Finally, each group presented their interpretation of the reader's theater to the class. Watch the video below to see us in action!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Skype With Mrs. P

  Today we participated in our very first Skype of the year, with the one and only Mrs. P!
She gave us some wonderful tips on how to be a writer. My favorite quote was, "If you can tell a story, you can write a story!" She also talked a lot about the importance of reading and reminded us that, "reading is cool and so are you!"
During our discussion she told us some silly stories and took lots of questions from the class. At the very end she told us about her "Be A Famous Writer" contest. The topic this year is time travel, which just so happens to tie in with our spelling lists from last week. 
We didn't want to say goodbye because we were having such a great time with Mrs. P, but eventually we had to. Once we finally did, we got out our Chromebooks and got to work writing time travel stories using Google docs!
This writing project is something we will continue to work on in class and students are welcome to work on it at home if they choose, too. All the details of the writing contest can be found in the flyer below!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Geometry with Candy and QR Codes

We have been working on a geometry unit in math class!
Students learned about lines, rays and angles and got to demonstrate what each was using toothpicks, marshmallows and candy corn. 
Later in the unit, students used an iPad to scan assorted QR Codes. Each QR Code brought them to different information about a shape including an image of the shape, the definition of the shape and properties of the shape. Each student created a chart of all the different shapes we learned and included all of this information. 

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Osmosis With Gummy Worms

What better way to learn about osmosis than with gummy worms?
Each student worked with a partner, observing and recording data about their gummy worm. 
We measured them, traced them and drew pictures of them. Then, we soaked them in a bowl of water overnight.
The next day, we were so surprised to see how much our gummy worms had grown! They were huge!
We measured them again and they had doubled in size!
Why did this happen? Water molecules always move from an area where there is a lot of water molecules to an area where there are fewer molecules. In this experiment, the water in the bowl of water wanted to move inside the gummy worm because there isn't that much water in a gelatin based candy. The movement of water molecules into the gummy worm results in its increase in size. This process is called osmosis!

Monday, September 1, 2014

Back to School Selfies

Last week was Parent Curriculum Night, and I always like to have some sort of student created project on every desk for the parents to admire while they are waiting for the presentation to begin.
I tried something new this year, having each student take a selfie and edit it using a fun photo editing app called PicCollage, adding the hashtag of their current grade. 
We discussed what a hashtag was and why someone might use one, although many of the students already knew all about hashtags since we used Twitter in class quite a bit last year.
Once each student created and edited their selfie, they emailed it to themselves via pvLearners. From there, they added it to a Google doc, made the doc public, copied the link and went to my favorite URL shortener and QR Code creator,
From, they created a QR Code, which they then pasted into another Google doc. They made sure to label their QR Code with their name, since QR Codes all look very similar, and had fun experimenting with different fonts. We printed the QR Codes and mounted them to a piece of construction paper so they were waiting for parents when they walked in on Curriculum Night. 
There were a lot of steps to this project, but most students impressed me with their ability to handle the project with ease. I especially enjoyed watching many of my returning students assist the new students. It was exciting to witness such fantastic communication and collaboration skills!
Quick recap of skills learned and demonstrated during this fun back to school project: using the camera of an iPad, photo editing, adding an appropriate hashtag, emailing, Google docs, URL shortening, QR Code creation, collaboration, communication, and creativity. We hit three out of the "Four C's!"
It's going to be a fabulous year!