Our travels to the Western Territories were less than treacherous and more than exuberant! I overheard many students say, “This is HARD, but it’s so FUN! Our pioneer spirit was challenged and encouraged throughout the day as we attempted to craft and play just as thousands of pioneer children did on the Oregon Trail in the 1840s.
Thank you to our many volunteers who participated before, during, and after the event. I could not do this without you. You have created a memory that will be treasured by every child who joined us. I hope you enjoyed yourself, too.
The photos have been posted to our Shutterfly account. You can order prints or even create a photobook from there. Just click on our Photoblog tab and follow the instructions. I will resend our password in an email, in case you have misplaced it.
Our second day of digital learning was a WHOLE lot of fun! It was the first time I declared a BYOD event and it was tremendous. Eighteen students brought their own device so we had non-stop opportunities to share and learn some of the latest games and apps around. A HUGE draw was Minecraft. We set up Mrs. Petuya’s World and started building. There is an art gallery, a fossil museum, and a roller coaster so far. So many students were able to be the teacher and really get me off to a great start on this impressive game. There is so much knowledge embedded in this popular game, that you can’t help but absorb facts and learn to make better decisions as you create your world. I am looking forward to playing it often. We also found out about an app called 2048. You will definitely learn your doubles facts and some programming basics as you play. Another thoroughly engaging app is Video Star. Several students collaborated and created an adorable little music video to go with a song called “I Heart Hand Signs”. It will soon be posted on my YouTube Channel if you would like to watch it. I will email you the link so you can easily find it.
I wish we had enough time left in the school year to do it again. Many teachers at Carroll are very curious about what we have been creating with technology in our classroom this year. So I suspect that my students will have more opportunities for BYOD, blogging, and making movies in the future.
On June 19th, our 2nd grade classes will be stepping back in time to become Pioneers of the Westward Movement. We will have a full morning of historical activities, crafts, and a pioneer-style snack. This will be an amazing time of REAL learning about the early days of our country. Don’t miss out on this very special event. The cost is only $4.00 to cover the purchase of needed materials.
Parent volunteers are still needed to make this day possible. High school siblings are welcome, too!
On June 4th we successfully connected with the California State Parks Department for a virtual field trip to Columbia State Historic Park in Columbia, CA (near Sonora). Through this video conference, Ranger Phil shared his vast knowledge and artifacts of the California Gold Rush and the Westward Movement. We had prepared thoughtful questions and he answered every one of them with examples and clarity. The students were eager to learn everything they could during this experience. They were exceptionally polite and attentive. I could not have been more proud. This is a tremendous way to enrich the curriculum and allow students an opportunity to speak to an expert. We would all love to do it again!
Please come to our final Open House of the school year. It will be held Thursday, June 12th from 5:30 PM- 7:00 PM. The students have been exceptionally busy in preparation for this event. I think our visitors will enjoy viewing the results of our efforts. We hope to see you there.
I have declared this Friday (June 13th) as our next Digital Learning Day. Students are welcome to BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) AFTER receiving parent permission to do so. We have many experts in handling technology right here in our classroom. So, it’s time to let them get to work training the rest of us on some of the tremendous apps and games I keep hearing them talk about.
Students are NOT required to bring a device to use. This is just an option. Students have been told there is no whining to parents allowed! Students MAY bring a device they would normally use at home. Suggested devices: iPhone, iPad, iPad Mini, iPod, KindleFire, or other tablets. All items must be in a protective case and labeled with student’s name. I will do my very best to keep every device safe and secure, but of course there are no guarantees. These devices are expensive and I completely understand if you are not comfortable in letting it come to school. We will of course be using my iPads during this time. No one will be left out of this special event due to lack of a device.
Students must keep the device IN THEIR BACKPACK until we are securely inside our classroom. It will only be used for instructional purposes in the classroom. No movies of any kind will be permitted. I will be closely monitoring what the students are working on. This is time for ACTIVE learning, investigation, and collaboration. No devices will be taken out to recess.
Please respond to this blog post if your child has permission to bring a device. You can also email me if you prefer. firstname.lastname@example.org