Buried Treasure – Leprechaun Catching

leprechaun imageBack in the spring, we created a class book which I scanned into the copier and sent to my email. From there I saved the images to my classroom Mac.  To say this Mac gives me a headache is an understatement but anyway, I saved the images as a file and parked it on my desktop.  Over time, the desktop became a crazy collection of files. (Saved there for easy access – LOL!) Now that I have found the file, I sent them off to my VoiceThread account and created this presentation. Enjoy the student work.

Peace In Kindergarten

This weekend, school students around the country get an extra long weekend.  It is hoped that we will reflect on the great American, Martin Luther King Jr.  We learned about his contribution to society by talking about what he did to make things fair for people. 

Fair is a word kindergarten children can relate to.  They are not really interested in words like equality, civil rights, civil disobedience and the like.  But fair, now that’s something important.  We have even learned that sometimes things that are fair are not always equal.  Some students get more of the teachers attention and time.  Sometimes, younger siblings get their parents attention more than older kids.

What they quickly connected with was that children should not be kept away from other kids because of the color of their skin.  That includes going to the same school, playing on the same playground, getting a fair turn to be the leader, join the same scout troop, and eat or drink together in the cafeteria. 

When the idea was presented to the children, the idea that there was a time when these things didn’t happen, well frankly, they were bewildered. They looked at me like I had grown a second head.

While it is always important to teach our history, sometimes, the proof of our progress as a civilization, is in the bewildered expression on a five year old’s face.

We are a Peace Builder school, so we combined this program with our learning about Martin Luther King and created this class book.  I have been using the free Picasa3 movie making tools of late, for presenting image files.  Those files are uploaded to YouTube and then over to SafeShare.tv.  Both versions below are best viewed full screen.

Here is the SafeShare.tv link.

and the YouTube version.

This makes post number 27 in my personal #30in30 challenge with 10 days left in the month. This goal has been a challenge for me but once again, I have learned so very much about myself and my teaching.

Eshu Bumpus – A Teller of Tales

Eshu Bumpus is a teller of tales and a weaver of dreams.  He visited our school this week to share some of his favorite folktales and then to help the kindergarten classes in weaving a story of their own.

First the kindergarten through grade 2 classes gathered for some folktales from around the world with songs and chanting woven throughout.  Then Eshu visited each kindergarten class and helped them to write a story of their very own.  Our class loved the experience.  After it was finished, Eshu read the draft of the story to the children and everyone was quite pleased with themselves.  We took some pictures of the events as well as pictures of the story pages themselves and put them into a VoiceThread presentation.  I know you will enjoy it.  You can watched the show below or follow this link to the VoiceThread page for a larger picture.

I recommend you stop by the website for Eshu Bumpus and order one of his CDs.  Your children will weave some beautiful dreams while listening to this master storyteller.

Our First Trip to the Vernal Pool

A couple of weeks back I wrote a post about our very first trip of the year to the vernal pool.  Our next step was to create a class book about the adventure so we could practice our reading and writing skills.  The children did their very best work and they are beginning to understand that I am always looking for “best effort.” That looks different for each child and part of the trust in our relationship is that I will recognize when they are doing their individual best.

Next, I scanned the images and uploaded them to VoiceThread. This allowed me to make the online book. For the next part, the children needed to use their speaking and listening skills. (I cannot emphasize enough how important it is for students at every level to practice their speaking and listening skills!)

I worked with the kids one at a time, adding in their video comments.  It’s good to point out that VT allows us to comment with video, audio only, typing text, uploading a file, and even phoning in a comment if you don’t have a mic.

You will notice that on a few slides we even added some pen outlining.   When you comment, you will see a color wheel where you can choose your pen color and scribe on the page itself.  You can try your comment over and over before clicking the save button. Now we sit back and let the collaboration begin with the outside world. Please DO leave a comment for us and we can continue the conversation.

As a teacher, I love this project and tool. It does it all.

  • speaking
  • listening
  • writing
  • reading
  • integration of science and tech
  • collaboration with the outside world

Without further ado,  here’s our VoiceThread presentation.