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Today(March 20th 2013.)our class had our first mystery skype!It started with Marcos A. introducing mitchel k.(question&answer person.)
Then ms.Houghton suggested to start asking questions.Here is some of the questions we asked:
Maya R. asked: “Do you live in a cold hot place?”
Selam W.asked: “Do you live in a large state?”
Adam H.asked: “When was your school built in?
Savanah A.asked:”Are you east of st.louis?”
Mitchel K.asked:”Are you near the space needle?”
Now the after the questions we found out that the kids we were at Camalot!(Thanks to Kyle M.)
After the skype we asked Kyle:”How did you know they were at camalot?”
And he said:”The skype name they used was familiar to me.”
Additional information from Ms. Houghton:
All photos in this post were taken by our photogapher, Yoeel V-M. I added in the captions.
Our students were pretty pumped about their first Skype, conducted with the fantastic students from Mrs. Steighner’s 2/3 HCAP class at Camelot Elementary. We’re looking forward to further MysterySkypes, and Thien T. helped me set up a shared Google calendar to record upcoming Skypes, as well as field trips and other school events.
Tyson E. created a Google document with information we gathered about Camelot students and their corner of Auburn (although they’re a Federal Way school, their mailing address is in Auburn).
We can’t wait for our next Skype!]]>
I didn’t read as much as I could have last week. Toby was out in San Francisco, so I gorged myself on Parks & Rec and Sherlock episodes. I’m halfway through some longer books too, so they don’t appear in my group picture below.:
And here’s what I did finish reading.
It’s become a rite of passage in many 2nd – 4th grade classrooms. Crafting Gallon Man. For the past five years, we did it too, and I was always thoroughly disappointed when my students didn’t remember their capacity conversions as well as I hoped they would. Even singing a sweet little ditty didn’t help. I like this song a lot better.
It’s daunting to talk about what doesn’t work in our classrooms when we have good intentions, but Sherlock urged me to write about how I changed things this year.
So this year when we started our measurement unit, I shared realia of the four main capacity units in the United States. We talked about how the units are related (see conversions in brown) then drew two common versions of Gallon Man.
Instead of sending them off to cut and glue their own gallon people, I told them that during independent work time, they’d need to create their own visual representation of capacity.
I explained that their visual representation of capacity must be meaningful to them so they would remember the conversions. Some of theirs wound up looking pretty much like mine, which was just fine.
I said that they could be as creative as they wanted as long as they were accurate mathematically. I also asked them to write a brief explanation of how their visual representation could be used. For example, in the representation above, I went back and asked the student what she meant when she said “the number of pints in a cup.” She said, “Oh, I got it backwards! Because the way I wrote it, it’d mean half a pint in a cup.” Which is correct, but not what she intended to say.
And in this representation, the overall number of cups in a gallon was accurate (16), but they were distributed incorrectly (three cups in each quart on his feet, and four cups in the pint on his tail). We talked about how he could change his representation to be mathematically correct while still keeping his artistic integrity (taking off the tail hairs and adding an extra claw to each feet).
This one was mathematically correct:
They worked during Math Daily 5, and most finished by the end of the day. The rest made sure they picked Work on Writing or Math by Myself during Math Daily 5 later in the week so they’d finish everything.
The next day, as we went over our representations, we also discussed why we needed to create a memory device for capacity, even though we don’t really need to come up with anything to remember, say, the number of days in a week or the number of inches in a foot. Here’s what they came up with:
I’ll assess their application of this learning later next week using our district unit tests as well as a scavenger hunt using a plant book so it connects to our science unit. I’ll try to remember to post that too.
As always, I’d appreciate any feedback you have on this lesson.]]>
I do, in fact, drink things other than espresso! Drinking caramel tea from Teacup, brewed in my rad glass teapot and sitting on my tea warmer from Remedy Teas. (Seattle has a bazillion great tea places.)
I’ll admit, I took the above picture and applied the vignette filter before I had read much of Jarrett Krosoczka’s The Frog Who Croaked. I anticipated a pseudo-film-noir book, kind of in the style of Chet Gecko.
Nope! Jarrett’s first chapter book (he wrote all the Lunch Lady books) has more of the tone of a buddy cop film. The urban issues he includes are LEGIT. The book takes place in the fictional Kalamazoo City, but it definitely reminded me of a different troubled city on the opposite side of Michigan. I would honestly include this book in a reading list for the MSU economics course on public policy.
