Tuesday, November 25, 2014

#ProjectWWW: Planning

Thanksgiving is this Thursday in the United States. Families will gather, thankful for each other. We'll feast on foods traditional for the holiday and for our family cultures.

In grades 5 6 7 and 8, we're thinking about foods around the world and have joined with many schools in states and countries around the world to share What We Eat -- a day, a lunch, Thanksgiving. Students have started listing the foods they will probably eat this Thursday. What is the food? How much did they eat? What calories did they consume?  Here's the beginning of one student's spreadsheet. What's our project? Read here and Follow #ProjectWWW on Twitter. Families, be sure to return the permission slip.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving, and don't be surprised if you students get into taking food pictures!  They are gathering their research!



This is a school related site so please respect others and comment appropriately. Please contact Ms Edwards if you have any questions or need to report any inappropriate activity. Thank you. Reflect Curiosity and Wonder... Go boldly and scatter seeds of kindness...

Thursday, November 20, 2014

GiverCraft: Reading for Evidence


The GiverCraft game has begun. The first task is to create the community for the "Nine" characters -- the world the child would live in. Our sixth grade students have read the book -- they're amazed how plain a gray and white world is, how keeping people safe has so many rules, and how being the same means not having so much.

No storms? Nope.
No sunburns? Nope.
No sun? Nope.
No color? Nope.

How will we build our community? 

The students dug into their memories of the book, finding the page numbers for the places needed for a "Nine." The read about the buildings and what they looked like.

"Let's draw a map."


Students are busy creating buildings for the community in MineCraftEDU based on evidence from the story, a Common Core State Standard.  Here's what they've built so far:

The Central Plaza:


Inside the plaza for meetings:



Notice how grey and and white everything is -- no color; just like the book. Even the tables and chairs. We've almost finished with our other buildings on the map.

What will our next task be?

Who said reading isn't fun?

This is a school related site so please respect others and comment appropriately. Please contact Ms Edwards if you have any questions or need to report any inappropriate activity. Thank you. Reflect Curiosity and Wonder... Go boldly and scatter seeds of kindness...

Friday, November 14, 2014

Reading: Engaged

This week the sixth grade class and I worked hard. We have a book to read and understand before we connect with other students in a game about our book, GiverCraft, a Minecraft EDU game based on the book, The Giver.
Obstacles have been thrown at us: I’ve had training and have been out of class; testing started and took time away; sports takes kids out of class. But we have used every minute we could find to get the book read and understood.
This is not a class who likes reading, but we are listening to the story on Audible and following along. We are reading it like friends who are enjoying a book together. We listen and use post-its to mark important places to share with each other. We pause the story and the students share. And they are sharing the important parts of the story– and explaining how it fits with what went before and predicting what might happen. They are discussing the main character and how he is changing. They are wondering about a world of sameness and rules.
They are engaged in reading. They are engaged in authentic, can’t-put-the-book-down reading. They are leaving class commenting on the world within the book. They are arriving in class and readying themselves for the days’ story and conversation. And they are anticipating success when our tasks are presented in our Minecraft game next Monday, ready to support each other with their understanding from our authentic conversations.
I’m glad I left the learning to their choices, their moments of insight, and their conversations. I’m glad I reached out to be authentic with them; our shared learning shows they are real readers.

This is a school related site so please respect others and comment appropriately. Please contact Ms Edwards if you have any questions or need to report any inappropriate activity. Thank you. Reflect Curiosity and Wonder... Go boldly and scatter seeds of kindness...

Monday, November 10, 2014

#NaNoWriMo

Our students in grades seven and eight are participating in #NaNoWriMo again this year. Each students sets their own goals and we continue to follow the Common Core State Standards aligned curriculum by Young Writers NaNoWriMo: National Novel Writing Month. I wrote about it last week, and this was our first week.

We actually have only twelve days of classroom time to allot for this due to trainings, conferences, and Thanksgiving. However the students are writing about what they know: their hobbies and interests. They took that lesson to heart: writers write about what they know [or research]. So students are writing about friendships made and lost, sports goals and goofs, and characters new and ancient.
Students draft their writing in Google Docs.  Our Teacher Dashboard by Hapara allows me to quickly see new additions, view, and click to add comments to encourage their continued efforts. I point out the positives to encourage their continued use of those strategies such as dialogue and description to help set the mood and tone for their action.




Students share their novels with each other to also add comments and encourage each other. Students or teacher and student can carry on a feedback conversation through the comments and when completed, just click “Resolve.” The collaborative aspect of Google Apps for Education encourages writing by students through this process; it’s personalized learning at its best.

When not writing for NaNoWriMo, the apps allow for students to choose the app that best fits their audience and purpose: a blog? a Google site? a document? a slideshow? a survey [forms]? a spreadsheet with charts for data? a HangOut with experts? To meet the Common Core State Standards, collaboration and multi-media information are key. I’m so thankful our school district adopted this for our students.

This is a school related site so please respect others and comment appropriately. Please contact Ms Edwards if you have any questions or need to report any inappropriate activity. Thank you. Reflect Curiosity and Wonder... Go boldly and scatter seeds of kindness...

Veterans Day

Our school honored our Veterans with a Pow Wow organized by Linda Saint, our culture instructor. Soy Redthunder was the MC. LaTonya took pictures for us:

This is a school related site so please respect others and comment appropriately. Please contact Ms Edwards if you have any questions or need to report any inappropriate activity. Thank you. Reflect Curiosity and Wonder... Go boldly and scatter seeds of kindness...

Sunday, November 2, 2014

NaNoWriMo in 7 and 8

Engaged !

In October, we begin our preparation for our novels, following the helpful curriculum by Young Writers NaNoWriMo: National Novel Writing Month.  Notice: Common Core State Standards focus each lesson. That means, YES, you and your students can write a novel in November.
On Friday, we mapped out the days we can write in school and set our writing goals. Teachers write 30,000 words and students choose their own goals. Students are excited and talking about their novels.  Monday, we begin writing. Most will draft in Google Docs, leaving their "inner editor" in a box somewhere on a shelf so that only the flow of their story taps onto the page, one letter, word, sentence, paragraph at time -- ideas driven by a character with problem.  That's all you need to start, but if you need more, the Young Writers Program provides help:

Links to Start

Teacher Stories

Start

I'd like to thank my friends at #clmooc for inspiring me again -- their 5 image story task set my imagination in motion for my novel; here's my start.  It helped my students see how to start -- with a character, an image in their mind, and a problem.
Are you ready? Are your students writing?  Check out our Virtual Classroom and watch our progress.
Students, comment with a summary of your novels!

This is a school related site so please respect others and comment appropriately. Please contact Ms Edwards if you have any questions or need to report any inappropriate activity. Thank you. Reflect Curiosity and Wonder... Go boldly and scatter seeds of kindness...