Thursday, February 12, 2015

February FLIES... an update on learning

February's full of fun and flying by! (say that 5 times fast) 


Tomorrow we will host #CubRAD and will be highlighting the sweet story Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch. We had a little too much fun creating the book trailer for this event!

We will be reading the story and participating in a twitter chat using #CubRAD at 8, 9, & 10:00 tomorrow. Classes will be able to make connections, comment, and ask questions. We will then broadcast live at the end of the Friendship Parties to present the Tweeter award to the winning class.

Presenting awards and using Twitter is so much fun for the students. The main goal in preparing RAD for our students is to get them to think and talk about text across classes and grade levels. The teachers have been given Comprehension Questions to guide their class discussions. I have also provided some Technology Integration ideas for the teachers that want to find ways to integrate technology and literature.

In 3rd grade...

Students concluded their reading of the classic story Charlotte’s Web. They each chose a central character to complete a character analysis. They created FAKEBOOK pages for each character. They gave character descriptions, described relationships between characters, and posted status updates from the character’s perspective in each chapter of the story.
The students wanted to make a book trailer to get other Christie students interested in reading Charlotte’s Web. First, they createed a basic outline of the things they wanted to show in the trailer. They went to work inputting the outline into iMovie. The conversations about the plot line and debate about which events needed to be included gave me a clear picture of their understanding of the text. There were times we went back to re-read a section to fully understand cause and effect relationships. The students are eager to begin shooting the video clips for their trailer next week!

In 2nd grade...

Visualization Quick Draw

Students have been working on visualizing a story with no ending. They responded with a quick draw of the events leading up to a cliff hanger. The students then wrote their own satisfying endings. We summed up the experience by creating ChatterPix selfies and recording their endings. The kids LOVED using the ipads to respond to text and were eager to share their creations with their parents.

Students have been busy using multiple comprehension strategies to respond to text and make connections. They have recently been given opportunities to self-select comprehension responses by competing in a game of tic-tac-toe. 
Comprehension Tic-Tac-Toe

We have also focused on fluency, specifically on reading with expression, using reader's theater and classic stories like The Three Pigs. 

5th Grade…

One of my reluctant readers came in yesterday and asked if she could read the daily passage aloud. This was a huge moment of celebration and we praise her willingness to try and the effort she put forth. The other students were smiling as big as I was as she slowly read each word. What she was reading didn't matter at that moment; the fact is ...she was choosing to read!

Two of my 5th grade groups researched chocolate and discussed supply and demand. We explored vocabulary and read about chocolate in Europe in the 17th century. The students discovered that pure cocoa and the chocolate they are used to consuming do not taste the same! …I personally enjoyed this moment the most.
Cacao vs Milk Chocolate

Then, they chose a book they had previously read in class. They each chose a character from the book and I had them act out a scene revolving around chocolate. The biggest challenge was to remain in character. At first they thought this to be an easy and laughable task, but soon got serious about how each character would play a role in the scene.


I am forever a learner and have enjoyed spending my lunch breaks exploring some of the gadgets in our Learning Commons. We even created a GoSphero Maze for teachers and students to utilize. Judging by the looks of this video, I think I need to practice quite a bit before I will make the leader board!

February has already felt like it is flying by... 
it's going FAST and is full of  FUN!