Friday, May 29, 2015

A Visit to Valencia, Spain

Calvin and Lincoln are traveling with their family for the next few weeks.  We were fortunate to visit with them and learned about their time in Spain.
It would take approximately 9 hours and 30 minutes to fly to Valencia from Logan Airport in Boston, MA.  
Don't forget they are 6 hours ahead of us in Topsfield, MA USA.

Our first skype visit was with Calvin and Mrs. Gibbas's class.

Calvin shared his thoughts on being a home schooled traveler in Spain.  He loves to watch the soccer matches.  He got to travel to Barcelona to see one.  He is finding all the food fun to eat.  There is a market close to their apartment that they walk to every day to.  With no car they carry their food back home.  One of Calvin's favorite foods is paella made with rice, chicken and rabbit.
Nearby is a fun park with a giant Gulliver created after the main character from the book Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift.  Imagine climbing and sliding on this structure!

We also had the opportunity to skype with Lincoln and Mrs. Madden's class.

Lincoln took us on a tour of their 2 bedroom apartment.  We got to look outside the window at the plaza which has no cars.  Lincoln also tole us they do not have a backyard but like to walk to the park nearby.
They family enjoyed a visit to the Natural Museum of History and the Zoo.
Lincoln told us about the school day in Spain.  Students are sent home at 1:00 PM for a 2 hour siesta and return at 3:00 PM for the remainder of the school day.  School gets out at 5:00 PM.  Would you like to have a 2 hour lunch break?

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Thursday, May 14, 2015

How to...

Students have been busy writing Informational/Explanatory: Factual Reports and Procedural Writing (How-to) during the month of May. Classes have explored multiple ways to address this type of writing.

In some rooms you will see students filling in graphic organizers before they begin their final drafts.

You may even see How to Poetry being composed on the computer.

A group of first graders decided to showcase their work in a green screen video format. Click on the picture below. Warning: You will be hungry at the end!

The children in second grade have been reading procedural text and learning how to write procedural text incorporating transition words (i.e., first, next, then, finally). The children chose a topic of interest and created their own “How To” books on Book Creator. The children learned how to add their own voice to their books allowing them to practice their reading fluency skills. The children also learned how to add and import photographs into their completed books. Needless to say they are very proud of their “How to Books.”

Option 1 digital device:
Click on the title, download, and Open either in Book Creator or iBooks on a digital device.  Be sure to click on the speech bubble to hear the text.

Option 2 PDF for a computer:

Click on PDF.  Read the pages of the story.

Option 3 Book Read Aloud:  Listen to the story being read by the author.

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Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Tech Talk 2014-2015

The energetic group of teachers that I have the pleasure of working with every day have proven again and again their commitment to integrating technology in their daily practice.  Every Wednesday, teachers met after school for a one hour workshop on a new facet of technology.  During the 2014-2015 school year 60 workshops were offered.  As a conclusion to Tech Talk 14-15 we held a SmackDown as our last workshop! Teachers reflected, shared best practices and came away inspired with new ideas.  Of course we also held a raffle with some fun donated prizes!
Enjoy the slideshow created by Mrs. Elliott our curriculum director who was inspired by the workshop on FlipAGram.

A new addition to Tech Talk 14-15 was the introduction of Challenges.  Teachers were given the opportunity to expand their new skills by creating a digital piece of student work.  In the Blendspace below you will see the outstanding submissions.

Stay tuned!  Summer Tech Talk 15-16 begins August 19, 2015!

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