Monthly Archives: March 2017

3rd Grade, St. Patrick’s Day and Flipgrid

I wanted the 3rd grade students to have another opportunity to write while in the library, as this will be their first time taking the Georgia Milestones (our state standardized test), which has a portion for open-ended response.  Last week they used Padlet to respond, but I checked with one of the teachers and gave her a choice of Padlet or Flipgrid for this week.  She opted for Flipgrid, as bringing the tablets with keyboards and mouses can be time consuming. Most of our 3rd grade students have had at least 2 experiences using Flipgrid since I have used it with 1st and 2nd grades in the past.

First we read Tomie de Paola’s Jamie O’Rourke and the Big Potato: An Irish Folktale.

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Then I asked them what they would wish for if they caught a leprechaun.  After writing their responses on index cards, they recorded them on Flipgrid.

These students have become very independent users of Flipgrid.  I set my laptop up on a chair and showed them how to place their index card up against the screen.  I had one or two students in a line observing the student who was recording and off they went!

Student recording on Flipgrid.

These 3rd grade students are pretty independent now when using Flipgrid.

Amongst the usual wishes (lots of money, a pot of gold, magical cars, etc.) there were a couple that tugged at my heart.  Hannah wished for world peace and Kyrique who wanted money to pay homeless people.  Check out the 3rd grade responses.  What would you wish for?

Mrs. Orme’s class (Hannah is a student in this class) flipgrid.com/36ca5f

Ms. Cook’s class (Kyrique is in this class) flipgrid.com/f7d65f

Mrs. Cambron’s class  flipgrid.com/7732bf

 

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4th Grade and Google Draw

I frequently ask teachers what skills or topics I can cover with their students, but I don’t often get a lot of feedback. But, a couple of weeks ago a 4th grade teacher did respond that she needed a digital way for the students to create a ecosystem diagram.  She mentioned that they had worked with Google Docs.  I started looking at Google Drive and spotted Google Draw.  I played around with it, created a drawing and shared it with the teacher and she liked it.  So I started planning on how to teach the students to use it.

Students working on their tablets creating a Google Draw document.

Working in groups of 3 on a Google Draw document.

Google Accounts

Our students have Google Accounts created for them as part of our 1:1 roll out.  That is in theory!  There were  problems with a few accounts that I have to have technology work on, but on the whole it went well.  The teacher that asked me to find the digital product is piloting Google Drive in her classroom for that grade level, so all of her students had already signed into Google Drive-not so for the other 3 classrooms.  That process took 20 plus minutes, which I found out trying to do it in the library.

I had planned on having the students sign in to Google and then go onto working on a Google Draw document, but it took so long for the students to sign in that I decided to go into the other two classrooms before their scheduled library visit.  This worked out more smoothly, as we had only a few problems with students signing in when they came into the library later in the day.

tablet showing a Google Draw document

The Google Draw document in progress.

Tablets showing a Google Draw

A group’s Google Draw created on their 1:1 tablets. They have keyboards and mouses which make using these Dell ProVenue tablets easier.

Created Google Draw

I created a Google Draw document with 3 simple tasks (type in names of the group, include one fact from the online encyclopedia, find an image and put it in the document).  I made copies of the document so that there were enough separate documents that groups of 3 students would be working on a single Draw and it wouldn’t be overwhelming with too many students.  I also shortened the URL for each document and wrote it out on index cards and gave to each small group (3 students).

Draw

This group did a good job, accomplishing all of the requirements!

I learned something along with the students.  The 3rd class I worked with had a few “aha” moments.  One student was a little upset that after he closed out and then went back to Google Drive, he didn’t see the document.  But after I reminded him that I had shared the document with them, he figured out to look under “Shared with Me”.  We “shared” that bit with the rest of the class.

It was fun to see how excited some of the students were , though some were less excited after I told them to stop using the “Comment” feature as a text messaging app!

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5th Grade Learns to Use Prezi

By this time of the school year, I have worked with the 5th grade classes on creating a Chatterpix and PowerPoint.  To add an additional tool in their digital tool belt, we worked on making Prezis.

When working with the students, I’m not really going for a perfect product.  Rather, I am hoping that they will be experienced enough with the tool, that they will be able to use it on their own.  I do look the creations over and have them edit for grammar, punctuation, etc.  But, if after the allotted time and the group is not completely finished, the project has to stay that way.

