Horace Mann Quote

~Horace Mann Quote
A teacher who is attempting to teach without inspiring the pupil with a desire to learn is hammering on cold iron.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Recap of 1st Nine Weeks

My, my, my! We've arrived at the end of our first nine weeks together as a team, and we've landed in the middle of a fall break. Where did the time go? I wanted to take this time to recap some of the activities and successes we experienced as 4th graders thus far.
Our most exciting venture was the arrival of our very much coveted Google Cardboards! We posted our first project on the DonorsChoose website at a time when DonorsChoose was matching donations dollar for dollar using the special code: Spark! Our project was posted on September 24, and in exactly one week, our project was fully funded!! We are very grateful to all of our donors.
Google Cardboard allows us to have virtual experiences that are fun and exciting. One of our vocabulary words the week prior was "virtual." How authentic is that?
We've practiced our writing skills by sharing what we've experienced using the Google Cardboards. It works well because it's a topic ALL of us are interested in, and each time we interact with the Google Cardboard, we have a different adventure.
Another highlight of our first nine weeks is that one of our team member's name was chosen to win a brand new shiny bicycle!!! Every nine weeks each teacher chooses a student from their class to receive the "Citizenship Award." Those names are then placed in a drawing and one lucky person wins a bike, compliments of our local police department and our rotary club. We are very proud of and happy for our winner!!
On another note, our class was chosen as the "Spotlight Class" during the first nine weeks; therefore, we celebrated by having lunch in the room while enjoying a movie. We also had A LATTE party on the last day of school just before our awards ceremony started. The purpose of this party was to give students a deeper understanding of a goal that has been set for them and to place partial ownership of that goal in their care as part of their responsibility. A LATTE stands for A Lap Around The Track Everytime, which means that wherever they are academically upon entering a grade, they must show at least a year's worth of growth everytime. There are no exceptions and no fails.
We made mini hot chai tea lattes, complete with whipped cream on top, and we indulged in mini cupcakes. We regret that we did not capture that activity on camera. :(
Moving along, we had a couple of visitors to our classroom who interviewed and photographed us, and wrote and published articles about us. Those articles may be viewed following these links: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/a-teacher-like-you/sharon-clark-a-different-_b_8150178.html http://tn.chalkbeat.org/2015/09/09/qa-tennessee-teacher-and-digital-innovator-on-ed-tech-and-why-schools-might-not-be-ready-for-online-tests/#.VimyOsvlsic
We would also like to give a huge shout-out to HueHD for their generous donation of a Hue HD Pro document camera. The document camera has afforded us richer, more engaging and fulfilling whole group experiences. The Hue Document Camera is great in that it is easy to use, has a lot of flexibility and functionality. We highly recommend this company (www.huehd.com) for your technology needs. Their only request was that we share how we use their product in our class. The small snippet we shared with Hue can be viewed here as well.