Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Some Things in Life Really Are Free

A few weeks ago I became a Twitter user. 
I met the librarian from Danvers Schools, Karen, at a conference a while back and she raved about how she finds so much useful information through twitter.  I wasn't quite sure what to make of this but I finally agreed to give it a try.  First, I followed Ms Strobl's Science Class.  That has been fun.  Then I added a few more people to follow.  It has been an entertaining adventure.
One night while looking through the twitter feed, I noticed that google chrome was giving away chromebooks.  For Free!  Anyone who knows me knows that I can't resist FREE items!  Ask my children.
In the teacher category there were 743 nominations.  I decided to nominate my daughter who teaches First Grade in Middleton.
This is the quote on the Google page:
" A+ teachers don’t just teach reading, writing, and arithmetic. They can open up kids’ horizons and even set them on their future life path. And that deserves more than a shiny red apple."
And guess what?  She was one of the lucky winners.  Her brand new in the box chromebook arrived on Friday! 
And yes, it was totally FREE. 
Thank you google chrome.
Have fun Miss Klipfel.
Winning pictures

Go Sox!

2004 poster created by students.

2007 poster created by students

Coming Soon 2013!
Go Sox!

Monday, October 28, 2013

A Trip to New Jersey

Mrs. DeOreo's Sixth Graders visited New Jersey today. 
The first group skyped with Mrs. Schaefer-Dolan's class early in the morning.  Their visit began with a quick introduction and then the students in New Jersey had our students play a "Guess the Scene" game.  The group had clues for us and we immediately guessed what part of the book they were describing.  It was a lot of fun.  Then both classes shared questions and answers.
After lunch we had another visit with two different sixth grade classes.  But as in all things involving technology there was no sound on our end.  It was quite entertaining as they could hear us but we couldn't hear them.  We reflected that this is what Melody lives through every day.  The students became very creative and used communication boards and asked us questions.  This visit turned out to be very powerful becasue it gave us a deeper understanding and we had greater empathy for Melody as a result.


Click on the map to see a larger version. 

View Greater Brunswick Charter School in a larger map

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Are You Smarter Than a Third Grader?

The Jeopardy Game below is a review of the unit on plants.  Scroll through the slides and see if you are smarter than a third grader.
Mrs. Corliss' Class would like to share the steps of photosynthesis. The students created this project using the apps drawing pad and educreations.

Butterfly Life Cycle

The boys and girls in Mrs. Madden's class came to the library for a sharing of their hard work this week.  It was very enjoyable watching all the educreation videos they made.

When we were done we practiced with our bodies to show all 4 stages of a butterfly's life cycle.  Can you guess what the stages are?

Answers:  egg, larva/caterpillar, pupa/chrysalis, butterfly

Here is the bulletin board the students created to write about the similarities and differences of butterflies and moths.  Remarkable!

Friday, October 18, 2013

On the Road Again

We packed our bags and took off to a new part of the world. 
We visited with students from Lincoln School in Barrio Socorro, San Miguel, Santo Domingo de Heredia, Costa Rica where the weather was tropical. (sunny in the morning and rainy in the afternoon.)
Our visit started as a Mystery skype visit.  The students in Mrs. Navarro's class asked us questions and tried to guess where we were from.
Q:  Are you in North America?
A: Yes
Q: Do you border another country?
A: No
Q:  Are you on the United States?
A;  Yes
Q: Is your state small?
A:  Not too small, not too big
Q:  Are you in Massachusetts?
We learned that the time in Costa Rica is 2 hours earlier than our time and they start school at 7:45 local time and end at 2:35 local time.
The language spoken at Lincoln School is English and Spanish.
There are 1300 students in their school from pre-K - 12.
Hello in Spanish is hola and goodbye is adios.

Click here to visit Lincoln School
Click here to visit Proctor School

View Proctor Elementary School in a larger map
Our Global Read Aloud discussions continue to grow as we share more of the story with other classes around the world.  Mrs. Murphy's class has read through chapter 12 and Mrs. Navarro's class has read through chapter 14.  They were sure to not give anything away during our visit.
If you are reading this book think of your answers to these thoughtful questions:
"How does the book show respect?"
"How does fear change people's behaviors?"
 Muchas gracias a nuestros nuevos amigos.
Thank you very much to our new friends.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Butterflies and Moths
For the past few weeks, the second grade has been studying butterflies and moths.  The classrooms had butterfly nets hanging from the ceiling and the students watched the life cycle right before their eyes. It is always a fun day when the newly hatched butterflies are set free.
The students in Mrs. Madden's class worked on comparing and contrasting butterflies and moths.  The students also spent time researching and writing the details in a venn diagram in order to complete a compare and contrast writing piece.

Click on the picture to test your knowledge of the life cycle of a butterfly.
Flash Player is necessary to view this site.
Click on the butterfly to color online.  Flash Player is necessary.
The students used the app educreations to share their new knowledge.
Sam and Trevor
Daniel and Noah
Matthew and Max
Joelle and Grace

Ashley and Louie
Charlie and Olivia
Ella and Grace
Anna and Sarah

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Bonjour to Our New Friends in Canada!

