Thursday, January 30, 2014

Lulu and the Brontosaurus

Hi Mrs. Sorenson's class,
How are you doing today? We are reading the same book as your class! We are Room 222 and we are at McDole Elementary School in Montgomery, Illinois. There are 24 students in our class. In our classroom, we read a lot of books, we have iPad minis and we just started Genius Hour. We like to dance to make our brains work because we haven't been outside in WEEKS! It is too cold.

Have you tried Genius Hour?

We noticed that Lulu's parents always give her what she wants. She is not treating her parents very nicely. That has made her become a bad girl.

What do you think is going to happen next?
What would your parents say if you asked for something like a Brontosaurus?
Have you made it to Chapter 3 yet?

Hope to hear from you soon.

Mrs. Bright's Class
Room 222

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The Beginning... Genius Hour

Genius Hour!

I couldn't wait to start but I wasn't quite sure how to get our Genius Hour up and rolling.
Well, thanks to the help of my new found friends from the Downer's Grove School District and their Saturday Playdate , I discovered the route that Room 222 would take through the process.

Here is a glimpse at Hour One:
Get an idea :

We started out with a blank wall of wonders.

Then, we spent time brainstorming all of the topics we were wondering about.

Now, the wheels are spinning and we will begin to narrow down our topic and create a driving question.

It was noisy, messy and amazing. Just the way 1st grade learning should be. 

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Rocks - The Critical Thinking Project

This week, the students in Room 222 embarked on another critical thinking project.

This project started with the students bringing rocks for our Rock Museum. During our tour of the rock museum, our Collaborative Buddies took photos of the rocks that interested them.  They then took these photos and edited them using the crop feature to make them more informative for their presentation.

In addition, during the week, we were reading and sharing information using new texts about rocks and minerals. This allowed the students to identify "fancy science words" (new vocabulary words) that they were to use in their presentation.

Using their photos and their new words, they started loading the photos into our Sonic Pics presentation app and began planning their thoughts.

Once the thoughts were organized, the groups began practicing and recording. The movies were then fed through iMovie for our final edit.

Here are the final projects:

Lesson objectives:
1. Determine scientific specimens to share with your audience.
2. Share your knowledge using science vocabulary words.
3. Collaborate effectively with your buddy to create a project that is exciting and interesting for your audience.
4. Make sure your presentation is clear and easy to understand.

I am proud to say that these projects were 100% student developed, planned and produced. 

We hope you feel very informed on the subject of Rocks!

Bonus Learning from this project:
1. Students are becoming fluent in the the iMovie app. They are now able to add sound to enhance their presentations. They did a nice job choosing appropriate musical themes and the applause adds a nice touch.

2. The independence shown in this project was fun to watch. Much of the time I was able to be a fly on the wall and watch them plan and present.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

A Week in Review: January 13th-17th

It is hard to believe we are already in the second half of our year. It seems to be flying by. 
The students in Room 222 continue to grow and change. They are becoming academic thinkers and social butterflies.

Here is what we have been up to:

Special Guest Reader: Thanks for reading to us GF!

Projects, Projects and more Projects!
I am so excited to share our latest collaborative projects with you! I have just a few groups finishing up. As soon as we are all done, we will share. 

Many of us start out on paper before me move to our blogs. It is a great way to plan out our thoughts.
See what we have been up to on our Kid Blogs!

Working as teams is essential in Room 222. I am thrilled to see how our students have grown as collaborators and teachers.

Last but not least... Writing:
We are working on adding feeling to our writing. How can we make our audience understand our feelings?

Bold Beginnings:
We have been analyzing the writing of some of our favorite authors to see how they begin their stories. We have found that many authors use dialog, a character's voice, time and/or setting. We have been trying some of these in our own writing.
Here is a great example of a character's voice bold beginning.

We are also working on making our characters come to life with movement. This is a great example of using motion lines to convey meaning. I can tell that these two characters are sure moving fast!

Stay tuned for our post on some new and exciting events that will be happening in Room 222. Thanks for checking in!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

A Short Week in Review

It was a short week so we will have a short week in review. 

I was so glad to be back to school and into a routine and the students seemed ready for the same thing. 

We spent a good part of the last three days re-building our reading stamina. We have some new books and displays to help keep us reading and motivated. 

We also spent time as Geologists and explored our rock museum. 
With the use of our rock museum, we will be working on a critical thinking presentation to help share our new learning.

This week we will be working on a few projects and getting ready to end 2nd quarter. 

More to come...

Monday, January 6, 2014

Staying Warm

It is super chilly in Illinois but Room 222 is staying warm and cozy at home.

Check us out!

Staying Indoors for Safety

 Getting Those Creating Juices Flowing

Mystery Baking

 Exercising to get the Blood Flowing

Snuggling with Family

 Snuggling with 4-Legged Family

 Getting Tech Savvy with New Devices

Getting a Tropical Feel at a Nearby Pool

Playing Chocolate Toss with Sisters
(Instructions: Toss the beanbag on the floor and correctly read all 4 words around the bean bag to win an M&M!)

Game time with the Family

 A Fancy Lunch with a Friend

 Making some Pancakes

Snuggling with a Warm Blanket

Staying Warm with a Good Book and a Blanket

Science, Science and more Science!
(My teacher heart grew 3 times its size today!)

Even Ron and I did a science experiment today!

I really enjoyed seeing what everyone was doing today! Stay tuned for another connection tomorrow! Let's keep the learning happening!