2nd Grade American Indian Problems & Solutions

Screen Shot 2015-05-08 at 1.58.37 PMSecond graders at Holladay Elementary have been learning about the Powhatan, Lakota, and Pueblo Indian tribes in Social Studies (SOL2.2), and they’ve been learning how to identify the problem and solution in fictional texts in Language Arts (SOL2.8f). So today students in Ms. Coyle’s and Gardner’s classes created comics about the American Indians and included a problem and solution. First I posted a link to StoryboardThat on their classroom page and instructed them to choose an Indian tribe for their story. Next we discussed problems that the various Indian tribes might have. The students mentioned sickness, war, weather, drought, animals, and more. They had lots of ideas! As the students thought of a problem and solution for their story, I instructed them to look at the different Scenes and find a good setting for the tribe they selected. The “US History” tab has examples of longhouses, tipis, and multi-storied terraced buildings. The “Outdoor” tab has examples of woodlands, grasslands, and deserts. Then I showed them how to find American Indian characters under the “1600s to 1800s” tab and how to customize their skin, hair, eye color, facial expressions, and poses. After the students had their drawings in place, they added speech bubbles and typed sentences explaining the problem and solution. Finally they posted the links to their comics on the Google Classroom page with a question for their classmates to answer. You can take a look at some examples here.

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09

12 2014

4th Grade Earth Motion Animations

Screen Shot 2015-05-08 at 10.11.53 AMFourth graders at Davis Elementary have been learning about the motions of the Earth in science (SOL4.8) so today students in Ms. Bennett’s class created animations showing how the Earth revolves around the sun. I posted a link to ABCYa! Animate on their Google classroom page and showed them how to draw the first image using a space background and two circle shapes for the sun and Earth. We discussed the relative size of the circles (SOL4.8d) and which direction the Earth moves around the Sun–it’s counterclockwise (SOL4.8a). Then I showed them how to label the objects with text boxes and group them so they move together. Next we used the copy cat button to make a copy of our image, and we moved the Earth a little bit. We continued making copies and moving the Earth gradually until we had one revolution. We set the animation to loop and then published it as a .gif file. The students posted their finished animations to the classroom page and I gathered them together here. You can also see examples from Ms. Lara’s class at Holladay Elementary here.

04

12 2014

5th Grade Nonfiction Text Elements

Screen Shot 2015-05-01 at 12.38.10 PMFifth graders at Holladay Elementary have been learning about elements of nonfiction text like captions, headings, bold print, graphics, etc (SOL5.6) so today students in Ms. Sharpe’s class practiced including these elements in their own nonfiction text. First we researched an invertebrate or vertebrate of their choice, since they are learning how to classify animals in science (SOL5.5). After finding a few facts about their animals online, I showed them how to create a simple webpage using CheckThis. They typed the information in their own words and chose important vocabulary terms to make bold. They also added a photo and a map of their animal’s range and put captions under each image. Finally they published their websites and posted the links to the Google classroom page so they could read each others’ nonfiction texts. You can see some of their websites by clicking here.

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02

12 2014

3rd Grade Greece & Rome Comics

Screen Shot 2015-05-06 at 3.46.05 PMThird graders at Holladay have been studying ancient Greece & Rome in social studies (SOL3.1,3.4,3.7), and they have been learning about narrative elements such as characters, setting, problem, and solution in language arts (SOL3.5). So today students in Ms. Middleton’s class created Greece & Rome comics that included those narrative elements. First they chose whether to make a comic about ancient Greece or ancient Rome, and I introduced them to a cool website for making comics online called StoryboardThat. Each of them logged in with their Google accounts and chose a blank template with three panels. I explained that the first panel would be the problem, the middle panel would show the characters trying to solve the problem, and the last panel would be the solution. Now the students had to start brainstorming problems that people in ancient Greece or Rome would face. They had lots of good ideas relating to the occupations people had like famines for farmers, storms for traders, and battles for soldiers. Next we discussed what kinds of settings would be appropriate. They pointed out that Greece and Rome had hills, farmland, and both were located near the sea. I showed them how to pick a setting from the Scenes library that would be good for ancient Greece or Rome (HINT: look under the Historical or Outdoor tabs). I also showed them how to find appropriate characters by looking under the Historical tab. Finally I demonstrated how to change the colors and poses for the characters and how to add speech bubbles. The students spent the rest of the time creating their comics with narrative elements. We posted the finished comics to the classroom page, and you can take a look at some of them here.

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02

12 2014

5th Grade Elapsed Time Maps

Screen Shot 2015-05-01 at 8.37.18 AMFifth graders at Laburnum Elementary have been learning how to find elapsed time in math (SOL5.10), and they’ve been studying the southeast region of the United States in social studies (SE1.2). So today students in Ms. Conway’s class created elapsed time word problems using Google maps. First they signed into their Google accounts and I posted a link to My Google Maps on the classroom page. They clicked “Create a new map” and placed a marker on a city in the southeast region that they are interested in visiting. They labeled their marker and added a photo of the city by clicking the camera icon and doing a Google image search. Next they clicked the directions icon (it looks like a curved arrow), and calculated the time and distance from Richmond to their city. Finally they clicked the pencil icon on their marker label and typed an elapsed time word problem in the description box. We shared our maps by clicking the Share button and making it viewable by anyone with the link. Then we posted our links to the Google classroom page for our classmates to solve. See how many you can solve by taking a look at them here.

