Saturday, April 25, 2015

NETA Reload

Dear Self,
  Please read this in August and again in November and again in January or any other times throughout the year when you need to reload and push yourself to be a better teacher and parent. As usual, NETA this year was a great experience. Keynote speakers Adam Bellow (@adambellow) and George Couros (@gcouros) were inspiring. 

Adam had us think about rethinking education. A few key points that I want to remember: Give yourself permission to take risks; failure sparks curiosity; failure is not permanent; actions speak louder than buzzwords; and finally, the big question, If you send a lit match to school, is school extinguishing the lit match?  How can I be the change that makes things better? Create it, share it, improve it. 

George brought this mom of 3 and many others to tears.  For those of you that know me, you know that, is a feat in itself. Here are a few things I want to remember: All kids need different things from us.  If a kid hugs you, never let go first, they will hug you as long as they need you (this is hard for me but I'm going to get better); surround yourself with passionate people; technology will never replace great teachers, but technology in the hands of great teachers can be transformational; isolation is a choice teachers make, you need to make connections; if you want to inspire meaningful change you have to make a connection to the heart before you can make a connection to the mind; give kids space to innovate, create and share their learning; students should be moving from consumption to meaningful creation; if we teach students just the curriculum we have failed them, we need more than better students, we need better people.  Building relationships and telling our stories are key. 

So now, after all of that, here is my NETA to do list:

Blended Learning/Flipped Classroom in math 
Create interactive videos and activities for students to go beyond the curriculum. Help them relate and create. Organize my classroom with Schoology, iTunesU or Google Classroom.  

Interactive Math Wall
Use the app Aurasma to give my math wall a "Harry Potter" effect.

184 days of learning
Tweet something new you learn each school day no matter how big or small

Floors - Turns drawings into video games
1 Second Everyday - records a 1 sec video everyday then creates a short video with the clips
Deliver - change the content on a QR code instead of the code
Touchcast App - creating videos
OSMO - I want one! - what are people saying about you? - shows live tweets happening across the world
Quizzizz - similar to Kahoot

Okay I think that's it for now. Happy to have it all written down. Is there something I'm missing? Would love for you to share great ideas you have after attending NETA. 

Saturday, April 5, 2014

What have iPads done to my room?!...Come Take A Look

My classroom has had 1:1 iPads since December of 2012.  The iPads have brought a dramatic change to the way I teach my students and the way my students learn.  When I tell community members, teachers, district administration, college professors, board members, etc. that I have 1:1 iPads in my classroom, I often get a smile and a "wow, that's really nice" but in my mind I'm shouting "YOU have NO idea!"  When I start to explain some of the things my students are doing in my room with the iPads, blank stares or fake smiles appear on most faces because they just don't understand what the iPads are doing for education.  I then invite them to come into my classroom and observe, but NO ONE comes.

iPads in my classroom are raising some eyebrows.  I've been questioned on how I'm teaching and if my students are learning, concerns that the time on the iPad takes away from peer interactions, questions about how I grade all of my students' work and if I'm teaching all of the curriculum, and now budget cuts preventing the possibility of more iPads in other classrooms.  Which send me the message that you really don't care what's going on in my classroom.

My response....come spend some time in my classroom and you will see how our classroom works. Your doubts will be erased and you'll have the desire to change teachers' pedagogy like I do and want to create learners that are exploring and creating not sitting at their desks listening to a teacher lecture and filling out worksheets.

Jenna's PicCollage about Vitamin C
In my classroom, my students are collaborating together on projects, proudly sharing their creativity, asking thought provoking questions, celebrating classmates successes, and mending disappointments.  I spent some time this week just watching my class.  My students were having conversations with each other and as I took the time to listen, those conversations were revolving around students' work. Through these conversations, my students are learning!

These are some of the things I observed:

Students laughing with each other about funny images in the collages they created with the PicCollage App and discussing why they chose to use those particular images to represent their learning in Health.

