"A Swisstastic Journey of Me and My Students"

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Books to start the 2017-18 school year!

Books to Begin the School Year

Teachers, including me, spend the summer reading books that will begin great discussions between my students and me about beginning of the year topics. 
Disclaimer:  although I have read all these books I borrowed many of the comments below from an amazing blog I follow of Jennifer Reed.  She is also a librarian and does a great job summarizing these books.  "Why reinvent the wheel"...thanks Ms. Reed.  

Hopes and Dreams
These books are not only fabulous read alouds, they also provided an opportunity to think about and talk about what students looked forward to learning and doing in the school year.
6th grade...A Voyage in the Clouds

3rd grade....Uncorker of Ocean Bottles

Kindergarten...Little Tree

4-5th graders...Beekle

1-2nd graders...This is Sadie

Rules and Routines  
These books led to thinking about the rules that would guide our interactions with each other and routines that would help ensure a safe and productive learning space for all.
They All Saw a Cat

If You Plant a Seed

My Teacher is a Monster



Monday, January 23, 2017

Sixth Mazes coming along!

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So as part of the Hour of Code our 6th graders created mazes.  The challenge here is to:

1.)  Work in a group to design a maze in Google Drawing
2.)  Build that maze out of cardboard and craft sticks
3.)  Time a hexbug through your maze
4.)  Time a sphero that you are driving through your maze
5.)  Code the sphero to make it through your maze

6.)  Throughout the project we will record times of the hexbugs and spheros so our maze buddies at our partner school, Wilson, can compare their results.  

This project takes a long time when I only see the kids once a week so it will be interesting to reflect on it and see if the amount of time was worthwhile compared to the benefits of the project.  So far kids have been very engaged and excited about their work.

Here is a video of the kids performing trial runs on their mazes.  Listen to the problem solving discussion they are having while they are building.  This is they type of discussion teachers love to hear.  They are learning and having fun at the same time.  

Monday, January 9, 2017

2017 in Summit Media Center

So a NEW YEAR is here and we are starting our MAKERSPACES.  I love watching the students use their creative juices and discuss what their possibilities are with the makerspaces.  This year I am approaching this with a more planned strategy.  I have presented the 5th graders with six possibilities they are:
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Finch Robots
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Green Screen
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3D Pen
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Students spend one class watching videos of their choice on the various topics presented and then at the end of the class I have them sign up for whichever topic they would like to investigate further.  I strongly encourage them to not sign up for their first choice until they have explored at least two topics.  This has forced them to really think about their choice more than just diving in without any exploration.  In fact no one is allowed to sign up for any topic until the end of class when I give them the clue.  So far this approach seems to be working better than last year!

Monday, December 5, 2016

The Hour of Code has hit Summit!

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     At Summit December means the Hour of Code.  All grades 1-6 will participate in the the Hour of Code.  We are learning about words like ALGORITHM, DECOMPOSE, ABSTRACTION, and PATTERN MATCHING.  We will be using these words to create projects that have coding during the next month.  Today grades 2-3 practiced making algorithms on making a paper airplane.  Next week we will test these out to see how well their algorithm work.  This is our first UNPLUGGED coding activity to get us in the CODING mindset.  

             Here is a pic of students creating their algorithms.  

If you can overlook the silly tongue and notice the problem solving strategy they implemented.  They needed to build the airplane in order to create the steps.  This wasn't part of the directions.  They problem-solved to make their job easier.  One of the many skills they learn from CODING.  Stay tuned to see if the results we effective next week as we fly our planes.  

Thursday, December 1, 2016

The Public Library Visits Kindergarten in the Media Center

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Kindergarteners all received a public library card this week from Ms. Kitchen, the Anderson Children's Public Librarian Assistant.  

This is an incentive program from the state of Ohio in which all libraries can partner with schools to issue a card to all kindergarten students.  This is a special card that doesn't charge fees and allows children to check out up to 8 books.    

It is amazing how many children in today's world still don't visit the public library.  Maybe I am a little bias but it is such an amazing place with so much too offer.  From books, to various types of media, to makerspace events, to helping with technology issues, and so much more.  Kids need to be taught what a special place this is and how it can help them locate and analyze information.

November ....we are thankful for__________________.

November is over but our learning continues in the Summit Media Center.  Here is a look at a few activities that we just completed in the Media Center.  

First Graders are THANKFUL for many things.  We read Image result for thanksgiving book about a mouse and too much food for thanksgiving

  and then students created the traditional hand prints in which they wrote something they were thankful for.  We added these to a Thankful Tree in our hall.  Some of the things they were thankful for were:


Thursday, November 10, 2016


So this year our school is holding weekly PLC (Personal Learning Committee)meetings in which various grade levels meet to plan intervention and enrichment activities.  For me this means that I see an extra class or two each week.  The art teacher and myself have decided to partner up in lessons on these days.  I typically read a book to the students, integrate some technology piece if applicable, and then they rotate to art to create a visual piece that reflects some topic from the book.  

Here was the month of October's lesson.
FIRST and SECOND grade students listened to the fun, fun, and more fun book There was an Old Lady Who was Not Afraid of Anything.  

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I started this lesson by showing this video from YouTube that reads/sings the book.  I stopped it before it told the ending and then I physcially read the book to the students.  We then watch the rest of the video.  Student loved learning about on·o·mat·o·poe·ias and acting them out as we read this book.

Students then rotated to art and made these amazing pumpkins.