Saturday, May 20, 2017
It never ceases to amaze me how fast time flies...especially when you're having fun! Once again I find myself in awe as the school year has come to an end. I cannot believe that year 9 is officially in the books and I'm heading into post planning. This year I had a group of students that taught me so much. We grew together and I am thankful for the journey we shared.
The end of this year...and looking forward to next year brings another round of changes. I'm excited about the road ahead, and will explain that more in a future post. Happy summer sweet teacher friends. To those still treading the end of year waters, peace to you and happy end of the year!
Wednesday, May 10, 2017
Mathket-ball is a game I've played for years! Long description short, you review any subject and allow teams to shoot at a hoop with some sort of ball to earn points.
Today we stepped it up a notch!
Let me begin by letting you know I have had my eye on a Mini professional basketball hoop for a while...I now own it! In the past I have just used a plush basketball I got from the dollar store.
I stayed late a little yesterday to make some posters to set up for our game. I included rules that I felt were important for my 2nd babies, and created a basic run down for the game.
I also changed the background on my laptop so that the activeboard became the basketball court!! THEY LOVED IT!
As for the game, I spent time the past week or so developing a document that had several questions for each Georgia Standard of Excellence in 2nd grade math. I printed, cut, laminated...you know how that goes. I figured better make something that can last for a while. I also stopped at the local Dollar general and got some super cute popcorn cups to sort my cards for the game.
The premise of this game came from another game "grudge ball". Not sure if you've heard of it. I had not, but found it intriguing. Students work in small groups to show their knowledge. In return for correct answers teams are given the opportunity to erase a point from any other team. They are also allowed to send a player to the line to shoot for extra points.
After playing today I know that there are things that need to be addressed. Number one...figuring out the pace depends on your group of learners. For my kiddos it worked best to have teams all working through their chosen question at the same time. They then had to cue me that they were ready to give the answer. I would check and let them know if they were correct. If so they chose which point to erase first, and then shot for points.
This may seem harsh or unfair, but it did some AMAZING things in my classroom! One team in particular was being targeted and had all of their points erased. Instead of stepping in I watched in anticipation. Another team approached me and asked if we could give that team a point. I explained that the point had to come from somewhere.
They conferred a bit more and returned... 🙌!! They asked me if they could erase one of their own points and give it to the team that had none! I am beyond impressed with this caring group of children. Needless to say I said of course and the game continued in this most encouraging manner.
The game was a success. My students loved it and asked if we could play again tomorrow. I am still making tweaks to the game and am planning on placing this on TPT. That being said I would love feedback and critique on my product as I finish it before putting it on TPT. If you would be interested, PLEASE comment below and I will send you a copy of my product for review. In return I will let you have the finalized product for FREE!!
To close out today I want to leave with you some images of my kids playing Mathket-ball! Enjoy your last few weeks of school.
Tuesday, May 2, 2017
...you heard me right!
A set of words I never thought I say. Butterfly funeral. Today started like any other. We came to school shared our learning throughout the day, then ended with our science lessons.
We have been raising butterflies from larva. Ours were purchased through amazon, in connection with Insect Lore (Butterfly Kit).
We got our caterpillars in larva form...so small....so interesting. Over the next few days we watched them eat, and eat, and eat, and get FAT! Love it. We watched in awe as we got to witness butterflies breaking through the chrysalis!!! FANTASTIC that 3 did this while we were in the classroom. To our dismay one of our little fellows didn't survive. It stopped part of the way through metamorphosis and just never finished.
Today was the day my students have been waiting for. RELEASE DAY! We walked out to our nature trail and discussed what we had learned about our butterflies. Each time one took flight cheers erupted and joy filled my soul! Nothing like it. Our final little fellow, who survived, seemed to be struggling. One wing was bent, but he was still determined. We watched him fly to the ground and try several times to take flight. We discussed what could be happening, and I listened as students cheered each time our little guy tried to fly. Then...choking back a few tears...I watched as our last little butterfly took flight into the nearby trees. The best part was the celebration that took place around me as my amazing group of 8 year olds celebrated the life they had watched from the beginning! So amazing.
