Archive for March, 2013

Controlled Chaos

Friday, March 15th, 2013

What does Discovery Streaming, Science Techbook, 35 Science Stations, 24 preserved frogs, 90 owl pellets, 12 educators, and a Skype Visit with Yellowstone have in common? CONTROLLED CHAOS! It took 12 hours to plan and make stations, 4 hours to set-up and 5 hours to deliver. Every group had a map, a journal, and a positive attitude. They learned about electricity, magnetism, space, weather, matter, animals, landforms, force, rocks, and ecosystems. Each station also contained a laptop/iPad with a DE video locked and loaded. Students were able to front-load with DE information, make predictions, work collaborative on a hands-on science activity, debrief, and then journal. I was pretty amazed that there were no fusses, quarrels, mishaps, accidents, or explosions. I dare to say that I had one of the best days EVER. Who else can have that much fun at work? Thanks DE for complimenting our science studies in Catawba County. You put the CONTROL in my CHAOS!!

Great Expectations

Thursday, March 7th, 2013

Well today was a first. Since both of my schools are being vetted as true  STEM schools, I am making sure that all 1000  students have an opportunity to experience a hands-on lab each week. Today was my first experience with our Pre-K students. I set up the lab with microscopes, rocks and minerals, animal tracks and adaptations, life cycle games, and a metamorphic rock-making station. I expected that they would visit the stations, draw a few pictures, and laugh a lot. Oh my! They were the most engaged, talkative, creative, inquisitive, hypothesizing kids I have ever had in my labs. They asked questions, made predictions,and  drew amazing diagrams. They smiled, laughed, and clapped when they saw videos on Discovery Streaming. They were quiet and attentive when I blew up some rocks with a simple chemical reaction and they didn’t ask for a break, nap, or snack. These seventeen 3 and 4 year olds proved that you are never too young to be a scientist.

Next week we are going to observe and tear apart Owl Pellets. I, for one, can’t wait!

#World Read Aloud Day

Saturday, March 2nd, 2013

Today 90 sixth graders traveled over 6000 miles without ever leaving their classroom. Using Edmodo and Twitter, I was able to find many willing classrooms to SKYPE with them on World Read Aloud Day.

The students’ practiced reading several selections from their Reader’s Notebooks and were able to share them with students from Newton, Massachussetts; Jemison, Michigan; Coral Gables, Florida; Winston-Salem, NC; Ottawa, Canada; and Fremont, California. They also kept their Twitter feed scrolling on the television screen and received shout-outs from Discovery Education, Yung Soo from Bejing International School, and Discovery Channel’s “Deadliest Catch”-just to name a few. They plotted their travels on Google Maps and kept track of temperatures in each city. A great day of reading, networking, and new friendships was had by all. It was truly a “Global Day of Learning”