Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Around the World with Skype

Each semester our Rocketeers choose a topic of interest to explore. Our curiosity about life around the world was the source of inspiration for our Around the World with Skype Project. Here are some highlights of our calls and the friends we were lucky to meet along the way! 

2nd Grade 
Our 2nd graders had a blast meeting their new friends in Miss Julia’s class at Jules Verne School in Mexico, D.F. and Ms. Jodar’s class at Atenue Instructiu in Barcelona, Spain. Before our calls, we explored images on Google Maps and Google Earth to see what both cities looked like. During our call, our 2nd grade Rocketeers introduced themselves in Spanish and participated in a Q&A session to learn more about life in both countries. 

Here are some of our favorite clips:   

We learned different Catalan phrases from our friends in Spain. They are trilingual and in addition to Catalan, a regional language, they also speak Spanish and English!

Our friends in Mexico sang a folk song for us titled, cielito lindo.

3rd Grade
Our 3rd grade Rocketeers enjoyed their call with their new friends in Mr. Wilson's class from Camrose, Canada. During our introductions, our friends shared something special about Canada and asked us questions about life in Mississippi.

Have a look at these Venn Diagrams we made to compare life in Mississippi and Camrose.

4th Grade
Our 4th grade Rocketeers had fun talking to our amigos in Miss Araceli's class at Jules Verne School in Mexico, D.F.  During the call both classes asked questions about likes and favorites. We were excited to learn that our friends in Mexico were also huge fans of Disney Channel's Shake It Up! and singers like Selena Gomez. We also discovered we liked similar foods like tacos and hamburgers. 

Watch as we dance to la vibora de la mar

We want to give a huge thanks to all the classes who participated in our project. We enjoyed learning and sharing with you all!  

Math Poster Contest: 4 Steps to Solving Problems

During our TEA Time, our students have been going over the four steps to solving word problems. To assist students in this process, we have gone over these steps:

1. Understand
2. Plan
3. Do/Act
4. Check

To make the process more meaningful, our TEA Timers outlined each step with illustrations to help them understand and remember them. Here are our top finalists for our classroom poster contest.

Finalist #1: Yumna 

Finalist #2: Adrienne 

Finalist #3: Cole 

Finalist #4: Taressa 

Alright friends, we need your help! We need you to vote for your favorites for 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th place. Who had a thorough explanation? Who included details and examples in their illustrations and explanations? Who seemed to understand the 4 steps? Please leave your votes in a comment below and don't forget to mention what country or US state you are voting from. Our TEA Timers eagerly await your responses!  

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Talking with Olivia Holt from Kickin' It

Last week our 2nd, 3rd, and 4th grade Rocketeers participated in a very special Skype call with actress Olivia Holt from Disney XD's Kickin' It. Throughout the call, Olivia encouraged us to plan for the future and follow our dreams. She also told us to work hard and reach our goals, even when challenges come our way. We were also delighted to find out that she was raised in our home state of Mississippi! Her message was a positive one and we were thrilled that she took the time out of her very busy schedule to share her experiences with us. Thanks, Olivia! 

Have a look at our call below. 

We were so excited about our call, we even tweeted about it.

And we were even more thrilled when Olivia responded to us!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Virtual Career Skype Tour: Our Talk with Dr. Lora Wilson

As part of our Virtual Skype Tour, our fourth grade Rocketeers had the opportunity to talk to Dr. Lora Wilson. Dr. Wilson is a scientist and post doctoral fellow who works for The University of Colorado’s Health Sciences Center. She does research related to treating and curing pulmonary cancer.

After briefly introducing herself, Dr. Wilson showed us around the lab where she spends most of her days. She explained a typical day at her job and showed us different areas of the lab. We even had the chance to meet and chat with other scientists! 

After the tour, we interviewed Dr. Wilson to learn more about her job and her career path. She gave us some great advice and described her work in the field of science. Here are some clips from our interview. 

We thank Dr. Wilson for taking the time to talk to us. We learned the ins and outs of working in a research lab and respect her work in finding a cure for cancer. 

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Global Read Aloud

This year our 5th grade Rocketeers participated in the Global Read Aloud for a novel studies unit on Tuck Everlasting. This was an excellent opportunity to connect with other classes around the globe who were also reading the same novel. Here are some of the tools that helped us achieve this:

Edmodo- Throughout the Global Read Aloud we used this secure networking site to post the journal prompt in our Tuck Everlasting Group. Our journals revolved around themes for each section in the book and students were able to make personal connections with the novel. Our partner classes in Delaware and South Korea were also part of this group and posed questions and polls that our students responded to. It was nice to see students and teachers responding to each other and Edmodo allowed us to share and reflect in ways we have never imagined.

Skype- This project has also granted us the privilege of meeting our Delaware friends through Skype! Thanks to Mrs. Mims, we were able to arrange a call and participate in Literature Circles virtually. Students from both classes were responsible for sharing their assigned jobs and discussing the novel. Our students put a lot of thought and effort into their Literature Circle jobs and discussion.

Have a look at some clips from our call.

Watch as our Delaware friends guess an illustration for a scene in the book. 

Take a look as our friends answer one of our discussion questions. 

Our experience with the Global Read aloud was such a success that we will continue novel studies units with other grade levels later on in the year. Please let us know if you are interested in participating in our Skype Book Clubs on different novels for grades 2nd through 6th. We hope that you can join us!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Solving More State Symbol Problems

Our TEA Time group needed more practice solving word problems and thanks to Mrs. Yollis' blog, we found Miss Tripp's class blog. They created some neat word problems about their home state of South Carolina. We were so excited that we made these videos to share with Miss Tripp's class. We hope you enjoy them!

