Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Fast Plant Glogs

Fifth Graders did an excellent job representing the model experiment we did using a website called Glogster. You can navigate through the pages and click on a Glog you would like to see more closely.

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Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Researching on the Internet

Sorry about my lack of posts recently, I am finally feeling back to about 100%. In fifth grade we are beginning to research our topics for our Science Fair Projects. Many students believe that they already know how to do Internet research; I am often asked, "Can I just Google it?" When researching, students often are not critically thinking about the information, authors, dates, or validity of the websites they visit. They often just trust that the top sites on Google must contain the correct information. If students learning how to use certain search functions, search engines will return much better results. We will be learning some of these skills in class today. This video below, while an advertisement, does offer insightful  research on student's online research habits.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Learning Elements is Essential

I thought Fourth graders did an excellent job on their presentations, I know I learned a lot during this process. I have included links to the projects below. Thank you to all that attended.


Friday, September 30, 2011

You are invited to the LEE talks

I would like to invite fourth grade parents to the LEE talks - Learning Elements is Essential. Fourth Grade student pairs have been working very hard in creating presentations about an element in the periodic table. Their presentations will include multimedia that they organized from Internet resources. Each student’s goal is to share their new found knowledge of their element with you. Mrs. Mills' class will begin their presentations at 12:45 on Thursday October 6th, and Mrs. Griffin's class will begin their presentations at approximately 1:45. The presentations will take place in the Multi-Purpose room. Please email me if you have any questions. I hope to see you all there!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Empowering Students


I found this Ted talk inspirational and I hope to empower my students in a similar way.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Changes in State

In fourth grade we are exploring the elemental nature of our word. We are exploring what our universe is made of - matter. On Wednesday, we learned about the known states of matter - solids, liquids, gases, plasma, Bose-Einstein Condensate, and Fermionic Condensate through an interactive online presentation. On Friday, we experienced three of those states and watched how some forms of matter changed from one state to another. To experience these changes we used dry ice, a solid form of carbon dioxide. As a grand finale, a few pitcherfuls of dry ice was added to hot water to induce a massive amount of sublimation; a giant cloud of carbon dioxide gas formed which amazed everyone.

Sharing our Ideas with the World

Blogging in a Classroom Setting
As our world continues its evolutionary path towards a global society students will need to know how to share their ideas and knowledge. The Internet offers an easy way to become a published author and offer critics on our shared experiences.

Creating, evaluating, and analyzing are all higher level thinking skills according to Bloom's Taxonomy. In creating the blog posts below, fifth grade students are using those higher level thinking skill to describe a recently completed novel. Students must analyze what they have read, evaluate the novel, and then create their own critique. Fifth grade students will use a blog format to share other ideas and data discovered in our class.

Click on the links below to see their work.

W's Book Blog

C's Book Blog

Friday, September 9, 2011

Observations of the Natural World

In fourth grade we have been studying the idea of observation; how to do it and do it well. We took a mini field trip to the playground to see if we could observe parts of the natural world we usually pass right by. We captured these images of the natural world and then wrote a brief descriptive paragraph of that image. One goal of this activity was to introduce students to both Microsoft Word and digital photography. Here are three examples from each class.


Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Comics that Represent the Acceptable Use Policy

In 5th grade we have been discussing the Acceptable Use Policy and what it means for students. I offered students a guide to help them understand the AUP. The guide distilled the AUP into seven main ideas, as follows:

Maintain Equipment
Shield your Identity
Mutual Respect

Students were asked to then represent one of these ideas in a comic; below is some of their work.


Maintain Eqiupment
Shield Your Identity
Mutual Respect

Observing Selaginella lepidophylla

In 4th grade Science and Technology we have been observing an unusual plant sometimes referred to as a resurrection plant. It has the ability to dry out for years and then rehydrate when placed in water. We were able to make careful observations, drawings and took digital images of the transformation. In this video, a picture was taken every 20 seconds for 8 hours and then rendered into a video. Enjoy!

21st Century Learning - Resources

Here are a few resources on teaching for modern times.

A call for change in education from the New York Times
National Association of independent schools view on 21st century schools
International Society for Technology in Education's standards for students
International Society for Technology in Education's standards for teachers

An Introduction into Project Based Learning

Sir Ken Robinson: Do schools kill creativity?

RSA Animate - Changing Education Paradigms