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Thursday, May 16, 2013

Graphing Podcasts

This post celebrates my phenomenal ESL Scholars! These kids are native Spanish speakers but have been learning Math in English as part of our Dual Language Program. They are amazing! Not only are they very successful in their Math skills but they can explain their thinking in English. We learned a new app for graphing this week, Haiku Deck. This app allows scholars to take survey results and quickly and easily create a graph. Scholars then layered their graphs into Educations in order to create podcasts that explain their knowledge about graphs and comparing the data illustrated on a graph. We've really been hitting the concepts of 'many more' and 'many less' hard this week as this is a difficult concept for first graders. It is  even more difficult to explain mathematical thinking in a new language. I am so proud of these kids:)

Designing Windmills

Scholars participated in an EIE (Engineering is Elementary) unit where the final design challenge was to build blades that would turn a rotor and pick up weights.

We began this unit by reading the story, Leif Catches the Wind.  

 This book helped scholars investigate lots of objects that 'catch the wind'.

This story also helped to build background knowledge to answer questions: What is technology? What is wind technology? What is a machine? and What is a mechanical engineer?

Scholars then began investigating the properties of 'wind catchers' as they designed and created sails and tested them to see if they would catch the wind.

The final design challenge was to design and create windmill blades that would spin on a rotor and lift weights.  Scholars relied on what they had learned in designing and building sails to imagine the possibilities and plan their windmill designs (the first two stages of the engineering process). Then it was on to the design stage.
These are the first designs:

Scholars learned a lot about materials and their properties as well as design techniques at our first testing session.
This design was very successful. It spun around the rotor very quickly and was able to pick up 4 weights in the cup!

The next stage in the engineering process is the improve stage. Scholars applied what they learned in the first round of testing to their second windmill design.

These are the second designs.

The last stage of the engineering process is share. Scholars shared and tested their windmill designs with their families at Cannon's Family STEM night.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Field Day 2013

 A great time was had by all at today's Field Day Event! The weather was perfect, the kids were competitive AND supportive of each other and Cannon's PTA was on hand (as always) to support scholars and staff. A BIG shout-out to Coach Z for her organization of the event and her positive, bubbly nature:)

Wednesday, May 8, 2013


If you missed the chicks hatching over the weekend you can watch a video of chick 2 hatching by clicking on this link:

Chick #2 Hatches

Monday, May 6, 2013

Summer Reading Prep

Summer is just a few short weeks away! I know my own 'summer stack' is growing daily:)
In the world of reading, two things happen to early readers...they become better readers...or they don't.

Check out these simple, yet great ideas for revving up for your family's summer reading from
5 ways to get your kids psyched for summer reading fun

Friday, May 3, 2013

Math Workshop: Learning Stations

This week during Math Workshop, scholars have been working in learning stations. The stations were developed to build number sense and review previously taught concepts.

Station 1 - Tile Challenges: Scholars were challenged to follow a set of directions that included counting, geometry, patterns and critical thinking. They recorded their thinking using pictures and PicCollage.

 Station 2 - Math review on Symbaloo: Scholars chose from a number of math concept games created by PBS Kids and compiled by Kinderchat into a webmix. This was shared by Matt Gomez on Twitter and Pinterest. (If you are a teacher, you need to follow Matt Gomez!)

Station 3 - Counting Bags: Scholars worked on solidifying number sense for numbers between 0-100 as they built early place value skills. They recorded their thinking using pictures and PicCollage.

Station 4 - Math Fact Fluency: Scholars worked with iPads in an app called AbiTalk Fun Math to build fact fluency. I especially like this app because it can be differentiated and provides a progress report for each scholar.

Station 5 - Meet with the Teacher: I very much enjoyed meeting with small groups of scholars this week as we located numbers on a 0-99 chart, built numbers with cubes placing them on a place value chart, discussed 10 more/10 less and practiced counting by 10's beginning with any number.