Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Using Flipgrid for Authentic Learning

In writing classes, students in grades K-4 Middleton Schools are learning about Facts and Opinions.  When they get into 5th and 6th grades, this transitions into persuasive writing.

This year, some 6th grade students got to turn their persuasive writing into something more "global,"

The assignment was to choose a charity, research that charity, then write a report using persuasive writing skills to get us to want to donate to that charity.  They spent a lot of time learning about the charity and finding the "hooks" that make someone want to donate.

Once their research paper was completed, they used the information that they learned to write a brief summary of their charity, then give 3 reasons why you should donate to them.  They used this information to create a video commercial using the program "Flipgrid."

"Flipgrid is a website that allows teachers to create "grids" of short discussion-style questions that students respond to through recorded videos."  (Source)

6th Graders

When the 6th grade students finished their videos, they had the opportunity to VOTE for the best representative for the charity.

Check out all of the videos:

Mrs. Butler's Homeroom

Mrs. Harris's Homeroom


Mrs. Thomson's Homeroom

Here are the top 14 charities that were chosen to be in the running for the all Middleton vote.

Students in grades 2-5 were given the opportunity to VOTE for the most persuasive Charity video.  They watched each Flipgrid video, then cast their vote on a ballot sheet.  After the vote, students are able to create a Flipgrid video reply to different videos stating their opinion for why they like this charity.  Full Circle!

Vote for the charity that you think should win a $100 donation.  Pick only 1.
_____ ALS
_____ Boys and Girls Club
_____ Children’s Cancer Research
_____ Disabled American Veterans
_____ Jimmy Fund
_____ Juvenile Diabetes Foundation
_____ Make-a-Wish
_____ Ronald McDonald House
_____ Save the Children
_____ Shriner’s Hospital for Children
_____ St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital
_____ Special Olympics
_____ UNICEF
_____ Water for Sudan

1st Place Winner for $100 donation is...
St. Jude's Children's Hospital by Liam S.

I'd like to thank everyone who participated in making this project such a successful, authentic experience for our students!  

Thank you to Flipgrid for your amazing program!  We have Flipgrid Fever!

Massachusetts 6th Grade ENGLISH LANGUAGE ARTS AND LITERACY Standards

W.6. 1. Write arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence.
W.6. 4. Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
W.6. 9. Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
L.6. 1. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
L.6. 3. Use knowledge of language and its conventions when writing, speaking, reading, or listening.
RI.6. 7. Integrate information presented in different media or formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively) as well as in words to develop a coherent understanding of a topic or issue.
SL. 6. 2. Interpret information presented in diverse media and formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) and explain how it contributes to a topic, text, or issue under study.
SL. 6. 5. Include multimedia components (e.g., graphics, images, music, sound) and visual displays in presentations to clarify information.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Using the Green Screen to be in a Wampanoag Village

Students in 3rd grade learned about the Wampanoag people.

Essential Questions
Who were the Wampanoag people?
How did the Wampanoag use natural resources?
What were the traditions and customs of the Wampanoag?
Who were the Wampanoag leaders?

 In this unit of study, teachers taught the content through a Google slideshow.  See below:

Students created a Wampanoag story book, a poem, pictures, and answered questions to help them understand the life of the Wampanoag people.

Students worked collaboratively in groups to create murals and three-dimensional projects for Wampanoag villages during each season.

Students "fell" into their mural projects using Green Screen by Do Ink and iMovie.  They wrote their scripts, practiced their lines, and acted in their video.  Check out their videos below.

Mrs. Goldstein's homeroom video:

Mrs. Magner's homeroom video:

Ms. Nardone's homeroom video:

3rd Grade Massachusetts Social Studies Standards
3.2 Identify the Wampanoags and their leaders at the time the Pilgrims arrived, and
describe their way of life. (H, G)
3.2.2 Observe visual sources such as historic paintings, photographs, or illustrations that
accompany historical narratives, and describe details such as clothing, setting, or
action. (H)
3.2.3. Observe and describe local or regional historic artifacts and sites and generate questions
about their function, construction, and significance. (H)
Technology Standards: W 6, W 10, SL 1 Use digital tools for communication and collaboration.   

Monday, January 29, 2018

Greek Myths in 4th Grade

Students in Mrs. Deeley's ELA classes learned about Greek mythology in a fun and digital way.

