Learning and helping at the same time….

freeThis past week Mrs. D introduced the website Free Rice to the 4th and 5th graders.  Free Rice has two goals: 1) To provide a website that promotes learning about a variety of topics and 2) helping end world hunger by providing rice to hungry people around the world for free.  Mrs. D gave students some background information about how the website works – for every correct answer you give on the site, the World Food Program donates 10 grains of rice (through the generosity of sponsors and businesses).

Many students enjoyed the challenging questions and the idea of helping others in need.  One 5th grader was so excited about using the Free Rice website, she told Mrs. D “Free Rice is awesome – You are learning and helping people at the same time!”  Mrs. D couldn’t agree more with that comment.

Please watch the video below to find out more about this unique website that has been in existence since 2007:

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Every day is Earth Day!

This week Riverside students have been learning how important it is to take care of our planet.  Our subscription to Brainpop and BrainpopJr. has come in handy as we viewed various videos describing how to reduce, reuse and recycle and what an important role that each of us plays in keeping our planet clean and safe.  Mrs. D loves the quizzes that are at the end of the videos that are used as a whole group to check for understanding of the topic.

Mrs. D added an additional link to our Earth Day Links on Riverside’s webpage and students also wrote answers to this week’s Question of the Week – “How can you take good care of the Earth?”  Mrs. D was impressed with many of the answers that were given by students.  How would you answer that question?


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Spring is here!

spring picThe last few weeks have flown by.  We went from snowy and cold temperatures since spring break to sunny and 65 degrees the last few days.  And as usual, Riverside library continues to be a busy place for students and staff.

During our one hour long computer classes students have been working on the following:  Kindergarten and 1st graders are practicing word processing skills with a Spring Assortment activity where they type spring words and practice matching spring clipart to the correct column by clicking and dragging.

2nd graders were introduced to Big Universe, an online e-book subscription service that our library has purchased.  It has over 9,500 e-books for K-5, most of which are nonfiction.  Students enjoyed choosing their own avatar and creating their own bookshelf.

3rd, 4th and 5th graders were introduced to the Forward Exam.  Students watched several tutorials and took a practice test on an iPad with a keyboard to get used to the online tools and format.wi

During our 1/2 hour library sessions 3rd, 4th and 5th were introduced to Big Universe.  Kindergarten and 1st graders continued practicing logging into their own computers and exploring Sheppard Software Spring website which has a variety of educational games for young students.

2nd graders used Artpad to create spring pictures which we printed in color to share with family and friends.

We just had the 5th grade finish their Forward Exams and next week 3rd graders will begin taking the tests.  For more information on the test please click on the Forward Exam link on Riverside’s webpage.big-universe

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Get Caught Reading

kayleeFor several years now we have continued to add to our collection of Get Caught Reading posters in our library.  Back in 2003 I received a community grant to start the project in my previous schools and when came to Riverside I started the project here.

The idea is simple.  Show students the adults in their life (teachers and support staff) at school reading one of their favorite children’s books.  Many times it is that positive example that motivates students to try a new book, discover a new series or be inspired by the art work of a talented illustrator.

This past week the library was used once again as a gathering place to take photos for this year’s yearbook.  It was also my opportunity to snap a picture of our 5th grade Library Crew.  We have 54 students signed up this year and we are very happy with the help they provide us to keep our library neat and organized!library crew

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Digital Passports

Digital-Passport-landingPage_HeroDuring this last rotation, 4th and 5th graders finished their Digital Passports with the module Mix ‘N Mash.  Plagiarism was discussed and how to avoid it.  This module provided students with an opportunity to create a multimedia project and use photos, music, etc while giving credit to the artists whose works they were using.

2nd graders reviewed with Mrs. D how to be safe online.  We watched Faux Paw the Techno Cat and discussed how to keep safe, keep away and keep telling.  Students worked their way individually through the Netsmartz program Router’s Birthday Surprise, practicing making the right choices for themselves.

3rd graders reviewed with Mrs. D how important it is to be kind when sending messages to family and friends.  Students viewed The Smart Crew as they encountered five different scenarios involving digital situations.

All students in our 3rd, 4th and 5th grades had the chance to answer this week’s Question of the Week – How can you be a good digital citizen?  Check out our responses by clicking here!

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Search Sharks

DSCN1841What’s been happening in the library lately?  Well…here’s a summary….

Kindergartners are getting better and better at logging in as themselves.  PBSKids is the latest website Mrs. D has added to our webpage and students are loving it!  They also are really getting into Teach Your Monster to Read, the Kea Coloring book and more.

1st graders are practicing using the Ipads to scan a QR code and listen to a story.  Mrs. D has the codes scattered through the outside of our pit area.  Taking good care of ipads was also discussed.

2nd graders were introduced to six math games on ABCya – Balloon Pop Subtraction, Math-Fact Shootout, Base Ten Bingo, Drop Sum, Hockey Score and Math Man Jr.  They also enjoyed creating their own story of at least 4 pages using the website My Storymaker.  Books were printed so students could share them with family and friends.

3rd graders reviewed Internet Safety and took an online quiz as a class regarding that topic.  Then they visited Swell Island and the Netsmartz Adventure Games to practice their internet safety knowledge.  During their 1/2 hour visit with Mrs. D students practiced changing fonts in Microsoft Word and answering the Question of the Week using Padlet.

4th graders returned to their Digital Passport to complete module #4 – Search Sharks.  Practicing selecting the best keywords for doing an online search is an important 21st century skill.  They also practiced that skill during their 1/2 hour visits with Mrs. D with five trivia questions.

5th graders also returned to their Digital Passport to complete module #4 – Search Sharks.  Once they were done with that module, they returned to their Google Slide project for Mrs. Reinardy’s guidance class.  Mrs. D and Mrs. Reinardy are very pleased with the quality of work we are seeing on these presentations.

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Battle of the Books team ranks 15th in the state!

DSCN1823Battle of the Books statewide test results are in and Mrs. D is proud to announce that this year’s team from Riverside  ranked 15th out of 214 teams throughout the state!

“A book is made from a tree. It is an assemblage of flat, flexible parts (still called “leaves”) imprinted with dark pigmented squiggles. One glance at it and you hear the voice of another person, perhaps someone dead for thousands of years. Across the millennia, the author is speaking, clearly and silently, inside your head, directly to you. Writing is perhaps the greatest of human inventions, binding together people, citizens of distant epochs, who never knew one another. Books break the shackles of time—proof that humans can work magic. “—Carl Sagan peggyandme

This past week we celebrated Read Across America day when staff and students were invited to dress up as their favorite book character.  Mrs. D and Mrs. T enjoyed wearing our Cat in the Hat gear!  This week Mrs. D discovered another great literacy website – KidLit TV http://kidlit.tv/   Check it out!


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