Monday, February 25, 2013

Fairy Tale Unit- first grade

For about five weeks the first graders followed a routine completing lessons about fairy tales.   Each week we read and discussed a new fairy tale a completed an activity on the computer to accompany the story.

First was "Rumpelstiltskin".  Each week we completed a chart like the one below.
After reading Rumpelstiltskin students students learned how to use Kidspiration and created a character map.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.1.3 Describe characters, settings, and major events in a story, using key details.

Next was "Jack and the Beanstalk".  I chose to read the Steven Kellogg version even though it is an ogre not a giant because Steven Kellogg's books are just beautiful.  Students drew the setting in Tux Paint after we completed the chart.

Third was "Little Red Riding Hood" by Trina Schart Hyman.  Students were surprised it was not the James Marshall ending when I read the woodcutter opened the wolf with a knife. After the students use the Read Write Think Story Map to focus on conflict and resolution.

Last was Frog Prince by Brothers Grimm. Students worked in small groups to complete a comparison chart that compares all 4 fairy tales.

During the final week the students completed the comparison chart.  After I read a fractured fairy tale as a brief introduction. "The Giant and the Beanstalk" by Diane Stanley.

Common Core
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.1.9 Compare and contrast the adventures and experiences of characters in stories.


Monday, February 4, 2013

Dewey Radio- fourth grade

As a class we read and discussed "Bob the Alien Discovers the Dewey Decimal System" by Sandy Donovan.  By fourth grade the students know how to find books using call numbers but they do not that each number has a meaning.  This book is fun for them. While discussing the book, I show students the Dewey Decimal Classification and Relative Index. I turn to random pages and tell them what some of the numbers mean and they always want me to keep going. It's great.

After, I am finally able to use QR codes again.  Students worked in groups and scanned a QR code at each of the 10 Dewey sections. The code took them to a website and the groups wrote down topics of books found in that section and then found exact titles to match the topics.

Last, students we discussed what makes them exciting: sounds, tone of voice, content.  Each group was assigned a Dewey section and they wrote and recorded a 30 second radio commercial using Garageband. Take a listen.

Common Core
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.4.1 Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 4 topics and texts, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.4.4 Report on a topic or text, tell a story, or recount an experience in an organized manner, using appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details to support main ideas or themes; speak clearly at an understandable pace.

Online Storybook- Kindergarten

The next piece of technology for Kindergarten is listening to a storybook online.  These students have heard teachers read books to them all year long but now the computer is going to read them. Better yet, they are going to have to interact with it. In the Mac App Store, I downloaded the free app Grimms Red Riding Hood. I cannot say better things about it. The storybook is 3D and the words can be read to them or they can read the book themsleves. After every page the students have to interact with the book and complete a task that helps tell a story. For example, they need to clean Red Riding Hoods room before she leaves.

The Red Riding Hood App is free, the others are at a cost.

UPDATE: These are no available for the iPad!

My favorite thing about Kindergarten is...

"My favorite thing about Kindergarten is..."

My goal for the Kindergarteners is to expose them to as much technology as possible between January and June.  After knowing they can use the mouse we move into digitally drawing.

As a class we brainstorm all the things they have learned about in class since September.  Students pick their favorite thing and draw a picture in Tux Paint.  To go along with their picture students learn about recording their voices in Garageband.  They record "My favorite thing about Kindergarten is..." followed by a reasoning sentence.  Students get to see all the drawn pictures and voices together.

Common Core
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.K.5 Add drawings or other visual displays to descriptions as desired to provide additional detail.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.K.6 Speak audibly and express thoughts, feelings, and ideas clearly.