Sunday, October 18, 2015

Week in Review

This week's post is going to focus on one fabulous learning experience. 

We are working our way through and exploring our new science standards. We started a new lesson on Tuesday by reading a passage with our buddy and jotting down notes containing interesting facts, new learning, and wonders. Room 200 is currently studying the relationship between plants and animals. 

We then talked about coding and categorizing our thinking. It was great to see our thoughts grow!

We worked so well with our partners and really kept our focus! Check it out!

On Wednesday, we continued our investigation by watching and viewing several videos and photographs. We took extensive notes on our noticings and questions. This information was really helpful when we moved on to our final stage. 

When our notes were finished, we took a few minutes to illustrate our new learning. 

On Thursday, the students were given the task of creating a model of a pollinator which we called the hand-pollinator. We started by breaking up into self-selected groups and exploring our buckets of supplies. Then each student in the group worked on a plan to present to the other groups members. When a final plan was chosen, the students began putting their plans into action. 

On Friday, we presented our hand pollinator models and shared our findings. Check out this (mildly lengthy) video of our presentations. This video is password protected because it shows names with faces. This will be a Room 200 video only. :)

We are becoming quite the scientific thinkers! We will continue our amazing science skills with Mrs. Olsen this week.

Thanks for checking in. Feel free to leave us a comment. 

Monday, October 12, 2015

Week in Review - Oct 5th-9th

This week was filled with excitement, new learning and tech infusion.

When we look at education today, it can often be hard to visualize what the learning day is like because it is so different from when we were children. When I was in second grade, we all took out the same book (a basal reader) and began reading the same passage together. Sometimes the teacher read it to us and sometimes we
"popcorn" read around the room. 

Reading time today looks much different. Today, we focus on guided reading or C.A.F.E. groups. These groups are based on current reading levels or skill and are extremely flexible. Each group contains anywhere from 2-6 students and is met with 3-5 times a week for 20 minutes at a time. It is a great way to get personalized attention and targeted instruction. 

One way we target instruction is by using a C.A.F.E. model which matches up students with goals that help them succeed and grow as readers. C.A.F.E. stands for Comprehension, Accuracy, Fluency and Expanded Vocabulary. We have just started implementing this model in our classroom and students are beginning to understand their goals. Within the next week, students should be able to verbalize and explain their goal to grown-ups at home. 

We use this menu board to help remind us, allow us to show our thinking and visualize our current goals.

Some students are working on goals like comparing and contrasting multiple works by one author.

These students poured over two books by Jane Yolen, took and organized extensive notes and then created a simple visual presentation to share on their blogs. 

Here are two excellent examples:

We are also participating in the Global Read Aloud Project where we dive deep into a book and connect with other classrooms around the world. 

Our current read aloud is The Year of Billy Miller by Kevin Henkes

In our story, Billy Miller visits Mount Rushmore. We discussed national landmarks and visited a few using Google Earth. 

There was also a incident in our story in which chopsticks play a role in the plot. So, we practice using chopsticks this week as a fun challenge. 

We will continue to perfect our chopstick skills this week in our observation center.

We also spent a good amount of time blogging this week. The students are becoming experts at navigating Right now, their blogging is "student choice" or free form. However, they will soon be sprinkling in more directed blog posts as well. 

We are practicing on iPads, Chromebooks and laptops to help us become tech fluent. 

Wondering how to use Kidblog at home?
Check out this video:

We also spent some time finishing up our science presentations using iMovie. Students were given the challenge to show what they know and use interesting vocabulary words to show understanding. They were also given the task to make their presentation creative and exciting... all under 2 minutes. 

We worked in small groups...

Used our classroom garden as evidence...

Found resources (Mrs. Olsen) to help us...

And figured out a tech tricks along the way.

Here are a few examples of our videos:

You can view all of our videos on our special video channel:

Have an iPhone or iPad at home and wondering how to make an iMovie? 
Check out our cool tutorial.

iMovie from LBright on Vimeo.

Thanks for checking in with us today. As always, we appreciate your comments. 

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Fire Safety Assembly

This post was written by all of the students in Room 200. 

Photographs were taken by the following class photographers:
  • J.B. 
  • J.M.
  • T.M
  • L.A.
  • A.G
  • L.W.
  • B.B
Welcome to the Fire Learning Stations... a boisterous place to go. Fire Safety is fun because while you are learning you get to do awesome stations. Learn about these station from our writers in Room 200. - by A.G., A.H., C. P., L.A.

The Safety House - By J.M., L.W., N.S., T.L., L.B.
At this station, we practiced evacuating the Safety House. 
We were taking a nap and then the alarm went off. We got to hear the loud fire alarm. We crawled out to the mailbox. That is our safe meeting space. 

Fire Truck Station - by J.G., G.T., Jo.S., B.M., A.B.
In this station, they had a lot of tools that were big and small. The fire truck was big and wide. 
We learned that axes are for cutting open doors. Ladders are for climbing big buildings. Also, the hose is for putting out the fire. Oxygen tanks will help you breathe. It was a great time. 

We also learned about the clothes in the fire truck.  They keep their air tank pack in their seats like backpacks. The also have air masks on the fire trucks. 

video by A.G.

