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Sunday, November 20, 2011

Thanksgiving & American Symbols

I decided to do a timeline of American symbols. I have started with the Wamponoags and Pilgrims since Thanksgiving is just around the corner. We read a poem written by 3rd graders who had studied the Wamponoag tribe. After reading the poem we talked about what we thought the authors message was. Then we went through and underlined all the words we didn't know or understand. This was interesting because some of the words we underlined were common words used in a different context. After discussing the meaning of this vocabulary we read the poem again and discussed whether or not we understood the authors message better. All of the children seemed to have a better understanding of the authors message after discussing the unknown vocabulary and re-reading the poem. After our discussion students drew pictures and brainstormed keyword labels to put on their pictures that would help them retell what they had learned about the Wamponoag tribe to classroom visitors. We plan on sharing our learning with our family and friends when we return after the holiday break.  We also read about the pilgrims and their journey across the Atlantic Ocean on the Mayflower. Students made  hand print Mayflowers (an idea I saw on pinterest) and labeled the important parts of the ship that we learned about.

Storybird is a Success!

My students are loving Storybird.  Did you know you can do a school/class fundraiser with your students published stories?  We are so excited about this we are trying it out so we can buy more books for our classroom library.  Here is one of the stories a student published.  She has been writing at home on the weekends!

Cats on the Moon. by A2011P on Storybird

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Reluctant Writer's Beware!

I have been reading and rediscovering this weekend!  I have a class full of reluctant writer's and my usual tricks are not working.  I hit the books and looked through my notes from previous years and my trip to the ISTE conference that I attended  in Philidelphia this past summer.  Storybird!  How could I have forgotten you?  This morning my Kindergarten son and I explored the website and created a storybird.  I can't wait to introduce this website to my second graders!

An Alien and a Monster on Storybird

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Move Over Pokemon!

In one of my earlier posts I mentioned a trading cards website that K-2 and 5th grade used at my school to make trading cards for some of the plants, animals and geology we learned about on a field trip at the begining of the school year. We finally got all the cards printed and spent a half-hour on Halloween trading our cards with each other. It was so much fun! The kids were really excited about it and couldn't wait to get back to class and read them. I will definately be doing this again. Learning was definately contagious on this day!

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