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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Week 16- Cell Projects & Colonial Day

This week we only went to school for 2 days. We'll have the rest of the week off for Thanksgiving break. Even though we were only there a couple of days, we had a lot of fun.

Last week I shared #projectrippleeffect with you. We started making happy posters for all the adults in our school building. We finished making them this week. Since I was guiding this I didn't include my name in the list for a poster. So while we were making the other posters my class snuck and made one for me. It made my day and also made me happy.



Today we had colonial day at school. This was a traditional colonial lunch. We made butter and had biscuits and stir about (colonial stew). It was delicious!



The kids had a great time making butter. They kept asking if it was ready yet. We shook jars for a while before the butter was finally finished.





After lunch we played marbles and jacks. I told the kids we were going to play colonial games with a twist. I had each group choose what they wanted to play and then use the iPad minis to find out how to play the game. Most of them had never played these games before and we are keeping them in the room to play when we have indoor recess.




We are almost finished with our completely digital cell projects. Some of the finished videos are coming in now so I wanted to share a couple of them. They were a little stressed about getting their assigned cell correct. My students have not had any experience identifying cells when looking at real pictures. So I told them not to worry about it. I'm looking for a completed project and evidence to show why they think it is a plant or animal cell.





STUDENTS: What was your favorite part of our colonial lunch? We had a lot of yummy food and fun games. I'm curious to find out your favorite. I hope everyone has a happy Thanksgiving!



Saturday, November 22, 2014

Essential Oils in the Classroom & Home



So I'm the family skeptic and hold out when it comes to using Young Living's essential oils. My sister-in-law got into it several years ago and they use them for everything. Even my mom and my dad signed up to become a distributor. But still, I questioned them. Do they really work and why should I try them?

So several things kept popping up in my Facebook feed about diffusing essential oils in the classroom and I read a few of them. I decided to give them a try. My mindset was if they smell good and the side effect is focus and a healthier classroom, what could it hurt? So my dad hooked me up with a diffuser, peppermint, thieves, and citrus fresh to give it a try. Immediately my kids started telling me they use them at home and different students asked what the scent was for the day. They really liked it.

I've been using them at school for about a month and I started feeling better. I found that I wasn't having as many headaches as usual and the room smelled great. I even tried diffusing some at home. My husband, Chris, has terrible sinus problems and gets stopped up really bad at night when he lays down. I diffused a little peppermint and R.C. to see if it would help. He was as skeptic as I was. But to our amazement, he said he felt like it did help him to be able to breathe a little better than he could without it.

I think the kicker was when he had a bump come up on his neck. He said it was hurting really bad so I told him, "You're going to think I'm crazy, but..." and I talked him into letting me put a little Purification on it that night. When he woke up the next morning he said it was almost gone and didn't even hurt anymore. Wow! So we signed up to become distributors. We have jumped on the bandwagon of Young Living Essential Oils.

We were the ones who said "Sure they will" or "That's crazy" but I must say we have been proven wrong. Now we are diffusing essential oils at home too. I diffuse Lavender at night and sleep like a rock.

Want to learn more about essential oils?



My favorites are Peppermint, Citrus Fresh, Cinnamon Bark, Orange, and Thieves. If you sign up to become a distributor you can order oils at wholesale cost and you only have to buy $50 a year to keep your membership active. There are no monthly minimums and you get the oils at cost. Which is great if you are using them on a regular basis. I started with the Premium Starter Kit, which is $150 (and you get about $300 worth of stuff). It gets you a home diffuser and an assortment of oils to start with. 

If you are interested in signing up here is a link to get you started. Let me know if you have any questions or if I can get some additional information for you.






Friday, November 21, 2014

Week 15- #ProjectRippleEffect, Factors, and Cells


Our middle school posted this video about #ProjectRippleEffect. So we took this idea and ran with it. My kids brainstormed ways to do something for people at our school. They decided to make posters for every adult in the building. Each student picked an adult and wrote their name on a large paper. Then each of us went around and wrote a happy note on the paper for that person.



