Thursday, February 28, 2013

Transfer Task in the Second Grade

The Second Graders are close to completing their Germs and Healthy Habits unit of study in technology class. As mentioned in a previous post, they took notes from an online science book created just for them. The second step towards a final project is having the students write a children's story to demonstrate their understanding of bacteria, viruses and fungi. 

The students write the stories in their notebooks and do rough sketches of their illustrations. Their goal is to teach their readers about bacteria, viruses and fungi. They then use an art app on the iPad to draw their illustrations. The final step is to use the Explain Everything screencasting app to create digital stories. A future post will present some of the stories. For now, take a look at a few of the illustrations drawn using the Drawing Pad app. 

Art and Technology Field Trip: Grades 2 & 5

The Second Graders joined with their Fifth Grade buddies to take part in Ms. Tacktill's series of art and technology field trips. This group went to the Smithsonian American Art Museum contemporary art exhibition. As part of Ms. Tacktill's art literacy and appreciation curriculum, the students went through the exhibit stopping at each piece to share their reactions with each other. The Fifth Graders jotted down the responses into their iPads. 

A second learning opportunity had the student teams revisiting the art to view it a second and third time for further reflection. Along the way the Fifth Graders used their photography skills to take photos of the art and of their buddy. They would go on to import the photo of their buddy into an art app on their iPads. They then drew inspiration from the sculpture and mixed media paintings to digitally paint backgrounds around the photo of their buddy. 

The Second Graders looked for pattern repetition in the art as they recently studied it with Ms. Tacktill. They then used iPads loaded with a photo of a portion of one of the patterned paintings to expand the patterns. You can see examples of their creative work above and below. Nice work Second Graders!

Friday, February 15, 2013

7th Grade Science: Amazon Biome

Are you ready to take a learning journey down the Amazon River to learn about the rain forest biome? If so, visit the rich multimedia Prezi presentation created by Paddy and Cristian. 

Thursday, February 14, 2013

What is the Weather Like at ACDS?

As the Fifth Graders begin their study of the weather with Ms. Weaver, we need to remember that ACDS has its own weather station. The equipment to measure wind speed, temperature and rainfall is on the roof above Ms. Weaver's classroom. The students have the instruments in the classroom to read the data to stay current on changing weather. 

We as members of the ACDS community can also tap into this information by accessing the ABC TV affiliate weather site for a direct report of weather conditions at Alexandria Country Day School. 

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

7th Grade Science: The Food Web

Bryan and Will continue their "BWF" production efforts to produce science videos to teach and entertain us. Take a look below at their food web video. 

7th Grade Science: Biome Projects

Map of the Yukon Biome (also Santa's homebase)

Mrs. Stein had her students research various biomes to then create projects to communicate their findings. Bryan and Will studied the Yukon biome in the Arctic region. The following is their creative video project. 

Checking for Understanding in Math Class

Mrs. Barnes is using a screencasting app to check for understanding with each of her students at the end of her lessons. The students open the app on their iPads to then draw numbers and symbols while audio recording their understanding of the lesson. This reflection process further develops the students learning as they process their thinking about the concepts and skills from the lesson. It supports the theme of "making thinking visible" which runs through many posts in this blog.

Mrs. Barnes then continues the learning by having students swap iPads to review one another's screencast videos. Students get to see and hear the thinking of their partner thus furthering their own understanding by either reinforcing their own take on the lesson or by learning new information. 

Image Source

ICL in the Second Grade

As mentioned in a previous post, the Second Graders are continuing their research to learn about germs and healthy habits. They are using their online book to read information and watch educational videos. Their efforts to gather and curate information is a big part of our Information and Communication Literacies (ICL) curriculum. The students are really enjoying being "in charge" of their learning as they take notes in their notebooks. The next step will be to use a screencasting app on the iPad to communicate their understanding. 

Digital Poster Boards in the 4th Grade

The Fourth Graders just completed a research effort using the Information and Communication Literacies (ICL) framework for research and project creation. They gathered information on a historical figure and then created an online poster board to communicate their understanding. They used media and visual literacies as well as design skills to create their posters using the Glogster web tool. 

Take a look at the "glog" about Marie Antoinette by Isabelle R. and the one about Mozart by Sofia B. Excellent layout design ladies! 

Monday, February 11, 2013

7th Grade Science: The Water Cycle

We begin a series of posts with the 7th graders sharing digital projects to communicate their learning. Bryan and Will start us off with a video on the water cycle that also involves a few penguins. Nice work gentlemen. :)

Daily Life in Spanish Class: Screencasting

Ms. Basta continues to use technology to help her students really process and use their Spanish language skills. She shares the following lesson where the students used the Explain Everything screencasting app. 

Students in 7th grade have been working on verbs to explain their daily routine. Each morning they wake up, get out of bed, brush their teeth, etc. We spent a few class days working on how to conjugate the reflexive verbs and practicing the vocabulary associated with this theme. We watched a video of a boy from Spain completing his daily schedule and speaking over it in Spanish. From that, the students were given a project to take 8 of their daily activities and make a slide show in Explain Everything. They had to take the appropriate picture, write or type the words in Spanish over it, and then record themselves saying what they are doing as well.

-Jessica Basta

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Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Math, Art and the Funny Papers

Ms. Weaver put out a call for the staff to bring in the cartoon section of the newspaper. She would use the cartoons to engage her students interest in comics to learn about scale, proportion and measurement. The students cut out a single panel from a cartoon to then draw a grid over it. They then measured the X and Y axes to determine the ratio to be used to create a much larger version of the cartoon. The students also made connections with their art lessons that Mrs. Tacktill teaches regarding use of space and proportion. 

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Interdisciplinary Studies in the First Grade

How to Draw a Horse

The First Graders completed an interdisciplinary project involving math, art and writing. The students chose a "how to" topic to then develop the sequence of steps one must take to complete the task. They wrote out the directions numbering the steps. The final step involving abstract thinking was to illustrate each stage of the task. One can picture the wheels turning in the minds of the students as they thought about each step and what needed to be in each picture. Please see above and below for examples of our First Graders making their thinking visible.  

How to Kick a Football

Friday, February 1, 2013

Visit an Alternative Universe!

A group of Sixth Graders in technology class recently used their videography skills to create regular and stop motion videos. Thompson applied his creativity to produce what will certainly become a science fiction classic. His apply titled "Lego Alternative Universe" combines action with excellent sound and special effects. Take a look for yourself. Nice work Thompson!

Kindergarten, Math and Photography

Do you notice how many shapes surround us as we move through our days? Our Kindergarten students notice. As part of the math curriculum, the Kindergarten students in the Fall learned how to use cameras to take photos of shapes in their classrooms. They recently ventured out into the hallways of ACDS to take photos of more shapes in their world. Take a look at the video below with some of the photographs that they took.