A few weeks ago our school was introduced to GoNoodle, a fabulous site for brain breaks. My class started using it immediately. I posted some pictures and videos on my Pinterest page and Twitter, and guess what? We won their #GoNoodleMadness contest!
Brain breaks are an important part of our daily classroom routine. They allow us to recharge and relax so we can focus and be in control. Every morning we start our day using Airtime to breathe and learn geography. We are tracking our “destinations” on a class map.
We like the active dancing and running breaks to keep us going during our long morning block, and after lunch we use Flow to regain focus, calm down, and relax.
Today our prize pack arrived just before PE, so we waited until the end of the day to open it.
We were excited to find stickers, pencils, posters, a bag, a headband, a wristband, and a BASKETBALL! Fun stuff!
Thank you GoNoodle!
Today I received a very nice email from firefighter Dayna and Molly the Fire Safety Dog! In January we Skyped with Dayna and Molly and learned all about fire safety and service dogs. After our Skype we took time to write thank you notes telling them how much we enjoyed our session and reflecting on what we learned.
Technology is such an important part of our lives, but there is nothing like getting a real piece of mail delivered to your mailbox. Taking the time to thank someone for something nice they have done can seem like a small thing, but it really means a lot! Kind words and and a simple thank-you costs us nothing, but are priceless to the person receiving them!
Here is what Firefighter Dayna said in her email:
Dear Mrs. Morgan and all the wonderful students at Sycamore Elementary-
Thank you SO MUCH for the pawsome thank you notes. Your note and pictures ROCKED!
I wanted to let you know how much I appreciate them and how happy they made me!
Today I put a picture of each of them on my Facebook page so everyone can see them!
Mrs. Morgan, we loved your note too and the “Sycamore Superstar” cling! We are going to hang the cling on a window in a clubhouse!
Thanks again, you guys! You rock!
Molly the Fire Safety Dog
For the past the few months we have had a “Genius Hour” time about once a week. The students like to explore new apps or do research on our class iPads. Some of the students bring in their own devices to share their favorite apps and games with their friends. This week we did a SCREENFREE Genius Hour. Some students brought their own items like playdough, cars, and games. Other students used materials in the classroom. It was a lot of fun working together and exploring new things.
Some of the kids had never used K’nex and were having a hard time figuring out how to get the wheels to stay in place. We Googled images of “K’Nex Cars” and found a very simple one to copy. The students sifted through a pile of random K’Nex and figured how to make the same car! They even added seats and people!
Two students had fun creating a city with legos!
Other students enjoyed creating with playdough, marshmallows,and toothpicks.
Several friends had fun making a tunnel out of cardboard tubes for their cars. Next time, they will make a plan and have all the materials on hand that they will need!
My favorite part of the day was when Simone said: “Mrs. Morgan, I hate to say this, but I think I like Screenfree Genius Hour better!”
During a recent Twitter chat, I learned about a new augmented reality app called Chromville. A group of very creative people in Spain have come up with an imaginary world that you can bring to life using this iOS and Android app!
While visiting their website, Chromville.com, to print the coloring sheets, the students enjoyed reading about the villages and selecting their favorite character to color and experience in 3D. We are now diligently working on stories to go with our characters. Stay tuned….we will be posting them on our Kidblogs soon!
The app brings the coloring sheet to life. The animated characters and scenery are inspiring!
As an added bonus, the students were able to Skype with the Chromville creators all the way from Spain! We were able to ask questions and learn more about the magical world and how it was created! We learned that artists and programmers must work together to create the 3D animation, come up with the stories, and make the app. Some of the students also shared their ideas for the stories they are working on.
The Chromville geniuses have also designed a line of augmented reality t-shirts that they demonstrated for us. This is a Power Ranger!
We even got to take “selfie” with them!
Thank you, Chromville!
After returning from an early spring break, the entire 2nd grade was treated to an awesome skype session with author Erin Dealey! The students really enjoyed meeting a real author and asking questions about writing!
Erin Dealey has written several books. Before our Skype, we read Goldilocks has Chicken Pox and Little Bo Peep Can’t Get to Sleep. We love the rhyming and all of the fairy tale and nursery rhyme characters that are included in each story. Ms. Dealey is a very clever writer!
