Friday, October 30, 2015

Animal Reports in Google Slides

Grade 4 students have recently completed their study of animal adaptations. After the introduction of google for education, a very excited Mrs. Murphy had her students create their first google slide presentation. These students embraced the challenge and impressed both Mrs. Murphy and me with their GRIT!

Exploring google slides for the first time.

Students collaborating on their google slide presentations.

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Long Division

Mrs. Steinberg, Proctor School math teacher, held a parent information meeting to talk about the language used in Math in Focus. Mrs. Steinberg explained how to understand and use math reasoning in long division. She gave multiple examples of how to think out the math while solving the problem.

 In the video below Mrs. Steinberg works through a long division problem.

6. Find whole-number quotients and remainders with up to four-digit dividends and one-digit divisors, using strategies based on place value, the properties of operations, and/or the relationship between multiplication and division. Illustrate and explain the calculation by using equations, rectangular arrays, and/or area models.

1 Grade 4 expectations in this domain are limited to whole numbers less than or equal to 1,000,000. photo MrsKlipfelsign.jpg

Saturday, October 24, 2015

A Different Form of Assessment using Google Forms

Did you know that integrating technology can take the typical assessment and incorporate technology literacy at the same time? 

Students have become so comfortable using iPads and laptops in their daily learning environment that it makes sense to explore ways to incorporate that skill set into their testing environment as well.

Grade three students have been studying the life cycle of plants. Using the new science standards as the basis of learning, students began this unit by growing their own Wisconsin Fast Plants Brassica seeds. These seeds flower in a record 13 days. Student scientists observed, watered, measured, and graphed the growing process. 
Grade three students grew plants from seed to seed. 
Do you see the seed pod?
 Do you know what is in the seed pod? 
When it came time for the Big Test I talked with the grade 3 teachers about using google forms to assess student knowledge. As part of google for education, forms is fairly easy to set up and share with others. We took the original paper and pencil test and recreated the questions in google forms. A nice feature in Forms is that it also allows you to integrate pictures directly into the assessment. Then a QR code was generated for each class.

Students began by scanning a QR code which brought them to the form.
It is easy on the iPad to scroll through the test, choosing the answer with just a touch.
Click Submit and you are done! Very Easy and lots of Fun.

Mrs. Surprise loves how using google forms and the Add-On Flubaroo in sheets grades the test immediately.

3-LS1-1. Use simple graphical representations to show that species have unique and diverse life cycles.

[Clarification Statement: Examples can include different ways plants (e.g., sprout from a seed, grow (e.g., increase in size and weight, produce new part), reproduce (e.g., develop seeds and spores, root runners,) and die (e.g., length of life).] Assessment Boundary: Assessment of plant life cycles is limited to those of flowering plants.

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Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Author Visit with Kate Messner

Grade Three students were invited to a google hangout today with author, Kate Messner thanks to We Are Teachers.  You may remember Kate from last year's global read aloud and her book Marty Mcguire. She is now writing a new series of books titled Ranger in Time.

Kate shared many tips for writers of all ages. It was fun seeing her rough drafts which are usually a scribble and  her large notes for developing a new story.

"My favorite author growing up was Beverley Cleary because I was just like Ramona."
"My editor sends me back helpful hints on ways to make her books better. I think of them as a gift."
"My ending always changes.  It's like my GPS~ Rerouting"

Watch the visit.
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Friday, October 16, 2015

Google For Education

Over the summer months IT has been very busy switching teachers' emails over to google for education accounts.  Now it is time for students to jump on board. Students in grades 4, 5, and 6 have new google accounts. Mrs. Salomon and her students were eager to begin. Google for Education gives each student access to the suite of google products. They no longer will have to save documents to the server, wait for devices, or search for word documents already started. Students first worked in google docs to answer questions from their reading. One of the nicest features of all things google is the power of working remotely and sharing with others. Students were in awe as they worked with ease on this assignment.

