Sunday, November 1, 2020

Taking a leap

 Teach with Tech Conference has inspired me to test my boundaries when it comes to tech integration. I made this newsletter in hopes it would reach my families and create a path for us to communicate. My bigger hope is for families to see the magic I see in my classroom and have a point of conversation with their child about what they are learning day to day. Fingers crossed it works.

October Happenings

 Hard to believe the month has gone by so fast. It has been a busy month with kindergarteners learning about bats, spiders, pumpkins and monsters. We made monsters after reading I Need My Monster! We made spiders and even built gates for our little pumpkin. 

After reading Go Away, Big Green Monster Mrs. Novak's class used Duck Duck Moose's app Draw & Tell to make these monsters. Kinders never cease to amaze me with their talent. 

Sunday, October 18, 2020

The Pigeon Has to Go to School

 Who doesn't love the Pigeon from Mo Willems? He is one of my favorites and everyone knows. Beginning the year for 1st graders is fun when you tie the Pigeon, an iPad and levers. I love getting to read to firsties and think it is great to tie a literature connection to a STEM activity. After reading we watch 

I give them a marker, a plastic soon, and a cutout of the Pigeon. They test where to place the marker and/or spoon while practicing how hard or soft to strike the spoon to launch the Pigeon. It is quite fun to watch as they learn from one another what works, what doesn't, what will get your Pigeon higher and watching with amazement as they launch all over the classroom.

 Then we work on aim and strength of the strike to get the Pigeon closest to the school. After we work through this we work on back to school puzzles and even learning how to draw the Pigeon and send him on our own adventures.

Ping Pong Ball in a Cup Using Teamwork

 Starting out the year I try to use Teamwork activities to get the kids to think and talk to one another. Communication is very important and teamwork can accomplish tasks beyond their wildest dreams. We meet Molly the inventor in this amazing GE commercial.

After seeing this we talk about team work being important. I give them sheets of paper, a cup and a ping pong ball. They have to figure out a way to get the ping pong ball into the cup from a distance of 4 feet or six feet and even 8 feet away. It is funny to see them using trial and error to accomplish the mission. 

Teamwork Makes the Dream Work... #ottersmatter

Special Area Teacher Assistants

 Our CCE PTA has a BIG event each Spring as a school-wide initiative fund raiser and the highlight is the silent auction. Each teacher and class put together a basket for the silent auction. there are cooking baskets, spa baskets, and even LOTTO baskets to name a few. What is something your school can do that doesn't cost any money but brings in money for the school? Raffle off front seats tot he 5th grade graduation or winter/end of year concert or special area teaching assistants for the day! Each special area is given a teaching assistant for the day and we make it a BIG deal! We have shirts I print up with their names on them. We make name tags and lanyards to look official and we have lunch with all the special area teachers and assistants during lunch. It is such a fun event and the money goes to our PTA to help fund the yearly goals. The students love having the ability to shadow a teacher and lead for the day. Making memories for sure...

Sunday, September 27, 2020

Making Heart Sculptures

 February is more than heart month. It is a month for friendship and love. Our 4th graders used teamwork and their taping skills to create heart sculptures out of stickers (tape) and construction paper. There was laughter and smiles throughout the room.  Each class took on a different perspective when it came to creating a heart sculpture as you can see by watching this video.

Monday, August 24, 2020

Where the Wild Things Are...

Everyone knows the classic Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak. Kindergarteners love it when I read to them and a building challenge to follow. While reading sometimes I like to make it a bit interactive. Watch this...
It was interesting to watch them learn new vocabulary like gnash their terrible teeth and rolling their terrible eyes. 
After reading the book and talking about the beginning, middle, and end I presented the challenge of building a boat out of toothpicks and cut-up pool noodles.  We talked about safety of toothpicks and I made them promise with their right hand up they would stick themselves or their friends. You can never be too careful. We then talked about how could you build with these materials and I take ideas until someone says you can stick the toothpicks in the pool noodles to connect pieces. I then demonstrate how to take the boat over to the water, test the boat, and how to not get water all over the place. Their faces when they find out they get to test it out in water are priceless!
The kinders had fun with this one and it was a great introduction to STEM challenges with a literacy start. Thank you Teach Outside the Box for the lesson.