Thursday, May 23, 2013

A Grateful Heart

Dear Parents,
It has been an amazing year. It was a privelege and a blessing to have your child in my class. This blogging experience has been fun. The highlights from our year have been recorded. As I sit and reread posts, I am reminded of the learning experiences and the eagerness of these studdents to learn. Their smiles speak volumes. I treasure each one of these kiddos.
I appreciate your support this year. There were so many acts of kindness and I thank each of you. The cards, gifts, and thoughtful words brought a smile.  

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

S'more to Learn

Room 102 ended the school year with a S'more party. It was a fun way to celebrate a successful school year. With the whole summer stretching before them, I wanted to remind students that just because it's summer, learning doesn't stop. 
Students were asked to reflect on  what they have accomplished in the school year and make plans to continue learning through the summer months. 
Hopefully this craftivity will hang on the fridge as a "sweet" reminder to weave in math and literacy reinforcers during the summer.  
Room 102's top vote-getters:  
1.  Storybird  I'm anxious to read their summer stories!
2.  DIY challenges
3.  Student Bloggers
4.  Summer Reading at the public library
5.   Aqua Venture - Norfolk's water park 
 * Remember boldcolored font is a link to take you to the site. 
The entertainment for our year-end party was the game Minute to Win It /S'more Marshmallow Toss.  Players had one minute to throw as many marshmallows as possible to a partner who must catch them in the paper bag campfire. The team with the most marshmallows after one minute wins.

Congratulations to the champions. They crushed it!
And congratulations to Room 102's graduates as they head out the door and begin s'more summer fun. I was so fortunate to have such a wonderful group of children this past year.  They touched my life and this school year in very positive and rewarding ways.  

Have a wonderful summer!

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Friday, May 17, 2013


Room 102 has been using Storybird to apply what they learned about narrative elements to create their own stories. Storybird helps students bring thoughts to life and adds a digital component to traditional storyboards. 
Students drag and drop characters and images onto a digital storyboard. Their ideas are transformed into magnificent stories inspired by the artwork available on Storybird.
The final story is shared in an online class library.  Students also have the option to purchase their story as a hard cover picture book.  Several students created books for younger siblings.
Here is an example of a student’s Storybird. . .

Another student wrote . . .

Your student may log in at home to share his or her Storybird with family and friends or create a new story.  This is a great site for some summer fun. It will keep your child writing through June, July, and August.  Click the icon to go directly to Storybird.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Genius Hour Projects

Today we completed our first version of Genius Hour! Genius Hour is based upon Google’s 20% policy. This policy says that with 20% of the time, employees can work on whatever project they would like as long as it advances the company in some way.
The question arose, if such amazing things were made during Google’s 20% time, just what could students come up with if given a chance to work on a project that interested them?

For several weeks Room 102 was given time in study hall to explore their interests. The projects ranged anywhere from exploring the art of painting to building a telescope to duct tape art to seeing the world through a bug's eye to applying a chef’s eye to the notion of flavorful cooking.
The results were absolutely incredible! The kids were so excited and student engagement was at its highest. I am so very proud of the work students completed for Genius Hour. Hopefully during the summer, students will continue to explore their project and learn even more new skills.  
Check out our slideshow of Genius Hour projects.

                          Click to play this Smilebox slideshow
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You may read more about the Genius Hour Project in Room 102 by clicking here.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

2013 Spelling Bee

What's the Buzzzzzzz all about? 
The spelling bee in Room 102!
All students in Room 102 participated in our classroom spelling bee. Students were tested on the district’s 100 word list. These 100 spelling words were all given on test day. Three students received a 100% and earned a spelling medal.
Congratulations to the 2013 winners . . .



Congratulations as well to all the other participants. The focus of the spelling bee was to engage students in spelling with the hope that it would encourage spelling success.
Room 102 is buzzzzzing with exceptional s-p-e-l-l-e-r-s!

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Wednesday, May 8, 2013

A Grape Bunch of Superheroes

School Lunch Superhero Day is May 8 
School Nutrition Employee Week is May 6-10

This week students have the opportunity to thank dietary and food service staff at Norfolk Middle School. May 6 through May 10 is Food Service Week. Without a doubt, students enjoy their cafeteria time. Working in groups, students created chef posters and had some fun with food puns.

Our Norfolk Middle School dietary staff provide more than "grate" meals, they're all about enjoying interaction with students and school staff.   
NMS nutrition employees are superheroes!
Click through the slideshow and enjoy the "pun."

Thanks, Jennifer, at TpT for the superhero template!

Monday, May 6, 2013

Paper Blogs

Social software, such as a blog, is all about sharing and exchanging ideas to build new ideas and new knowledge. Room 102 is learning about blogging. Very few students read any blogs – except this one, of course ;-) 
We searched the web and read several interesting blogs. We studied the layout and graphics of several award winning student blogs. We brainstormed several ideas for blogging which included  sports, hobbies, daily journal, DIY projects, and current events.

We’ve now completed a Blogging Workshop Unit. Students learned to blog with paper blogs. What? Paper? That's right! It’s a clever way to introduce fifth graders to the idea of blogging and commenting. Students were given poster boards and instructed to create, decorate, and personalize their blogs. This represents customizing the appearance of blogs on hosting sites. Next, they wrote a post to share with classmates. 
Students were then allowed to post comments on blogs. The comments were written on sticky notes and attached to individual blogs. They practiced writing purposeful comments. Students were anxious to read the comments and get feedback from peers.  
This Blogging Workshop was a fun way to introduce the idea of blogging to a room full of middle school students.
The intent now is to get students blogging on the web. We are using the multimedia blog found on our school fusion page. It is a safe and secure blog host. Students are assigned code names. The plan is generating a great deal of excitement among student writers. Click the icon to follow Room 102's student bloggers. 

Thank you Leonard Low and Karen McMillan for sharing this lesson on paper blogs.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

May Day Snow

Neither rain nor snow nor gloom will stop May Basket Day! 
May Day is one of my favorite days. I shared with students the idea of showering neighbors with unexpected sweetness. After reading the history and traditions of May Day in literature class, students created May baskets. Hopefully students are ringing doorbells after class today. They liked the idea of "ding and dash" and the snow was not going to stop their fun.
May Basket Treats  - - Cookies and Candy.

Happy May Day from Room 102!