Thursday, November 27, 2014

Maker Day

"Look what we made"...
"Can we do this again"...
"We figured it out"...

Maker Day- a day to celebrate innovation and creativity by emphasizing STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math). 

All students in grades Pre-K through 12 spent the day problem solving, building, brainstorming, calculating, and collaborating.  Whether constructing greenhouses in our Upper School,  building wooden benches in Middle School, or making small boats in Lower School, the students worked together.  

Our fourth graders rotated through five different STEAM projects.  They made marble mazes, musical instruments using recycled materials, floating boats, electric circuits and contributed to a large art mural made with bottle caps.

Students were quite creative when they were presented with LEDs, battery pack, insulating playdough, and conductive playdough.  

Car with Working Headlights
Airplane with Lights
Maryland Blue Crab
Days like this prove that you don't need textbooks and pencils to learn. 

Monday, November 24, 2014

Mystery Skype

Want an interactive, engaging, and exciting way to brush up on geography?  What about participating in a Mystery Skype session?

That's exactly what our fourth grade class did today. We connected with another fourth grade class on Skype and took turns with them asking yes/no questions to help determine each other's location.  Not only did we use our mapping skills but also deductive reasoning. 

Everyone in our class was assigned specific responsibilities during the Mystery Skype, and we took these duties seriously.  Some of our jobs were photographers, recorders, tweeters, question leader, mappers, welcomer, and closer. 

During the Mystery Skype two students recorded all the questions we asked and the questions that the other class asked us.  The recorders wrote these questions on the whiteboards so they were visible to everyone in our classroom.  This helped prevent us from repeating questions by accident. 

Questions the Other Class Asked Us
Questions We Asked the Other Class

Students were highly engaged during our Skype session and worked well together.  The students were able to determine the other school was in Iowa.  The Mystery Skype session lasted approximately 25 minutes.

We are already looking forward to our next Mystery Skype.

Mrs. Lynch

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Book Tasting

The book fair visited our school this week, and books are definitely my weak spot.  I just can't say no and walked away with over thirty new books for our classroom library.  Parents and students also generously donated new books to our classroom.

Now I had a nice problem- how was I going to let the students preview all the books before adding them to the classroom library shelves?  An idea was born....a book tasting.  Students would have a chance to sample three of the new books for each of the courses (appetizer, entree, and dessert).

Front of Menu
Inside of Menu
While the students were in Art class, the classroom was quickly transformed into a restaurant for our book tasting.  Desks were covered with tablecloths. Flower centerpieces and small votive candles were an added touch.  Books were placed on pizza pans on each of the tables.

The students loved getting to 'taste' several new books.  Students wrote a short prediction/evaluation of the book based on reading a few pages and/or the back cover. They were actively engaged and had spontaneous group discussions at the tables about the books they sampled.  Interest and excitement were generated.  At the end of the book tasting the students quickly asked when we would do it again.  

It is always a nice feeling to hear students chattering about a day's lesson or project.  

Mrs. Lynch