It's that time again...teachers and staff are unpacking boxes, creating bulletin boards, moving furniture, wrangling technology, attending trainings, and eagerly planning the arrival of our next flock of Cardinals. So many preparations go on behind the scenes so that we can be fully present to receive each student with open hearts and minds. The bustle of activity continues outside our school walls as well. Around town, I see families buying school supplies, searching for the perfect first-day outfits, and squeezing in a little more summer fun before the new school year begins. As we look forward, we want our Cardinals to know that VVE is working diligently to prepare for a new year of learning, playing, and growing together. We can't wait to see each and every one of you!
Fifth graders have been researching about fossil fuels and working to create informational stories about them using Explain Everything. Because writing is most meaningful when we have a real audience with whom to share our thinking, fifth graders were excited to share their stories with buddies from first grade. Cardinal first graders were eager to spend time with their favorite fifth grade pals and to learn more about fossil fuels in the process. What stories can YOU share using Explain Everything, and who will you share them with?
Ms. Abell's third graders have been working on shark research and mini-videos. They researched the topic of "shark finning" and then wrote scripts and used Chatterpix kids to create their public service announcements about this important conservation issue. Check out their creative infomercials below!
Ms. Darling has been sharing the book "Laugh with the Moon" by Shana Burg during her weekly read-alouds. The book is set in Malawi, Africa and Ms. Darling wanted her students to know more about the country and continent. So she created a Nearpod that allowed students to explore different countries, languages, flags, and facts as well as a virtual reality component exploring a rural dwelling and a countryside setting. Burg paints beautiful descriptions of main character Clare's new home, and Ms. Darling's Nearpod helped each student hold real-life images in her/his mind's eye as all listen and share the story together.
Ms. Moore visited each fourth grade class and collaborated with Ms. Darling, Ms. Hebert, Ms. Peterson, Ms. Hargis, and Ms. Ionescu to provide centers for students to explore design and building using items from our district STEAM carts. Students joined a Showbie class which included instructions on what to do in each center. Learners then explored with materials for the entire session. The following morning, students posted photos and written responses to Showbie. Ms. Moore is in the process of responding to each student so as to help students extend their understanding when they move on to the subsequent center the following week. We look forward to seeing how our thinking evolves over time!
This week's hAPPy Friday app is Puppet Pals 2 School Edition. It is an app that allows users to create narrative and record their voices and animated characters. You can learn more through the app integration handout here. While there are some existing characters, it would be more meaningful and appropriate for students to create their own characters with camera images. Let the show begin!
Kindergarteners have been exploring things that go. Ms. Mireles, Ms. Parolini, Ms. Gardiner, and Mr. Peña designed centers for children to explore. Kindergarteners used many kinds of force and explored how the different types of force set objects in motion. Later, Ms. Moore shared the Path and Go apps with students so they could start coding Dash robots to move too. Go, Kinder, go!
Fifth graders had the opportunity to explore design challenges and coding the day before Spring Break in all three class rotations. Ms. Moore and Ms. Douglas designed 4 centers -- coding with Dash and the Blockly app; coding with Apple's SWIFT playgrounds; creating tall towers to help little leprechauns watch for gold monsters using Straws & Connectors; and building structures (using Keva Planks) to store water safely from the water dragons. Students came up with lots of creative designs and codes, and we had fun in the process. Play can foster learning!
VVE Tech & Learning
Holly Moore, Educational Technologist, and Lilly Kephart, Instructional Partner, share student learning here, in our Cardinal Community Blog.