For the past two rotations we have been working in our K – 5th grade library/computer classes on what I call a “kindness boomerang” project for Valentine’s Day.
Kindergarten and 1st grade students created online Valentine cards, which we printed and decorated for a teacher or support staff member of our school. 2nd through 5th graders used their Google accounts to write special notes using Google Docs as their word processing tool. Notes were printed and placed in envelopes that students decorated for our 60 staff members. Students were also encouraged to write notes to family members, friends and classmates.
The response of our students to this assignment was heart-warming and I was inspired by the kindnesses that I witnessed. Several students wrote notes to each other and it was great to see the notes given and compliments received by students. 4th and 5th graders also enjoyed decorating the envelopes that held the compliments for staff members.
If you are interested in a website that has a great list of ideas for activities that your family could do to promote kindness try the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation website at https://www.randomactsofkindness.org/kindness-ideas and look up the Kindness Boomerang video on YouTube.
Opportunities surround us every day to inspire others with random acts of kindness. I hope you will be inspired to share acts of kindness throughout this month and beyond.
Last week Mrs. D shared winter stories with our Kindergarten and 1st grade classes – Students were also introduced to the interactive version of Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats. It was also a great time to discuss the Caldecott Award and how we can identify those books in our Riverside library collection. Then our primary students practiced using their clicking and dragging skills on the ABCya Make a Snowman portion of their website.
2nd graders were excited to get into Tumblebooks using a generic login and password. The interface of Tumblebooks has changed since last year and their are more books than ever that are available to students.
3rd, 4th and 5th graders practiced their keyboarding skills and also had opportunities to answer the Question of the Week link that Mrs. D has created using Padlet.
Our next rotation began and we are focusing on one of my favorite projects, the Kindness Boomerang – which also happens to take place during the beginning of February – just in time for Valentine’s Day. Check out the link I have to this project on the Riverside Elementary web page.
During our most recent rotation 3rd, 4th and 5th graders worked on a variety of projects related to the upcoming Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. 3rd graders worked in assigned pairs to answer various questions about MLKJr. using ipads to scan QR codes to get to specific websites about the civil rights leader.
4th grader used a word cloud creator from ABCya to create word clouds using positive words to describe MLKJr. They are displayed in the 4th grade hallway next to the IMC.
5th graders created Google Slides – one depicting a famous quote from MLKJr and the second slide was the students’ dream for our community, country and/or world. Those slides are on the home page for the next few weeks.
Kindergartners and 1st graders read winter stories with Mrs. D and practiced logging in as themselves. They seem to get better at it each week!
2nd graders practiced inserting online clipart in a word document using the Bing search engine. Our document was about Winter Words so their clipart had to match that theme. Students got to print those in color to take home and share with their family.
We also had several students busy in our coloring makerspace creating Valentines for our troops!
“Communication is a skill that you can learn. It’s like riding a bicycle or typing. If you’re willing to work at it, you can rapidly improve the quality of every part of your life.” ~ Brian Tracy
Our first Typing Club Top Ten Contest ended at 3:35 on last Friday afternoon – Winners are as follows:
3rd grade – Ryden L, Ella S, Blake B, Brian L, Kaden G, George J, Ford E, Elin N, Amara D and Aedan X.
4th grade – Jia K, Makenna R, Dakota W, Lauren B, Finn A, Cayden B, Drew R, Aidan G, Drew V, and Reis N.
5th grade – Colin B, Malia Y, Parker S, Mckenzie H, Lilyan M, Mulan K, Simon W, Jacob L, Anika L, and Nicholas S.
The week following our Christmas break was filled with activity and some new experiences. Kindergartners started using their personal log ins and passwords this week. Once they were logged in they explored the website Cookie.com and tried out math and reading activities on it. Our biggest challenge so far….pressing Ctrl, Alt, Delete at the same time!
Mrs. D discussed with the Caldecott Award with 1st graders using Where the Wild Things Are as example. Then students went to the Build Your Wild Self website from the New York Zoo. They created their own “creatures” and learned about various wild animals at the same time. 1st graders were also practicing their personal log ins and passwords.
2nd graders were introduced to the Tynker website and were able to choose a coding activity from there.
3rd, 4th and 5th graders reviewed the library expectations and worked on Typing Club in anticipation of our first contest at the end of the week. Students also had the opportunity to answer the Question of the Week using Padlet.
3rd and 4th grade classes on Monday created New Year’s slides for the Riverside webpage. What are your hopes for 2016?
The last weeks before Christmas break were very busy. Primary students were creating Gingerbread Houses and Christmas Trees on ABCya and printing them to share with their families while 2nd and 3rd graders wrote holiday letters to either parents or Santa using Google Docs.
Our final week of classes before Christmas break found 4th and 5th grade students writing their Holiday Favorites using a Word template that we printed to share with their families. We even had a 5th grade webquest contest as we learned about holidays around the world and how they are celebrated.
Throughout December students who chose to created paper ornaments for our library Christmas tree sharing what their favorite book or book series was. Students who checked out books the week before Christmas break had been given the opportunity to check out one additional library book to read over the long winter break! Many took advantage of this opportunity.
Mrs. D hopes everyone has an enjoyable and relaxing holiday break! See you next year!
For two weeks in December Mrs. D had all students Kindergarten through 5th grade practicing coding activities using the Hour of Code website. Kindergartners practiced using the JigSaw Puzzle coding activity as an introduction to the idea of coding. 1st graders used the Maze sequence to practice coding with Angry Birds while 2nd graders used the Plants vs. Zombies as a backdrop for coding activities. 3rd, 4th and 5th graders were introduced to the Hour of Code site using the Star Wars portion of the site. After the introduction, Mrs. D let students choose from the many options available this year. Many students did not finish their Hour of Code levels and returned to where they left off during their next rotation in the library/computer encore class time.
Mrs. D was excited to see how many students enjoyed doing the Hour of Code and she hopes to see many students choosing coding activities during their own choice time on the computers. Check out the official Hour of Code website at https://code.org/learn today!