Students solving Stick Around puzzles their classmates created to help them review their reading story for the week, spelling words, or math skills.

Students complimenting another student on the iMovie she created about our Mystery Hangout and asking her how they can add those special effect to their iMovies.
Madison's iMovie                                  Haylee's iMovie

Students debating and discussing which objects would be measured with which unit of measurement and why.

Alex showing what his mind is thinking in math
Students sharing about the chapter book they have been reading and what images they are going to add to their iMovie to help describe their book.

Students discussing which teams are winning in the NCAA basketball tournament and who they are going to write about in their next blog post.

Students creating math projects together that explain their thinking and show understanding of how problems are solved.

Reviewing spelling sentences together

A student asking another student to review his spelling sentences for the week to make sure the words are spelled correctly.

These are just a few of the conversations that are happening in my classroom on a daily basis.  These conversations are evidence of my students learning, creating, and building relationships.

So yes, the iPads have changed my classroom.
My students are learning by discovering, not by having me stand at the front of the room and lecture. My classroom is student focused not teacher focused.  My students are working together, collaborating and building strong peer relationships.  I'm not stuck at my desk grading piles of papers. I'm walking around talking with my students and having them share their creations with me.  Through those conversations I'm able to assess their learning.  The learning in my classroom is completely different from the school we have all known, but this change is a good thing.

So, if by chance you are a millionaire, or a superintendent, or work for congress, or a school board member, or a community member, or any other interested stakeholder, please (I'm begging) come take the time to visit my classroom and see how much iPads can change a classroom!

Friday, March 14, 2014

Sticking to Stick Around

After hearing so many positive things about the app Stick Around from a variety of educators, I was ecstatic when the approval came through to purchase the app for my students.  In the last few weeks, Stick Around has added a new dynamic of learning in my classroom.  Stick Around is an app that allows the user to create puzzles that are solved by matching the appropriate sticker with the problem.  I started using this app by created puzzles for my students to solve.  I have created puzzles that require students to sort spelling words based on patterns, puzzles that require them to solve a variety of math problems, puzzles that sort rocks and minerals, and puzzles that sequence parts of a story.  The students enjoy solving the problems and I love the immediate feedback they receive from the puzzle.
Puzzle I created for my 4th graders to review for math

The other piece of Stick Around that I love is the fact that my students are able to create their own puzzles.  Many of my math assignments have involved having my students create their own puzzles.  They then share these puzzles in a Google Drive folder that is shared with their classmates.  This allows them to solve each other's puzzles as they are completed.  My students have taken greater pride in their work knowing their puzzles are going to be played by their classmates.  I have observed them double checking their work and taking the time to add an extra "challenge" to their puzzle.  The ease of sharing these puzzles and enjoyment the students have in solving and creating them is priceless.

Stick Around has become one of the staple apps I use in my classroom.  I strongly recommend that you take the time to consider this app for your classroom.  It offers immediate feedback to my students as well as numerous tools that allow students to demonstrate their learning through pictures, drawings, voice recordings, and words.

As an added bonus to this app, my students were given the opportunity to do a Google Hangout with the creator of the app Tony Vincent.  Thank you to my colleague, Brent Catlett, for getting this set up for my classroom as well as several others in our district.

It was a wonderful opportunity for my students and they learned so many new things from Mr. Vincent about the app such has how to duplicate shapes, delete stickers and new updates that will be coming soon.  Connecting my students with Tony Vincent gets them excited about what the future holds for them.  They are starting to realize that creating apps could be part of their future. I feel that this experience brings the world into my classroom and I love it!  My students were excited about meeting with Mr. Vincent and wrote wonderful blogs about the experience.  Feel free to read a few.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Finding something new from my PLN

I've been working with 1:1 iPads in my classroom since the middle of last year.  I've been amazed by the opportunities the iPads have brought to my classroom.  The environment and learning in my classroom has completely changed, which I love.  If I were to ramble off a list of the things my students have done, the list is actually quite long, but that doesn't seem to be enough for me.  I hadn't brought anything new to the table lately, so I wasn't satisfied.  I think this is the mindset of any quality teacher no mater if they have iPads or not.  

