Tuesday, August 23, 2016


September 1st begins a new year of learning!
As I look back on this past year  I am in awe with all the NEW things we experienced together! As we became a GAFE (google apps for education) school district this meant new emails, new calendars, new documents, new ways of sharing, new....ways of teaching.
Everyone was challenged and excited to explore all things Google.

Wishing everyone a fun filled and exciting school year of learning many NEW things together!

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Friday, June 3, 2016

Grade 2 Nonfiction Authors

Students in Mrs. Ford's Second Grade Class have written their own nonfiction books. These well written books contain all the features of nonfiction books. You will find a table of contents, introduction, glossary, index, diagrams, photographs, and sidebars.
As a final feature we added a QR code to the back of each book with a link to a Book Talk recorded by each author. Students were given the choice to either record a short video or use chatterkids to produce an introduction to their individual book.

Click Here for the Google Folder with all the Book Talks.

Here are 2 of the book talks.

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Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Southwest BINGO

Mrs. Murphy's fourth grade class from Proctor School in Topsfield, MA had the opportunity to spend some time with Mrs. Viviani's fourth grade class from Spofford Pond School in Boxford, MA. Although these two schools are only 6 miles away, the students took a journey to the southwest region of the United States together.

Part of the fourth grade social studies curriculum is the study of the regions of the United States. In working with Mrs. Murphy's class we had the idea for a twist on the game BINGO. Students from both schools worked in a shared google doc to develop the questions and answers we would use for the game. They researched to find facts for landmarks and landforms, climate and water, culture and interesting facts, products and resources, and places to visit. Students filled in their BINGO boards with the answers from the shared doc. Each student had the opportunity to choose their own answers as they filled in the board.

On the big day we used google hangout to connect the two classes. Students took turns asking questions without revealing the answers. There were a few missed winners as they didn't have all the correct answers but in the end 2 students from Mrs. Viviani's class called SOUTHWEST BINGO and had everything correct!

How well do you know the southwest region?

Landforms: What is the name of a steep-sided canyon carved by the Colorado River in the state of Arizona?

Water: Water in the Southwest comes from what major river?

Interesting facts: What nickname did settlers in Oklahoma get when some settlers tried to stake their claims for free land sooner than the law permitted?

Resources: Which dam is a major supplier of hydroelectric power in the southwest region?

Places to visit:  What famous route starts in Illinois, runs through the four states of the Southwest and ends in California?

At the end of each session I always ask students to reflect on what they did well and what we could improve.
Answers included: We used loud voices, we tried, we listened very well, and we didn't get discouraged when we didn't remember the answer.
Ways to improve: We should study more.

Both teachers plan to begin the year with a Northeast BINGO  in the fall.

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Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Grade 4 Country Reports

I had the pleasure to visit 4 new areas of the world today!
Come take a tour of the Caribbean, Canada, Mexico, and Central America with the Grade 4 students. 

Teachers presented students with a copy of the MA standards for the country they would be studying and the students then researched to discover the answers to leading questions.
Students used a variety of digital tools, as well as hands on materials to turn their classroom into their new destination.
Google Docs was used to create brochures, Google Slides and the app explain everything were used for presentations.

Click on each picture below to view the final projects.

Mrs. Lampe's Class
Mrs. Gibbas' Class

Mrs. Murphy's Class

Mrs. Kelleher's Class

Massachusetts Standards for Technology:
Multimedia and Presentation Tools
G 3-5: 1.19 Create, edit, and format text on a slide. 
G 3-5: 1.20 Create a series of slides and organize them to present research or convey an idea. 
G 3-5: 1.21 Copy and paste or import graphics; change their size and position on a slide.

Tech Tips:

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Skype to Learn

As grade 4 students continue their study of the regions of the USA we reached out to Karen Wright-Balbier, Instructional Technology Specialist, from the El Paso School District in Texas through skype in the classroom. Karen connected us with Mrs Coppinger from White Elementary School.

These two fourth grade classrooms became experts of their own region or state. They each created a google doc with facts based on their research. Once these were shared, the other class generated a list of follow up questions that they wanted more information about. 

Our skype session which we called "Skype to Learn" was Mrs. Coppinger's first experience using skype and making a global connection. 

The experts each asked and answered questions as both classes became more knowledgeable about another part of the United States. we even had time to share a little about our schools. We look forward to visiting Texas and Mrs. Coppinger's Class again soon.

Click HERE to see the worksheet from the northeast region.
Click HERE to see the worksheet from Texas.

Mrs. Murphy's  Class Topsfield, MA

Mrs. Coppinger's Class El Paso, Texas

Tech Tip:
The document was created as a google doc and saved to become the original template.
A copy was made and shared with students.
Students working in small groups completed the section they were the expert on.

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Sunday, May 1, 2016

Eye on Topsfield Episode 1

Sixth grade students eagerly took on the task of creating the first episode of Eye on Topsfield. Students planned, wrote scripts, invited guests, rehearsed, and filmed this episode with the theme of Nutrition.
In this video you will meet Mr. Braden, director of food services for the Tri-Town Schools, Mrs. LeBlanc from Proctor School Kitchen, Mrs. Meehan, physical education teacher, and a few members of the Proctor Staff.

Special Thanks:
All the interviewers and interviewees.
Gabby who drew The Eye on Topsfield logo.
All filming was done by 6th grade students: Gabby, Katelyn, Tim, Alessandro, and Tea

Click on the video below to see Episode 1: Nutrition

Stay tuned for future episodes.
If there is something special you would like to know more about let us know. 
Leave a comment or send an email.
Tech Tip:
The news studio was created in explaineverything for the traveling sign and greenscreen by Doink.
All clips were added in iMovie.
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Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Favorite Recipes

Mrs. Elli's fifth grade students would like to share their favorite recipes. Be prepared to be hungry after looking at their recipe book. Bon Appetit!

Click on the image below for the ebook version of their recipe book which is accessible on an iPad in either book creator or ibooks.
Click on the image below for the video version. Listen to students introduce their recipe.
Scroll through the images below for the PDF version.
Tech Tip:
When opening the digital book on your device you will get this message

Choose either Open in iBooks or Book Creator. 

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