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Saturday, March 19, 2011
What is a blog?
Why are our kids going to be using one?
A "blog" is short for web log -- it is a journal of sorts that lives online and allows interaction between the author and reader. (What you are presently reading is a blog! You can comment on every post being sent to you and I can read and reply).
Blogs can offer so much to a classroom. Students can journal about books being read, science experiments being conducted, and thoughts on topics discussed at school. The ideas are endless! Plus blogs provide an "instant audience" for our young writers who may not quite understand "why" we write.
Our class is using the kidblogs.org platform for classroom blogging this year. Kidblog.org is built by teachers for teachers, so students can get the most out of the blogging process. Kidblog meets the need for a safe and simple blogging platform suitable for elementary and middle school students. Most importantly, kidblog allows teachers to monitor and control all publishing activity within the classroom blogging community.
I would like to begin working on the blog with students next week. If you have any concerns about your child participating, please contact me by email or phone -- or you can post your comment directly on this blog in the comment section below.
My class began blogging for the first time last year and it was a great success. Ours was the very first elementary classroom to blog in the Burlington district. Now many elementary classrooms throughout the district have followed that lead and have their students safely blogging. Many parents commented last year that their children were giving up video games and television shows in lieu of going on the computer to blog! Also, there are students from last year who are still talking about how much they loved blogging! I think this will be an exciting adventure for all of us!
I'll be sending a blogging consent form home with your child. Please look for it in their backpack on Monday and return it A.S.A.P. to show your support for this project.
Museum of Science Field Trip
|Ashley, Dan, Drew, Evan and others are ready to blast off on an imaginary adventure!|
Our trip to the Museum of Science was a grand success. Not only did we see a fantastic show in the planetarium but we explored the entire museum. Click on the link at the right entitled Field Trip Photos to see pictures from this fantastic outing.
Dr. Seuss Day
The children had a great time on March 2nd when we celebrated Dr. Seuss Day. We listened to the Police Chief read Green Eggs and Ham. We then proceeded to do many fun writing activities and read Dr. Seuss books while reading silly hats.
|Police Chief Kent reads "Green Eggs and Ham" to the entire first grade. He kept the kids enthralled!|
|Students put on silly hats and read Dr. Suess books together and alone.|
We're Off to See a Live Stage Performance!
On April 8th, the entire first grade will go to see Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing. We have been listening to the audio version of this book and the kids are enthralled. It will be great to see the show live on stage. Those students who have younger siblings will particularly identify with the main character's frustration with the antics of the younger 3-year old brother, Fudge.
In the Classroom...
We have been learning about penguins and Antarctica. This will be the first topic in which the students will be blogging. Ask them what they know about the different species they have learned about so far (the Rockhopper, the King and the Little Blue.)
|Jacob uses squares on the Interactive SmartBoard to measure how much bigger the bottom fish is than the top.|
We have completed our unit on measurement and have returned to Number Games and Puzzles. In the measurement unit the students practiced measuring with baby steps, basketball steps, craft sticks and paper clips. Finally they got to use a real ruler to measure in inches. They learned how important it is to measure with a consistent unit of measurement...and they had fun doing it!
|Students work together at their seats to determine the difference in lengths of the fish represented on the smartboard. That way, everyone is involved!|
We also read a wonderful book entitled "What It Means to be Present." After discussing what it means to be present, the children then made their own classroom book on what it means for them to be present. Here are some of their meanings (as told by the students):
- Listening when other people are talking
- Sleeping with my dogs.
- Noticing and helping others when they are feeling sad.
- Sharing your toys with people who want to use them.
- To be patient and enjoy yourself.
- Waiting your turn.
- To taste every bite that I eat...like an orange or a peanut butter sandwich or a granola bar.
- Treating others the way that you want to be treated.
- Helping kids that are younger...like if a kite was stuck in a tree.
- Knowing that making mistakes is how we learn and grow.
Yesterday is history
Tomorrow is a Mystery
Today is a Gift --
That's why it is called a "Present."