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. 

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