I am super excited to announce our next collaborative project. This project has been on the back burner for months now, and we are finally ready to begin.
Mrs. Soltauheller and I have done many collaborative projects with our classes over the past 2 years, and I think this one is the most exciting! We wanted the project to incorporate writing, science and social studies. We also wanted there to be an authentic audience for our students to attract more interest and to grab our students' attention.
We decided on choosing an animal or insect to send each other that lives where we live, but does not live where the other class lives. Mrs. Soltauheller's school is on Vancouver Island and we live in Ontario. Mrs. Soltauheller chose the orca whale and I chose (with a little help from my principal) the praying mantis. We agreed that we would mail each other the stuffy and that we would create a blog for the animal on our classroom kidblog accounts. Students will begin taking home the whale (named Haley) or the praying mantis (Elroy) TODAY! Students will be taking Hayley over night and blog about their adventures. After everyone has a chance to take Hayley home we will do an Inquiry about orca whales and answer our Essential Question, "Why don't orca whales live in Windsor, Ontario? We will then share our projects with each other via Skype.
To add to the excitement of this project, my students will be taking home an iPad with Hayley to document their adventures.
This past Friday we brainstormed ways to fairly choose the order in which Hayley would go home with. We then googled it and found a website that randomizes lists for you. We typed in all the students names and hit the randomizer button and just like that we had a list! The kids thought it was magic! Here is a screenshot of the list:
I made a schedule and sent the calendar home with the students. If you would like to check out how Hayley is doing, check out her blog here
Today we did a very fun activity with all the classes in our pod to learn about non standard measurement. Mrs. Wideen read the book, "How Big Is A Foot?". The book was about how the King wants to give the Queen something special for her birthday. The Queen has everything, except a bed. The trouble is that no one in the Kingdom knows the answer to a very important question: How Big is a Bed? because beds at the time had not yet been invented. The king decided to measure the queen by using his feet. He told her to lay on the floor and measured her by how many feet wide and how many feet long she was. We learned that the bed that was made was too small for the king because the carpenter that made the bed had much smaller feet. We tested this theory by measuring out our teacher's feet and making a pretend bed on the floor and measuring out a bed using some of our friends feet.
Today we started our new read aloud titled, "Clementine". We just finished reading Flat Stanley and Mrs. Wideen signed us up to do this read aloud with 17 other classes around the world. We have a reading schedule for how many pages Mrs. Wideen has to read to us a week. Today we read the first chapter of Clementine. Mrs. Wideen made a new room on Todaysmeet so we could discuss the book with the other classes. We then tweeted the prompt on Twitter on our class twitter account @mrswideensclass so the other classes would know and could join in the conversation if they wished. Here was our first prompt that we answered today:
On Wednesday we are going to read chapter 2 via Google Hangout with another class and discuss our predictions and question for chapter 3.
This past week, we had the Early Years Teachers, Our Vice Principal, and Mrs. Wakeman in to see how we incorporate our ipads and technology into our classroom. We showed our guests how we use a website called TodaysMeet. This website encourages the room to use a live stream to make comments and ask questions. Students used a QR code I created to quickly scan it using their iPads where it took them to the site Todays Meet. We have been working on making meaningful connections the past few days in class so I asked the students to make text to self connections while I read the story Koala Lou.
Our guests were amazed at the engagement of this lesson. My students typed feverishly while I read Koala Lou. I stopped periodically through the story to make my own connections and to give my students time to add their connections. You could hear a pin drop in my room during this activity. When we concluded the activity, I told them we would come back to their connections the following day to figure out which kinds of connections help us the most. My students couldn't wait to follow up the next day.
Have you used TodaysMeet? We would love to hear about it!