Thursday, January 10, 2013

Energy Rap

I saw this site being used in a class the other day and I wanted to see if there were other videos/songs that could be used. I saw a nice free Energy Song that would be perfect for our 6th grade teachers who teach a lot of these concepts and I liked their game show Even/Odd video and Capitalization enough to send the link to our first and third grade teachers.

The site is subscription based with a 14 day free trial. I wish you could test and buy individual songs as opposed to having a monthly subscription or buying an entire CD (when you only want one song).

Most of the songs seem more middle/high school orientated. I wouldn't get a subscription if I was in the classroom (but I would certainly use the free songs if they applied!).

"Cell" Phone Attempt

This was my attempt at make a "cell" phone. It didn't turn out too badly. It got a laugh out of a fifth grade class who saw it. I am going to be doing this activity with a fifth grade class soon and I'll post pictures of their finished product and let you know how it goes. I gave them some apps on the front page to decorate once they are finished the "cell" part of the activity (so earlier finishers have something to do). These could be easily glued on the right hand side of any notebook.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Water Cycle/States of Matter Website

I had a second grade teacher ask me to help find a computer lab activity for her kids related to the states of matter.

I came up with a lesson using Brain Pop Junior (free for South Carolina teachers through Discus) but I also found this Study Jams site through Scholastic. I watched the Solids, Liquids, and Gas one and that was pretty good. I really liked the song that went with it (although I wasn't a huge fan with how long it took to load).

They also have a Water Cycle video as well (which sadly doesn't have a song :)

I wish they had more videos but they only have two math ones (fractions and determine the missing operation).

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Student Directed Learning Form

I recently had an opportunity to visit a couple of elementary school in Charleston, SC. The schools were using iPads and we were there look at student use of the devices in the classroom.

I visited a fourth grade class at Goodwin Elementary School and the teacher (Mrs. Feit) happened to mention a student self directed schedule on Friday and I became very interested in that (as opposed to the iPads...although that was pretty cool to :)  She let me take pictures of the forms she used (see above) and told me a little bit about how the process works.

On Thursday students fill out their forms of how they want to spend their time on Friday (academically). The teacher has some non-negotiable for that day (Word Master Test, math block, reading block). All the other blocks are for children to fill out. They can finish work they are behind in, practice skills they are rusty in, etc. The forms get turned into the teacher to approve on Thursday. The student has to note the activity/material they are going to do and the reason why they are using it.

Mrs. Feit is on a two man team (she teaches ELA and Social Studies I believe) so both teachers use this form for Friday implementation. They start it at the beginning of the year with more teacher directed items in the schedule gradually releasing it to more student directed items in the schedule. Children who have problems self directing their work continue to get more teacher directed items throughout the year.

I love this idea. It gives students an opportunity to feel in charge of their learning, gives them valuable skills regarding making a schedule and adhering to it, and allows them to analyze what they need to finish or work on. I wish I could visit this classroom on the implementation day (I was there on Thursday).

I told Mrs. Feit that I was going to post on my blog and she was very kind about answering my questions.

This is an older school that serves a lot of low income families. I definitely felt that if they were implementing this with success there it can be done anywhere. I wish I could have stayed and asked a lot more questions.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Cells - Funny :)

I saw this on Pinterest and laughed out loud, after I was done I thought mmmm....this might make a good right hand notebook assignment.

You could get a template of a cell phone and students would have to create a "cell" phone. It can be glued into the right hand side of your notebook.

I showed it to a friend who teaches 5th grade (where cells are introduced in the standards) and she was all game to do this with her kids. I am in the process of trying to put together a template to use with her class and will post when I am done.