Sunday, December 9, 2012

Fairy Tale Trial

Last week, our sixth graders presented a case, Goldilocks Vs The Three Bears, to their entire grade, who also helped serve as their jury.  Students prepared and researched all the necessary elements of a trial including legal arguments, opening and closing statements, and questions for the witnesses. During preparation for their trial they also got a surprise visit from our county's justice court judge. During this visit, Judge Curry shared his duties as a judge and assisted students with their case.

Our Rocketeers did a fabulous job of researching and getting into character for their trial. Have a look at some clips from our trial below.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Sharing Hurricane Experiences

This week our 5th Grade Rocketeers had a fun Mystery Skype call with Mrs. Rockwood's 4th grade class in Massachusetts. Our friends asked some very good questions to try to narrow down our location. After they guessed where we were, we found out that we had more in common than we expected. Just recently, our friends experienced Hurricane Sandy in their home state, and our Rocketeers wanted to take this opportunity to ask some questions about their experiences and offer support. We also shared our own experiences during Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Isaac. We hope that things go back to normal soon for our new friends!


Friday, October 26, 2012

Skype Call with Alaska

This week our 4th graders had the unique opportunity to share their poems with a class in Alaska. Our friends started by sharing some stories they created for the 100 Word Challenge and introduced some interesting stories to us through book talks. Our rocketeers then shared some Animal Acrostic Poems, that were based on their research on unusual animals. We shared some of our Panamanian Molas we created on different animals as well.

The last few minutes of our call were dedicated to a Question and Answer session to learn more about where we live. We learned that it gets very cold in Alaska. In fact, we even got to see some snow in our friends' school! We also learned that there is a three hour difference between Mississippi and Alaska.
Both classes did an excellent job as audience members and presenters! We hope to continue sharing projects with our new friends. Check out our video below for clips from our call.

Having Fun with Podcasts

Have a look at some of our first podcasts we created for the novel, Holes. Our students chose a favorite character to interview for their book talk show. They enjoyed selecting a theme song for their show, background sounds, and designing a cover for their podcast. We hope you enjoy them as much as our rocketeers did creating them!

Interview with the warden. 
By: Kameron, Asma, and Clover 

Interview with Zero
By: Alex and Baylee 

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Summer Learning Expo

Last week, our students participated in the First District-Wide Annual Summer Learning Expo.  Before taking off for the summer, students selected a project of their choice to continue learning during their summer break. These projects promoted engagement, literacy, and exploration. Our students worked very hard and enjoyed sharing what they have learned from their experiences at the event with family, friends, and community members. Have a look at this outstanding exhibit of student learning below!

A Sweet Surprise

Our TEA Timers were very pleased to receive a very special package from our friends in Mrs. Musone's class. We collaborated with our friends last year through various projects in our gifted class and TEA Time. When we opened the package we discovered even smaller packages with riddles. We found a variety of treats that originated in York, Pennsylvania (our friends' hometown), which included York Peppermint candies, Twizzlers, and animal crackers. Our next step was to estimate and divide the contents of each package before enjoying them. What a fun (and not to mention tasty) way to put our math skills to use!

Each package had a riddle for us to solve. 

Thanks, friends! 

Friday, June 22, 2012

Our Year in Skype

What an amazing journey we have had with Skype this past school year! Have a look at some clips of the calls we had throughout the year. Feel free to leave us a comment if you would like to connect with us, we are always looking to make new friends.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

A Special Thanks from our Friends!

Before taking off for the summer, our Rocketeers wanted to send a special surprise to our Skype and blogging buddies. This year we have connected with several classes as part of our Novel Study Edmodo Groups, Skype Projects, TEA Time, and class blog. We enjoyed learning alongside our friends, who made it very fun!

Here are their responses to our surprise. . .  we warn you that the smiles in these images are very contagious! 

We were also thrilled to read Mrs. Yollis' Thank You class post. Below are some excerpts from their post. To read the full post, click here.

We wish our friends a happy summer and look forward to reconnecting in the Fall. 

Saturday, May 19, 2012

We are Authors!

This semester our 3rd graders have been busy writing their own stories and poetry. Students worked in pairs and individually to express an interesting story or inspiring poetry. They also added to their writing by including some original artwork. Have a look at their final products below.

As a culminating activity, we had a Skype chat with our new friends in Ms. Anderson's class in Minnesota. They showed us a poetry skit they had made about their interpretation of the poem,"I Found a Four-Leaf Clover" by Jack Prelutsky. Have a look at our Rocketeers sharing their work below. 

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Novel Trailers

As a culminating project, our 6th grade Rocketeers created some iMovie Trailers for the novel, The Giver. Students had two options for their project: 1) Create a trailer to summarize the novel or, 2) Create a sequel to the novel. Our Rocketeers put their creativity skills to the test and opted for the sequel. Check out our final products below!

Group 1: Alissa & Christian 

Group 2: Michael & Alexandria 

Group 3: Josiah, Zoey & Zacch 

Which trailer was your favorite? Which one would you (if given the chance) watch and why? 
We would love to hear your comments! 