I was going to dedicate this post to a new app I've been working with in my classroom but I'm thinking that will have to be for another time. Because, whenever I start to feel in a "slump," I spend a short amount of time connecting with my PLN on my twitter feed, and my inspiration is ignited.   

I want to share with you what inspired me in the last 20 minutes:

By following #4thchat, I have Science flowing through my brain and thinking about developing a STEM project my students could work on.  There were also some ideas on teaching punctuation and developing math journals for students.

@JenBadura shared a post about The Wrong Way to Teach Grammar.  After reading this, I found even more value in my students' blogging so I'm geared up to continue to push my students to blog.  

@lindaYollis shared the idea of students commenting on blog as if they were specific presidents.  I LOVE IT! What a great way for students to focus on the voice of their writing.

@teachkiwi shared an excellent video to explain SAMR and how classrooms should be changing.

@jdeinhammer is working with high school students to create an iTunesU course for 3-5th graders about A Healthy Body and the Immune System.  This relates directly to my Health curriculum so I can't wait to show it to my students!

@catlett1 shared a post about how his PLN has made him a better educator (possibly the inspiration for this post)

@annfeldmann1 shared a post from @shannonmiller on 18 Apps that Support Creative Process.  These are tools I could definitely use in my classroom.

@pernilleripp wrote a wonderful post titled "I am a reader."  It made me want to drop everything and read.  Something I love to do, but don't do enough of.

I ended my evening by adding a few comments to blogs posted on #comments4kids.  By doing this, I not only helped a fellow teacher and students, but I learned about gray water, the Chinese New Year, and refreshed my memory on the book The Giver.  It's a gift that keeps giving!

So I guess you could say my "slump" is over thanks to my PLN.  Now my new problem do I fit it all in :)  I am always so grateful that my colleague Brent Catlett (@catlett1) introduced me to the world of Twitter.  I'm not quite sure where my classroom would be without it.  So my suggestion, build your PLN.  Spend some time using your PLN to get ideas and share your ideas back.  Keep yourself out of the "slump."  The world of education is changing and in order to stay a head of this fast moving train, you need to be an active part of your PLN. 

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Pop Quiz using Doceri....SUCCESS!

This week my students are preparing for their test on adding and subtracting fractions.  I feel like fractions are consuming their brains!  We have discussed a variety of strategies to find a common denominator and I have realized that each student has a method they prefer.  Students love having choices and I enjoy giving them choices.  However, I still needed to know they are confident in the skill.

Today, after reviewing all of the different strategies, I gave my students a pop quiz with 5 different problems.  They were required to do the quiz on Doceri and record themselves solving the problems.  While students were doing this, they were explaining their thinking.

As I was walking around the room, I noticed students catching their mistakes and changing their answers, students asking others about problems they encountered, and students gleaming with success when they completed all of the problems successfully.  The students' work was checked by one of their peers who listened to the videos and evaluated their thinking.  During this time, I heard students reminding other students to simplify their fractions or to subtract instead of add.  My students then added these new videos to their digital math portfolios.

I love the math conversations that are happening in my classroom because of the iPads.  My students are becoming more confident in their math skills and they are explaining their learning.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

gClassFolders....Where have you been all of my life?!

