Friday, 31 January 2014

Reflecting on our Living Musuem

Yesterday, before being dismissed, each student made a comment about the Living Museum. Here's what we thought:

-I really liked it but it’s kind of a bit loud, so I couldn’t really hear people that were talking -Aaron
-I didn’t get to see much of it because I was doing other things, but I’m guessing that it was a really good time -Camden
-I really liked it, I agree with AAron that it was a bit too loud and I think that next time, we should have a bit more time making groups and having more time for research -Clara
-It was fun. On a bun. Sharing.-Ellis
-I agree with Aaron, it was really fun, but when we Skyped with Miss Robin’s class it was a bit loud -Erika
-I really liked doing the Living Museum this year and I didn’t find it was insanely loud for four classes. I think it was a really great experience for our audience as well. -Fiona
-I think it was really fun and a bit too loud, but it’s funny because you always think you hate the Living Museum until the day of - Hannah
-Next year, there is a bit of room for improvement - maybe two classes like last year, because it was way loud and too overcrowded. -Hunty
-I thought it was fun, but I thought we had too many classes, that’s why it was so loud, we should go back to two classes-Jack
-I like sharing my information with other people even thought it was very tiring and stressful -Johnny
-I thought it was fun, but maybe next time we should share with the teachers that if you press a button you should stay -Kaleigh
-I think next year, I’d really like to see things and I only got to see one station in my short break - I learned something from the audience and it was really fun but I really lost focus - Laryssa
-I think it was really fun, it was a little overcrowded, but I didn’t think it was that bad. More time to research and rehearse -Madi
-having the grade 6s made it too crowded -Mel
-I thought it was fun on a bun and it was pretty loud-Miguel
-I honestly was really impressed with everybody’s presentations - just looking around, i could see that everyone was engaged in their work. Four classes was a bit much-Milie
-All I can say is that I thought it turned out really well and we should have less classes  -Molly
-I think that we should have once you’re in grade 5/6, you do the Living Museum, not grade 4s -Nat
-I agree with Nat. I think it was a little too loud, it was super super super fun presenting it -Nils
-I think there should only be a few classes -OC
-When I’m 20 and I look back on this, this’ll be one the things that I remember. I wish I could do it again,but I’m in grade 6. Next time, a bit more time for research. The dancing of another group distracted people at my station, maybe separate those groups -Pat
-It was a very good learning experience, and next time I’d have more classes in at a time, because I was not doing my presentation -Skye
-I thought it was really fun and I think that the audience enjoyed it. Next time, we should do it a bit later in the year, it would be a fun way to end the year. I think we should stick with two classes. -Vickie
-I think it was fun and it was cool that we got to share the thing that we wanted to share with other people-Yaro
-I thought it was really fun and I enjoyed it and I liked taking breaks to see other groups. MAybe make more attractive buttons and cool noises or the title -Thomas
-It was very loud. Molly was stressed out last night but she shouldn’t be, because she was over prepared -Barrie

-I also think it was very loud and it was hard to hear people at times even if they were projecting. I was impressed with the difference even from yesterday and I think everyone worked really hard. -Laura

What did you think? Please feel free to let us know in the comments below!

Sunday, 26 January 2014

Reflecting on Your Skype Calls with Los Altos

Hi boys and girls,

  At some point today, during your day with Catherine, take 5-10 minutes to fill out this form to let me know how your call with our friends in Los Altos went: THE FORM.

  I look forward to reading your results!

UPDATE: Kaleigh let me know that many of you were having trouble with the form. When I created it, I set it up so that you had to be logged into your Cloud account to access the form. Now, I've opened it up, so you don't need to log in. This will be a lot easier when we get our Chromebooks - you'll all be logged in every day!

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Expectations for Living Museum Presentation

Hello boys and girls,

Now that  you're done your Proposal, Elevator Pitch, collecting your research and you've summarized your Big Idea in a Text Bust, it's time to get your Living Museum Exhibit ready! This is the big, exciting, flashy sharing part of your project. The part that everyone will visit and remember!

Here are some things to keep in mind for your Exhibit:
-you need to think about your target audience
-you need to have an interesting, informative presentation that proves your Big Idea(s)
-you need to have interactive elements for your audience to participate in
-you need to have a visual element to your presentation
-you need to have an oral element to your presentation
-no prizes/treats for visitors (that means, you can't give out candies, snacks or treats)

Here's what your teachers will be looking for in each of these areas when they come and visit your exhibit on January 30th:

Interactive Element - Success Criteria
-all members of the presenting group take part in the presentation
-the audience is welcomed
-the audience can look at or hold something
-the audience has an opportunity to participate - by asking questions, playing a role, etc...