Acknowledgements: We would like to thank Mr. Robert Scruggs, our district instructional technology specialist, for teaching us iMovie and providing support and feedback throughout our project. We had a blast, Mr. Scruggs! 

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Culture Day 2012

Last week our school hosted its Second Annual Culture Day.  Each year we host this event to explore and celebrate diversity in our school and around the world.  The event included guest speaker presentations by international students along with two variety shows with student-led performances and presentations.  So it comes to no surprise that our 4th and 6th grade Rocketeers have been busy as bees this semester! They took on the task of preparing introductions for our performances, serving as helpers (who took pictures and escorted speakers to their designated classrooms) during the classroom presentations, and even preparing a performance of their own! Check out clips of our show below.

Overall, our Rocketeers did an amazing job of multitasking. They got the chance to see the ins and outs of preparing and planning for a school-wide event. The event and day was a huge success!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Global Mystery Skype Challenge

Last week our 5th graders had their very first Global Mystery Skype Challenge. The objective of the call was to ask yes/no questions about location (i.e. directions, latitude, longitude, Equator, etc.) to determine where our partner class is. If the class answered yes to one of our questions, we were able to ask a follow- up question. But if they answered no, then our turn was up and we had to answer their questions. Although the rules are simple, the task itself was a lot more difficult than we expected!
To help us narrow down our partner class' location, we had assigned Skype jobs throughout the call. Here are some examples of our jobs:

1. Greeters & Inquirers- These students were responsible for greeting our class and asking our questions.
2. Map Keepers- These students had atlases and Google Maps available to narrow down the location based on clues.
3. Question Keepers- These students kept careful track of the questions asked and reported these to the Inquirers.
4. Logical Reasoners- These students were responsible for listening to the clues given and putting the pieces together to determine the exact location. They worked with the Question Keepers to construct questions.
5. Runners- These students were messengers who shared clues, questions, or tips between the Map Keepers and the Logical Reasoners. They also were responsible for giving the Inquirers our class' questions.
One of our Map Keepers hard at work. 

We worked as a team! 
Overall, this was perhaps one of the toughest Skype calls we ever had! We were thrilled when we guessed that our partner class was in Ontario, Canada! However, we got stuck trying to determine the exact city they were in. Although we were in the correct area, we figured out that we were too far south. Our friends did an awesome job of guessing where we were in the end. Since this call took longer than expected, we only got a few minutes to ask questions about ourselves. We hope that we can reconnect with our friends in Canada and thank them for taking the challenge with us!

Chatting with our new friends! 

Freckle Juice, Recipes, and More!

This semester our 2nd graders have been busy reading the novel, Freckle Juice by Judy Blume. We have also been working on some fun projects along the way. Have a look at some ways we have brought our story to life.

1. Recipe Fun 
In the story, the main character Andrew comes across a strange recipe that he thinks will give him what he really wants: Freckles! After making our own silly recipes we also made some yummy recipes of our own in class. Some our recipes included peanut butter squares, chocolate milk, ants on a log, and apples with caramel.  Have a look at us preparing our tasty creations below.

We are busy making our apples with caramel! 

Our apples look yummy! 

2. Life Size Character Posters
We thought the characters in Freckle Juice were hilarious! And since we just couldn't get enough of them, we had to create some posters to bring them to life! For this project, we explored different character traits such as thoughts, feelings, actions, dialogue, and physical descriptions. But the challenge was to justify and find examples of these traits in our novel. Have a look at our masterpieces!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Spanish Fun!

Recently we came across a post written by Mrs. Yollis' class in Los Angeles, California. They talked about a story they read that included Spanish words. This was a perfect opportunity to share our learning with them. Check out this song about the weather that we learned in our Spanish class with our teacher, Señora Sullivan.

El Tiempo

Hace buen tiempo, hace calor, hace fresco, hace sol
Hace mal tiempo, hace frio, esta nublado, hace viento, esta nevando,
esta lloviendo, hay tormenta, hay graniza

El Tiempo
Buen Tiempo
Mal Tiempo

La temperatura es muy caliente, hace muy buen tiempo.
La temperatura es muy fria hace muy mal tiempo
Hace sol y hace calor, hace muy buen tiemop
Hace frio y hace viento, hace muy mal tiempo

Buen Tiempo
Mal Tiempo
Buen Tiempo
Mal Tiempo

Que tiempo hace hoy?
Hace_______________ Hace_________________
Esta ________________ Esta________________

The Weather

There is good weather, It's hot, It's cool, Its sunny.
There is bad Weather, It's cold, cloudy, windy, snowing, raining,
storming, hailing.

The Weather.
Good Weather.
Bad Weather.

The temperature is hot, its good weather.
The temperature is cold, its bad weather.
The temperature is hot, its good weather.
The temperature is cold and its windy, it's bad weather.

Good Weather
Bad Weather
Good Weather
Bad Weather

What is the weather today?

Friday, March 23, 2012

Skyping with Mrs. V!