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19

11 2014

1st Grade Turkey Stories

karenThanksgiving is coming up, and 1st graders in Ms. Tyler’s class at Laburnum Elementary have been practicing their new writing skills by writing about what they would do if they were a turkey. They had already written their stories out on paper, and today they wanted to publish them. We used Pixie because it not only has some turkey clip art, but the students could also paint their own turkeys if they wanted. First they typed their sentences out, which was a lot of work for 1st graders this early in the year! Next they added a turkey picture and put a photo of their face on the turkey’s head. Finally we exported the Pixie documents to JPEG files so we could post them on our Google classroom page. I also posted them here so you could see them.

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19

11 2014

3rd Grade Descriptive Habitat Maps

Screen Shot 2015-04-29 at 2.55.26 PMThird graders at Varina Elementary have been learning about habitats and ecosystems in science (SOL3.6) and writing good descriptive details in Language Arts (SOL3.9), so today we created descriptive habitat maps in Ms. Wells’ and Ms. Leo’s classes. First we practiced writing descriptive sentences about our weekend, posting our ideas to the Google classroom page. Then I posted a link to My Google Maps and the students clicked the “Create a New Map” button (they were already logged into their Google accounts). We switched the Base Map to Satellite view so we could see the landscape. We discussed how the different colors on the map indicated the habitat–brown for deserts, green for forests, blue for water, and white for ice and snow. Next I showed them how to create markers for the different habitats and instructed them to write a good descriptive sentence about each habitat on the marker. I also showed them how to add a photo by clicking the camera icon. We tried to find pictures with animals that lived in the ecosystems. Finally I taught them how to change the look of their markers to reflect the habitat, like using a sun icon for the desert and a tree icon for the forest. We posted our maps to Google classroom, and I collected both classes’ maps together for you to view here.

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17

11 2014

3rd Grade Coins & Money

Screen Shot 2015-04-22 at 8.34.56 AMThird graders at Davis Elementary have been learning about coins and money in Math (SOL3.8). Today, students in Ms. Cousins’ class created interactive money problems for their classmates to solve using Google slides. I created a template that you can download here, and I created an assignment in Google classroom, making a copy of the template for each student. When they opened their copy, I showed them how to add their names to the first slide. On the second slide I showed them how to copy, paste and delete the coins so that they had a new, challenging number of coins for their classmates to add up. Then they had to figure out the answer and add it to their slide. I taught them how to change the color of the text and add an animation, so the answer would appear when the viewer clicked on the slide. Finally we posted our slideshow links to the classroom page so we could look at each others’ problems and try to solve them. We also checked to see if our answers matched their answers. You can take a look at all their slideshows here.

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06

11 2014

3rd Grade Food Chains

Screen Shot 2015-04-15 at 12.32.41 PMThird graders at Davis Elementary are learning about food chains (SOL3.5) and ecosystems (SOL3.6) so today students in Ms. Eller’s class created animated aquatic and terrestrial food chains using Google slides. First we discussed food chains and how they were the same and different in various ecosystems. All of them start with the sun which gives energy to plants. The plants are different, as well as the animals that eat the plants and each other. The students chose an ecosystem they wanted to research and present. I created an assignment in Google classroom with a blank Google slideshow template. They wrote the type of food chain for the title and their name for the subtitle. I showed them how to create a new slide and use the research tool to find a picture of the sun. Next we found a picture of a plant that lives in the ecosystem (pond, ocean, desert, etc). I taught them how to add an arrow showing the flow of energy from the sun to the plant. We discussed where the next arrow would point (to an animal that eats the plant). The students added additional animal photos and arrows to connect them into a food chain. Finally I showed them how to add animations to make the food chain grow in sequence. We posted the finished slideshows to the classroom page. You can see them all here.

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30

10 2014

Kindergarten Letter Paintings

Screen Shot 2015-03-26 at 12.19.46 PMKindergarteners in Ms. Hart’s class at Laburnum Elementary have been learning the letter R this week. So I showed them how to use ArtPad to not only practice writing their letters, but to also practice the important computer skill of clicking and dragging. First we practiced just scribbling on the paper using different colors. Then I showed them how to change the size of the paintbrush by clicking and dragging the slider. They thought it was really cool that the brush changes! I also taught them about Undo. We undid our painting until we had a plain sheet of paper again (or you could just click Start Over, but we wanted to practice Undo). Now we painted an uppercase letter R and a lowercase letter r. I told them to draw one or two things that begin with the letter R. When they were finished I showed them how to replay their painting. They loved that! It’s also valuable for you as a teacher because you can watch exactly how the students are forming the letters. Take a look at a couple of student samples here and here. You could even make examples of other letters for students to watch and see how they are formed and try to guess the pictures before you finish. Here’s an example like that.

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29

10 2014