Visual Element - Success Criteria
-there is at least one element at your exhibit for the audience to look at (this may be a poster, a display, etc..)
-there are pictures and words
-a map of the places you are talking about is included
-the visual element is clearly labelled with your exhibit's title
-clearly labelled with your main Big Ideas (1-3 of them)
-there is additional information that the audience can read after you've completed your oral presentation
-your sources are listed

Oral Element - Success Criteria
-each member of your group has a character (someone from your time period, a museum docent or tour guide, etc...) and speaks from a first person perspective
-each character has a name and a backstory
-you have written a script of what each presenter will say when an audience member touches your button to activate the exhibit
-you are familiar with your script (it doesn't have to be memorized, but you should look at your audience while presenting)
-your oral presentation is 1-5 minutes in length
-contains good, juicy information that ties back to your Big Idea(s)
-you speak loudly, clearly and in a way that your target audience will understand
-you give your audience a chance to ask questions and you have answers ready because of your awesome research work
-you can stay totally still and in character until the button is pressed

Some groups that have all this ready before Friday can visit Ray and Owen/Andrew's classes to do a sample Fish Bowl for them. All groups will be doing Fish Bowls in our class early next week to make sure we're totally ready!

Is there anything that I missed here? Do you have any questions or comments? Feel free to leave them in the comment area below!

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Clara Was Inspired by Magritte

After watching our Rene Magritte slideshow, Clara was inspired. So inspired that she wrote one of her typically creepy and brilliant poems. Check it out. 

Thursday, 16 January 2014

Henry The Horseshoe Crab! - by Pat

Hector (from Gillian's class) brought In a dead Horseshoe Crab in and showed us it in reading buddies. Here's a couple facts about Horseshoe Crabs: They can live up to 40 years, they have compound eyes so they can see three feet above them, adult females are bigger than the males, and it's tail looks like a weapon, but it's not! It's used as a rutter to navigate through the sand and it can turn over when it's on  it's back, but if it can't, it'll die!

By Pat

The Surrealist Art of Rene Magritte

Today, we started to look at the art of Rene Magritte to inspire our upcoming art project. Each painting gave us A LOT to talk about. In fact, we totally ran out of time and only got about a third of the way through the art. We'll finish the slideshow in class, but if you want to take a look at home, and leave comments, please do.

After watching the slideshow, students were heading to meet their Reading Buddies, but Clara grabbed paper first saying, "I have a poem." Thanks for the inspiration, you wacky genius, Magritte!

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

WayBack Machine - Remember What You Want to Teach the World?

Welcome to the WayBack Machine. Today, we're going WAY back to the middle of September. Room 209 was hard at work building a great community that we are all now enjoying. One of the ways we built such a strong, supportive classroom community was through A LOT of discussion. One of our favourite kid heroes, Kid President inspired us once again this year.

After watching his 2013 Pep Talk for Teachers and Students, we answered the question "What do you want to teach the world?". Each student answered on the "What Stuck With You Today" board.

As always, I'm blown away by these awesome minds!

Enjoy your trip in the WayBack Machine to read what we were thinking about in September, 2013.

What do you want to teach the world?
Inspired by Kid President

-I want to teach the world how to be kind, generous and awesome!
-I want to teach the world is how hurting and killing an ocean or land animal is very wrong because some of these amazing creatures are so important and we need them to survive so without these amazing and precious animals, we will not exist!
-I want to teach the world music because music can help people to sometimes cope with stress and sometimes I need to work on that.
-I want to teach the world how much the environment does for us and I think it is really important that we help the environments so it can help us survive. Be grateful!
-I want to teach the world to cook.
-I want to teach the world that the world is fine how it is, it just needs eco-friendly stuff to save the world.
-I want to teach the world that a little perseverance will go far. It wasn’t long ago I was crying in the back cloak room because I thought I could not read. But that could not stop me. I persisted so much and tried so hard that now I can read to the best of my abilities.
-I want to teach the world to believe, because if you believe, you can do anything!
-I want to teach the world that you can feel good in your own skin, you can feel good about how you look, how you feel and even what you like. It’s OK if you don’t like the “popular music” or if you have different clothes, it’s how you feel that matters.
-I want to teach the world to ADD EGGS because I think it’s important everywhere, even out of the classroom.
-I want to teach the world that it’s OK to like what you like. Some people want to hide what they like if their friends don’t like it.
-I want to teach the world to be a better place. I think the world could be a better place if people started using ADD EGGS. I think if the world got more supportive (S in ADD EGGS), the world would be a much better place.
-I want to teach the world to respect the world, respect yourself, respect each other and respect this place.
-I want to teach the world about self-expression. You can express yourself in something like music, sports or writing. I’m thinking about starting a blog about cool people who self-express.
-I think that our class is teaching the world to be accountable, enthusiastic, grateful and supportive. We are also teaching the world that school can be fun.
-I’m trying to teach the world about women’s rights. I’ve already made a blog about it. And I think it’s a “hidden” topic. Girls are forced to marry men in different countries. It’s not a safe environment to talk about what’s really happening. I’d like to open the door of discussion about women’s rights.
-To me, we are not singlehandedly teaching. We are all working to give the world it’s happiness. We are all teaching and we all learn from each other.
-I want to teach the world not to litter and waste water.

