Friday, December 19, 2014

I'm Bored


Hard at work!
Last week, I went to the TIES Educational Technology Conference. I learned a lot of great new tools and ideas.

One of the things I was most excited to try was the app iMotion. I saw it in the Maker Space (an area used to create) and had a lot of fun. I can envision all sorts of ways kids could use this for projects.

iMotion is a free app for the iPads that allows the user to create stop motion film. This week, I demoed the app to our 4th grade students then let them play and create their own short stop motion film.

I used play-dough to have the students try to make a ball move and change shape. Students collaborated and worked for 10-15 minutes, created a film, shared it with a classmate, and had a lot of fun.

I highly suggest this FREE APP!

Working together.


Learning and Creating!

It doesn't seem like work--when it is this fun!

Taking Pictures,.

I got my husband to make me these stands for the iPads so they could remain stationary while filming

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Art Research Project

Recently, our art teacher Mr. Moore asked me if I could help our 6th graders research artists for a project he was working on. Of course, I jumped on this amazing opportunity. We got our 6th grade teachers to collaborate with the project as well.

First, Mr. Moore previewed all of the artists that the students could choose from in art class. Students chose one artist that they wanted to research and create a piece of art in the style of. Then, I created a page of WEB LINKS that had websites where students could find information and images of the artist's work. Next, the 6th grade teachers took the students to the labs, and let them do a brief research project and explore their artist.

Once the research was complete, Mr. Moore taught the students about what makes a graphically pleasing "infographic" or poster. He taught them about fonts, color, layout, and headings. He also created guidelines for their research poster. (One of my favorite parts of this collaboration project was that Mr. Moore taught me how to match colors from the artwork. Wow! My life has changed for creating things on the computer! Collaboration really is great.)

I then brought the students to the computer lab with their classroom teacher. We used powerpoint to create our posters. I taught the students how to use tools to insert images, crop, create text boxes, find appropriate fonts, and change backgrounds. We reviewed how to site sources for the images they used. In the same time period, Mr. Moore had students create art projects in the style of the artists.

The projects turned out great! They are hanging up near the music rooms. Go check them out!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Pajama Rama

On Thursday Night, we celebrated our first ever Pajama Rama Family Night for 3rd and 4th Graders. The evening was a lot of fun. It was great to see so many families, and fun to see the kids (and their teachers) in their jammies.

We started the evening with a pizza party. After that students and their parents moved to stations with a pajama party theme. Teachers prepped a station for their classroom that involved a fun literacy or math activity. This year, we had:

Minnesota Mapping
Shadow Puppets
Math Dice Games
iPad Everyday Math Games
Go Noodle Fun
Snack Station (measuring)
Bonus Book Check Out in the Library
Estimation Jars
Flashlight Reading

Students moved to each station and did activities with their parents. After our stations were done, we had the students practice a song to perform for their families. Parents played a getting to know each other game. This was an activity to promote community within our school.

As the students came back, we did a raffle for Target gift cards for parent winners. After the song, we gave away Spring Book Fair Gift Certificates for a student raffle.

I can't wait for the K-2 Pajama Rama later this winter! Don't our students look great in their pajamas?!!

Friday, October 31, 2014

Fall Author Visits

Margaret Peterson Haddix and Lisa McMann talk with 4th-6th graders about writing.
This fall, we have had 3 amazing authors visit Brimhall School.

Margaret Peterson Haddix and Lisa McMann came to talk with us about their books and the writing process.

Author visits are amazing, because kids able to envision themselves as authors. It was inspiring to hear Lisa McMann talk about how she wasn't super great at school as a kid, but she loved to make up stories. Now that is her job.

Meeting Margaret Haddix Peterson was an awe inspiring moment. She taught our students that she does a lot of research to write her series. She also showed us her writing process.

Author and illustrator Brian Lies talks with our K-2nd graders about creating books

Brian Lies came to talk to our Kindergartener through second graders.  He showed us pictures of his studio at his house. He talked to us about how he is a normal person with a normal house whose job is to write and illustrate books. He showed us a story he wrote and illustrated when he was in second grade. Then he showed us his drawings from today. It was cool to see that he practiced and learned to be an artist. What a privilege to have such talented people talk with our students.
Author Margaret Haddix Peterson shows us her newest book.
Learning about writing and illustrating
Brian Lies drawings as a second grader
Brian Lies Showing us his newest book!
Books waiting to be signed for our students.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Library Orientation

At Brimhall, students show Bengal Pride by showing:

Care of Property
Best Effort

Here is a short video we made last week showing students many ways to show Begal Pride in the library.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Brimhall Book Bowling

The last week of May was Brimhall's first ever Library Book Bowling. Students in every grade have been trained in using the library this year. As a culminating event to show what they had learned I had a Book Bowl off in the library. I saw this idea on Tina Benedek's library blog and modified her Biography Bowling Activity.
Mr. Thomas hoping for a strike!