Here we are showing off our first set of signs. Then we walked around the school and delivered them to those people. 





As you can see, we made a lot of people happy. Everyone said we made their day. I also ordered these little items for the students to use in the classroom for each other. They give the yellow smiley guys to each other when they think they have done something great. The student can leave this on their desk for the day. The following day it is their responsibility to pass it along to someone else. 


The signs below are also used in the same way. The students write a note and pass it along each day.


This week in math we reviewed factors. Just wanted to share a few of our interactive notebook pages.





Then the students worked together in groups to make factor posters. 


Here are a couple of the completed group posters. 



Friday we started our total digital cell assignment. This is something I've been wanting to try for a while and finally worked up the nerve. We use technology all the time and I wanted to see how this would work. I set up a website with information and pictures of cells. 


The students will work together to learn about cells and determine if their assigned cell is a plant or animal cell. They will complete the assignment digitally. I am allowing them to choose the app they will use to share the information with the class. My plan is for us to go completely digital with this assignment, no paper or pencils. They will finish the assignment next week so I'll make sure to share some of the final projects with you. 


STUDENTS: You know I'm excited, but he honest. What do you think about my plan for our completely digital cell assignment? Do you think it will work? Why or why not?



Saturday, November 15, 2014

Week 14- Learning about LMS


This week we were out of school for Veteran's day on Tuesday. Wednesday and Thursday I was at Central Office for meetings. I was selected to be a member of a team to review Learning Management Systems. We had several different presenters come and share about their LMS and explain how to use it.

There were 2 that stood out above the rest. We are considering using the paid version but there is a free version for both of them. I have to say that these are both similar to Edmodo but with many more features on the paid version. I'm not sure how the free versions compare but I think these two are worth a look if you are thinking about using a LMS.

Canvas:





Schoology:











I really like Schoology best but they are both very comparable.

I also learned how to give a quiz to my students using Google Forms combined with Flubaroo. The best part is that you can make it self grading. Woo hoo! I'm excited to share this with teachers who are looking at using BYOT or 1:1.

So this week was all about what the teacher learned. :)

STUDENTS: Do you like taking your tests and quizzes digitally or would you rather do paper/pencil only? Why? Give evidence to support your choice.



Saturday, November 8, 2014

Week 13- Exemplars and Chemistry Truck



This week we started working on Exemplars. They are complex word problems that require an explanation. The students have to solve the problems and explain how they solved them. I loved listening in on each group to hear their discussion about how to solve the problems. This week they were looking for the cheapest mechanical pencils based on an add. 

Our school also had the Chemistry Truck come to visit! 


They did a group presentation and then groups signed up for time slots. During those time slots they had tables set up for groups to rotate for hands on chemistry. 



We had some great parent volunteers come to help as well. I think everyone had a great time!


STUDENTS: What was your favorite chemistry activity during your table rotations Friday? Why was it your favorite?


Friday, October 31, 2014

Week 12- Mad Scientist Day

Every year we have Mad Scientist Day on Halloween. It is always so much fun so I wanted to share some pictures from today. Before I do I thought I'd share the directions I created for each rotation for my parent volunteers. 


We started with one of parents doing a demonstration. The kids are always excited when there is fire and they always want an explosion. 


Here are a few girls holding the rag after it burned. Doesn't even look like it has been on fire! So cool!


This year I had enough parent volunteers to set up rotations. I love when I have enough parents for this. We had a great time and I was able to circulate and visit each rotation. 









Check out all these parent volunteers! They rock! I want to thank all the parents who sent in supplies and those who also came in to help today. We couldn't do it without your support. 


We wrapped up the day by walking on raw eggs. The kids were so funny and everyone got a chance to walk on them. 


I even jumped in and gave it a try!


STUDENTS: Which experiment/activity did you enjoy the most during scientist day?