Unfortunately, students have to be 13 years old to sign up for their own account (and I haven’t been successful in getting teachers to sign up for their own accounts), so they have to use my account.  I will change my password after this project is over!

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Notice that the students are not using their Dell tablets, but the library computers to create their Prezis.  Way easier!

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Coordinated with Social Studies Unit of Inquiry

I designed a graphic organizer that reflected what the students were studying in their current Unit of Inquiry so as to build on the prior knowledge of the topic and to reinforce concepts they are learning in the classroom.  They were learning about the U.S. during the 1920’s and 1930’s.  I looked at the Georgia Performance Standards and based the topics on these standards:

SS5H4 The student will describe U.S. involvement in World War I and post-World War I America.

a. Explain how German attacks on U.S. shipping during the war in Europe (1914- 1917) ultimately led the U.S. to join the fight against Germany; include the sinking of the Lusitania and concerns over safety of U.S. ships, U.S. contributions to the war, and the impact of the Treaty of Versailles in 1919. b. Describe the cultural developments and individual contributions in the 1920s of the Jazz Age (Louis Armstrong), the Harlem Renaissance (Langston Hughes), baseball (Babe Ruth), the automobile (Henry Ford), and the airplane (Charles Lindbergh).

SS5H5 The student will explain how the Great Depression and New Deal affected the lives of millions of Americans.

a. Discuss the Stock Market Crash of 1929, Herbert Hoover, Franklin Roosevelt, the Dust Bowl, and soup kitchens. b. Analyze the main features of the New Deal; include the significance of the Civilian Conservation Corps, the Works Progress Administration, and the Tennessee Valley Authority. c. Discuss important cultural elements of the 1930s; include Duke Ellington, Margaret Mitchell, and Jesse Owens.

Livebinders

I created a Livebinder to curate the websites for the students to use for their research.  They bookmark the website and it reduces the time needed to complete their research.  The do use their tablets for researching.

http://www.livebinders.com/play/play?id=2139444

Livebinder

Final Product

I did not have the students use their 1:1 devices (Dell ProVenue tablets) to create their Prezi as it is too difficult to see what you are doing on the small screen.  Fortunately I have 8 Dell All-in-One computers with large, touch screens! Check out one of their Prezis:

http://prezi.com/qqkie2tcvtyc/?utm_campaign=share&utm_medium=copy&rc=ex0share

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4th Grade and World Book Online Timelines

Last week I asked the 4th grade chair what skills that they might want me to cover over the next couple of weeks.  She mentioned that she needed the students to complete a timeline of events leading up to the Revolutionary War.  In the back of my mind I remembered something about timelines on World Book Online and when I checked there is a very easy to use timeline generator.

First Create Student Accounts in World Book Online

First I had to have each student create an individual account in World Book Online, which was easy but time consuming for 4th grade students.  This took about 15-20 minutes by the time everyone gets their tablets up and running, logged on, connected to the internet, keyboards plugged in, blah, blah, blah!  For 2 classes I went into the classroom and used the interactive board to demonstrate how to fill in the blanks and the students followed along.  I did it in the library for the other 2 classes and think it worked better in the classroom, partly because it is a smaller space and I could get around to help the students more easily.

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Searching for events in World Book.  Students used their Dell ProVenue tablets, with keyboards and mouses.

 

 

student using tablet to create timeline in World Book Online.

Searching and saving images to add to an event on the timeline.

Creating a Timeline Is Fun and Easy

After they had their accounts, I demonstrated how to use the World Book Timeline.  It is easy to search the encyclopedia’s content for events and add them to a timeline, but it also very easy to create your own event.  I showed them how to add images and edit any event.  They really enjoyed it and I think the previous experience they have gained throughout the year making PowerPoints and Prezis in the library (saving images, finding out how to ascertain the owner of the image’s rights, etc) paid off by increasing their skill in navigating this digital tool.

World Book Online Timeline is Versatile

This timeline generator is so versatile in that you can take advantage of the massive amount of data in the encyclopedia, but you can also use your own content to create timelines.  I showed them how to print the timelines, but I guess I’m a little disappointed that there is no way to share the timelines (sharing links, emailing links, etc.).  But, I understand as this tool is only available to subscribers and they need to protect their product.  I will definitely being sharing this to other grade levels (probably just 3rd and 5th grades).