A few days ago, my colleague, Ann Feldmann shared on our community a gClassFolder Tutorial created by @mickie_mueller.  I was anxious to watch the video, but a little hesitant on what I was going to discover.  Google Drive with my students has always been a love, hate relationship.  The organization piece has always been a struggle.  I had no idea that by watching this tutorial I was going to hit the JACKPOT!
I currently work in a GAFE district and have 1:1 iPads in my classroom.  My students are continually creating and sharing their learning through a variety of apps.  They then take these creations and save them to their Drive.  I love the accessibility Drive gives them especially the fact that they can open their Drive at school or at home.  Their learning is always at their fingertips because of Google Drive.
In a perfect world, my students would be able to manage their Drive without any difficulty; but this isn't a perfect world, and my students aren't quite there yet.  One of the bumps in the road I often face is helping my students organize their Drive so they can share their work in a seemingly flawless way.  It seems like every few month,s I have to go through the headache of taking my students into the computer lab and helping them re-organize, re-label, and re-share a variety of folders and docs in their Drive.
The headache usually starts to form when I have 19 different 4th graders asking how to spell something or what button to push or claiming they accidentally deleted something or that they forgot my email address.  At this point I begin to ask myself if my somewhat paperless classroom is worth it.  But then we head back into the classroom with our organized Drives and the workflow on the iPads are flawless. So I think to myself, if only there was a way for me organize their Drives with a few clicks.
Well, my "if only" has been answered!  gClassFolders literally made my jaw drop when I realized what it would do for my students and I.  Seriously, where has this been all of my GAFE life.  Within 10 minutes I had folders created for every subject that included shared with me, edit and view.  All of the folder were organized in my Drive according to subject and on a spreadsheet that had a link for each student's individual folder.  And the best parts, (keep in mind I am a 4th grade teacher) everything is spelled correctly and put in alphabetical order!  So yes, my nerdy, organization freak self has been having a day of celebration.  For those of you who already know about gClassFolders, share the love of knowledge with others.  For those organization crazies like myself, gClassFolders might just be your new best friend.  Thanks Ann for sharing!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Geldes Math Academy

  Today my students and I took on the challenge of ordering fractions with unlike denominators.  This entire week the students have been working with fractions and determining their common factors and multiples.  Today the students did an activity with the iPads that allowed them to move around the room and talk about their learning.

  I started the activity by putting the students in groups of 3.  Within that group, the students worked together to create 3 fractions that had different denominators.  The group then took their fractions to another group.  That group in turn discussed what the common denominator would be and told the group members what they needed to do to their fractions to create fractions with common denominators.
  As I was moving around the room, I was amazed by the math conversations I heard happening.  My students were helping their classmates solve various problems and explaining their thinking. Once the students were able to show confidence in the topic, they created an Explain Everything video to add to their math notebook on the iPad.

 I love the accessibly the students have with the iPads. The videos they have created for math have been a valuable tool for them to refer back to whenever they need a reminder on how to do a particular task in math. Their learning is always at their fingertips and the learning is something they have created. One of my students said, "We should call our math folders Geldes Academy because we make videos just like Khan."  I like the idea, Geldes Math Academy.  It has a nice ring to it, and it is an amazing showcase of my students' learning.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Building Their Toolbelts

As the second part of the school year begins, I'm feeling refreshed and energized.  As a teacher, obviously I love my breaks (don't we all) and it was a little rough to come back and wake up early.  However, the energy that my students brought back after break has been contagious.  Their confidence and familiarity with the iPads and the apps has inspired them to learn more.  I've caught myself giving my classroom a 2nd look these last few weeks.  After a semester of hard work of teaching and working on the iPads, my classroom feels like a little steam engine that is chugging along smoothly.  I can finally breathe!
This past week, I have been able to tell my students, you need to create a project that shows your understanding of the reading vocabulary we are learning, immediately after I gave them this assignment, students started asking about using a variety of apps to show their learning.  I loved the fact that they were so familiar with so many of the apps that they were willing to use.  I now have projects flowing in from all of my students that are filled with app smashing.  They are using Keynote, Explain Everything, Comic Life, Tellagami, and many others.   The beauty of this is that they are doing this by themselves!
So my advice for those of you with 1:1 iPads.  Be patient, work diligently with the students on a variety of apps.  Fill up their tool belts, then let them build. Eventually your work pays off and your students become creators that revolutionize their way of learning.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

iPad Showcase for Parents

My students have been working on their iPads since the beginning of September.  Learning to create on the iPads has been a gradual process and I have been extremely excited about the learning that is taking place in my classroom.  My students have taken charge of their learning.  They are starting to do more of the work.  They are taking the information they are learning and showcasing it through a variety of apps and projects.

