Thursday, October 20, 2011

Our Global Classroom Project Map

I just created this Global Classroom Project map on the wall outside our room. We are hoping to add more schools from other countries soon! 

Hoping to add a lot more stars!

So far we have one international contact - A cupcake greeting  from Mrs. Harrison's class in Belfast, Northern Ireland!  

Our contacts in the U.S. include students sharing on Edmodo in Illinois, Pennsylvania, and New York.  We are also working on a seasons project with a school on Long Island, NY and a Voice Thread project with a school in Ohio!  

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Guest Student Blogger: I Like the Daily 5

Our clas does Daily5 like read to seelf , word work , work on writing,  listen to  reading , and read to someone. But  what I like the most is word work. On word work we have all kinds of stuff like benclaroos, playdoh, and rainbow spelling words. But what I like to do on word work is magnetic letters. You get tostik the letters on the side of your desk.  It is so much fun!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

THIS is the what the Daily 5 looks like and sounds like

After 7 weeks of hard work, our Daily 5 routine is established and working very nicely. Today I recorded the students while they were working. They did not know I was going to do this so some of them were surprised to see me holding a camera. As you can see, even though they noticed the camera they were able to go right back to work because they were so focused. We call it "In The ZONE".

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Thinking About Going Back to School?

I am a true believer of life-long learning and will be earning my master's degree sometime in the very near future.  If you are thinking about going to college for the first time or going back to complete your degree, here is a great Groupon to help prepare! This deal is for $45 for $100 worth of online-test preparation courses from BenchPrep, an educational network that's been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, BusinessWeek, etc. The courses cover standardized tests such as the SAT, ACT, GMAT, GRE and MCAT, but approach them in an innovative and interactive way, and content can be accessed via computer, iPhone, Android or iPad. Lesson plans can also be downloaded to a smartphone to facilitate on-the-go learning without an Internet connection. Courses are $99.99, so one Groupon will get you one course.

This is an exclusive deal that begins at midnight October 10th and runs for 24 hours. The banner below will not give you access until midnight October 10th.

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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Classroom Blogging 101

One of my goals this year was to get all of my 2nd graders blogging. In theory it sounds wonderful, but logistically it can be a little tricky with only 2 classroom computers and 30 minutes in the computer lab per week.

Luckily we have 2 COWS (computer on wheels) available for checkout so I got them for 2 days. The students were very excited about using the laptops, but some had never used them before. It took some of them a little time to get used to the mouse pad and other features. Also, most of them are not familiar with the QWERTY keyboard so typing was painfully slow. On the second day everyone got logged on to the blog at much quicker and we were able to practice posting and commenting.  Our class blog is password protected for now, but I am hoping to open it up to some of the classrooms we will be working with on the Global Classroom Project.
18 students on laptops = 1 busy teacher!
Two weeks later my students are eagerly writing about fall and Halloween. Their favorite prompt is "Plan a Halloween party". They have embraced the writing process and look forward to our conference time together. After all of the revising and editing is done, they get to create a new blog post! I have added some teachers and administrators at our school as "guests" so they can leave comments. The students love getting feedback from their former teachers and the principal!
Having only 2 classroom computers has worked out fine since everyone is  in different stages of the writing process.  We will check out the C.O.W.S every few weeks, but it takes a lot of time to set up, log on, etc....

Sometimes the teacher shares her computer ;-)