Students answer questions to their reading right in google docs.
Editing their work
With one click~Sharing their document with Mrs. Salomon

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Thursday, October 15, 2015

Duck! Rabbit!

Mrs. Dunn's first graders had their first skype visit with Mrs. Newton's kindergartners from Fuller Meadow School in Middleton, MA.  The global read aloud book of the week is Duck! Rabbit! by Amy Krouse Rosenthal. This book asks the reader to decide if they see a Duck or a Rabbit. Click on the book below to hear this story.  What do you see?

Mrs. Dunn's students have been learning how to make tally marks in math. During this skype session the students polled Mrs. Newton's class. The results show that the majority of students see a rabbit.  I have to say I also see a rabbit.

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Tuesday, October 13, 2015

A Visit with Students in Middleton

Off to Middleton we went.

Fuller Meadow School is located in Middleton which is only 9 miles from Steward School in Topsfield.
Using skype, students made connections with the global Read Aloud book they are reading, The Year of Billy Miller.

Our first stop was in Miss Klipfel's first grade classroom (yes, she is my lovely and talented daughter). Mrs. Corliss' third graders enjoyed meeting her students. They got to know each other by sharing a little about their classes and towns.  Topsfield students shared the Topsfield Fair and Middleton students shared Richardson's Dairy facts. There were some third grade girls who recognized Miss Klipfel as a Masco grade 3-4 girls' field hockey coach.  Students discussed their favorite book characters and their favorite parts of the book with each other.  It was very impressive that these first and third graders had a lot to talk about and shared information only 9 miles apart from one another.

After lunch we took another trip 9 miles back to Middleton. Mrs. Ford's second graders visited with Mrs. Thomson's first graders. Mrs. Thomson and Mrs. Ford shared how they knew each other from graduate school. The conversation also revolved around the book The Year of Billy Miller. Thoughtful questions were asked from both classes. Students made connections with Billy about starting second grade and how nervous they also felt. Many shared their favorite books written by Kevin Henkes. It was a fun time making new friends and plans were to do this again.

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Saturday, October 10, 2015

Miss Reid's Class Visits California

Miss Reid's Second Grade class traveled 2,532 miles across the United States on Friday via the use of skype.
Students in both classes  have been reading the book The Year of Billy Miller by Kevin Henkes.  Mrs. Mortazavi's Second Grade class in San Diego, California are also taking part in the Global Read Aloud. Students shared some thoughtful questions and information about the book. They eagerly made predictions and shared connections.

"Do you use Go Noodle?"
"What are some of the things we like to do around Topsfield?"
Reading our predictions of the book to our new friends.

Friday, October 9, 2015

A Visit to North Carolina

Mrs. Surprise's Third Grade class took a trip to North Carolina today via skype.  They connected with Mrs Walls' second grade class from Wells Elementary School in Wilson, North Carolina which is 712 miles from Steward School.

Students spent some time getting to know each other by asking questions about their schools.

We also shared information about our town. 
We found out they live in a city about 1 hour away from the ocean.

Discussing The Year of Billy Miller made us reflect on our reading.

We talked about the Jolly Green Giant statue in  Blue Earth, Minnesota where Billy fell while on vacation with his family and bumped his head.

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Thursday, October 8, 2015

GRA 15

Students at Proctor School ended their day with our Annual Global Read Aloud Kickoff. This is our third year participating in the Global Read Aloud project which began in 2010. This year more than 500,000 students are participating.

The book this year for Proctor students is Fish in a Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt.

Click HERE for our whole school presentation.  This is a google slide presentation worked on in collaboration with the digital specialists from Middleton, Mrs. Baker and Boxford, Mrs. Kowsakowski.

Click HERE for Lynda Mullaly Hunt reading the first chapter of Fish in a Tree.

Stay tuned as we explore the world with others reading the same book.

Mrs. O'leary introduces the global read aloud for 2015.
How are different and how are we the same?