Friday, October 30, 2015

Mystery Skype with Canada

This week, most of our 6th grade students are on a 3-day overnight field trip to Nature's Classroom in New Hampshire.  Those of us who stayed at school had an adventure all the way to Alberta, Canada.

No, we didn't actually go to Alberta, but we did the next best thing!  We had a Mystery Google Hangout with a class to discuss the Global Read Aloud book, Fish in a Tree.

In a Mystery Google Hangout/Skype students spend the first portion of the session trying to figure out where the other class is from.  Students must ask Yes or No questions similar to the game "20 questions".

At first, we begin with a map of the world, divide up each hemisphere and begin asking questions to get closer to the location.  After each question, the student will color (with an Expo marker) out the area that the other class is NOT in.  This helps them to narrow down the search.  Each class takes turns until both classes guess where the other class is from.

Once students have figured out where our new friends are from, they participated in a discussion about the book. There were some great text-to-self connections which made us realize how similar we all are.

After the session, our 6th graders made a digital project using the app "Chatterpix" to make a self portrait and tell what we're good at.  Then, they made a movie trailer using the app "iMovie" for another Global Read Aloud book for our Kindergarten students based on the book "Exclamation Mark".  It was certainly a fun day!

Third graders take a trip to Nebraska

Today, Mrs. Cleveland's third grade students had the opportunity to have a Google Hangout with a Mrs. Laucomer's fourth graders in Nebraska.  This was their first time "meeting" another class through Skype or Google Hangouts.

Each class introduced their teacher, class, school, town, and state.  We are always so proud to say that we are the home of the 2015 Super Bowl Champions New England Patriots.

It was fun to see our new friends wearing their Halloween costumes in school.  We discussed the differences in each state, including the time difference.

But, what everyone was the most interested in, was discussing our Global Read Aloud book, Fish in a Tree.  Students shared their favorite characters and why, made analogies as to why two characters feel like "A lobster playing tennis" when they read, and text to self connections.  Everyone was so engaged in this process and excited to talk about our book.  We will continue to "meet" up with our new friends, even after the Global Read Aloud is finished.

Our new friends are from Nebraska

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Mystery Skype

Fourth graders in Mrs. Deeley's classes had the great opportunity of participating in a "Mystery Skype".  With a connection through the Global Read Aloud and Twitter, students met with students from the Middletons!  Yes, Middleton, Massachusetts met Middleton, Wisconsin.

During a "Mystery Skype", students work together to guess where the other class lives.  They are given a map, markers, paper, and sticky notes to come up with a set of questions based on the map.  Students work together to try to pinpoint where the others are from by asking yes and no questions; similar to the game "20 Questions).

They start out with trying to figure out which hemisphere they are on, then which continent, then which state.  Using geographic features, such as oceans, rivers, lakes, and other countries, students begin to narrow in on the location.  They start big and get smaller with each question.

Each class takes turns asking questions and the fun escalates as they get it right.

Mrs. Deeley's students worked hard to determine that Mrs. Autz's class is from Wisconsin. They cheered extra loudly when they found out that their town is named the same thing!

Here are some pictures from our "visit" -

Monday, October 12, 2015

Ten Marks Math Program

Students are Fuller Meadow and Howe Manning Elementary have been introduced to the Ten Marks program this year.  With our math curriculum specialist, Mary Pelrine, teachers and students have been trained to use this program.

 “TenMarks, an Amazon Company, is grounded in educational research. TenMarks Math is an engaging math program for students in grade 1 through high school. Within the program, designed from the ground up for the new standards, teachers select assignments to meet each student's learning needs. Students are also in the driver's seat as they select the core math skills to work on in "Jam Sessions". TenMarks Math is founded on the principle that with immediate feedback and just-in-time instructional assistance, students have a greater chance of developing deeper conceptual understanding, leading to better outcomes.”  (Source:  Amazon)

Ten Marks works in four ways - Prepares and Instructs our students, allows the teacher to Reinforce and Intervene, Assess and Differentiate, and Engage and Motivate.