The students have work they were very proud of and they were anxious to share it with their parents, so we decided to invite parents and grandparents into our classroom for breakfast and an iPad showcase.  We brainstormed apps and projects the students wanted to show their parents.

Our agenda for the morning
When the families arrived in the morning, students and parents enjoyed breakfast as I gave a quick explanation of each of the apps and how they are used.  Then I let the students steal the show.  The parents were amazed watching their kids navigate through their iPads.  I heard so many parents say "That's really cool!," "Wow! You did that?!" "I'm so proud of you!."  It was a great experience for my students and their parents.  The parents were able to see the learning that is taking place in my classroom.  They were able to see how the iPads can be used with the curriculum and how they make differentiation immediate and purposeful.  My students each had a devoted audience member for about an hour that they were able to showcase their learning to.  They were talking about their learning with their parents.  I don't think these conversations would be happening if it wasn't for the iPads.

     This morning was a wonderful experience for the parents and students.  The parents enjoyed sharing in their child's learning and it was an opportunity for them to see what has been happening in the classroom.  I think this iPad Showcase helped parents have a better understanding of how we are using the iPads in our classroom.  I enjoyed having them in our classroom and I am looking forward to doing it again next quarter.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Teaching Perspective

Today I had to take on the challenge of teaching perspective to my students in math.  This is a fairly easy concept, but it seems to be something my students' young 4th grade minds have trouble grasping. Fortunately, my students had iPads and the app Doceri to help them gain a greater understanding.

I started the lesson by creating an object with cubes.  I then used the camera on my iPad to show the students the different perspectives of the object.  As a class, the students each drew an example of what the perspective was of the object from the side, top and front on their Whiteboard app.  After they became familiar with the vocabulary, I gave the students a pile of cubes and had them design a 3-D object that had a variety of height and depth.  Once they designed their objects, they created a slide in Doceri to describe each view.   The students enjoyed creating their objects and were amazed by how much the perspective changed from one to another.

Click Here for an example of a Doceri project on perspective.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

My Classroom Walls Are CRASHING Down!