All aboard with Mrs. Deeley

Check out the opening message for this adventure:

Welcome to your Greek Myth adventure! Over the next few weeks you will go on an epic journey - an odyssey- to learn about Greek mythology.
 Just as Hercules had to complete 12 labors, so must you. You will be working alone and with your team to complete each task (labor). Each labor must be completed before moving on to the next. 
Are you ready? Put on your thinking helmets, and arm yourself with a positive learning attitude….. SET SAIL!

Students found the tasks for their journey in a Google Slideshow. They worked on it independently, stopping along the way to work collaboratively with their classmates.  

Each day, Mrs. Deeley had a mini-lesson for them to teach them about Greek myths.  

The Greeks turned to the gods and goddesses for help and advice. The students were asked, "Who will guide you?" They took a quiz to find out which god/goddess they were and designed their ship’s sail to represent the god/goddess. They conducted research the gods/goddesses throughout the unit and used this information for their final project.


There were several "Myth Mysteries" that the students had to solve during their journey.

In the end, students had the opportunity to choose their final project.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Introducing WHMN News

The students at Fuller Meadow School and Howe Manning School have the amazing opportunity to participate in an after-school program called "Exploration Station."  There are many classes offered - from cooking and art to coding robots.

 I have the pleasure of organizing, facilitating and working with Howe Manning students in our first WHMN News Crew for our 4th-6th grade students.  Being the Digital Learning Specialist for my district, I have the experience of using a green screen with students.  We create digital projects to enhance their curriculum.  In our News Crew, we are using this technology to focus on stories that interest our students.

Students do research about a topic of interest and state the "WHY" of their story.  Then, they create a storyboard for filming, then finally film their segment.  Our news show is shown on Friday mornings in all classes at Howe Manning.

Watch the video below of our broadcasts.

Subscribe to our YouTube Channel - "WHMN News - Howe Manning School"

Friday, December 22, 2017

2017 Holiday Videos for our schools

Each year, my colleague Barbara Deeley, approaches me with an idea to create a holiday video with the staff at Howe Manning School.  This annual tradition brings our school community together.  On the day before our winter vacation, all of our students gather together for a holiday sing-along then watch the video.

Howe Manning Sing-Along

Check out our Howe Manning 2017 Holiday Video:

Fuller Meadow Sing-Along

The staff and students at Fuller Meadow School got into the spirit as well!  We had our annual sing-along and then the staff participated in our first "Silly Sweater Runway Contest."

Congrats to our winners (and judges)!

Check out their video "Let Us Go."

FUller Meadow Holiday Video 2017 from Dierdre Baker on Vimeo.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

"Wonder" project in 4th Grade

Students in Mrs. Deeley's 4th grade class showed their learning about the book Wonder by Raquel J. Palacio.  Mrs. Deeley read the book aloud to her students and some amazing discussions.  I had the pleasure of working with the students to create a book trailer in iMovie.

Students chose a section of the book that they wanted to tell about, then created a storyboard drawing to depict their scene.

They worked together to pick the action, background, and visual that they wanted to convey.  We used a green screen and the app "Do Ink" for some of the scenes.  We added all of the pictures and videos to iMovie to create the trailer.

Watch our Wonder movie trailer...

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Thanksgiving in 1st Grade

It was a digital day in Mrs. Scharffenberg's 1st grade class.

To start the day off, students listened to a book digitally - Turkey Trouble by Wendi J Silvano.  Afterward, they discussed main character, setting, and conflict.

Digital book
Then, the students played a Kahoot! game with questions about Turkey Trouble by Wendi J Silvano.  They worked in partners and learned the importance of working together.


The Kindergarten students in our school worked with their family to create a "Turkey in Disguise" project.  These disguises ranged from a princess turkey to a Tom Brady turkey.  Students in Mrs. Scharffenberg took a "Turkey Walk" to view the projects and get some ideas for their project.

Turkey Walk

After the Turkey Walk, students worked on an activity in Seesaw Digital Portfolio.  Mrs. Scharffenberg shared a picture of a turkey and students used the drawing tool to disguise their turkey.  They recorded their voice on their turkey to explain the disguise.  These projects will be shared with their family.

Seesaw Digital Portfolio

Sample of the Seesaw activity

What a great way to kick off the Thanksgiving vacation. Students were engaged, collaborated, created and played!  Thank you Mrs. Scharffenberg for making learning fun!

Thank you to Sara Malchow for creating this lesson for our students to enjoy! (Source)