Ms. Bray's second graders read the story Molly's Pilgrim. In the book, Molly's teacher assigns the class the task of making pilgrims using a clothespin. Molly's pilgrim doll was dressed to look like a young girl from Russia. Her family was from Russia and they are modern day pilgrims. We talked about how all of us have family that came from another country. We gave students a clothespin just like Molly had in the book, to make a pilgrim doll. Students went home and talked with their family about the country/ countries their family came from. Each student decorated their doll to represent a country their family came from. Students wrote about their family heritage and any other information that learned about the country their doll represents. Each student presented their doll to the class. They also created a PowerPoint slide with a picture of their doll and the flag representing that doll's country. They then recorded narration for the slide from a prepared script to accompany the photos they imported.
Ms. Looper's kindergartners are doing calendar on the SmartBoard! SmartBoards are interactive whiteboards that use touch detection for user input. Students are able to manipulate pictures and graphics on the board like they would a touch screen or tablet. They can write and erase as well. The day I visited the classroom, students were working with picture and number patterns, discussing, classifying and recording weather all with the aid of the board.
Mrs. DeVeny's class started working with the Dell Latitude Netbooks and Lego WeDo Kits. Lego WeDo teaches students basic programming skills while incorporating the fun of Lego. Students build simple and complex machines with Lego pieces. Gears, motors and bricks fit together and spin, tilt, respond to keystrokes, timing and more as dictated by student created programs built using the software's dashboard tools.
Ms. Chappelle's fourth grade class is using SpellingCity.com on the Dell Latitude 2110s in their classroom. SpellingCity's mission is to provide an efficient game-based study of literacy skills using any word list. Utilizing this website allows the teacher to differentiate instruction by providing students with individualized lists and self-paced practice and progress. The web-site provides spelling and vocabulary support that is engaging and effective.