I’m sure every single post about this book will include the following video, but there’s a good reason. It’s definitely one of my top five TED talks. Yesssss.
Thanks to the Walden Pond Press folks for the ARC and for being so kind to the Nerdy Book Club at ALA Midwinter.
Today I’m planning my next social studies unit, which focuses on geography. I’m SUPER pumped because this will line up really nicely with our plant science unit — the culminating activity for the social studies unit is to create a community nature center guide, with each kid picking a different community in the US and discussing the plant life (and landforms) found there.
I’m hoping it might also be a good time to play around with Mystery Skypes, which I heard about from the inspiring, thoughtful Cheryl Steighner. This is my social studies unit for my National Board entry, so I’m hoping to make it really beefy and wonderful.
QUICK PLUG. Please PLEASE support Cheryl by liking her video so she can be a New Media Consortium K-12 ambassador?
Anywho, back to snacks. Upon discovering I’m officially, medically overweight (according to one measure), I pretty much eliminated sweets from our house. But I do still have AMAZING Michigan potato chips from my parents’ thoughtful Christmas prezzie. I have an entire CASE of Better Made BBQ chips. YESSSSSSS. (“What do you want for Christmas, Shannon?” “All of the Michigan things!” And they delivered. Because my mother is the best gift-buyer on the planet)
OMG speaking of which, look at what SANTA included with Toby’s Taco Bell gift certificate.
Yeah. So snacks. Salty > Sweet every time. Happy Treat Tuesday.
Oh! And so you should totally follow my mom on Twitter. She’s kind of seriously the best around. And she has mastered the art of ironic hashtags.
Happy Tuesday! Enjoy Midwinter break!
I asked Toby to walk through starting a webstream with me. He spends forever and always watching Minecraft streams and indie game streams and League of Legend streams. (I was going to link to all of the streams that are constantly being broadcast in the mancave, but Toby pointed out that most of the streamers use profane language. Which is another topic for another day.)
You can watch my stream heeeeere! Featuring NO profane language!
Anyway. So why’d I bother setting up a stream? I mean, I know I’m not going to be fascinating to watch, unlike my artist pals who livestream their sketching. WHICH IS AMAZING. But I have had a few folks ask me how I’m able to design units or assessments or write stuff so quickly, so I thought seeing what I’m doing might be useful. Plus, you get to listen to the sweet tunes I’m listening to. And eventually you’ll be able to hear my commentary too.
AND WHO KNOWS, maybe one day you’ll be able to watch me die a fiery death in Minecraft.
So here’s how I got everything set up. It took me less than an hour, and that included me getting grouchy and stopping briefly.
1. Acquire streaming software.
If you have Windows, you can use FFSPLIT and have a stream ready to go in two seconds. No joke. It’s crazy-fast. I don’t have Windows. If you have Windows, skip to step 4.
2. Cry because you’re using a Mac. Shake your fist at your father because you know he’s laughing at you for using a Mac.
3. Look at this article. Follow all the directions EXACTLY. All of them. (The only thing I changed was that I created a streaming account at Twitch rather than JustinTV.)
4. Click Start Stream.
I’ve been reading quite a bit in the past week, mostly before bed as I’ve been a slacker as far as taking the bus goes. Yesterday my iPad fell on my face while I was reading The Second Siege in bed. Whoops.
Here’s what I’ve been reading.
I was most thoroughly disappointed in Not My Bag, and most excited by Lincoln’s Grave Robbers.]]>
I know it’s Paczki Day, so I should be indulging in pastries, but there are no yummy baked goods that caught my eye here at the Puget Sound ESD. So fruit. With paczki from the Met Market later today.
If you live in Michigan and aren’t eating a paczek, just know that I am weeping because of your waste.]]>
Here’s what I’ve been reading lately:
Have a fabulous week!
These cards smiled at me at Target this afternoon. The handwriting is all done using a Lamy fountain pen from Goulet Pens with Deep Magenta ink by Diamine.
I was originally going to write some quality about each student that I loved, but I decided to do book recommendations instead. On the inside, I wrote “I love ______________, and I hope you will love it too!” Here’s what I came up with for my 2nd and 3rd graders:
Here’s wishing you a happy early Valentine’s Day! Support VDAY if that’s your jam. Which it should be.