Each grade had a different task they were assigned to find in the library:
  • Kindergarten= a book that had a call number that started with a specific letter of the alphabet (worked in pairs- given 2 cards)
  • 1st= a specific Everybody Book (worked in pairs- given 2 cards)
  • 2nd= a specific Fiction Book
  • 3rd= a specific Non-fiction Book
  • 4th= given a name of a famous person, had to look it up in the catalog and find me a biography
  • 5th and 6th= given a title, looked it up in the catalog then found the book. 5th graders were given an extra minute.
I made cards with information about different books in the library. I handed them out to students and then set my timer while students frantically tried to find the book they were assigned. When the timer went off, classes were given 1 point for each book found. One bowling pin was awarded for each

Classes were then given the opportunity for a bowling BONUS! Teachers had two chances to knock down their class pins to add onto the point totals. My favorite part of the activity was seeing the teacher different reactions to bowling for their classes-- from excitement to pure nerves-- they all ended up having fun!

Using the catalog to find materials.

Checking the score

Looking for books!
Looking for books!
Ms. McCormick warms up.
Checking the score

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Kindergarten Research- Minnesota Animals

Minnesota Projects

This past month Brimhall Kindergarteners learned about reading and writing non-fiction. In library, we first practiced reading informational texts and finding the answer to three questions about animals:
  1. What does my animal look like?
  2. What does my animal eat?
  3. Where does my animal live?
Students used captions and photos to help find the answer to these questions about different animals.

The next week, students came to the library and learned about note taking.  We first listened to information about our animals using Pebble Go! (My very favorite resource for informational reading in the primary grades). Students then used books to read the pictures and take notes as I modeled to them each different topic.

Kindergarten teachers and teaching assistants and I were all on had to work with students as they learned and researched their Minnesota Animal.

In the classroom, teachers used the information the students gathered to write reports. This was a great effort on collaboration.

During library the next week, we used the iPads and the Little Bird Tales  app to draw our animals. We took photos of the students final reports using the iPad, and then recorded their voices reading their text. I just listened to my daughter's from last year, and had a little moment with how much she has grown in one year. There is something magical about hearing your child's voice reading their writing.

Lastly, after a few technical difficulties-- I uploaded all the projects to the web. Here are our projects. All of us are extremely proud of the work our kiddos did!


We can't wait for parents to view them at the Minnesota Program later this week!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

2nd Grade Research

2nd Graders are awesome at research. Students used all of their research skills they have learned this year to research animals from around the world.

We have practiced summarizing, using captions, online sources and books. Students then used the computer to draw their animal.

Students started by thinking about what they wanted to learn about animals, then they used Pebble Go to research and books. After their research was complete, classroom teachers worked with students to summarize and write paragraphs. They have more information hanging up near their rooms. Students picked one of their paragraphs to type and publish online.

I used a variety of presentation tools to publish (I am trying to learn some new skills). Click on class name to link to completed project.


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Scholastic Book Fair

The Brimhall Book Fair is coming next week.

See our selection of books and/or order online. Click on the image below to see our online fair.
(Books will be delivered to school)

Monday, April 7, 2014

6th Grade Research Projects

Over the past month, 6th grade students used the research skills we have learned this year to research groups on Minnesota Native Americans.

I collaborated with their teacher to teach students how to make iMovies, find license free photographs and create a GLOG (an online poster using multimedia). Students used Glogster EDU to create projects incorporating their writing skills, images, and movies.

See their completed projects below:

1.Ailen (6T)25.Annette (6K)49.Amina (6R)
2.Paulos (6T)26.Ella (6K)50.christine (6R)
3.Stellar (6T)27.Laurie (6K)51.Gweneth (6R)
4.Sungyoon (6T)28.Brianna (6K)52.Tyler (6R)
5.Fahmida (6T)29.Hannah (6K)53.Netra (6R)
6.Pratibha (6T)30.Elite (6K)54.Sandy (6R)
7.Daniel (6T)31.Abygail (6K)55.Lauren (6R)
8.Nick (6T)32.Zohar6K56.David (6R)
9.Joe (6T)33.Jas (6K57.David (6R)
10.Dikshya (6T)34.Mackenzie (6K)58.Marian (6R)
11.Mary( 6T)35.Taliyah (6K)59.Gabriel (6R)
12.Louie (6T)36.Noah (6K)60.Sam k 6R
13.Yash( 6T)37.Hunter (6k)61.gabriel (6r)
14.Fardowsa (6T)38.Vanessa 6K62.Hannah (6R)
15.Ethan (6T)39.Ali (6K)63.Abygail (6K)
16.Noa (6T)40.Soheun (6R)64.Mariana L (6R)
17.Arzab (6t)41.Aran (6R)65.Rachel (6K)
18.Hailey (6T)42.Sam N (6R)66.Daniel (6K)
19.Gus (6T)43.Ricardo (6r)67.Nicholas (6K)
20.Otto( 6T)44.Tara (6R)68.AJ (6K)
21.Ali (6T)45.Mei Bryn (6R)69.Margaret (6K)
22.Nadia (6T)46.MIshell (6R)70.Sam (6K)
23.Tait (6K)47.Gabi (6R)71.Arzab (6t)
24.Nhu (6K)48.Amalia (6R)

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

3rd Grade Research

In 3rd Grade I recently worked with students to do research on Native American groups from the South Western United States.

Students summarized their notes and learned about evaluating images to choose appropriate images to draw for their eBooks. Students created images on the computer. We then worked as groups to upload our paragraphs and drawings to Flipsnack EDU a wonderful FREE tool to create eBooks.

Here are our completed projects:





Monday, March 10, 2014

Friday, March 7, 2014