Today our 2nd grade Rocketeers had a very special call with their 1st grade teacher, Mrs. Velichkovski. She is now living and teaching in Belgrade, Serbia at an international school. We talked about how much we miss her and asked her questions about her school in Serbia. Here is what we learned from our call:
  • Serbia is in Europe. 
  • The time in Serbia is 6 hours ahead of us. When we talked to her, it was morning here and afternoon there. 
  • They have a lot of snow. Mrs. V. told us that they had several snow storms this winter. It was also one of the coldest winters in a long time. 
  • Their school was a house, but now they turned it into a school!  
  • They have about 35 students in the whole school. Each class has about 5 or 6 students. Their whole school is about the size of one of our classes at our school! 
  • Their school has students from different countries. They learn English at school and speak different languages at home.  
We had a great time meeting Mrs. Velichkovski's students and talking to her. We miss her very much! Here are some questions that we didn't get a chance to ask. Would you and your students please reply to us? We would love to learn more about your school, students, and life in Serbia.
  1. I saw flowers and other things on the wall. Did you let your students draw those? (Max) 
  2. How many rooms do you have in your school? (Lisa) 
  3. How big is your classroom? (Micah)
  4. How did you learn about that school? (Jazlyn)
  5. Do you have famous artists in Serbia? (Alyssa)
  6. Do your students have relatives in other countries? (Alyssa)
  7. What are your students' families like? (Alyssa) 
  8. What are your students' favorite foods? (Lisa)
  9. What kind of games do your students like to play? (Lisa)
  10. Do you have a Spring Planting Day at your school? (Lisa)
  11. What kind of work do you do in your class? (Trey)
  12. When are you coming back to visit? (Trey) 

Have a look at some clips from our call below.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Virtual Career Interview with Mr. Christian Poon

This semester our 5th grade Rocketeers have been exploring and researching future career options. When we  discovered that one of our Rocketeers had a relative who is currently working in South Korea, we decided to compile some interview questions for him to learn more about his career. We hope you enjoy our interview with Mr. Christian Poon!

Here is what we learned from our interview: 
  • He grew up in Canada but his parents are from China. 
  • He studied in Niagra University in New York. 
  • He has a master's degree, which allows him to teach in most states in the United States and several provinces in Canada. 
  • He teaches English to teachers in South Korea.
  • He loves working with people. 
  • He teaches about 2-3 classes a day and gets new students each month. 
  • He realized he spoke too fast when he first started teaching English. 
  • He likes to be creative in his teaching and keep things interesting. 
We would like to thank Mr. Poon for taking the time to answer our questions. We not only learned about the ins and outs of his job but also took away some great advice about careers. A big kudos also goes out to Janiya, Jerykah, and Morgan for writing this post! They did a wonderful job in summarizing the key points of our interview.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Estimation Station Video

Here is a video our TEA Timers made for Mrs. Musone's class. They wanted to estimate the items in our picture, so we decided to provide them with a little more information. We learned that the difference between a guess and an estimate is that in order to make an estimate, you need some information. Thanks for participating, Mrs. Musone's class! We hope you enjoy our video like we enjoyed yours.

Would you like to make estimations, too? Leave us a comment to tell us how close your estimates were! 

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Estimator's Competition

This week our TEA Timers have been practicing estimating sums of two and three digit numbers. We came across the PBS game, Glowla's Estimation Contraption, to put our estimating skills to the test. In this game, you are given 60 seconds to estimate the sum of several numbers. The more correct estimates you make, the higher you move up in the levels. We found out that rounding helps us make better estimates. The difficult part is trying to beat the clock!

We are challenging another 3rd grade class to estimate with us via Skype. Each class will need to create their own equations (about 3-4) beforehand and have the estimates of their sums ready. The other class, will have 60 seconds to provide an estimate of the sum. Points will be awarded on how close each class was to the estimate.

Are you up for the challenge? 

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Estimation Stations

This week our TEA Timers have been practicing estimation. To make this more fun, each student brought a container with different edible items such as cereal, chocolate candy pieces, and cookies. Parents were asked to count the items and write down the total amount in a sealed envelope so that their child could participate in the estimation activity. Students then guessed individually on each item and calculated how close their guess was to the actual amount. The student who guessed the amount (or who was closest) received the items as a prize to share with the rest of the class. Needless to say, this activity has been a hit in our class!

We took the concept further this week and invited classes to join in our estimation stations via Skype. This time, we had both classes estimate on the same containers or containers provided by each class. Points were awarded based on how close (in percentages) each class guessed. The more we guessed, the more intense the game got! We thank our friends in Mr. Wilson's class in Camrose, Canada and Mr. Lester's class in Boone, Iowa for giving us some tough competition.

Throughout this project, we were unable to schedule a call with other classes due to time zone differences. To alleviate this problem, we invited our friends to share a video of their estimation stations with us. We were thrilled to watch this video that Ms. Musone's class in York, Pennsylvania made for us. Check it out to put your estimation skills to the test!

Would you like to share a video or picture of an estimation station with us? Leave us a comment with your contact information (email or Twitter handle).