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3rd Grades: Perspective and Padlet

By this time of the school year I am in need of inspiration.  Standardized state tests are coming up and spring break is still weeks away.  So I asked the 3rd grade chair what skills I should be covering with the students the following week.  I had read Brendan Wenzel’s book, They All Saw a Cat, to them the week before so the idea of “perspective” was on my mind.  I wanted to introduce the students to another digital tool, so after brainstorming we decided we would do something about perspective and have the students use Padlet to record their response.

Photograph and Padlet

I found an intriguing photograph that I thought might inspire some interesting thoughts and could provide different storylines of what is going on. I googled, “What’s going on in this picture?” and found the New York Times’ website, “What’s Going on in this Picture?” https://goo.gl/G21vdd.  I choose the photo by Danielle Zalcman, which shows some Native Americans on horseback facing a line of law enforcement officers.  We don’t really know what is going on; you have to wait until a week after the photo is posted to find out the details.

I created a Padlet and arranged for the students to bring their tablets to the library.  I projected this classic image to grab the students attention and explained perspective:

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Wikipedia: Brocken Inaglory

“Perspective: What are the points of view?” is one of the International Baccalaureate’s Key Concepts.  Then I projected this photograph:

Credit: Danielle Zalcman

We asked the students to describe what they thought was going on.  We reminded them to provide text evidence of their opinions and statements. This was also a good opportunity for the students to practice writing using their tablets, which is a component of the upcoming Georgia Milestones test.

Check out one classes’ responses to the photograph: https://goo.gl/dHrvxx

Screen shot of Padlet

What Is On the Minds of Our Children (Real World Comes into the Library)

You can see what is on the mind of one our Latino’s students:

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This post is also from a Latino student but she focuses on the caring/protective aspect of police work:

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The students really enjoyed reading each others’ posts, too.  Very successful use of technology, a IB/PYP concept and writing practice!

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Read Across America Day 2017

I have organized, planned and executed 12 Read Across America Days at my school.  It’s always the most exhausting but rewarding day (and only 5 more to do before I retire-but who’s counting?).  Lots of walking (to and fro from the office, to classrooms to take photos); excited members of the community coming to read; random parents and volunteer readers showing up unannounced,etc.

Additional Student Involvement: Including Student Readers

This year we involved our students more in RAAD.  I asked some of the 4th grade students who had recently read to fellow students and staff for World Read Aloud Day if they would be interested in reading to Kindergarten and 1st grade classes.  I tried to match up a couple with younger siblings’ classrooms.  I gave them some choices on book titles and we went over how to read aloud to a group.

I will definitely keep this student involvement for next year’s RAAD, but I will spend more time training them and have them practice with me.  They enjoyed reading to the classes and I think it helped build their self-confidence.

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Fourth grade student reading to a kindergarten class.

Further Student Involvement: Official Escorts

At the suggestion of our International Baccalaureate: PYP Coordinator, we added student escorts.  These members of our school’s United Nations Club took the readers to their classroom, guided them to a second classroom if necessary, and escorted them to the front office to sign out of the building.  The students basked in this responsibility and it gave the readers (mostly community members) a chance to further interact with our students. I will definitely continue this next year as well.

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3rd Grade United Nations Club member escort and RAAD reader.

Read Across the World Day: A New Experience

One of our kindergarten teachers came to me a week or so ago with an idea proposed by a parent of one of her students.  The father of the student is in the Army currently stationed in Kuwait.  The mom thought maybe we could Skype and have the dad read a book to the class.  After discussions back and forth, the mom came up with the idea of dad recording himself reading.  She uploaded the video to YouTube and sent me the link so that I could project it on the big screen in the library.  She arranged to come to school and the class came to the library for a “special reader” who was going to share a story.

I had the teacher sitting in a chair with the book as dad (and 3 fellow Army members) read the book from his phone. It took the student a couple of seconds to realize what was going on and then he said, “That’s my dad!”. The teacher turned the pages while the soldiers read the book and the students were very engaged.  As the class was leaving the boy asked his mom if he could call his dad!

The soldiers did a very energetic reading and singing!

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Our long distance reader, a kindergarten student’s father reading from Kuwait via YouTube!

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The kindergarten class after they finished watching the video from the soldiers in Kuwait, with mom and teacher.

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We had 4 news reporters from our local Fox television stations read to the students.  One class of 5th graders asked the young reporter for her autograph!

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