Saturday, February 16, 2013

Reading Rumpus

On March 1st we are hosting a Reading Rumpus to get our students excited about reading! We would like to connect with other 2nd grade classes to share books written by authors in our home state and possibly arrange a group Skype call with an author who can share his/her favorite book or work. We think this is a great way to connect reading and learning about the USA. For more details or to take part, please leave us a comment below. Let's make this a fun day of reading!

Saturday, February 9, 2013


Learning our states is fun! 
This week our 2nd and 3rd graders received a visit from Shelley Allen from the National Geographic Alliance. Shelley brought along her giant map and her very special friend, MIMAL. We got to learn who MIMAL was along with a few other of his friends. His story taught us how to remember all the states in our country along with other facts such as cardinal directions and the continents. We had a great time with Shelley and thank her for taking the time to help us learn our states! Have a look at some pictures and clips from our time with MIMAL.

Have you heard of MIMAL? Do you know any songs or rhymes that help you remember your states? Please share your videos or pictures in our comment section. We would love to hear from you! 

Bringing Geography to Life with Mystery Skype

Super Stars greeting our partner class. 
As part of our unit on North America, our Rocketeers have participated in several Mystery Skype Calls this quarter. These kinds of calls involve guessing the location of the classroom we are talking to through a series of yes/no questions. Although the directions are simple enough, the challenge lies in the work that occurs behind the scenes. As our call takes place, so do several Skype Jobs. Here is a quick list:

Question Keepers consulting with Map Keepers. 

  • Super Stars- These two students are responsible for answering the call, greeting our partner class, asking our series of questions, along with answering questions from our partner class. 
  • Question Keepers/Runners- These students are in charge of keeping track of the questions being asked by our class, responses given to our questions, and writing any new questions that our Logical Reasoners or Map Keepers may come up with. 
  • Map Keepers- This group is in charge of marking maps and using atlases based on the clues given. They also assist in creating questions throughout the call.
  • Logical Reasoners- This group is responsible for putting all the pieces together by taking the clues given and either composing new questions or deciding what question to ask next. 
  • Class Tweeter- This student is responsible for composing live tweets while our call is taking place. This student can ask questions and summarize key points of our call. 
  • Reporter- This student is in charge of capturing the call as it happens by summarizing key points, reactions, responses, etc. on a word processor. 
Logical Reasoners picking their brains. 
Our Map Keepers hard at work!

  Have a look at a call with our 3rd graders below.

If your class is interested in trying out a Mystery Skype call with our Rocketeers, please leave us a comment below!