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Looking Forward to Working with Miss Robin's Class

We have started to work with Miss Robin and her grade 5 class in Los Altos, California to share about our similar Social Studies projects.

Her students blogged about our first Skype chat. They explained about our Mystery Skype call. They were really interested in the degus. They learned about how much we love to eat Beaver Tails.

It will be great to Skype more with them in small groups and to share our ideas!

Check out their class blog posts and leave a response so that they know we were there.

Our first meetings will be starting next week.

Huge News!

As always, we've been keeping very busy in Room 209. So busy, in fact, that this poor little blog has been rather neglected as of late. Not for long, however. This blog is about to get a whole lot more contributors, maybe before next month!

As you know, we applied for a grant from EdTechTeam after I attended the Google Apps for Education Summit in Montreal. Students worked incredibly hard, even with me out of the school, to complete an excellent application. We've been waiting, crossing fingers, toes and eyes, hoping to get news. Every day, several sentences begin with, "If we get ChromeBooks, we can...".

This evening I got wonderful news. Room 209's grant was accepted and ChromeBooks will be on their way shortly! Students and parents got the news minutes after I did and my inbox promptly filled with enthusiastic replies:
Aaron is "over the moon", as his mom says;
many students, like Millie and Mel wrote obviously enthusiastic replies in all caps;
Hannah was concerned with details and made sure that EdTechTeam knew about our new student, Philip, she also thinks we should have more cake (after two days in a row already!);
Skye's mom filled an email with more than 10 exclamation marks for only two sentences of text;
Vickie used her mom's email to say that she was speechless (for once!);
Fiona is floored that out of potentially hundreds of applications, we won;
Erika wrote a 5-line exclamation to show her excitement;
Hunter's email was completely incoherent, from excitement, I hope;
I don't think Miguel could believe the news, as he confirmed with a quick, "So, we got ChomeBooks?"reply;
Apparently both Molly and Clara nearly made their mothers deaf with their happy screams;
Gabby told her mom she couldn't believe it.
I can't really believe it either. We thought we'd be getting the news on Thursday, and after not hearing for so long after when we thought the "official" announcement was, we figured we hadn't gotten the grant.

I've never seen so many "OMG"s in one night. I feel the same way, Rainbow Eggheads. I feel the same way.

We have SO much to talk about and so many lists of Success Criteria to come up with! We have lots of work to do together before we even get the ChromeBooks (which I think will be very soon!).

Something else that I've been thinking about tonight is how we can share with others. I know that we'll be blogging and tweeting about our adventures with the ChromeBooks, but we also need to think about how to share our learning with other students in our school and be role models for the use of technology. After all, this grant is designed for for classes doing "pilot projects". How can we share our learning with our Buddies and our friends who help make up "Room 208", the other grade 5/6s in Room 207? I look forward to coming up with all kinds of generous, creative, thoughtful ideas with you!

I can't wait to see your smiling faces tomorrow!

Thursday, 9 January 2014

Today in the Lab - Geoguessr!

Hello boys and girls,

 Welcome to your first computer lab period of 2014!

  Today in the lab, you will be working independently on Geoguessr. Take your time like we did in class to examine your location and make your best guess.

  To show me that you are using your geographic skills effectively, write a comment on this post telling me a location that you guessed and what clues helped you to make that guess.

  After you have finished one round of Geoguessr (5 locations), visit IXL and work on Data Management and Graphing activities.

  Have fun!