This is our second year participating in Hour of Code. It is a week (or two) of exposing students to the world of coding with fun activities! I explain coding to the students as “talking” to the computer and giving it directions. Computer science is a growing field and some of our hawks may choose to become a computer programmer in the future! The students get to code/program a mouse for the younger grades and characters in a game for the older grades. Learning to code can help students collaborate to find code problems (debugging). It strengthens their teamwork skills when they have to find a way to make a code that solves the overall goal. If they want to complete the games at home, just go to the section of my the website that says “Hour of Code”. PS- It’s fun for adults too!
Second grade is using multiple resources to learn more about the Creek and Cherokee Native Americans. We have been going over T-Charts as a way to compare information. I’ve modeled how to write notes and the students are doing a fabulous job! Research skills are learned slow and steady!
First grade is learning about nonfiction by comparing two books about badgers. One is nonfiction and the other fiction. We are working on seeing the differences between the two. Our practice includes searching for real photos, labels, diagrams, captions, headings, tables of contents, and the glossary. Read some nonfiction with your kids today and see if you can pick out the features that make it a “learning” book.
The Tellus Museum loaned us some fossils! The 3rd grade has been hands on this week discovering about each one. We have been using the encyclopedia Britannica to look up facts! I wonder if we have any paleontologists in our future?
Learning about our online resources is the recent lesson for kindergarten. We are currently going on MackinVIA ebooks and learning how to find the community helper books. The students love to tell the steps! If they can’t remember, there is always a friendly METI or buddy that can help them along. I love how their listening and collaboration skills are developing. They are also getting to practice independence! Some are working with iPads while others are picking books for enjoyment and reading quietly together. We even have some on the Lego wall using their creative skills making a snowflake.
The book fair was a great success! Thanks to the parent volunteers that helped the students find the books that they wanted. Every year I'm so blessed to watch children excited about reading and the book fair just highlights the students' enthusiasm to read books that interest them. It is so important to have a mini home library and to let children fill it with books they enjoy!
Today our teachers are learning how to use Nearpod! Some teachers chose to come to a PD workshop where I showed them how to use Nearpod online. This is a wonderful program that allows teachers to interact with their students while they give the lesson. It lets the child follow along with the slides right on their computer or device. During the lesson the students can answer questions, take polls, illustrate thoughts, and link to websites directly from the program. It allows the students to share and collaborate on answers and research. It’s also a great way to keep the students engaged! Ison Springs teachers are always excited to learn and grow! Learning is forever!
Fourth and fifth graders are having a blast using their new devices this year! We have been finishing up our digital citizenship lessons using Nearpod. A program that allows the students to upload typed answers, pictures, and complete quizzes. Then they just send their individual responses to me and we can discuss those responses right away!
They younger ones have been showing me what they know by acting out some situations that might happen when they are online. Discussing what to do in a situation is a wonderful way to prepare our students for the digital world. They always come up with some great questions!
Lately the library has been getting some new book bins. These boxes are to help our younger students become more independent. Each box/bin is labeled by a picture and focuses on the books that are of high interest! Who can find the Biscuit books? You can do it!