I love working with kindergarten students. They are always just so excited to learn. This is especially true for Ms. Rechenbach’s class at Ratcliffe Elementary.
Ms. Rechenbach’s class has been learning about of sink and float in science. After our planning meeting we decided that we wanted to make things interesting for the students. We came up with the idea to have students design boats and then test the boats to whether it will sink or float.
We started off the lesson explaining to the students that we are going to be shipbuilders. (Kindergarteners love having fun jobs!) We divided the students into groups. Each group had access to recycleable materials and had time to make a boat. The students had certain rules they have to follow for their boat.
1. Each group had to use at least 3 different types of materials.
2. The boat couldn’t be longer than a ruler
3. The boat had to float for at least 10 seconds.
The students quickly got to work creating their boat. It was amazing to see the creativity and teamwork these students showed. Check out their awesome creations below.
Ms. Rechenbach and I then created a google form, so kindergarteners from other schools could look at the boats and predict as to whether the boats will float or sink. We gave the other kindergartners a week to make their predictions.
A week later we came back together to look at the predictions. We then tested to boats to see how the predictions compare to the actual result.
The groups then came back together to discuss why their boats either floated on top of the water or sank to the bottom. Each group then picked representatives to record their findings on an iPad. The plan is to put the videos on Ms. Rechenbach’s blog for the kindergarteners that made the earlier predictions.
This lesson was so much fun and the students were engaged the entire time. Do you want to do a lesson similar to this one? Make sure you sign up for a time so we can start planning.
Let me start off my saying that I absolutely love when I’m able to work with my fellow ITRTs. Yesterday I had the pleasure of working with Julie Goode, Tyler Hart and Ryan Stein. We call our ITRT teacher group…..(pause for dramatic effect)….JG and the Boys. Yes I’m well aware that the whole thing sounds super dorky, but I’ve accepted it. About once a month we get together as a group and plan a big over the top lesson at one of our schools. So far we have done movie trailers for writing, collaborative Jamestown projects and now social media.
The group went to Arthur Ashe Elementary yesterday, to help the fourth grade students with their African American achievers projects. The lesson started off with a brainstorming activity on what social media is and how it can be used. The students were put into four groups. Each group used a different collaborative tool for their brainstorming: Padlet, Today’s Meet, Google Drawing, and Google Document. Click the links to check out the examples.
We then transitioned into creating the social media pages for our African American achievers. Depending on which achiever the students had they either created a Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram page.
The lesson wrapped up with an exit survey for the class. The students told us what was enjoyable about the lesson and what needs to be changed. Our group will use this feedback when we plan out our next lesson.
Want to do something similar? Sign up and let’s plan out a lesson together!
I was very lucky to co teach with Mrs. Noble-Wilkins today at Adams Elementary. Her students have been researching African Americans that made a difference in our country, both past and present. The class put their weeks of research into a poster to display in the hallway. Mrs. Noble-Wilkins and I decided to take it a step further.
After our planning meeting we decided to put a social media spin on their projects. The students made Facebook pages for the person they were researching. We didn’t make actual Facebook pages, however we used a template that I made in Pages. The students had a blast making status updates as their African American that made a difference. I was very impressed by creativity the students showed. My favorite status update “About to escape from my master TTYL!”
I was extremely fortunate to co-teach with Mrs. Ferguson’s 3rd grade class at Pinchbeck Elementary. The students researched with Mrs. Ferguson and the school librarian on how animals and their environments are influenced by human actions. The students were not happy with what they discovered.
The students in the class wanted to tell other children their age what can be done to help endangered animals. Mrs. Ferguson and I then helped the students create a ThingLink to get their message out in the world.
Mrs. Ferguson’s class worked so hard on these projects. It’s wonderful to see students so engaged and excited about their work. Checkout the awesome ThingLink one student group created below.
ThingLink is very user friendly and can be made in almost no time at all. Want to try a similar lesson with your class, or just want to learn how to use it? Make sure you sign up for a time for us to collaborate.
A video explaining how to make questions in Question Manager. This is great if you are using ActivExpressions or ActivEngage. If you have any questions on how to incorporate this into your classroom, sign up for me. We can plan out an awesome lesson together.
So want to learn something new without having to talk to me? (I don’t know why, I’m awesome.) Well you’re in luck.
I created a new section on the top of my blog called “How Do I?” This section of the blog will house all of the “How To” videos I create. I already post these types of videos, but in the past you would have to search my blog for the post. Now all you have to do is go up to the pull down menu and find your video. I’m just starting this so there are only a few videos. If there is a video you would like to see, send me an email. I want this to be a resource that will be useful to you.
So over this past week with all the snow days I thought about sitting around watching TV and not doing a whole lot. My mini winter break didn’t work out like that. I did however do what all cool people do, I updated my blog and organized all my social media accounts for work. I know, I know, I’m super exciting.
I cleaned up the blog a bit. I tried to make it easier to navigate and connect to my other accounts. I also have share buttons below each post. If you see something that you like and think others would find useful please share it out.
Now like many of you did 8 years ago, I joined Facebook this week. Well I made a page on Facebook that you can like (facebook.com/CovaisTech). I thought about doing this for a while and I eventually settled on creating one. I did this not as self promotion rather, I thought I might be able to get information out to more people using Facebook. I know for me when I was in the classroom I may not check all the blogs for information but my Facebook was always open (at home of course).
If you’re too cool for Facebook that’s no problem. I’m also on twitter (@CovaisTech) and Google+ (+JamesPCovais)
No matter which social media platform you are using let’s make it worthwhile. Let’s use this as an opportunity to connect to other professionals and learn from each other. I get so many good ideas for lessons and classroom management from other teachers. We spend so much money at the teacher supply store, when we should be investing in each other.
If you ever want to connect with another teacher let me know. I’m at four different schools and I can set up a meeting for you.
We’re back from winter break and I know what you’re all thinking right now, “I should backup my files.”
DON’T DO IT!
Let me give you the reasons on why you shouldn’t backup your files.
1. It could take upwards to 10, maybe even 12 minutes to backup your files. I don’t know about you all, but who has 16.66% of an hour to waste on a backup?
2. I became a teacher because I like to live life on the edge. I love the thrill and exhilaration of when I turn on my computer, I may or may not have everything that I worked on for my whole career.
3. If my computer crashes I won’t be able to have fear and anxiety that I will never see my files again.
4. Have you seen the size of flash drives? They’re about the size of bar eraser. I can’t carry that around with me. Who am I? The Hulk?!?!
If you haven’t gotten the point by now you really should backup your files. It takes no time to make sure all of your work is safe. Plug in a flash drive and backup your files. You’ll be done before you finish that game of Candy Crush.
Do you need help backing up your files? Send me an email or schedule an appointment with me.