Sunday, June 25, 2017

Genius Hour








What is Genius Hour?

Genius hour is a movement that allows students to explore their own passions and encourages creativity in the classroom.  It provides students a choice in what they learn during a set period of time during school.  (Source)


Students in 6th grade participated in Genius Hour this term.






Students explored a topic that they were interested in.  They could work independently or with a partner.  The requirement was to choose at least three components on this Hyperdoc.  They had to create a Google Site to put all of their information on.

Click on the image below to see a student's Passion Project for India.



Monday, June 12, 2017

Innovation and Design in 2nd Grade

I had the opportunity to collaborate on a project with our ELA/Social Studies Curriculum Coordinator, Melissa Bettencourt and second grade teachers Kristen LeVangie and Stacey Begin to plan an “Innovation and Design” project in 2nd Grade Social Studies.  The title of the project is “Mississippi River Flotilla Project”.


Second graders learn world and United States history, geography, economics, and government by studying more about who Americans are and where they came from. They explore their own family’s history and learn about distinctive achievements, customs, events, places, or landmarks from long ago and from around the world. The chief purpose of the grade 2 curriculum is to help students understand that American citizenship embraces all kinds of people, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, religion, and national origin. American students come from all countries and continents in the world. A history and social science curriculum should help students acquire a common understanding of American history, its political principles, and its system of government in order to prepare them for responsible participation in our schools and civic life.

Assignment to students -

To build a transportation barge that will carry cargo on the Mississippi River. 

You are an engineer that works for a company that makes copper pans. The company makes the copper pans in Minnesota then ships them by barge down the Mississippi to New Orleans, LA where they are loaded onto a ship and shipped to China to be sold. The company wants to be able to put a lot of Copper pans on a barge at the same time. 

Your challenge is going to build a barge that will carry the most copper pans down the flowing Mississippi River without sinking or getting stuck.

Brainstorming and Designing

Students worked in groups to brainstorm different ideas for the design of their boat.  


Building the Boat

Students worked in groups to design and build their  boat.  They stayed within their budget when buying supplies.


Testing the Structure

Each boat was tested by travelling down the “Mississippi River” (in a metal gutter) carrying pennies that represents copper pans. 



Final Videos










Presenting to the Middleton School Committee

Eight students from Mrs. LeVangie's and Mrs. Begin's class had the opportunity to share their experience from this project.  Our superintendent Scott Morrison asked them several questions about the boat building experience.  They had some great answers.









Sunday, June 11, 2017

Butterfly Life Cycle

Students in 2nd grade learned about life cycles by raising their own Painted Lady Butterfly.  They received the eggs and each adopted their own to nurture into an adult butterfly.  They took pictures of each stage and captured it with photography.

While the butterflies cycled through the stages, the students researched the science of metamorphosis.
During this research, students were also learning about nonfiction text features.  They used their nonfiction butterfly books to identify the different features.

After all of the research was completed, students took their information  and wrote their own nonfiction book using the features that they learned about.  They chose to use the iPad app "Book Creator" to create their book.

Cait is recording her book
Releasing the Butterflies



Book Creator project:




Massachusetts Common Core Standards
2nd Grade

RI.2.5  Know and use various text features (e.g., captions, bold print, subheadings, glossaries, indexes, electronic menus, icons) to locate key facts or information in a text efficiently.

W.2.2  Write informative/explanatory texts in which they introduce a topic, use facts and definitions to develop points, and provide a concluding statement or section.

W.2.6  With guidance and support from adults, use a variety of digital tools to produce and publish writing, including in collaboration with peers.

SL.2.5  Create audio recordings of stories or poems; add drawings or other visual displays to stories or recounts of experiences when appropriate to clarify ideas, thoughts, and feelings.



Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Masconomet Graduation 2017



Every year on the first Friday of June, we educators get to see our hard work and dedication pay off. Tri-town, teachers, principals and superintendent have the amazing opportunity to walk in the graduation of Masconomet High School. This year, our Middleton Masco seniors had their Preschool, Kindergarten, 2nd grade, 6th grade, reading teachers and elementary principal there to cheer them on! We get to see how intricate this puzzle of education is. We think about these kids forever! AND, they genuinely feel the same way about us! Here's to the Masconomet Class of 2017!