We took a trip to Winnepeg, Canada from the comfort of our own library.
Our skype visit today took us out of the United States across the border to Canada.  We traveled from Proctor School, Topsfield, MA USA to St. John's-Ravencourt School, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada and met Mrs. Stoller's Fourth Grade Class.
Winnipeg, Manitoba is at the centre of Canada, just north of the American border.  Click on the map to go to google maps.

Click on St. John's -Ravencourt School for a visit.

  The boys and girls enjoyed this visit and learned some new facts about each other.  We learned how to say hello~ bonjour and goodbye~au revoir.  The students at St. John's-Ravencourt have French lessons for 30 minutes every day.
Brandon answered a question about the Global Read Aloud book Out of My Mind. 
"It is a powerful book, with strong feelings and is a very descriptive story."
Nick asked a question:  "If Melody could talk what would be her first words?"
Many answered, "I love you Mom!"
To our new friends, "Merci!"


Monday, October 14, 2013

We Went To Kentucky!

Mrs. Murphy's class went on a field trip to Kentucky.
On Friday, Mrs. Blake and Mrs. Rowland's fourth grade classes visited Proctor School via skype to discuss the book Out Of My Mind by Sharon Draper.  Both classes introduced themselves and their schools.  Proctor students talked about Mr. Proctor and the Topsfield Fair.  Centerfield Students told us about the upcoming Fall Festival and the Kentucky Derby.  The boys and girls asked very thoughtful questions and shared their knowlegde and excitement about the book they are both reading as part of Global Read Aloud.  It is fun to think we can vist a new school and never leave our own school at the same.

Click on the google map to see a larger view
Mrs. Murphy's class is introducing Proctor School to students in Kentucky.


Sunday, October 13, 2013

Tech Talk

Come find out what everyone is talking about!

Teachers in the Tri-Town School District have the opportunity for some exciting professional development this year.  The Technology Committee has enlisted staff members, as well as community members, to offer technology related workshops on Wednesdays after school. 
The first workshop, Blogging, was held at Steward School this past week.  The enthusiastic teachers came to create a blog or to work on their newly formed blog.  It was exciting to work with such hard working and dedicated teachers during this hour after school.  Teachers worked together to share their expertise and experiences while blogging.   We had some fun together over brownies and there was even a raffle for some added excitement.  Watch for new blogs on the Tri-Town website soon.
Some of the future workshops I will be offering are: blogging, kidblog, QR codes, educreations, and Study Island.  I can't wait to meet with new friends and visit with old friends again.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

The Topsfield Fair

The Topsfield Fair is in town.

During the first week of October everyone in Topsfield anxiously awaits the arrival of the Topsfield Fair.  I even saw a handwritten sign on one of the classroom doors offering Free Parking for anyone in that class. I promised not to share the address but I was told I could come.
The Topsfield Fair, America's oldest agricultural fair, will hold this year's fair from October 4 - October 14, 2013.
Mr. Deveney's class will be blogging about their favorite food, ride, or exhibit as they explore the Fair this year.  They would love for you to visit their blog and leave a comment and share your favorite part of the fair.  I love the fried dough and the largest pumpkin exhibit!

Mrs. Ellis decided to capture the spirit during math class. 
The assignment was to go to the Topsfield Fair web site and find the information to help answer math questions.  Using the iPads the students set out to solve the Fair problems.

Small group working in the library.

Try to solve some of their questions:
  1. How long has the fair been at its current location?
  2. Go to the Fair Map.  How many ATMs are at the fair?  If 700 people visit each ATM and each person withdrew $200, what is the total amount that will be withdrawn from all the ATMs?
  3. Go to the Admission page.  How much will the fair earn when all 2.000 parking spaces are filled?

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Global Read Aloud in Grade One

Mrs. Truhart meet Mrs. Truhart

The first graders in Mrs. Truhart's class are participating in Global Read Aloud.  Both classrooms are reading books written by Eric Carle.  The book this week was The Very Hungry Caterpillar.  As a special part of this event the students in Mrs. Truhart's class at Steward School, Topsfield, MA made a connection with Mrs. Truhart's class at St Vincent De Paul School, East Haven, CT.  And today the two Mrs. Truharts met via Skype!

Click on the map to go to our google map


The boys and girls are anxiously waiting for the call to begin.
Mrs. Truhart is talking to Mrs. Truhart
During their visit both classes shared a little about their school and their class.  We took a virtual tour of each classroom.  The boys and girls were excited to introduce themselves.  The main part of the event was the sharing of the book The Very Hungry Caterpillar.  It was fun watching the 2 classes talk about their favorite part of the book.  We hope to visit again soon.

Here is a link to Eric Carle reading The Very Hungry Caterpillar.