South Carolina Flower: Yellow Jessamine

Problem Solvers: Destiney, Centirea, Yumna, and Ruth

South Carolina Bird: Carolina Wren

Problem Solvers: Daggin, Andric, and Madison

South Carolina Amphibian: Spotted Salamander

Problem Solvers: Cole, Taressa, and Taiya

South Carolina Marine Mammal: Bottlenosed Dolphin
Problem Solvers: Elijah, Addam, and Rahmil

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Games & Cubbies

By: Christian and Joey

Our last area is our game center. Here we have a variety of different games that we take out during Mind Play. Our favorite games are Rush Hour, Master Mind, Stare, and Chess. We enjoy playing all these games because they make us think and work our brain.

We also have cubbies with our own names on them. Here we keep papers, binders, and books. We also keep our log-in information for Glogster and Edmodo. It is important for us to stay organized.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Seats & Supplies

By: Zacch & Zavier

At our seats we start our day with Mind Sparklers. These activities teach us to think differently and remind us of brainteasers. We explore our word of the day, solve a hook,  and write in our journals. Sometimes we even do group work. The rest of the day we work on projects for our unit and independent study.

Our seating is very important. Our tables make a U-shape so that we can have class discussions and do group work. We have certain supplies, such as markers, pencils, scissors, and glue, at our reach. We keep our binder and notebook with us throughout the day. And, we keep our class web camera on the teacher’s desk. Here are some photos of our classroom.

Here are our supplies.

We keep our binders with us throughout the day.

We keep our webcam on our teacher's laptop for Skype calls.

Skype Map & Star Chart

By: Josiah & Zoe

Our class has a Skype map. It shows all the countries, states, and cities we have made calls to via Skype. Whenever we have a Skype call, the location goes on the Skype map. That is how the Skype map works. Here is a picture of our map.

Right next to our map it is our good friend, the star chart. If we do our best we earn a star. We can earn up to two stars a day. When we earn ten stars we will have the best party ever. This is how these excellent charts work. Have a look at our star chart below.

Technology Center

By: Alissa & Alex
On our computers, we get on many different educational websites. We frequently get on Glogster, a website where you can make a digital poster and we update our posts on Edmodo, an educational facebook but better. We also check our G-mail for assignments Mrs. D. sends us.

We also like learning games and software. Our favorites include CoolMath, Poptropica, Funbrain, and Alice. We love to write stories and create characters on Alice. Here is an example of one of our stories.

REACH Headquarters

For this next blog series, our 6th grade Rocketeers will be giving you a virtual tour of our headquarters and what happens in our REACH class. Feel free to leave a comment for us! We would also love to "visit" your classroom. Do you have a classroom blog or website that you would like to share with us?

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Mississippi Word Problems

During our TEA Time, we have been going over how to solve word problems. We came across Mrs. Yollis’ class blog that showed us a different kind of word problem. After reading her post, we took the challenge to write our own Mississippi word problems.  We shared our problems on her blog and hope that her students solved them. Do you want to take the challenge and solve our word problems?
Two Bottlenosed Dolphins are 14 feet long. The large dolphin is 2 feet longer than the small one. How long is the small Bottlenosed Dolphin? How long is the large dolphin?

By: Elijah, Addam, and Madison

Two beehives had 53 honeybees. The large bee hive had 11 more than the small one. How many honeybees did the large hive have? How many did the small hive have?

By: Andric, Yumna, and Ruth

Two Magnolia trees had 59 Magnolia flowers. The tall tree had 13 more flowers than the short one. How many flowers did the tall Magnolia tree have? How many flowers did the short Magnolia tree have?

By: Destiney, Taiya, and Cole

There were two Magnolia Trees in Paul B. Johnson Park that had a total of 50 mockingbirds. The tree by the pond had 16 more mockingbirds than the other. How many mockingbirds did the tree by the pond have? How many mockingbirds did the other tree have?

By:  Daggin, Rahmil, Taressa, and Centirea 

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Virtual Career Skype Tour: Our Talk with Kristan Cunningham

This week we kick started our Virtual Skype Career Tour with the very own HGTV star, Kristan Cunningham. Kristan is the former host of Design on a Dime and is now working on a new show that will air on the OWN Network.

Our call started with a brief introduction, where Kristan outlined her educational background and work experiences. For the remainder of the call, we interviewed Kristan about skills and preparation needed to the perks and challenges of her career. Before the call, we researched expectations in the arts field and came up with specific questions for interior designing.

Throughout the call, we had different Skype jobs. The three main jobs were super stars, question keepers, and blog writers. The super stars were in charge of answering the call as well as greeting and interviewing our guest. The question keepers kept track of the questions being asked and came up with any questions that may have come up during the call. The blog writers were responsible for taking notes of key points that could be mentioned in this blog post.

Here are some things that we learned about Kristan Cunningham:
  • She always wanted to be an interior designer. She has subscribed to design magazines since she was 11.
  • She has worked in television for 10 years.
  • She now lives in Los Angeles, California with her husband and two dogs; Beans and Floyd.
  • She has helped with Habitat for Humanity.
  • She likes her career because she enjoys helping people and making a difference in their lives.
  • She gets her inspiration from all kinds of things and people around her.
  • She prefers magazines to blogs for finding inspiration for her designs.
Here is what we learned about interior design:
  • There is a difference between being a decorator and an interior designer. You need to go to school to become an interior designer.
  • It is important to have a passion in this field.
  • Math is really important in this field.
  • There is no typical day in the life of an interior designer, especially if you’re a star like Kristan is!

Here are some videos of our interview:

We were even featured on the local news!