Friday, April 14, 2017

Trip through the Solar System

Students in Mrs. Jones’ science classes have been learning about SPACE.  Everything from the planets in our solar system and dwarf planets to comets and the Kuiper Belt, these students sure did become experts. The essential question that was posed to the students is:

What are the physical attributes of planets and comets?

Each student chose a planet to research.  At the beginning of the unit, students had a scavenger hunt around the classroom to learn facts about space.  They had fun moving from one area to another as they recorded their facts.  Then, they completed research.  Students used Google Docs to type their report and summarized it for their presentation.


Students used their research information to create a presentation using the apps “Green Screen” by Do Ink and iMovie. Check out the movies below:

Mrs. Deeley's Homeroom


Mrs. Jones' Homeroom


Ms. Keenan's Homeroom




Thursday, April 13, 2017

Kahoot! in Kindergarten

Students in Kindergarten had fun testing their knowledge about "Healthy Foods" using the review game "Kahoot!",  They worked with a partner to share their thinking and click the right answer.



What is Kahoot!?

A Kahoot is a collection of questions on specific topics. Created by teachers, students, business-people and social users, they are asked in real-time, to an unlimited number of “players”, creating a social, fun and game-like learning environment.  Source

12 Ways to Use Kahoot! In your classroom.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Using "Kahoot!" to Review

Students in 6th grade had a fun time reviewing cell organelles using the review game "Kahoot!".

What is Kahoot!?


A Kahoot is a collection of questions on specific topics. Created by teachers, students, business-people and social users, they are asked in real-time, to an unlimited number of “players”, creating a social, fun and game-like learning environment.  Source

12 Ways to Use Kahoot! In your classroom.

"What a fun time showing what we know!" ~ Christian D.

"I want to play this everyday!" ~ Lily S.

"I didn't really know I knew all of this stuff."  ~ Liam G.



Next Generation Science Standards - 6th Grade - Cells

SC.6.L.14.2
Investigate and explain the components of the scientific theory of cells (cell theory); all organisms are composed of cells (single-celled or multi-cellular), all cells come from pre-existing cells, and cells are the basic unit of life.
SC.6.L.14.3
Recognize and explore how cells of all organisms undergo similar processes to maintain homeostasis, including extracting energy from food, getting rid of waste, and reproducing..
SC.6.L.14.4
Compare and contrast the structure and function of major organelles of plant and animal cells.  Including cell wall, cell membrane, nucleus, cytoplasm, chloroplasts, mitochondria, and vacuoles.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Digital Safety at Fuller Meadow

Children are spending time on the Internet at younger and younger ages.  It is important to teach them how to stay safe online and understand how to use the Internet.  At Fuller Meadow, students learn the basics of computers and how to use them to create and learn.  As children visit the online world, they need knowledge of how to do that safely, securely, and responsibly.

There are several programs that we use at Fuller Meadow.  Common Sense Media and Netsmartz are two excellent resources.

This week, students in Kindergarten, 1st and 2nd grades had the opportunity to learn about Internet safety and had fun answering questions - game show style.


Essential Questions

What is a ‘digital citizen’?
How is being a citizen of the Internet the same/different than my home town?
What are the implications of digital citizenship in today’s world?


The objectives of this lesson are:

Understand that computers can be used to visit far-away places and learn new things.
Understand that staying safe online is similar to staying safe in the real world.
Describe how to travel safely on the Internet.

We watched "Router's Birthday Surprise" from Netsmatz Kids to help us learn about Internet safety and "netiquette".


Thank you Jacqui Murray, Ask a Tech Teacher for your resources for this lesson.

Visit videos that teach online safety (click the link or Google the name).



Massachusetts Digital Literacy and Computer Science Standards

K-2.CAS.a.4 Explain that a password helps protect the privacy of information.
K-2.CAS.a.5 Identify safe and unsafe examples of online communications.
K-2.CAS.a.6 Explain why we keep personal information (e.g., name, location, phone number, home address) private.
K-2.CAS.a.7 Identify which personal information (e.g., user name or real name, school name or home address) should and should not be shared online and with whom.
K-2.CAS.a.8 Explain why it is necessary to report inappropriate electronic content or contact.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Current Events Around the World

Students in Mrs. Bentley's 6th grade Social Studies class have been researching countries in the Middle East.  They were given the task of researching events that are currently happening in these countries.  Students used several internet resources along with articles from Time For Kids magazine to find out their information.

The students used Google Docs to write a summary and their opinion about the event.  Then, they were charged with being a reporter from their country to report on the news.