This is were the funeral comes into play. We went back in the room and talked about our chrysalis that never finished. One child asked what we would see if we broke into the chrysalis...DISCLAIMER: I had waited plenty long enough to know that this one would never finish...I used this as a teaching moment and we, somewhat, dissected the chrysalis to view the inside. We learned that metamorphosis had not fully finished and out butterfly was only partially formed. Once our "serendipity" learning moment was over another student chimed in. She asked what I was going to do with him. She couldn't bare the thought of him ending up in the garbage and asked if we could bury him. So...we did. We marched down to the edge of the woods, dug a hole, talked about butterflies, and buried our 5th little friend. Now some of you may be wondering why this went that far. My students. That is exactly why. Once we finished burying the little half formed butterfly, several students stopped to thank me for my actions. It was worth it. I know that with all my heart.
Everyone that knows me understands that my love for butterflies runs DEEP. Has since I was very little. I am so glad to share this love with my students as we raise butterflies and release them into the wild. I never thought that I would experience a "Butterfly Funeral", but today that became a reality. I loved every sweet moment we shared today.
Saturday, April 29, 2017
Today's post is going to be short and sweet.
After receiving 10 Chromebooks through Donorschoose.org I received a package from Google directing me to their training and professional development opportunities. I immediately looked into it...and I must say I am LOVING IT! Today I took and passed the Level 1 Google certification!
Each certification has a paid exam, that if passed, last for 2 years. Level 1 certification is based on basic implementation of Google Apps in the classroom. Level 2 steps into advance implementation. There are also opportunities for certification as a Google Innovator and trainer! I look forward to working through more professional development with Google in the future.
We've been on a Google themed journey in the past 3 blogs and I would truly love to hear your stories, ideas, reflections, and suggestions.
Please consider commenting below and sharing your experience with Google in the classroom.
Wednesday, April 26, 2017
I am getting excited and a little nervous about my presentation this summer. I will have the opportunity to present at Google Camp through our Pioneer RESA. My presentation is on using Google Slides in the elementary classroom. In my last post I shared with you the process by which I introduced my students to Google Slides, and our first official project.
Google is now a staple in our classroom. One of my favorite things I have done using Google in our classroom is what we call "Twitter Worthy Moments". Throughout the school year my students know I am constantly taking pictures and posting them to social media to share what our class is up to. (Visit our Twitter @mrsLahayne2nd) For this project I decided to put the reigns in my students' hands. To pass the torch, and guide them in celebrating the successes of others. My students watch their peers throughout the day, and when they notice someone being an AllSTAR, or demonstrating outstanding learning they quietly come to me and let me know they see a "Twitter moment". At that I say "you know what to do". That student then becomes the photographer (using my teacher iPad) and takes a picture of the moment they observed. Then they return to whatever we are doing in class.
This took some training. I guided them through discussion about what a "Twitter Worthy Moment" looks like, and sounds like. We also used Brainpopjr. and watched a video on taking photos. This helped guide my students to truly capture the moment they saw.
When I have a free moment I add the photo to my Google drive so that I can quickly add it to a Google slide. I share the slide with the student who took the photo, and the rest is in that student's hands. They explain, write, and create a slide celebrating the moment they captured. When they think they are done they let me know and we have a conference. During this conference I am able to guide that student in personal learning. Conventions. Writers Voice. And SOOOOO much more. This has become such an awesome tool for not only celebrating but LEARNING!
My school library assistant is AMAZING! Each time a slide is fully completed...that means we have conferenced, and they are done...I share them with her and she prints them in color for us. I then laminate them and am building a book of amazing moments that my students have captured and celebrated.
My class has LOVED creating "Twitter" moments, and I look forward to what the future holds for this in my classroom in years to come. Do you have a special activity that allows students to celebrate the accomplishments of others? Please leave a comment and share your story! Learning from and sharing with other educators is something that education needs more of.