Sunday, November 22, 2015

What's Happening in REACH?

It's been a busy first semester! From digital projects to read alouds, we are working on being more creative, team players, leaders, and more accepting of others. Here's a recap of what we've been up to:

1. Digital Passport: Our 2nd-4th graders have been well into their blended learning course on digital citizenship. We have talked about appropriate times to use technology as well as what is okay and not okay to share online. This month our focus is on cyberbullying and looking at ways we can be upstanders rather than bystanders. We are almost through with our course and those who score an 80 or above on each module/lesson will receive certification in the course!
Learning about cybersafety with Digital Passport!
2. Everfi (Ignition): Our 5th graders are challenging themselves with a higher level course offered through Everfi. This course is similar to the Digital Passport course in that it teaches the basics of cybersafety along with a few extra technical details we don't normally learn about at school. Each student is required to take a pre-check (like a pretest) to see how much they know about the module and then a post-check (like a post-test) to check how much they learned. Although this course was tough at first, we seem to be getting the hang of it and are becoming more knowledgeable on all things related to computers and how we learn and share with them. Those students that score an 80 or above on each module will also receive Everfi Certification for this course!

3.  Read Alouds- To put life skills into practice, we have started our Read Alouds. Students in grades 3-5 have enjoyed starting the novel Wonder, while 2nd graders are getting a kick out of Frindle. Both of these stories give use the opportunity to discuss our feelings and how to cope with different situations as well as explore friendships and what makes us special.

We love taking turns to read Wonder. 

As we read, we brainstorm for our projects. 

Check out our "What Makes Us Special Posters."

Our favorite: Friendship Bands! 

Mystery Location Calls

It's Mystery  Location Call Season! Every year, we like to participate in Mystery Calls through either Skype or Google Hangouts to meet new friends all over the USA. These types of calls also give us the chance to practice geography, group dynamics, communication, and deductive thinking skills.  Here are a few snapshots from our adventures with Mystery Location Calls so far.

Throughout our calls we have added some new jobs and learned a few tricks from our new friends. Here's a recap:

1. Jokester: In a call we made to Canada, we learned about the "Entertainer" job, where our partner class sang songs, did a cool dance, or told a funny joke. We enjoyed this so much, that we added our Jokester job for those moments when we needed more time to respond to our partner class. We usually get our jokes from books but recently found websites to help us on the spot.

2.  Class Signs: As we were waiting for our partner class to respond to our question, they held up this neat sign to show us that they were still working/thinking. We thought this was a creative twist to buying some time!

Check out this sign from Ms. Kappas' class!
3. Rock, Paper, Scissors!:  When we start our calls, we usually ask our partner class if they would like go first or vice versa. Recently, we had one of our classes ask if we wanted to try a round of the classic game, Rocks, Papers, Scissors to see who could go first. Awesome sauce!

4. Our School Tour: As we were saying goodbye, one of our classes asked for some pictures of our call and we decided to show them our school. And a huge kudos to our REACH students who took these pictures!

Overall, we have enjoyed our calls and learned some new additions along the way. If you are a gifted/talented elementary class (grades 3-5) in the US that would like to try a Mystery Location Call with us, please leave your teacher's email in the comments below. Mrs. Deyamport will  make sure to get back to you! You can also follow us on Twitter at: @reachrocketeers 

Are you up for a Mystery Location Call?