In the last year, my classroom has begun to change dramatically.  In December of last year, I was given a classroom set of iPads.  I have been extremely impressed with the amount of creativity and collaboration that these devices have brought to my classroom.  As we all know, each class is different and I am discovering that many of the things that worked for my class last year aren’t working as well this year and things that are working this year, didn’t necessarily work the best last year. My classroom this year consists of a room full of high-energy boys.  This energy can be a blessing or a burden depending on how you handle it.  I decided to take this energy by full force and filter it into learning.  My class wants to learn, and they want their learning to be immediate and meaningful. Who doesn't? Right! 
With the help of my colleague, Brent Catlett, this is starting to happen. Brent is the creator of (#eduhangout)  which encourages teachers to make connections with other teachers across the globe.  Through this connection my class, as well as 3 other classrooms in the U.S. were given the opportunity to participate in virtual field trips through Google Hangouts. This event was the beginning of Google’s new community Connected Classrooms (#connectedclassrooms).  As an educator, joining these communities is a MUST!  
Our morning started with a visit to the Seattle Aquarium.  My students in Nebraska were able to meet with marine biologists and learn about the changing seasons in the ocean.  A scuba diver used an underwater camera to show them some of the marine life such as kelp, rock fish, and salmon.  While doing this, the scuba diver would explain to them what she was showing them.  I was amazed.  I never thought my classroom in Nebraska would be echoing the sound of scuba equipment as we discovered that salmon use their noses to navigate home.  The students learning was immediate and at their fingertips.  Throughout the presentation, my students were able to share about the seasons changing in Nebraska and how it was similar to the life in the ocean.  I couldn’t believe how much my students were learning in that short amount of time.  
Seattle Aquarium
Once our visit to the Seattle Aquarium was over, we ventured to the Minnesota Zoo.  The students met with a zoologist, Adam,  who shared with them interesting facts about the black bear and it’s preparation for hibernation.  The students loved interacting with Adam and asking him questions.  This Australian, in Minnesota was able to get their wheels turning.  After the hangout, my students were still talking about all of the facts that they learned.  Hibernation and black bears became a sparked interest as well as how this guy from Australia ended up in Minnesota.  They were anxious to explore and find answers.
Touring the NASA warehouse.
Our final visit for the day was to NASA to learn about the Solar Impulse!  The what?! You might be asking (me too!).  Prior to the hangout, my students were asking me where is the NASA we were going to visit and what is Solar Impulse?  My response...."I don’t know, I guess we’ll find out."  As the hangout was starting to begin all we heard was French being spoken between the gentlemen from NASA.  I’m pretty sure this is when the goosebumps started.  I thought to myself, this is big! The kids were confused and in awe.  When everything was in order and the presentation began, the gentlemen shared with us that they were in Sweden and Switzerland working on an airplane called the Solar Impulse.  In the next few years, this airplane will be able to fly around the world without stopping.  It will be completely powered by solar energy.  My students were taken to the warehouse to see the making of the plane.  They were able to see the massive wing and small cockpit.  They were enthralled with the idea that a toilet was built into the seat and that the pilot would only sleep for about 20 minutes at a time during this almost week long flight.  I on the other hand, couldn’t believe that the co-founders of this project were talking to MY CLASS!  It was amazing to hear them share their knowledge and to listen to their words of encouragement and inspiration.  I hope that in a few years when they hear of the Solar Impulse flying across the U.S. they will remember the advice that was shared with them.  "When you have dreams, you have passion and when you have passion, you can do anything!"
This opportunity was amazing and brought so much learning into my classroom.  The walls of my classroom are “falling down” as I speak.  My students are anxious to explore the world and I’m anxious to guide them.  Thank you Brent and Google for sparking the fire in my students and myself.  Connections like these are what keep my students motivated to learn and I’m looking forward to making more connections across the world in the near future!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Technology Tool I LOVE!

When I think about a technology tool I use in my classroom, my immediate thought is our classroom set of iPads.  Prior to having iPads in my classroom, I hadn't really used an iPad.  I was aware of the potential they had in the classroom but hadn't had the opportunity to experiment with them.   After working with the iPads in my classroom, these are some of the opportunities they have brought to my classroom:

  Throughout the year my students posted about different things they were learning in the classroom.  Through their blogs, they were able to share their writing about their learning and received comments from people across the world.

Flipped Classroom
  I was able to create iBooks for the students to use in Math.  With this, students were able to watch videos I had created to explain what they were learning.  I liked this because students that needed to review a lesson were able to do it on their own so they were continually getting the extra support they needed.

Paperless Classroom
  Since the students have the capability of accessing their school email.  My classroom has become virtually paperless.  When students complete and assignment or project, they are able to email me the information or share their Google Docs with myself or other students.  This has made the workflow in my classroom run smoothly.

Apps I LOVE!!
  Notability, Google Drive, Doceri, iMovie, Comic Life, and Kid Blog

