Today the kindergarteners read The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats and then we painted snow pictures in Tux Paint
My students have finished up (or at least will in the next two weeks) with our Technology Club. We focused on computer programming using Makey Makeys that were donated through Donors Choose. Below are some of the thank you notes my students did to send to one of our donors. A couple were so cute!
Today in computer lab we started one of my favorite units to do with students; we are beginning to learn to program using Scratch. Scratch is a programming language that makes it easy to create interactive art, stories, simulations, and games – and share those creations online. I love seeing the kids get excited. after creating a stack and seeing it come to life.
I plan to spend six sessions on Scratch. The first two are play dates for the students to explore and discover just what can be done using the site. On our third time in I hope to have the students create an account and really start to get their feet wet. By the end of the six week period perhaps we will be able to share some projects. In the meantime, look at some of the comments and conversations below that I got to hear today during lab.
"I don't know how to get my dinosaur to turn around." "Oh! I do! I'll show you."
"This is so cool!"
"Dude, look at this. This is so hilarious."
"Look at my dove fly around my screen."
"I am going home and show my dad. He will love this!"
Below you can see some of our students hard at work!
First Grade had a blast today learning about Christmas Tree Farms. We began our lesson by brainstorming as a class on a circle map what we know about farms. Below is the circle map we created.
As you can see, we do have Christmas trees on our brainstorm circle. That is because one child had just been to a Christmas tree Farm. It was amusing to listen to the other students try to convince him that Christmas trees do not grow on a farm. One child said they come from Walmart or Food Lion. LOL!
Following the brainstorm, I acknowledged the child who mentioned Christmas trees and we saw a YouTube video entitled The Miller's Christmas Tree Farm. This video gives a good picture of what a day is like during the Christmas Season at this farm. Then we read a book called Christmas Tree Farm by Sandra Jordan. Students were excited to see some of the same activities pictured in the book as they saw in the movie. We ended the lesson by going to a site where they can decorate their own Christmas Trees. The nice thing about this site is that it not only lets the students decorate their tree but gives them an opportunity to choose their tree as well. One comment that was made in the book was that everybody has their own perfect tree. Below are snapshots of our Christmas Trees.
I would love to have had time to do a double bubble map showing the difference between the activities on the movie with the book. However, I ditched the double bubble map in order to give the students time to use the website to create their own trees.
Our school division is moving to using Thinking Maps across the curriculum. Today was a very busy day for me as I not only installed Thinking maps software on all teacher computers in their classrooms but also on all the lab computers. Then in 3-5 grades we began using the software.
Thinking Maps are visual learning tools that support specific thinking skills and allow students to organize information.
The first slide show was from a lesson 4 & 5th graders did today on safe passwords. The second is from a third grade lesson on school. Later we will build a flow chart from the 3rd grade maps and then a timeline. Fourth and Fifth graders will be creating passwords for their blog and Edmodo accounts.
As you browse through the students' maps below please remember that although they were very familiar with the Thinking Maps, the software was brand new to them. Still, I feel they did a remarkable job!
I have put together a symbaloo of resources for Thinking Maps.
If you are looking for them, come to my computer lab. I had 2nd graders build wild things on Build Your Wild Self. I took pictures of the students and then used Smart Notebook to white out the face of the wild thing they build and superimpose it over their picture. This is only half of the 2nd graders at one of my schools. We will finish up next week. After this project we may blabberize these images.
Today I was at Central Elementary. We repeated the lessons (for the most part) from yesterday except for today I only had 30 minutes in the computer lab. I know that in the future I will need to differentiate for the two schools but I wanted the students to start off with something easy and fun. It was a little overwhelming with only 30 minutes as opposed to 45 but we got everything done and saved! I am so proud of them and proud of myself too. I am not the most patient of people. LOL!! One thing that I thought of that saved the day for this school is sticky notes. Not having the time to save all the work from very large classes, I put the students' names on sticky notes and went back later to save.
Fifth Grade Graffiti Names-Will be used on their Edmodo accounts later.
Fourth Grade Square Icon Avatars to be used on their blogs in the future.
Second Graders used a website called Build Your Wild Self to create these masterpieces. Later my intentions are to take the pictures of the students and replace the face of their creature with the face of the child. High goals-We'll see if I make it that far.
Don't you absolutely love it when the day works out just the way you planned in your dreams? They don't come often but when they do, it doesn't matter what the weather is on the outside, on the inside the sun is shinning brightly! Today was such a day. All of my classes have been absolutely amazing today but the three student examples below come from third, fourth and fifth grades respectfully.
Third graders created pixiel people using the icon generator site. These will be used on our blog. We are learning to keep ourselves safe and only post our own work online. We will be creating lots of projects like this and then writing stories about them.
Fourth Graders used a website called the icon creator to create square avatars. Later we will upload these to our blog page.
Fifth Graders used a site called the Graffiti Maker to make their names graffiti style. I think they did a fantastic job! We will use these on our Edmodo page.
_Hi, my name is Melanie Lewis. I am an Instructional Technology Resource Teacher for Amherst County Public Schools,
located in the beautiful state of Virginia. I LOVE my job! I get to
work on my hobby, anything that has to do with computers. I get to work
with teachers and students, and I am definitely a people person. Plus,
I DO NOT have to give grades. Wonderful, huh? Let me know how I can help you better integrate technology into your classroom.
ACPS' 1st computers
I know only one thing about the technology that awaits us in the future: We will find ways to tell stories with it. ~Jason Ohler