Connect with me:
Twitter: @ireneb2011
Classroom Twitter: @BoyntonsBuzz


Thursday, December 19, 2013

Building Ginger Bread Houses with Dad

The challenge...

 Scholars had a great time working with their dads to design and build gingerbread Houses.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Felt Board in Math Class

Today scholars worked with partners using the Felt Board app to model and create examples of addition. The app also has numbers so they were able to record equations to match their examples.

I love this app for Math! It's like having hundreds of story mats and a whole toolbox of manipulatives. The scholars love it too - they were totally engaged!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

The Power of Twitter and Skype in Kindergarten

Our campus-wide community service project was a huge success. Cannon Cubs raised over $1000.00 for Habitat for Humanity by selling home themed ornaments. A variety of home themed ornaments from across grade levels were available for a $2.00 donation.
After learning about Habitat for Humanity and their mission, kindergarten chose a gingerbread house theme for our ornaments. The ornaments were created as part of a design challenge.
In our class, we decided to share our design challenge with our Twitter Friends from Mrs. Hill's kindergarten class at HES.  Both classes planned and designed ornaments according to the challenge criteria. On Thursday morning, we Skyped in order to share our final products. Scholars loved communicating live with their Twitter Friends and were so engaged in observing everyone's ornaments.
At the end of our Skype session, Mrs. Hill's class had a special surprise for us. After learning that we were making our ornaments available for donations as part of a service project to benefit Habitat for Humanity, they wanted to help too. They collected money and made a very generous donation to Habitat for Humanity to support our service project here at Cannon.
This experience illustrates the power of communicating outside our classroom walls through platforms like Twitter and Skype. Scholars learned about community needs, community outreach programs, and the generosity of others.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Snow Day Video Using 30 Hands App

Yesterday we did not have school because it was a snow day. I emailed my scholars and asked them to download the app 30 Hands and investigate how to use it by making a video about their day. 
Check out Bradlee's video about his snow day!
Way to go Bradlee!

And Brynn's video about her snow day!
Awesome, Brynn!

Friday, December 6, 2013

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Kinders Use Educreations to Practice Retelling

Retelling is an important and foundational reading skill. To successfully retell a story, a reader must remember the story and its details, determine what is important, be able to paraphrase, and tell the story in sequence. This skill requires practice over time. To scaffold the retelling of stories, I like to use a 3 box flowmap. The first box represents the beginning of the story; who is in the story and what the character wants or is doing. The second box represents the middle of the story; the problem or the sequence of events that build the story. The third box represents the end of the story; how the story ends and how the character feels.
After listening to the story, The Relatives Came by Cynthia Rylant, scholars drew pictures of each part of the story then used the app Educreations to retell the story.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

Congratulations Elise!

Elise was inducted into the Cannon Cubs Hall of Fame at this morning's assembly.
If I had to describe Elise in one word it would be joyful. She approaches everything with a joyful heart.

She comes to school each day ready to learn and take on the challenges of the day. She listens attentively as I present lessons, she follows directions and problem solves independently and when she completes a task her best thinking is always evident.

Elise is a caring classmate. She is always willing to lend a hand to help a friend or answer a question and often notices when someone else is showing kindness and offers a compliment. This makes Elise an admired member of our class.

Like everyone, Elise faces challenges and one of the things I love most about her is that she takes her challenges in stride, never letting a challenge keep her from completing a task or reaching a goal. And, she does it with a cheerful attitude and a joyful heart.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Using IPEVO to Add Accountability to Morning Message

On of my new favorite apps is IPEVO. It is a super simple screen casting app and it's free! Scholars have used it to present projects and explain their thinking in Math. This week I have been using it to add accountability to Morning Message and Shared Writing.
We sometimes begin our day with a Morning Message or some sort of shared writing. But lately, I've been avoiding it because I've been sensing that I don't have the attention of my scholars during the process. Then, I got the idea to 'add some teeth' to it using iPads and IPEVO. Sometimes we write the message together but this week I have been writing it and when we read it together the focus has been on locating and reading word wall words. Later, as one of the literacy work stations, students take a picture of the message, upload to IPEVO, circle the word wall words then read it using the recording feature. IPEVO automatically saves to the camera roll. It's really simple and the level of engagement and participation during Morning Message has really increased because the kids know that they will be responsible for reading the message independently a little later on.
Here are some examples of their work.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Design Challenge: Build a Drum

Kinder scholars have been investigating drums; their attributes, their sound and their place in the Native American culture. On Thursday evening, scholars and parents came together to plan and design a drum. These drums will be shared on Friday when kinder scholars play their drums at Friday's assembly.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Young Scientists at Work

Last Friday, scholars walked to nearby Nash Farm to observe and investigate pumpkin plants. As part of the kindergarten science curriculum, scholars learn to:
  • identify the basic needs of plants (food, water, nutrients, sunlight and space)
  • identify the parts of a plant (roots, stem, leaves)
  • identify ways young plants resemble parent plants 
  • observe changes that are part of the life cycle of the plant (seed, seedling, plant, flower, fruit)

Next week scholars will apply this learning as they plan and write an expository text reflective of their learning.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Caterpillar Design Challenge

Our class just completed our Caterpillar Design Challenge. This was our first big design challenge and the kids learned a lot about the design process, teamwork, failure and improvement and application of engineering principles.

We began our work with a video challenge.

This rubric was used to guide the work.

We then discussed 'Knows and Need to Knows'

To learn more about the appearance of the caterpillar, scholars participated in a Nearpod presentation on their iPads. Nearpod is an engaging, interactive multimedia presentation that allows participants to learn, view and respond.

We spent some time investigating the materials noting how they might be used in the construction of the caterpillar and observations about each item's properties.

To learn more about how toys move, scholars examined their toys at home and participated in a mini-workshop where they investigated the game, Hungry, Hungry Hippo. They discovered that to make a mouth that moves up and down they would need to design some sort of hinge. We also spent time investigating a variety of materials that would be available to create the caterpillars and the food.

 These were the first mouth prototypes.

As scholars began to plan their caterpillar they had to consider their budget. Each team was given 12¢ to purchase their materials. They used this budget sheet to place their orders.

Scholars then got to work on completing a labeled diagram of their design plan followed by creation of their prototype. Mouths were tested and improved as part of the design process.

Finally, scholars used the App IPEVO to share and present their design. A presentation rubric guided their work.

Here are their published presentations.