Thursday, February 27, 2014

Student Explains Circumference with YouTube Video......

  Now - I KNOW this is NOT your typical 5th grader.  Not all students would want to actually create and sing a song about circumference of a circle.  But, that is EXACTLY what this student did for Mrs. Askegaard's assignment.  The students had to either create a video or write a song/rap explaining their math lesson on circumference that they had learned yesterday. 

Here it is:

PRICELESS!!  And - what LEARNING that is taking place.  ALL the things that she had to do "non" math related to come up with this and all of the "math" related things she had to know, too, in order to explain everything - FANTASTIC!!!

I hope you enjoy it -
Mrs. I:)

Wednesday, February 26, 2014


I just want to send a shout of THANKS for all of you that have taken a peek at this blog!  We have now passed the 10,000 pageviews mark - YAHOO:)!!
Look at all we're learning together!  I hope you have found this blog helpful and have gained some knowledge along the way - here's to more blogging and more learning!

Happy Wednesday,
Mrs. I:)

Action Potential Lesson using Educreations

Mr. Strand's class used the app Educreations to make videos explaining their lesson on action potential.   I totally had to email Mr. Strand and see exactly what the kids had to do - he gave me a "simple" version which is what I need, and then he gave me the "science" version, which is what some of you might need:):

Simple version

The students had to draw and explain how our nervous system sends and receives messages via something called an action potential.  To do this they had to understand both the structure (anatomy) and function (physiology) of neurons and how they connect at a synapse.  The whole system works because nerve cells are both "irritable" meaning that they can detect/respond to a stimulus and "conductive" meaning that they can transmit impulses.  Because of these two properties our nervous system is able to sense and respond to thousands of different complex stimuli all at the same time.

More complex, detailed, sciency version
They had to draw and explain how nerve cells communicate by sending electrical impulses which is called an action potential.  Synapses are places where two nerve cells communicate with each other using chemicals called neurotransmitters.  These neurotransmitters are detected by the receiving neuron (nerve cell) and that initiates the action potential (explained shortly).  When the neuron is at rest (not being stimulated) there charge difference between the inside and the outside of the nerve cell membrane.  The outside of the membrane has a high amount of Sodium ions which are positively charged (Na+).  This makes the outside have a slight positive charge.  The inside of the cell membrane by comparison is slightly negatively charged.  When the receiving neuron detects the neurotransmitter it becomes "switched on" and begins to send its message by allowing sodium to pass through the membrane down the length of the cell.  The sodium makes the inside of the membrane positively charged and that positive charge is carried down the nerve.  This positive charge ends up reaching the end of the nerve (axon terminal) where more neurotransmitter is released and the signal gets passed on to the next nerve via the release of neurotransmitters again.

Regardless of the version - here is the student sample: 

Make it a great day,
Mrs. I:)

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Olympians - using Pages and Templates

  Mrs. Askegaard's fifth graders were busy!  They had to choose an Olympian, research him/her, and then create a Pages document about them!!  I think she said that some students also chose to use the Templates for Pages app to choose a template to follow and insert their information that way.

Here is what her showcase looked like and some student examples:

Just another great way to get kids using their iPads with a basic Pages template, researching and ending with a SUPER great product:)!

Happy Tuesday,
Mrs. I:)

Friday, February 21, 2014

More with Pic Collage....

Here are some MORE SUPER. FUN. ideas for the Pic Collage app:

1.  Mrs. Askegaard's 5th graders were learning about benchmark measurements and they had to show examples of them at home.  These are a few of them:

2.  Mrs. Tonsfeldt's 3rd graders had to create themselves as an Olympian - cutting around their head, finding pictures to go with the Olympian they wanted to be and then putting it all together:

3.  Mrs. Cresap's 5th graders were learning about adjectives.  They had to create a "menu" type Pic Collage that used descriptive writing for various food - NEAT!!!  Here were her exact instructions: 

For your homework you will be in charge of creating a small menu for your very own cafe/restaurant! Your title will be "Appetizing Adjectives" (tasty adjectives) and you can add more to your restaurant name if you wish! Use this activity to show off your creative side and spice up and put some pizazz in your writing with ADJECTIVES!! -Describing words!
You will create a pic collage and include the following:
- At LEAST 3 main menu items that you will delightfully DESCRIBE
- Write at least 2-3 sentences for each item
- In those sentences, you will include at least 5 adjectives that enhance your item and make it seem irresistible to customers!
- Include pictures to help persuade your restaurant and items

Have fun with this! We are working on Writing with Adjectives! So use your iPad or Thesaurus to dive into some new tasty words!

