Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Hesed House - The Season Of Giving!

My Dearest Room 222,
     Your generosity and caring hearts make me feel so lucky to be your teacher. You and your families gathered so many thoughtful donations for the Hesed House. You turned our small pile of donations,

...into a great collection of spirit in just 3 short weeks. 

Your generosity was much appreciated when our donations were dropped off.

You made a huge difference in the lives of many people in our area. Thank you for being so awesome and doing your part to make our world a better place.

Have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!


Mrs. Bright

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Kaneland Writing Night

*Teacher note: This blog post was written by K.K., M.W.B., K.G., A.C. and L.S.

We went to Barnes and Noble for Kaneland's Writing Night to meet authors. 
When we walked in we saw our friends and teachers.
Then we went on to meet many authors. 

One of the authors that we met was Amy Logan. She wrote A Girl with a Cape.
She read the book and some of us even got to raise our hands and talk to her! It made us feel really happy to talk to famous authors.

We also got to see Steven Layne, author of Love the Baby.
We saw more of our friends listening to him as well. He told us a story about his daughter Victoria and her new baby brother. She was not happy about the baby. He also has a few more books about the baby. 

We can't wait for next time so that we can go back and listen to authors again. We also want to get more books. 

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Hour of Code in Room 222

The Hour of Code Project was alive and well in Room 222 today. In today's world, computer science is one of the most important topics a student can know about. So today we spent an hour with some amazing apps and sites that will get us thinking about computer coding. 

We started with a great introductory video from

Then we got started. Our first App was Kodable. It looked pretty easy at first but got more challenging as we kept working. This was really fun. 

Then we moved on to Tynker. This is a great 1st try app. The kids loved this one! They helped me figure it out when I got stuck. 

Then we moved on to my favorite, Lightbot. This was also the favorite of the class. I think they like it because it was the most challenging. They really had to work together on this one. 

Check out the collaboration and problem solving from one of our most successful coding partnerships:

Code from LBright on Vimeo.

For the list of apps and sites we use, click here.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Get Ready! The Hour of Code is Upon Us!

Tomorrow, Room 222 will be participating in 
The Hour of Code project. 
Interested in starting tonight? 
Feel free to check it out as a family!

Get ready by visiting these site on a laptop/PC or downloading these apps on your tablet.

Laptop or PC:

Apps (all Free!):



Sunday, December 7, 2014

A System and a Skype

We had a very exciting week in Room 222. We have some projects that are in the works and a special Skype visit was planned.

Room 222's Mail System:

During a particularly exciting round of our Creative Workshop, a few weeks ago, A.H. and B.W. brainstormed a possible Mail System for Room 222. 

Since then, their passion project has motivated all of us to inquire into this topic and learn more. We are wondering if this is something that could work in our room.

So we have split into 4 teams to start discovering all we can about our topics. Our teams are stamps, delivery and sorting, mailboxes and rules/jobs. The students were able to choose the small group that they were most interested in and they began working. 

Right now, we are in the discovery phase. We are discovering all we can using our resources. We have been reading books and watching videos all about mail systems so that we can best prepare our own. 

At the end of each session, we gather at the carpet and share what our group worked on or questions that we may have. 

While the iquiry process is super fun and informative, we have discussed that the collaboration is what we are really focusing on. 
We have been practicing our collaboration skills while trying to focus on the following skills:
  • Active Listening
  • Eye Contact
  • Asking Questions
  • Kind Words
Check out this video and see how our groups have been doing:

Our Sharks 4 Kids Skype Visit:

We are starting the process of informational writing and to do this, we need to gather information. What better way to do this than to talk with an expert...

On Friday, we talked with our 1st expert of the year, Miss Jillian, from Sharks 4 Kids. To prepare for our talk with Miss Jillian, we talked about types of questions. We wrote our questions down so we wouldn't forget. 

We also did a bit of our own research so that we were prepared for our expert.

On Friday, we all came in very excited! Some of us even wore our most shark-rific attire!

Sharks 4 Kids and Skype in the Classroom even tweeted about us!!! It was a very exciting moment. 

