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Monday, October 29, 2012

Digital Learning With Nearpod

This morning our class used a new learning tool - Nearpod.  Nearpod is an interactive, collaborative presentation tool that allows teachers to share content, monitor activity and assess scholars in real time.  I found Nearpod very easy to use and the scholars were totally engaged!

This morning's presentation was an entry event for our new Reading and Writing PBL:
How is my life the same and different from other children around the world?  

We'll be reading some great literature:
The librarian of Basra, Jeanette Winter
Rain School, James Rumford
Giamoto, Karen Williams
Amelia's Road, Linda Altman
Beatrice's Goat, Page McBrier
A Place Where Hurricanes Happen, Renee Watson

Scholars will make connections and build background knowledge as the compare and contrast their own lives to the lives of children across the globe.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

What we're doing digitally...

This week, during Reading/Writing Workshop, one group of scholars read the book, A House is a House for Me, by Ann Hoberman.

This book is about all different kinds of homes and begins with very typical house/resident relationships...A nest is a home for a bird, for example. It then goes on to more imaginative house/resident relationships...A sandwich is a home for some ham, for example.

Scholars were then challenged to use their imaginations to plan and write their own 'A House is a House for Me' books. They used a bridge map to plan their stories. Some of their ideas were:
A head is a home for a brain. 
A neck is a home for a necklace. 
A pen is a home for ink.

Then, they used an App called Scribble Press to publish their books.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Our Book of the Month was introduced at this morning's assembly.  This month's selection is The Three Little Pigs: An Architectural Tale, by Steven Guarnaccia. 
This book is a perfect fit for Cannon's STEM initiative. The main characters, the three pigs, are all architects and in fact resemble three famous architects.  The houses are creative and even the furnishings on the inside resemble furnishings of world-renowned designers.
In first grade, this book inspired our next design challenge.  Scholars will be challenged to imagine, plan, build, test and improve a house using materials such as straws, craft sticks and wooden blocks. Play dough will serve as mortar. The house will need to hold a toy pig and withstand the huffing and puffing of a blow dryer. This challenge is sure to provide an engaging learning experience for the scholars!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

 Building Structures

The green group had a lot of fun with this week's design challenge. Scholars learned about different kinds of structures and what makes a structure strong.
Scholars were given 15 clothes pins and 20 index cards and asked to imagine, plan, design, test and improve a structure that was both tall and strong (meaning it could withstand wind).

Here are some of the highlights!

This structure, which resembled a silo, measured 10 inches tall.

This structure, which resembled a teepee, measured 8 1/2 inches tall.

This two story structure, which resembled a house, measured 9 inches.

Monday, October 1, 2012

We have been using an iPad App called Spelling City to practice spelling rules and pattens.

 This App can be used at home for practice too!  Here is how to get to our class spelling lists.

Step 1
After opening the Spelling City App, click on the red 'Find More Lists' button at the bottom of the page.
Step 2
Type my last name in the search box and choose the 'teacher name' button then hit search.
Step 3
Scroll down the list until you find my name @ Cannon Elementary School. Select it.
Step 4
Choose the list you wish to work on.  So far I have created a short a list and a short i list.  These lists also include some high frequency words and some review words.

There are 5 practice games to choose from and a 'Test Me' feature.  Spelling City is also available for PC's and Macs by going to The online versions have even more games!