Gear Station - T.M., B.B.

At the gear station we learned about the cool stuff they wear. 
The gear sounds like Darth Vader. It weighs about 75 pounds. The air tank lasts 20-30 minutes. The coat and pants are extremely heavy. They told us that there is a hoodie that goes around your neck, then you put a mask on your head and then you put the hoodie that was around your neck, around your head. There is a black hat that goes on the top of your head. There are axes for a lot of different kinds of things. He taught us about the different kind of things. One of them is for poking holes through the ceiling so the smoke goes through the holes. 

Stop, Drop and Roll by - Ja.S., M.M., B.M., A.C.

In the Stop, Drop and Roll station, we learned the following safety rules. 
  • In an emergency, call 911. 
  • Do not play with matches. 
  • Get down if you smell smoke.
  • Do not go high up. The smoke goes up.
  • Get down in a fire emergency. 

Today, we practiced stop, drop and roll!!! We stopped, covered our eyes and we rolled!!!!
We did this to practice what to do if we got fire on us. 

The Mini-House by J.B. H.V.,V.M., A.J.

Today we saw firefighters. We went to a couple of stations but we are going to be talking about a mini house. Today we learned that at the top of the ceiling there are sprinklers to put the fire out and we also learned to keep the door closed when you are sleeping so the fire stays out. We also learned that we need a fire extinguisher so that we can put out the fire. The extinguisher shoots white stuff and it puts the fire out.  We need a ladder to put out the window so that we can climb out safely. So now we learned to be as safe as we can be. 

We also learned to go as low as we can and to crawl out. Touch the door knob with the back of your hand if you are in a fire. It tells you if the fire is out there. 
At the mini-house we learned about smoke detectors. Smoke detectors let you know if there is smoke and smoke can mean fire. 
Do not smoke inside. If there is a fire call 911. If there is a fire, leave your stuff inside. The fire fighters will get them.

We hope you liked learning about fire safety.

Teacher note:
Immediately following the assembly, the students signed up for a station to collaboratively write about. For 35 straight minutes, they talked, wrote and revised their thoughts before they brought them to me to type into our blog. The level of writing and collaboration was impressive. 
Here is what this looked like from my point of view:

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Week in Review Sept 28th - Oct 2nd

Room 200 was filled with Kaneland spirit this week!

Students from Kaneland High School came to visit to get us excited about the Homecoming Parade and the big game. It was great to see former KBK students meet the current KBK students. We heard from representatives from several sports, band and students council. 

We also continued to observe our plants and started talking about how and why they are different. To do this, the students are creating a presentation that shares their knowledge of plants with an audience. When discussing this, we covered the 4 C's:

  • Communication - Is your message clear and easy to understand? 
  • Collaboration - Did you work together to plan your presentation?
  • Critical Thinking - Have you given thought about the best way to deliver your message to your audience?
  • Creativity - Were you able to keep the attention of your audience?

The students made plans and notes to help with their talking points. It was very exciting to hear the conversations during this work period. 

We will be using a new app called iMovie to compile the parts of our presentation. They should be ready to show you later this week.

Engineering was also the name of the game this week. 
Students who demonstrate understanding can: 
K-2-ETS1-1. Ask questions, make observations, and gather information about a situation people want to change to define a simple problem that can be solved through the development of a new or improved object or tool. 
K-2-ETS1-2. Develop a simple sketch, drawing, or physical model to illustrate how the shape of an object helps it function as needed to solve a given problem. 
K-2-ETS1-3. Analyze data from tests of two objects designed to solve the same problem to compare the strengths and weaknesses of how each performs.

We started by designing our own indoor recess toys during an indoor recess this week. We started with catapults. The students used simple supplies to successfully complete their creations. It was fun to try and earn points by shooting paper into our paper cups. 

We also worked on an apple support challenge this week. The students were given the task of building a structure that would support an apple for at least 3 seconds. Also, they were to try to see how high they could get the apple off of the table. 

They began this process on Tuesday with a bit practice with their two tools: tape and index cards. They also needed to create a sketch of their plan. 

We came up with a word bank of words that we might hear as we are working. 

After they had time to create, we tested the structures for time and height. 

Almost all of our structures were successful at holding the apple for 3 seconds. Our tallest structure held the apple 8 inches off the table. 

Here is a quick run down of the rest of our week:

We used master authors to help us find a variety of lead ideas to help us begin our personal narratives.

We have had many guests adding comments to our paper blogs. 

We are rocking our weekly math fluency tests! We have had a ton of "All Time Bests" that the kids get to celebrate by adding their name to our "All Time Bests" wall. 
Our total correct scores has increased each week. We are getting "All Time Bests" as a class too!

I had the pleasure of attending P.E. with the students on Friday. We had a blast in the fitness centers. 

We had such an amazing week that we earned our first class reward! We celebrated with extra recess. 

Room 200 Challenge!
September is now behind us. Can you guess how many books we have read aloud as a class so far this year? Please put your guesses in the comments. 
Our Read Aloud Chart is taller than T. M.!
Thanks for checking in with us! We love to hear from you.