Monday, June 10, 2013

Word Work in Action

  I am currently teaching summer school so I decided to write about a lesson we just did.  I was inspired by a still picture video that I found on YouTube called Everything At Once.
  I have a classroom set of iPads and during summer school, I am using them to teach the students how to create different types of iMovies.  One of the movies my students created was a still photo movie with a letters.
  For this lesson, I had the students find a word in the dictionary that they weren't familiar with.  It had to be a word that described them.  Once they found the word they had to write the definition on a sentence strip and find the letters that spelled their word.  They then worked with a partner and took pictures of the letters changing directions and being manipulated to eventually spell their vocabulary word.  Once the students had all of the pictures they needed (around 100) the students then recorded the still picture movie and put it with music.  When you watch the movie, it looks as if the letters are moving by themselves to form the word.
  I thought this was a great activity because the students all learned a new vocabulary word that described them and when the students presented their videos, their classmates were learning the new words as well.  I was amazed by how engaged the students were, and I enjoyed seeing their creativity.
  While creating these projects, we did run into a little stump.  The iMovie app automatically adds the Ken Burns affect to still photos, and there is not an easy way to take it off.  The app also does not have an apply all option.  Since the students had 100+ photos they were working with, we decided this editing piece would take too long.  So the students used another iPad to record their screen, then took that recording and added music to it in iMovie.  The project turned out pretty good.  The filming is a little dark, but we worked with what we had, and the students were fairly happy with their projects.  It was a learning experience for all of us, and it was a simple reminder that as a teacher, I need to be flexible and find ways to work around those little barriers I come across.
  If you know of an app (free would be great) that would allow my students to record their screen, please share.  Or if you know of a very simple way to take off the Ken Burns affect and add an apply all rule to transitions on the iMovie app.  Please share!!!

Here is a clip of one of the final products.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Virtual Field Trip of the South

Thanks to iPad technology we were able to take a Field Trip through the South.  We discovered so many new things and made so many new connections with our learning.

This is how it worked!
Mrs. Geldes created QR codes for different places to visit.  Then she put the codes all over the school for us to find.  
Here is one of the QR codes we used.

Mr. Catlett brought in a couple of iPads along with Mr. Kaulk, and Mrs. Sudduth.  Each group was given an iPad to use for the scavenger hunt.  With iPads or iPod in hand, we started the QR code scavenger hunt of the South. 


 It was so much fun finding the codes and scanning them.  Each code gave us a new place to visit.  At each stop we had to write down the place we visited and where it was located.  We used this information the following week.

On Monday, Mr. Catlett and Mrs. Feldmann made this project even more engaging by showing us Google Earth.  We took some time to review the webpage of places we visited.  Then we picked 1 place out of the 10 that was the most interesting.  We jumped on to Google Earth and flew to our destination.  In most cases we were able to use street view to explore the actual place.  It was as if we were standing in front of the actual buildings and historical sites.  It was amazing!  This virtual field trip was such a learning experience for all of us and we can’t wait to do it again.  We were able to see and discover so many places in the South that we didn’t know about before.  Thanks again to Mr. Catlett and Mrs. Feldmann for helping us with our Virtual Field Trip!


**TEACHERS!!  More information on how this was created is on Mr. Catlett’s blog.  Check it out if you want to create a QR scavenger hunt of your own!**

Monday, October 24, 2011

Our First Mystery Skype!

Thanks to Mr. Haney's class we were able to have our first Mystery Skype!  It was so much fun and we learned many new things.  We started our Skype by giving a quick preview of our classroom.  This gave us the chance to wave to our new friends in a different state.  Then we got down to business.  Our goal was to guess what state Mr. Haney's class was from, and they were trying to do the same.  Each class took turns sharing interesting facts about their state, places to visit, important people from our state, climate, land forms and other important information.  When we were done sharing our information we could only have one guess, and.....we got it RIGHT!  Here are some pictures of this unforgettable learning experience!  Thanks again to our new friends in Mr. Haney's class.

Reflecting our our learning!  Some of our thoughts........
  "I enjoyed it because of the way we gave facts to each other.  One of the facts was almost the exact same fact! I can't wait to do it again."

"I enjoyed hearing their accents, it was interesting"

"The Skype was really fun.  I liked how it was a mystery and we had to ask all of those questions.  I liked the end when they guessed our state and we guessed their's."

"I never knew [the state] had over 300 caves and Elvis Presley was born there."