Using Green Screen by Do Ink app, students reported on their event.  They found an image to match their story.  Then, we used the app iMovie to make it into one video.

Watch their videos and learn about what is currently happening around the world.










































Massachusetts Standards for Grade 6 Social Studies and Writing

Western Asia (The Middle East)
WA.1  and WA. 2 Locate the Middle Eastern countries on a world map.
WA. 3 Explain how the five themes of geography and how they have influenced settlement and the economies of major Middle Eastern countries.
W. 6.6  Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing as well as to interact and collaborate with others.
SL. 6.5 Include multimedia components (e.g., graphics, images, music, sound) and visual displays in presentations to clarify information.






Saturday, March 11, 2017

Learning about Cells with a little help from Moby

Students in Mrs. Butler's science class have been learning about the functions of a cell and cell organelles.  To make the cell come to life, students created a life-size model of an animal cell where students were the organelles.

To start the lesson, students watched BrainPop video, "Cell Structures."  They took the Quiz and knew every answer.



Next, each student was assigned an organelle and acted out the function of it.  After two minutes of acting, they sat around the room and debriefed about their acting.  Other students had the opportunity to give advice to each other on how to improve their performance. Then, they re-created the live cell.







Students had a chance to use BrainPop's new feature, "Make-a-Movie" to create their own video for "Cell Structures."

Source




After all of the movies were made, we had a screening to watch them.  The students had so much fun and learned a lot!



Thanks to Moby and BrainPop for bringing FUN into the classroom!




Next Generation Science Standards - 6th Grade - Cells

SC.6.L.14.2
Investigate and explain the components of the scientific theory of cells (cell theory); all organisms are composed of cells (single-celled or multi-cellular), all cells come from pre-existing cells, and cells are the basic unit of life.
SC.6.L.14.3
Recognize and explore how cells of all organisms undergo similar processes to maintain homeostasis, including extracting energy from food, getting rid of waste, and reproducing..
SC.6.L.14.4
Compare and contrast the structure and function of major organelles of plant and animal cells.  Including cell wall, cell membrane, nucleus, cytoplasm, chloroplasts, mitochondria, and vacuoles.


Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Where's Moby?

Being a BrainPop Certified Teacher has proven to be so much fun!  The company sends me fun items and activities to share with my students.  BrainPop sent us a Moby bobblehead to explore all of the fun lessons in our classrooms.  They are running a #WheresMoby campaign on Twitter and Google+ to track Moby's adventures.



Moby's first adventure was with 4th graders in Mrs. Jones' class.  They are studying the Solar System and used BrainPop videos and activities to learn all about the planets.  Moby worked with them as they explored research topics for their projects.


Stay tuned for Moby's upcoming adventures!

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Read Across America

Students and staff at Fuller Meadow kicked off Read Across America today with some special guests - Cat in the Hat and Thing 1 & Thing 2.  Our ELA/SS curriculum specialist, Melissa Bettencourt, led the assembly with an introduction of Read Across America and had the students take an oath to read everyday.  They listened to Dr. Suess' book, The Cat in the Hat and laughed as Thing 1 and Thing 2 were making a mess of everything.



Just a taste of what is reading and discussions today!


Keep your eyes open this month for more activities for Read Across America!


Saturday, January 28, 2017

Saving Syria - Innovation and Design Project

I worked with 6th grade Social Studies teacher, Jeanne Bentley, ELA and Social Studies Curriculum Coordinator, Melissa Bettencourt, and Tri-Town Director of Digital Learning, Steve Guditus to develop a unit and project that incorporated the innovation and the design process while studying the Mideast.  This project is "Saving Syria".

Design Scenario
Assignment to students -
You and your classmates are working for a relief agency called Saving Syria. The relief organization is going to build a village to house people escaping the war in Syria. Your team will be competing with other teams to research, design, and build better housing for the 12 ½  million Syrians looking to leave Syria and immigrate to Lebanon.

Introduction
Students were introduced to the project, “Saving Syria” during their Social Studies unit of study of the Middle East.  They received background knowledge of religions and politics in the Middle East.  They received several articles that introduced and explained the crisis in Syria.  Mrs. Bentley introduced key vocabulary to understand the project - Refuge, Refugee, Asylum, displaced, persecution, oppression, etc.  They watched 2 videos about a girl and her experiences in Syria.
Video 1


Video 2

Teachers Introduce Project
Teachers.png


Research and Brainstorm
Students worked in small groups and researched the geographical features and climate of  Lebanon to find out  how to build temporary shelters. They cited their research sites.

