Ms. Skonieczny's BPE ABC book arrived today hot of the presses from Shutterfly. Ms. Skonieczny's kinders were bubbling over with pride as Ms. Skonieczny, Ms. McLaughlin, Ms. Husain and Ms. Medina unveiled their beautifully written and photographed hardbound ABC book. Like real writers, we celebrated their writing and photography with a book signing complete with alphabet cookies, yum!
This week's hAPPy Friday APP is Popplet, the paid version. This version is on all of our elementary student iPads. With Popplet you can capture your ideas, sort them visually, and collaborate with others in real time. Students can plan their writing and organize their thoughts using this colorful mind-mapping app. The paid version also allows them to create more than one Popplet at a time. Check out the App Integration Snapshot from Margie Brown, VVE's EdTech.
Ms. Plevich really makes science come a live in her classroom. From taking care of class pets to dissecting bones, her students learn in active and meaningful ways. Students use iPads to reinforce new science vocabulary. Using the free app Skitch students draw arrows and type labels on their own photos of actual plants. Want to learn more about Skitch? Take a look at last hAPPy Friday's app integration snapshot and you too can get "Skitchy" with it!
From BPE's Student Council members Landry, Alex, and Madelene:This is Rex Ryan, he will be turning two years old and is very sick. He is part of the Eanes ISD Family and both his parents are administrators, his mother is the assistant principal at Eanes Elementary. His father, a former WRMS teacher, is an AP at Gorzycki middle school. Schools all over Austin are supporting Rex and his fight against cancer. It costs a lot of money to stay in the hospital and we want to help them pay for it. Student Council will be collecting orders for Rex Strong t-shirts, hoodies, and bracelets. Or you can do chores around the house to earn some extra money to donate. We will be taking orders or monetary donations starting tomorrow until Winter Break. For each donation students will have a crane hung in your honor and our goal is to get 1,000 cranes (We learned about this from BPE ARTS day) for a wish for Rex. Stay Calm and Rex Strong
Yellow collection boxes for the RexStrong fundraiser are located in Ms. J. King's Kinder classroom, Ms. Iles' 1st grade, Ms. C. King's 2nd grade, Ms. Crowley's 3rd grade, Ms. Joseph's 4th grade and Ms. Mojica's 5th grade classroom. THANKS!!
It takes a village to write and publish a book, but we did it! It all started with a genre study of ABC books. Ms. Skonieczny's kindergartners learned that authors make lots of decisions when creating a book. We chronicled our journey through the genre study by creating noticing charts for several ABC books. These charts helped kids identify important parts of books or ways authors use illustrations, rhyming, color, bold text, or alliteration to tell a story.
One of the books we studied was Alphabet City by Stephen Johnson. This book inspired us to create our own environmental ABC book. To practice finding letters, Ms. Husain, Ms. Medina and Ms. McLaughlin took a few sample photos and organized them into a Notebook 11 file for kids to find hidden letters as a group.
Using their iPads, the kindergartners searched high and low hunting for hidden ABCs on our school grounds. While encouraged to find as many letters as they could, each child was assigned (by taping a card to their iPad) one particular letter to showcase. Using the free Shutterfly Photostory App, we created an ABC book using the student photos and sentences they created for their assigned letter...can you find alliteration, rhyming and patterns in our book? We had more letters than students, so we also included a few teachers and one special guest too! We hope you enjoy our book, BPE ABC, as much as we enjoyed creating it!
4th grade bloggers Justin and Jack write about FaceTime with Jordan Allen, author of a short story personal narrative, that was read by the class prior to connecting over the web:
4th grade bloggers Ally, Jordan, and Gabrielle write about Learning Outside of the Textbook with Dr. Taliferro in Boston, MA:
Today's hAPPy Friday comes from Carl Hooker, Director of Instructional Technology. Want to know some of the cool new features of iOS7 and how to use them in your classroom? Check out the App Integration Snapshot and enjoy Apple's newest update!
Often students struggle with comprehending nonfiction text and read it like they would fiction. In this lesson, Ms. McLaughlin, our Instructional Partner extraordinaire, turned Ms. Cimino's third graders into first class sleuths by helping them recognize nonfiction by its features. Just like a detective who looks at clues to solve a mystery, Ms. McLaughlin explained strategies to help students attack text for understanding, making the process a whole lot less mysterious! Super sleuths take good notes, so students were encouraged to explore all kinds of nonfiction text and record their findings with a variety of apps like Draw Free, Skitch, Popplet, Notability, and Keynote. Using Chirp, the students received a picture of the "Noticing" chart for their notes. On their own, students took pictures of the text and used various apps to draw notes on their pictures, add their own thoughts, and even record their findings using the audio feature on Notability. Got a serious case of the non-fiction blues? We've got the gumshoes for you!
On Monday, November 4th, BPE hosted Dr. Dieter Breithecker, an authority on ergonomics for children from the Federal Institute on the Development of Posture and Exercise in Wiesbaden, Germany. Dr. Breithecker spoke to teachers, parents, and community members about his research on movement and brain activity. His research indicates that there is a positive correlation between an active environment with natural stimulation and the ability to pay attention. Having flexible furniture and spontaneously incorporating "brain breaks" are a great way to energize the mind. Check out these quick brain break energizers you can use in your classroom.
The Third Teacher, a book on which Dr. Breithecker consulted, talks about transforming teaching and learning by incorporating basic design elements and intuitive movement into the everyday classroom. From Node rolling chairs and Hokki stools to high-top standing tables, Bridge Point's two newly redesigned classrooms embrace the idea that bodies in motion equal brains in motion. Check out our ThingLink below for information about one of our redesigned rooms.
Dr. Breithecker's presentation can be found online and more information on his research can be found on his site.
Ms. Cowan's Redesigned Classroom ThingLink
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This week's hAPPy Friday app is Bookabi. Bookabi is an app that lets children of all ages write and illustrate stories. Check out the App Integration Snapshot that Debbie Smith from Eanes Elementary created for this app. Included in this snapshot, you will find links to a video tutorial and to a List.ly list of Bookabi resources that Debbie has accumulated for you. Have a GREAT Friday!!
Each month at Bridge Point we highlight a Life Skill that helps students become more successful human beings and citizens of Earth. During that month our school is on the lookout to spot, celebrate, and talk about that month's Life Skill. We work as a school community to reinforce the skill with our actions, words and positive role-modeling of that skill. Each Life Skill starts with a small kick off at assembly to introduce the skill. Sometimes there are skits, movies or dances to help our students understand the Life Skill of the Month. October's Life Skill is Healthy Choices and a few of our talented 5th graders created this movie to tell us all about making Healthy Choices. Students "caught" making Healthy Choices will be rewarded with an apple to put on our Life Skills board and recognized daily at assembly.