Wednesday, April 30, 2014

The Shedd Aquarium

It was a long but wonderful day at The Shedd Aquarium.

I am so proud of all of the KME students on their amazing behavior and exceptional learning. It was amazing to walk up to groups of KME students and hear them discussing the characteristics of the creatures they have been studying.

I would like to thank all of the parents who joined us on the trip today and all of the parents who prepped their kids before hand. It was clear that Room 222 was ready to be respectful and responsible citizens.

Here is a quick video clip sharing some of our experience today:

As a team, we wanted to try something new this year to help keep all of our parents informed and entertained at home. We started our own Twitter hashtag (#kmeshedd) to help chronicle our day. We had many parents follow us on our Twitter accounts today and tweet us back!

I would really like to thank the parents and KME staff who signed up for twitter on the bus ride there. It was amazing to have KME parents join KME staff in our sharing of our journey.

Not on Twitter? Don't worry! There are two ways you can check out all of the tweets and pictures from our journey.

My Favorite
2. Tweet Beam - Watch the tweets like a slideshow presentation -

Thank you again to all of the parents of Room 222 for making today a success! 

Monday, April 21, 2014

Inquiry Groups Continued...

We are still swimming through our ocean research project. Our Inquiry Group approach is proving to be the perfect fit for our collaborative learners.
(see our first Inquiry Groups post here)

Check out our progress!

The Coelacanth group is using a video to gather more information and then charting it on their research poster. 

The Stingray Group in pouring over a new book hoping to add to their knowledge base.

Today's session was based around finding information in articles. We used a strategy called "Drawing through the Text" to help find and understand the information in our articles. 

Each member of the inquiry group used a different color highlighter to identify his/her sentence. Each group member read their sentence and drew a picture of the information learned. When all group members had collaboratively finished their drawings, they used them to retell the information in their article.

Next up on our list is to synthesize the information from all of our different resources and decide what it all means. 

Room 222 Friends and Family will be able to view pieces of these projects at our McDole Open House on Thursday night! 

The kids can't wait to share their learning. 

See you then!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Inquiry Groups - Ocean Creature Style

Collaboration is the name of the game in Room 222. We have based most of our year around making sure that we truly understand good collaboration, what it means and how to improve it if we don't see/hear it happening. 

So when ocean research time rolled around, I couldn't wait to try this out with Inquiry Groups. My model for this process is a professional book by Stephanie Harvey and Harvey Daniels:
We have two major goals to accomplish during our Inquiry Journey. 
1. Truly understand the research process and how to synthesize information from multiple sources. 
2. Work collaboratively in our small groups as leaders, active participants and positive, engaged, energetic learners.

Here is a great example of goal #2 in action during the coding process:

Here is how we began:

Each student started his/her Inquiry Journey by choosing an ocean creature (from a pre-determined list) that he or she was curious about and had little background knowledge on. 

Once our collaborative groups were formed, we got right to work gathering our Background Knowledge and Questions about our new creatures. 

Once we had our thoughts jotted down, we talked about coding our thoughts to help with better understanding. 
We used this guide when coding with our groups:

Then we began the research process.
Each one of these steps is modeled first with our class creature, the Killer Whale. 
We started our research process with our old and trusted friend,
Each Inquiry Group used a laptop to travel to as their first information source. 

Then we charted our new information on our learning posters.

Our last step this week was to start searching for our next resource. is always helpful when searching for kid-appropriate sources. 

The learning will continue this week, as we use books, videos and articles to help us research and find more possible answers to our questions and wonders.