Research and Design.jpg


Budget and Materials

The average cost to support a refugee for a year is $1057 so it would cost $5285 to support a family of 5. Saving Syria is looking to build a better shelter so your team will have $795 to purchase the materials for building.




Store Materials and Supplies
Students were able to purchase supplies each day to build their structure. They had $795 to spend.

Store.jpg

Building
Shelter requirements: Your team will need to build a shelter that can house 5 people (2 adults and 3 children). You will be given a 12” by 12” plot of land that your shelter will sit on. The shelter needs to withstand rain, wind, heat of the day and cold nights of that area. When all the shelters are built we will also assemble them together into a village to see how your shelter will work within the village itself.

Shelter Expectations:
How will you keep your shelter warm at night and cool in the day?
How will your shelter provide protection from the rain?
How sturdy is your shelter against high winds?
How does your shelter interact with the environment?
How permanent will your shelter be?

Building.jpg

Presentation
At the end of the project, the teams presented their shelter  with the Saving Syria administrators and their classmates.

Throughout the process they captured their progress and created a presentation. A Google Slideshow was created by each group and presented to the class.

Presentation.jpg


Testing the Structure
Each structure was tested for weather conditions that they would endure in Lebanon.
Wind - Hairdryer for 1 minute
Rain and Flooding - Water from watering can for 30 seconds
Test.jpg


Students read and discussed an article in Junior Scholastic magazine, Nov. 2, 2015, “Building a Better Life.”  They learned how the company Ikea is helping to build a better shelter for Syrian refugees.

Reflection
What was the strength of your shelter?
What was the weakness of you shelter?
What problem did your shelter resolve really well?
What shelter shape is the strongest?
What were some successful strategies more stable?
What designs in your shelter would make it more useful in an emergency?
Did you shelter create an unintentional problem?
Self assessment.jpg


Teachers work with students for reflection on the project


Reflection.jpg

Thanks to our PTO for supporting our Innovation and Design curriculum.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Google Read & Write



Students in Middleton have been introduced to the Google Chrome app, "Google Read & Write".  Read & Write supports student literacy and writing through technology.  There are many features in this program that benefit students by improving reading and writing confidence.

In computer class, students in 3rd - 6th grade were introduced to the highlighting tool.  This tool allows students to highlight text, either in a Google Document or on a website, and capture those highlights into a new Google Doc.  The information that is captured is also cited.  This feature is great for research.  While showing students this feature, we were able to have another discussion about plagiarism.                                  

Google Read & Write Toolbar


Features include:
  • Read Aloud with dual-color highlighting
  • Translator
  • Talking and Picture Dictionaries
  • Fact Finder
  • Study Skills highlighters and Collect highlights
  • Vocabulary List Builder to create a list of highlighted words with text definitions and images.
  • Annotation tools (PDF and ePub)
  • Navigation tools (PDF and ePub)

                                     



Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Google Keep





Google Keep allows the user to make different kinds of notes, including text, lists, images, and audio. Sharing options enable real-time note cooperation with other users. Users can set time or location-based reminders.

Students in Howe Manning's Student Help Desk tried the Google app, "Google Keep."  This app allows them to make notes and checklists, as well as set reminders, to help them keep up with their assignments.  The students absolutely loved this app and saw great potential for using it.

Using Google Classroom, students received 2 assignments to complete to use "Google Keep."
Assignment 1:
We are learning how to use a Google App called "Google Keep". This app allows you to create notes, checklists, and reminders for upcoming assignments/activities etc.

Go to your Apps Launcher in Google Chrome, click "More" and "Even More". Find "Google Keep".

Create a NOTE that says "Math Test on Chapter 6 Next Week."
Color code it Red.
Share it with me. dbaker@middletonps.org

Assignment 2
You are going to use "Google Keep" to create a CHECKLIST.

Working with a partner -
Create a CHECKLIST titled "Charity Project"

Include the following List Items:  Tell each other the charity you are writing about, why you chose that charity, who benefits from
        the charity.

Color code it Blue.

Share it with your partner using their email address.

Once your partner is on the checklist, complete the tasks on the checklist and when your partner answers the questions, check
         off the task.




Click HERE for Reasons that Teachers and Students will LOVE Google Keep.