We also watched a few videos on Ms. Dealey’s site:
The students asked great questions about the writing process!
The students laughed when they learned that Ms. Dealey wrote a book called Potty Time!
Erin Dealey shows her rough draft, or “sloppy copy”, of one her books. She never throws any of her notes away. She keeps all of her ideas together and uses these to make her final draft awesome!
Thanks for a great Skype session! We can’t wait to read your newest book: Deck the Walls!
Today we chatted with Clicky from Netsmartz Kids on Twitter! We have been using the Netsmartz site and learning all about being safe online. The students have really enjoyed meeting all of the characters and learning about digital citizenship by watching videos, playing games, and reading.
Our Twitter chat with Clicky allowed the students to ask questions and get answers! Simone did a great job typing in the questions and keeping the chat going!
Imagine a world where everyone can read…
Every year on the first Wednesday of March LitWorld’s advocacy campaign for the human right of literacy calls worldwide attention to the importance of reading aloud and sharing stories.
This year we will be participating in World Read Aloud Day by doing weekly blogging challenges and connecting with other classrooms. Mrs. Miller at the Van Meter School in Iowa has come up with some fun challenges. Everyone can participate, including your parents, grandparents, brothers, sister, cousins, etc…
Week 1: Add an entry to our Padlet:
What is your earliest or fondest memory in which someone read aloud to you?
When you get to the Padlet, click on the pencil icon at the bottom left to add an entry. Be sure and put your first name only. If you are grown up or visitor, please tell us where you are from!
For more information on World Read Aloud Day visit http://litworld.org/worldreadaloudday/
Our Valentine’s Day party was really fun! First, we played Valentine Jingo (like bingo) and won some fun prizes. Next, we ate cookies and chips, and then exchanged our cards and candy. Last, our party ended like no other! Using the Heart Cam app we got to take a look at what a real heart looks like. This clever app uses augmented reality to create the illusion of an open chest cavity and a beating heart. Using the printed trigger page, we were surprised at first, but then we had fun zooming in and taking a good look at what our own heart might look like!
Who are these old people in our classroom?
Mrs. Morgan’s after school chocolate supply has been replenished by all of her wonderful students!
Happy Valentine’s Day!
Last week we read Officer Buckle and Gloria and learned lots of safety tips. The story is about a police officer who gives safety speeches at schools. No one pays attention to him until his dog, Gloria, joins him. The kids love Gloria because she acts out all of the safety tips.
To end our week of safety tips, we went to the libary and had a surprise Skype in the Classroom session with Fire Fighter Dayna and Molly the Fire Dog! We were very honored that the Fire Safety Clubhouse was flying the Texas flag in our honor.
We learned all about Dalmatians:
Did you know…?
- A long time ago horses pulled fire wagons and the Dalmatians helped keep the horses calm.
- Dalmatians are born without spots
- Dalmatians can have black or brown spots
- Molly has an ear that is all black – it’s called a “patch” ear
Firefighter Dayna also showed us pictures of Dalmatians and other service dogs:
We also talked about Fire Safety:
- It’s important to make a map of your escape route from your house
- Make sure your smoke detectors are in good working order
- Decide on a meeting place (a mailbox, tree, neighbor’s house)
- Keep Low and Go – Smoke rises – stay low to the ground.
- Touch the door with the back of your hand, if it’s not hot carefully open it to see if it is safe to exit.
- Once you are out, DO NOT go back in!
Thank you Firefighter Dayna and Molly!
Pretending to be Fire Safety Dogs!
For more information on Skyping with The Fire Safety Dogs visit:
Skype in the Classroom
The Fire Safety Dogs
Back in November we received 10 iPads and were told to “have fun” and we have been doing just that! We spent a few weeks exploring our iPads by using the camera and a few apps. Over the winter break I spent a lot of time thinking about the best way to integrate them in to our daily routine and finding apps that would fit our curriculum.
I found apps for Word Work, Work on Writing, Read to Self, and Math. I set up folders on each iPad so when the students are doing a rotation, they know which folder to open.
iPads have allowed me to have more group time and one-on-one time with my students!
For more information visit: The Frugal Teacher