Sunday, March 23, 2014

A Week in Review: March 17-21

It was an exciting week in Room 222! 

This week, we had several readers, work together to share their favorite books with us. 

AZ and GS share their favorite Elephant and Piggie Book.

PD and JP share the Pigeon Finds a Hot Dog. 
We also worked on the art of Revising with a buddy. We started by talking about appropriate Writing-Buddy behavior.  

Here is our anchor chart:

Notice how well our buddies followed our expectations!

We also spent time in Genius Hour. See the original post here.

Last, but certainly not least, we read Ibis, A True Whale Story, by John Himmelman.

Here are some thoughts on the story:

We will be working a bit more with Ibis and his story, this week. We are currently studying oceans and working our way through the 4 layers. Stay tuned for more. 

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Genius Hour - The Conclusion... Almost

It's here! 
The part we have all been waiting for!

Create and Share!

The creativity was swirling around the multipurpose room today. It was filled with Project Managers, Helpers and Grown-Up Assistants. 

Each Project Manager (student with project) helped lead and discuss their projects. The Helpers (students) assisted where needed, photographed, video recorded and helped manage each project. I would like to give a special "shout-out" to JA for taking charge as a Helper and making great decisions to help his Project Managers! It made me smile.

The Grown-Up Assistants were there to guide and assist with any questions or difficult projects.

Here is a glimpse at our day:

We have 3 students who were the 1st to officially share out their projects. Please visit their blogs and talk to them about their learning.

In addition, several students chose to reflect and talk to me about their experience. I hope you enjoy it. 
This video contains a password because, as a reflection, it is for Room 222 Friends and Family only. 

My Movie 1 from LBright on Vimeo.

Thank you for catching up with us. More to come next week.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

A (5 Full Days) Week in Review!

We finally had a 5 day week! It felt like years since I was able to spend 5 full days with Room 222. 
We needed 5 days! 
We wanted 5 days! 
We rocked 5 days!

We started out with a bit of wondering in our Observation Station. A special "thanks" to Mr. Berger for lending us his bear paw print. See the transcript from our initial wondering here.

This week's focus in writing was adding teaching detail to our pictures. Here is a collaborative picture that we did as a class. The drawing on the left is my original drawing. I was told that it was kind of boring and not very informative. The picture on the right was greatly improved as we passed the iPad around the carpet. Some students added color, some added labels and we even have a close-up!

We played around with the thought of different writing spots this week. It is amazing how a simple change of scenery can free your mind and let you create. 

As always... we read, read and read!

We read in groups...

we read with buddies...

and we read to the class...

Genius Hour took over at the end of the week. We are in the research and note taking stage. More on that later...

A group working on their Genius Hour project by researching using videos and websites.
I'll bet your wondering about our Flashlight project from last week. We used our donated flashlights to help us understand the moons rotation and phases. Here are a few examples of our projects:

Lastly, I ended my week with a great group of educators at Playdate Chicago. Saturday was filled with learning, collaborating and playing. If you are interested in how I grow as an educator and how my friends and I spend our weekends, click here.

Lastly, I will not be in the building Thursday and Friday of this week.  I will be continuing my educational growth by attending and presenting at the Illinois Reading Conference in Springfield. I can't wait to spend another few days of learning with this wonderful group of ladies.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Lulu Video

We made a little movie for our friends in Mrs. Sorenson's class. Hope you like it!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Genius Hour... Hours 4 and 5 - Cultivate and Search

Genius Hour is alive and well in Room 222.

We have wondered, created an idea and drawn all about it. Now it is time to write all we know and finally cultivate our essential questions.
See our previous posts here:

Hour 4 involved writing everything we know to help us figure out what we are still wondering about.

Topic: Movie Making
The students took out  their Genius Hour notebooks and began writing all of their schema and thoughts on their topics.

Topic: Building a Runway

One the questions were finalized, we place them on our Genius Board. 

Hour 5 started our "search" phase. We started by going to the library to find books on our topics. We had to decide if each book would help us answer our question.

Once we found books that were going to be helpful, we checked them out and added them to our Genius Hour bags.

Some of our topics don't lend themselves well to texts in our library so we did some internet searching. This can be tricky in a 1st grade room. However, we talk about the best ways to search and the best sites to use to help us search. We also equate the internet to a field trip. When we leave on a field trip, we talk about safety rules. The internet is just like leaving the building. We must talk about safety rules for that as well.

Mrs. K and Mr. Odom helped supervise some of our trickier searches (Blueman Group and Potions).

We often type in the phrase "for kids" to help narrow our searches. So if I am searching Potions, I would type in "Potions for Kids". This usually brinks up kid friendly sites with kid focused activities. is one of  our favorite search engines because it is more kid friendly.

Hour 5 was by far the most exhausting for the grown-ups but most exciting for the kids. I would like to thank Mrs. Goff for helping Room 222 with this process. We traveled to the library, they were independent and they found what they were looking for. Next week we will begin using this information to help us learn more about our topics.

*Teacher Note - Some of our research will be given to the students via videos found by the teacher. For example, it is very hard to find information on the Blue Man Group but it is easy to find appropriate video clips. 
These videos will be placed in a safe environment ( and given to the kids via QR code to help foster independence and easy reference.