Sunday, January 31, 2016

Week in Review

The weeks are really starting to fly by in Room 200. We had another successful week diving into uncharted territory,

We focus this week's reading time on the study of news articles. We talked about specific features like the publication source, information in the title, photographs, captions, bold words, and the importance of numbers in an article. We studied the PBS Newshour article about the new Titanosaur.

The students started by working together to "notice" features of the text before reading it. We call this "surveying the text".

We spent the week reading the article in our small groups. We also spent time reviewing the names and purposes of the features in a news article. 

From there, we spend some time in a different reality... Virtual Reality!!! Mr. Bright, my husband, was doing a bit of gadget research (as he often does) and asked if our classroom could use a Virtual Reality viewer. Of course, he knew the answer to that before he even asked. So, Room 200's newest learning tool was put to work this week. We used it to walk through the Smithsonian Museum and study the huge T-Rex Skeleton on display. Be careful... you don't know exactly when he's going to pop up.

We also walked across the Golden Gate, Brooklyn, and Manhattan bridges during science. It was interesting to see what materials were used and how they were constructed. The students will be building and testing bridges this week. 

We also used Google Earth to view these amazing structures. 

It was really fun to get up close and personal with objects that are so far away.
Interested in which one we purchased? Click here - Virtual Reality Glasses 

That wasn't our only fun experiment this week! One of our small groups finished up a book on volcanoes so we celebrated with one of our own. 

Lastly, we continued our focus on learning styles and student choice. Each student learns differently and has a different comfort zone. This is why I feel flexible seating is so important. I couldn't sit quietly in one space all day so it doesn't seem best for me to ask the students to do it. So, our room has many options that the students can choose from throughout the day. 

We have several standing desks on wheels:

A standing/sitting desk with a moveable foot swing for extra movement time:

Single desks for a quiet learning experience and bean bags for a bit of lounging time:

The students seems to really enjoy the choice and it creates a much happier, calmer, and more functional classroom environment. 

Stay tuned for more about the room. The students did a bit of rearranging on Friday. They will show it off a bit later this week. 

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Martin Luther King Jr. and a Week in Review

Happy 2016! We have had an amazing start to the new calendar year. It was great to come back from Winter Break and share our stories with our friends. We found that we were all very busy with our friends and families! 

Now that we are back in the swing of things, it is time to take it to the next level.
Your child may have informed you that he/she is no longer a 2nd grader and has graduated to a 3rd grader in training. That is a big promotion and with it comes a new level of learning. 

We started our new level of learning with a Martin Luther King Jr. study and we focused on the theme of Kindness. 
We began our study by learning from 3 different video sources that can be found on our resources page.  

We also used other online resources like PebbleGo to gather as much information as we could. 

After we learned, discussed, reflected, and shared... 
We began to put our new learning into our own words. 

We have worked hard to share our feelings about Martin Luther King's message on our blogs. Please go in and check them out. The students would love to hear from you. Please consider leaving a comment or two (or three).
You will find our posts on our KidBlog Page:

We also made a reflection video: (password same as always)

In addition to our Martin Luther King Jr. study, we had a few more exciting happenings in the last few weeks. 

One of our guided reading groups has been researching the process of growing plants. This week they put their new knowledge to the test. Hopefully we will have plants growing in the next few weeks. 

We are discussing solids and liquids in science. We explored the concept of volume this week. 

Science explorations are always an exciting time in Room 200. To the untrained eye, it could look like loud chaos. However, we know that it is educational, loud chaos! :) 
In this video you will see collaboration and each student purposefully executing their job within their group. You will see student engagement and excitement. If you can get past the giggling... you will also hear educational vocabulary!

We also had a great iMovie tutorial by our resident expert, H. V.. She did an amazing job showing us some new features she discovered in her own movie making! The kids were really excited to test the new feature. 

Room 200 celebrated our love of reading with a fabulous guest reader. She must have been reading my mind because she read us a dinosaur themed book on the day we began learning about the Titanosaur!

The Titanosaur is a newly discovered giant dinosaur. I found the article on CNN last week and we spent time reading and discussing the article. We also watched the correlating videos. 

We then put our new learning to work and began sketching and writing about the Titanosaur. We used images and pieces of the article to help us be as accurate as possible. 

We will be learning more about the Titanosaur this week. 

Last but not least, Room 200 recently participated in its first EdCamp. An EdCamp is a collaborative gathering where the participants get to decide the topics of study. On our first EdCamp we had groups discuss and sketch pirates, spend time on a fun (and controlled) Youtube channel called What's Inside, and a large group began exploring the Makey Makey. We had a blast and can't wait to do it again!

We will have another exciting week ahead of us. We are learning to count coin combinations in math, find evidence in non-fiction texts, and share a powerful opinion in writing. We are really moving now!

Have a great week!

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Winter Break Challenge

I hope you all enjoyed an amazing Winter Break!

There is still time to participate in our Winter Break Challenge.

Visit our Kidblog Page to participate or leave comments! 

Happy Creating!