Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Fall Festivities

Today we celebrated fall with some fun, hands on festivities!
Using milk cartons, graham crackers, frosting and lots of candy, student created their own individual "spooky house." 
The creativity was truly flowing and some students decided to add weathervanes, cobblestone paths, window decorations, chimneys and many other unique ideas to their creations. Watch us in action in the clip below!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Scholastic Book Fair

 The Scholastic Book Fair is at Sonoran Sky this week!
My class is scheduled to visit the school book fair tomorrow during the school day. We had an opportunity to browse today. The book fair will be running until this Friday, November 2 and families are parents are welcome to stop by

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Rosetta Stone

We have been studying foreign languages at school! For many years, the most consistent parent feedback I received was that the self-contained program needed to offer a foreign language. We have come up to a solution to that concern by allowing students to use the Rosetta Stone software online.
All students enrolled in this program for the 2012-13 school year will have access until July 30, 2013. We intend to use Rosetta for approximately for 30-minutes a day, three times a week. Students are encouraged, but not required to access the program at home. This is not part of their grade nor will it appear on their report card, but rather a valuable learning opportunity. 
To log in at home, students can access the classroom portal here:
Students all know their user name and password. 
Recently Rosetta unveiled a free iPad app. The link to the app can be found here. After it is downloaded, students should go to the classroom portal using a browser (we have found Safari works best for this app) and log in. Then click on "Launch Rosetta Stone" and the app will open, with the student logged in and ready to learn! 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Up In The Air

As part of our weather unit, today we started an investigation about air. 
What better way to learn about air, resistance and acceleration than by making parachutes? Everyone formed a hypothesis to this problem: 
Can we slow down the rate of how fast something falls?
Students experimented with adding various "passengers" and timed each flight with a partner using online-stopwatch.com
We learned that in order for a parachute to move through the air, it must push the air out of its way.  The air pushing back on the parachute makes it fall slowly.  When any object moves through the air, it is always slowed down by something called air resistance.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Audio QR Codes

We have been studying Beverly Cleary for the last few weeks and all students chose a book by this author to read. Each student created a poster about their book and presented it to the class.
We took things a step further and had students read their brief summary into an iPad app called Croak.it. This app digitally records up to 30-seconds and creates a link. Students then took that link, pasted into my favorite QR Code creator which is qrcode.kaywa.com, and generated an audio QR Code.
Students printed their code and added it to our bulletin board. Next time you are on campus, take a moment to scan one of our audio QR Codes to hear a brief summary of a Beverly Cleary book!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Phases of the Moon

We have been studying phases of the moon in Science!

 After a reading comprehension, a class discussion and singing a catchy song about phases of the moon, students worked with a partner or small group to replicate each phase of the moon using an Oreo cookie.
 Once they had created a model of each phase, they had to put them in order and label them. We followed up with a brief post-assessment. 

Monday, October 8, 2012

The American Math Challenge

Next week is The American Math Challenge! The event officially kicks off October 16 and students will be challenged with 50 mathematical concepts. On October 17 students are allowed to participate in up to 100 live math challenges using mental math skills.
Warm ups for The American Math Challenge opened today. Each student received a username and a password and had the opportunity to log in for a few practice rounds this afternoon. I am sending home a card with this information today so students may continue to practice at home, if they would like. This is a really great competition because it allows students to compete against other 2nd grade students all around the world! It is very safe and personal information is quite limited, but students will see the country of the other students they are competing against live.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Got 2B Safe Classroom Makeover

Last May, I was very lucky to be named one of the five grand prize winners in the Got 2B Safe Contest, sponsored by Honeywell and the National Center For Missing & Exploited Children. The contest requires teachers to write a unit of lesson plans regarding Cyber Safety for students in grades K-5. My unit consisted of students creating videos using one of my favorite online tools, YouTube, to produce annotated "choose your own adventure" style movies about the Got 2B Safe Rules of Safety.
John and Reve Walsh - What An Honor!
The grand prize consists of a trip to Washington DC where I was honored along with the other four grand prize winners at the Hope Awards, which was hosted by John Walsh, plus tours of Washington DC, Honeywell, the NCMEC and attendance at a Congressional Breakfast.

The best part of the prize - my classroom is receiving a $10,000 classroom makeover which will be officially "revealed" next Wednesday at 9:30am. You are welcome to join us in the classroom for this exciting event. There will be representatives from Honeywell, Scottsdale's Mayor Lane  and some local media.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Oreo Stacking - Day 1

How High Will This Stack Get?
For the past two weeks we have been learning about mean, median and mode in math class. We decided to participate in Jennifer Wagner's O.R.E.O. 2012 Project. Each student got their first attempt yesterday and will try to beat their record today. Then we will figure out the mean, median and mode of our results and compare our results with other classes around the country. Click below to watch the first attempt of one student!