Finally, it was time to officially meet Miss Jillian.  She called us from Bimini Island in the Bahamas. How cool is that?!?

She told us all about different kinds of sharks and their cool characteristics. 

Several of us were also able to talk to Miss Jillian and ask our specific questions. 

It was amazing!  Check out our reflection video that was made immediately after this exciting event:
*note: this video contains a password because it contains names and faces. 

Last, but certainly not least, is the most important part of our week... Reading. We celebrate books every day in Room 222. We celebrate by reading our favorite books to ourselves, reading fun and silly books with our buddies and often sharing a new book with the class. C.D. shared the classic The Three Little Pigs. We loved listening to him read this to us. 

Thank you for checking in with us. Please feel free to leave us a comment. We read aloud and celebrate every comment that we receive. 

Sunday, November 30, 2014

November in Review

November was a crazy, busy month that was packed with creativity and exploration. 
Here are the highlights from November:

A.H., her 5th grade friend, H.W. and B.W (not shown)  shared a very special nature discovery with us. The group discovered a Monarch Butterfly! They also shared an impressive nature binder that they have been working on. It is filled with feathers, nuts, leaves and bark. 

They graciously let us explore the binder for a few days. The students made many scientific sketches and digital representations of the items in the binder. 

We also spent time with the new books that we purchased from the Book Fair. 

In reading groups, we are working on categorizing and coding our learning while spending some time with some non-fiction texts. 

We also practiced answering questions with information from our text. 

November Writing Club was a huge success! More that 20 1st grade students (and a few grown-ups) attended!

The Global Read Aloud project ended for us this month. We were so excited to make a great connection with Mrs. Hogan's class and loved the amazing transportation project they sent us. It inspired us to design and make our own modes of transportation.

The modes of transportation theme carried over into last week's Creative Workshop. 
E. D. and A. J. chose to design and create a rocket ship using just paper and tape. 

A group of students used Google Earth as a resource to help with researching a writing topic. 

A.H. and B.W. created and began implementing a mail system for Room 222. We will be discussing that much more this week. 

Last but certainly not least, our blogs officially went public! We celebrated with a trip to the computer lab so that we could start commenting on all of the amazing blog posts.

December is upon us and I can't wait to see what the students in Room 222 will do next!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Veteran's Day at McDole Elementary School

*Teacher Note: This post was discussed and written by the students in Room 222.
Today is Veteran's Day in the United States of America. We are celebrating Veteran's Day at McDole. 

We started by sharing our thoughts on Today's Meet. 

P.E. brought in a picture of her Great Grandpa who was in the military.

Many McDole students brought in pictures of family members who served in the Armed Forces.

Then we went to the gym for our celebration. We had several Veterans join us. 

The 4th grade classes sang American songs for us. 

The Boy Scouts donated a very special flag for us. Our new flag once flew at the United States Capital Building!

It is a rainy day but that didn't stop our Boy Scouts from putting up our new flag. 

Stay tuned for more pictures of special event at McDole. Please check out our blog more often.

Happy Veteran's Day from Room 222 

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Room 222's Pumpkin Investigation

Last week, Room 222 collaborated on team inquiry investigations. Each team was given an non-traditional pumpkin and given the week to explore it.
These collaborative teams worked together to brainstorm interesting words, make scientific sketches, estimate and accurately measure their pumpkin. 

All of their information was kept on each teams "data collection" poster. 

The teams reminded each other that scientific sketches should contain accurate details and labels to help our audience understand our thinking. 

Our teams were in charge of collecting measurements for height, weight and circumference. Once the estimations were made by each team member, the accurate measurement began. 

Measuring Height

Measuring Circumference

Measuring Weight
Once all of their observations were made and data was collected, it was time to share out their information. It is important to share our learning with others so they made teaching videos to share out their findings. 

Each team started by storyboarding their video. They discussed scientific vocabulary and correct sequencing needed for an effective video. 

Once the storyboards were finished, it was time to make the movie. However, we couldn't discuss the whole pumpkin without exploring all of it. So... we had to get a bit messy. 

Please enjoy Room 222's educational pumpkin videos: