Genius Hour s a movement that allows students to explore their own passions and encourages creativity in the classroom. It provides students a choice in what they learn during a set period of time during school. To kick off Genius Hour, we had Shark Tank Day. Students planned their Genius Hour projects. Then, they wrote a persuasive speech to explain why their project is a great Genius Hour project. We even played the Shark Tank theme song as the students walked up to the stage. The shark (aka Mr. Vesco) asked questions after each speech. I am happy to say that all Genius Hour projects were approved! Scroll through the photos to see what everyone will doing during Genius Hour.
Our third Mystery Skype took us to Cincinnati, Ohio. We connected with Mrs. Murphy's Third Grade Minions. They taught us a lot about their city and state. Mystery Skype is a great way to connect our classroom with the world!
Our second Mystery Skype of the school year took us to Tustin, California. We learned that they are about 10 miles from Disneyland! It was also just their second day of school!
For the past two weeks, the students have been learning about and creating poetry. Students wrote and revised the poems using traditional paper and pencil. Next, the students typed the poetry onto slides using the Keynote app on the iPads. From there, students saved pictures of the completed slides onto their Photo Album. The students then turned the pictures into movies using the iMovie app on the iPad.
To share the poetry, students created some augmented reality using an app called Aurasma. Students colored a coloring sheet and embedded their poetry video on it. When you scan the sheet, the poetry video magically appears! This was such a fun project! The next time you are at the school, come to our classroom and the students will gladly show you their poetry in a high tech way!
This year our class will be learning and exploring coding and programming with code.org. This will be a great and fun way to introduce students to an increasingly expanding career field. Many of the students love playing video games and creating on the computer. Wouldn't it be cool if students could create their own games and programs! Maybe they could get a job in the computer programming industry? Maybe we have the next Steve Jobs in our class right now! To learn more about code.org, watch the video. To see some of the activities we are doing in class, check out the photos.
Our yoga mats have arrived! I was able to get 20 yoga mats for our students to use through Donors Choose. Students will use the mats to give them a soft space as they work around the room. We will also do some yoga using Cosmic Kids Yoga. Thank you to all of the donors for your generosity!
On the first day of school, the students created some light-up name tags. The students used LED lights, watch batteries, and some electric tape. What a fun way to start the school year!
This idea came from Podstock15 in Wichita, Kansas. Paul Shircliff hosted a session about wearable technology that was so cool! I'm excited to see what else we create this year!
Our 40 Mystery Skype took us to Cedar Park, Texas. This Mystery Skype was really special because we connected with my nephew's class. We shared lots of facts about Kansas with the class!
Mystery Skype #39 took our 4th grade class to Faith, North Carolina! We connected with about 80 students! It was another fun time!
Mystery Skype #38 took us to Kellogg, Idaho! We were glad to share our knowledge about Kansas with Ms. Colburn's 6th Grade Class!
Our 37th Mystery Skype connected us with students from Las Vegas, Nevada! We taught them many facts about Kansas. The students from Las Vegas were very interested in our weather here in Kansas, including tornados.
Mystery Skype #36 took us to West Linn, Oregon, a suburb of Portland. We learned that many of the students were fans of the Oregon Ducks and the Oregon State Beavers. It was great to connect with the Pacific Northwest!
On March 4, the fourth grade students at Frank Layden Elementary participated in World Read Aloud Day. Author, Erin Soderberg, read to the students from her book series, The Quirks. Ms. Soderberg answered student questions and shared what it is like to be an author. What a fun morning!
In Social Studies, we are studying the West Region of the United States. In our textbook, we read about Yellowstone National Park. We wanted to explore this topic in more detail, so the students and I took a virtual field trip to Yellowstone National Park via Skype. A park ranger spoke with us about the many geysers and hot springs that can be seen at the park. She shared information about the wildlife that make Yellowstone their home. She took us outside so we could see the snowy mountains. It was a great experience for everyone!
Our thirty fifth mystery Skype took us to Mount Pleasant, South Carolina to connect with Elizabeth Dover and her amazing third graders at Charles Pinckney Elementary! We learned that the state nickname is the Palmetto State. This was one of the largest school we have Skyped with. They have over 1300 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders in their school! Wow!!!
Our 34th Mystery Skype of the year took us the Pacific Northwest. We connected with a 6th grade class in Seattle, Washington. We learned that many corporations, including Microsoft and Starbucks, make their home in Seattle.
Mystery Skype #33 took us close to the Windy City. We connected with Mr. Hagedorn's students in Lockport, Illinois! Lockport is pretty close to Chicago.
Our 32nd Mystery Skype took us to East Helena, Montana. We connected with an amazing group of students. Did you know Montana is called Big Sky Country?
Our 31st Mystery Skype took us to The Last Frontier! We met with students from Nikolaevski, Alaska. This was one of the smallest schools we have connected with. They only had two 4th graders in the school and 66 total students from Kindergarten through 12th Grade.
Our 30th Mystery Skype took us to our neighbors to the east, Missouri! We connected with a classroom in St. Louis, Missouri. They suggested I try some toasted ravioli the next time I visited St. Louis. I followed their advice this weekend!
We had the pleasure of connecting with a first grade and a fourth grade class in New Orleans, Louisiana. They told us about Mardi Gras and are even sending us a King Cake to celebrate with! It was so fun!
Our 28th Mystery Skype took us to Minneapolis, Minnesota to visit Megan Schuchman's class. I don't have pictures for this Mystery Skype because I was out of town and forgot to tell the substitute teacher to take pics. What was really cool is that the class did this one all by themselves. It was completely student led!
Mystery Skype #27 took us to Ramsey, New Jersey! This was our second visit to the Northeast Region this week!
Mystery Skype #26 took us to Vinson Owen School in Winchester, Massachusetts! What a great group of kids!
Mystery Skype #25 was a special one. We connected with Mrs. Lakatta's class at the Friends School in Baltimore, Maryland. After our Skype session, we became blogging buddies. Our students read Mrs. Lakatta's class blogs and left comments. They read our class blogs and also left comments. We are excited to learn more through out the year about our friends in Baltimore!
Be sure to check back frequently for updates!