Just some more AMAZING examples of Pic Collage:)!
Happy Friday,
Mrs. I:)

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Julian Treasure: 5 Ways to Listen Better

  I LOVE TED Talks!!  I don't know if you have ever listened to any - but you MUST!  The basic concept is "Ideas Worth Spreading."  There are SO many amazing things to hear about and learn about....the one I watched today was GREAT.
   Julian Treasure talks about 5 Ways to Listen Better - who doesn't need this, right?  He says that we are "...losing listening."  I agree!  Our society is SO bogged down with noise and everyone becoming louder and louder, and we often times don't TAKE the time to listen!  And, is this something that we should be teaching our kids in school - YES!!  During the TED talk, he mentions 5 things that we can do to become better listeners:

1. 3 Minutes of Silence - we have to learn how to hear quiet again
2. the Mixer - listen to how many different channels you hear in a loud place and begin to pick out these channels
3. Savoring - enjoy mundane sounds - pay attention to them - you dryer, a fan, the perculator
4. Listening Positions - play with the filters in the different listening channels and move to different positions
5. RASA - Receive the message, Appreciate what others are saying, Summarize their comments, and Ask questions - all parts of a quality listener!

   He ended his TED talk with the fact that he wished everyone would "Live to Listen," but realizes that this isn't possibly - but "listening to live fully," is!

Happy Tuesday,
Mrs. I:)

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

A+ Spelling Test App

A+ Spelling Test is an app that students use to practice spelling words.  Every Monday, my son, Tate (yes, he's a boy and donating his hair to Locks Of Love:), comes home with this as his homework.  He has to put his spelling words INTO the app, and then he is able to practice with it all week.  There are various games that he can play with it, in addition to recording his voice where it actually gives him a practice test for the week, too!

Here is a short video of what he does:
This app is FREE, and a great way for kiddos to work not only on spelling words, but high frequency words, word families, or other words that you might be studying in class!

Happy Tuesday,
Mrs. I:)

Friday, February 7, 2014

iTunes U

  If you want to extend your learning beyond the classroom, then PLEASE check out iTunes U! There are SO many choices of courses that you can browse and find information that is applicable to your class! Taken EXACTLY from the Apple website "The free iTunes U app gives you access to the world's largest catalog of free educational content from leading institutions."  Really?? WHAT. IS. BETTER. THAN. THAT??  You can actually also create your OWN course - which I have started doing.  You are given 20 GB of space to add materials, video, podcasts, etc...and you have to use a COMPUTER with a regular browser; you can NOT use an iPad for this. 

Here is a GREAT link to a Youtube video called iTunes U - Part 1 which shows you initially how to set up a course and add apps.  (not sure, but it was only a mp4, so I thought you'd rather "see" if than hear it).

That's all I am going to post until I know MORE about creating a course and publishing it to others.  As I do this, I will post my progress.

Truly - CHECK. IT. OUT.  There might be an already created course for you to use and implement immediately!!

Happy Friday AND OLYMPICS:)!!!
Mrs. I:)

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Winter Olympic Fun :)

   Mrs. Tonsfeldt, a third grade teacher here, asked me to create a Blendspace for her about the 2014 Winter Olympics.  Here is the link if you would like to use it:  Feel free to share with your kiddos:)!!
   She also is having the kids use the Pic Collage app to create "Olympians" of their choice.  I will post these once they are done.   She made one of herself and I DIED. LAUGHING. SO. GREAT!
   Just a few ways to get the kids watching the Olympics and tracking some of the things that are going on there.  I have also posted QR codes for the Olympics on the library door.  NOTHING elaborate, but maybe the kiddos will scan them and show some interest. 

THIS is when I SO SO wish that I was still in the classroom so I could do this with my kids:(!!  OH well.....hopefully others are doing some things - if I find out - I will post FOR SURE!  I am also going to make a board to track the medal winners - kind of fun anyway!!

Happy Day and Olympics tomorrow,
Mrs. I:)