Before the students work with the program, teachers set up assignments for their students based on the Common Core Math Standards that they are working on.  A teacher can assign problems and when the student logs in, they can work on those problems.  Then, the program will automatically grade their work, giving the student immediate feedback on their progress.  During the assignment, the student has access to a video tutorial and three hints to help them.  The program will adjust the difficulty depending on how the student is doing.  This tool is called an "amplifier" and will allow the student some flexibility and success. Once the student is finished, the program will set up additional problems to differentiate their work.

I had the chance to help Mrs. Cleveland introduce her students to the Ten Marks program.  She set up some assignments for "rounding" and "place value" and the students worked on it.  Mrs. Cleveland showed the students how to log in, start their work, and access the tools to help them.  Her students also had a chance to explore the "Jam Sessions".The Jam Sessions allow students to practice math skills in a game-like area.  The students had a great time using Ten Marks.

Mrs. Cleveland and her students using Ten Marks.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Chatterpix in Social Studies

Students in Mrs. Kennedy's 2nd grade class have been exploring the topic "People We Depend On". Discussions in class lead to public service workers such as police, fire, military and medical personnel, as well as family members whom they depend on.

Each child chose one member of society to write about and created a paper figure of that person then made that figure "talk" through the app "Chatterpix."

Using Chatterpix, students used an iPad to take a picture of their figure, create a mouth, read their description of the job that this person does, type their name on the picture and email it to their teacher.
Mrs. Kennedy assists students in creating their Chatterpix

Watch Mrs. Kennedy's class' Chatterpix project:  "People We Depend On"

Massachusetts Standards for Grade 2 Social Studies

2.7 Give examples of fictional characters or real people in the school or community who admirable (e.g., honesty, dependability, modesty, trustworthiness, courage).

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Global Read Aloud 2015- First graders Skype with Arizona

During the Global Read Aloud (GRA) 2015, first and second grade students at Fuller Meadow are reading The Year of Billy Miller, by Kevin Henkes.  In 1st grade, students are reading with another class in their school to build community. In Mrs. Higgins' and Mrs. Scharffenberg's classes, students are listening to the book and making connections.

Students in Mrs. Higgins' 1st grade class had to opportunity to Skype with a class in Arizona who is also reading The Year of Billy Miller.  During the Skype session, each class introduced themselves, their school, and their town.  Then, they shared ideas about the book, making connections between the book and their own lives.  They also made text to text connections with another book written by Kevin Henkes.

Everyone had a wonderful time meeting each other.  The students also received a geography lesson as they found Arizona on the map and discussed the Grand Canyon.

Check out our meeting:

Friday, October 9, 2015

Global Read Aloud Week 1

Students and teachers in Middleton, MA are joining over 500,000 other students around the world for Global Read Aloud 2015 (GRA).

Students at Fuller Meadow are reading and discussing their book.  They are making text to self and text to text connections.  They are also investigating the genre "Realistic Fiction" as they read.

Students at Howe Manning participated in an activity to explore their strengths and weaknesses.  They watched a video, "This I Believe" about how we can all shine if we have the right environment.  Click below to watch the video.

Watch the video below, "This I Believe".

Here is a description for Global Read Aloud:

What is the Global Read Aloud?
"The project was created in 2010 with a simple goal in mind; one book to connect the world.  Now with five years under our belt and more than 500,000 connections made in 60 different countries, we realize we are on to something larger than us so we look forward to continuing the global connections.

The premise is simple; we pick a book to read aloud to our students during a set 6-week period and during that time we try to make as many global connections as possible.  Each teacher decides how much time they would like to dedicate and how involved they would like to be.  Some people choose to connect with just one class, while others go for as many as possible.  The scope and depth of the project is up to you.  In the past we have used Twitter, Skype, Edmodo, our wiki, email, regular mail, Kidblog, and any other tools we can think of to make these connections.  Teachers get a community of other educators to do a global project with, hopefully inspiring them to continue these connections through the year." (Source: and Pernille Ripp.)

The Kindergarten students at Fuller Meadow School are reading six books by Amy Rosenthal.

The 1st-2nd grade students are reading The Year of Billy Miller by Kevin Henkes.

The 3rd-6th grade students are reading Fish in a Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt.