Google Apps For Education #GAFE
For the past few weeks our Writer's Workshop has focused on Fictional Winter Stories. To begin, students used Graphic Organizers to plan their characters, setting, problem and solution. Before moving on, they checked in with a partner - does this make sense? does it sound interesting? should I add more details?
Students then used their plan and wrote a first draft, constantly checking in with their graphic organizer to make sure they included all the elements of a fictional story. As they worked we reviewed a new 'Writing Character Trait' each day; Donna Details, Willy Word Choice, Vicky Voice and Charlie Conventions.
Once they finished they peer-edited each others' work, checking for: 1) proper use of lower and upper case letters 2) proper spacing *meatball spaces between words *spaghetti spaces between letters 3) proper spelling of our Word List Words 4) proper use of punctuation 5) I can read this and it makes sense. Then, students conferenced with me and I helped them to edit their writing one last time before publishing.
Finally, students began to use their personal #TDSB Google Drive to publish their work. They opened a New Google Doc, typed their stories as they'd written on their drafts, then shared them with me through Drive so I could assess and print.
Students have been taking turns on our classroom desktops and our school's shared laptops to write their stories during Daily 5, Writer's Workshop and even during Media / Computer Lab with Helena. They are very proud of their accomplishments!!
If you'd like to access Google Drive from home, please do! Students are welcome to write further stories on their Drive. Feel free to share with me too by clicking the blue Share tab in the top right hand corner, then typing "Kelly Fricker"
Google Documents (Docs)
By using Google Documents, our goal is to:
· practice different writing forms;
· practice our typing skills;
· writing and reflecting on anything related to school;
· we can share our thoughts and brainstorming with our teachers and friends in a safe and creative way; and
· we can learn to proofread, edit, and publish our work!
How can I access Google Documents at home?
1) Using Google Chrome, type in: aw.tdsb.on.ca
2) Log into your account by typing your student number in the User Name box, and Password.
The password is likely set for “kellyjan”. If it is not working, the code is: “kelly_ _ _”. The last three digits of the password are the first three letters of the present (or previous) month. For example, the password in March will be “kellymar”.
*Students use these logins daily during Daily 5 and also during each Media class with Helena; if your son or daughter does not know their student number, please contact me and I can forward it to you.
3) Hover over the Google tab and click on the Drive link. This will open up a new tab. Click “My Drive” to access your work! You can click on “New Google Doc”, or “Shared with Me” and start typing! Have fun.
lass Rep: Is there anyone willing to step in and shadow Claire for the next few weeks? She’s signed on as Communications lead for HPAS and would like to offer our Class Rep position to another eager parent. Please speak to either Claire or me if you’re interested! Thanks in advance.
Reading As students listen to read alouds, they are encouraged to think about the characteristics of simple fictional stories (Curriculum 2.1, Understanding Text Forms) 1) characters 2) setting 3) problem 4) solution. We read Boo Hoo Bird (it emphasizes the character traits Kindness & Caring, Teamwork and Empathy) and talked about the problem and solution. Ask your son or daughter to retell this story or better yet, as you read simple fictions at home talk about these four main components (especially problem and solution).
Writing Students are working on creating their own Winter Stories Using Knowledge of Form and Style (Curriculum 2.1). First: we used a graphic organizer to help us plan our ideas during pre-writing (Characters, Setting, Problem, Solution). Then: we had a modelled/shared writing lesson as the students helped write a story using Kelly’s sample planner.
Now: the students are writing their stories using their planners. This will take some time and that’s OK! Students will check in with me as they write and have the chance to revise their work. Next week: we’ll buddy up and edit each other’s work (Capitals/Lower Case Letters, Punctuation, Spelling, Spacing & Legibility, Content: does it make sense?). Finally: students will revise their work and get it ready for publishing.
Daily 5 Students continue to rotate through the centres, choosing 2 each morning from Read to Self, Read to Someone, Listen to Reading, Work on Writing, Word Work, but we’ve been cutting them short and setting aside some time to learn new Word Work Games. *PARENTS* This is your chance to come in and volunteer with a literacy focus! THIS PROGRAM ONLY WORKS WITH YOUR SUPPORT. You can volunteer for a regular time slot, once a week, once a month or simply whenever you have the time in your schedule. Each month we’ll ask for your availability and then create a calendar for volunteers.
Starting in term 2 (February), parents will be invited to come in each morning between 9:00 - 10:00 to run two, 20 minute Word Work Game groups. The students will already know the games and their rules, all you have to do is supervise and support them with the game play (we’re doing some shared writing and creating a rule book so you’ll be familiar with all the expectations!). So far we’ve learned how to play Jenga, Build-a-Word and Sight Word Uno. Please ask your son or daughter about the ‘how to’ writing we’ve shared and stay tuned for more info re: a starting date!
If you want to volunteer in the class, please check with Marlene to see if you have an up to date Police Reference for this school year. You can reach out to Jess, our trip/volunteers rep, if you need more info about the process. Thanks!
Mental Math On Tuesday, students brought home two mental math sheets to show you their progress. These are from math-aids.com and are samples of sheets we’ve been working on throughout the year. They are quick, 10 minute, 7 minute, 5 minute drills that support students’ memorization of addition facts from 1-20. You can continue to practice at home by filling in the ones students missed on their sheets, or by printing your own from math-aids.com (Addition tab on left, ‘Zero to Twenty’ OR ‘Adding Doubles’, set the limits as you see fit.)
Please visit this amazing site to read more about Counting On, Doubles, Doubles Plus One, Making Ten, Making Multiples of Ten and Front End Addition (which we call Partial Sums)! We're using these strategies and encouraging the students to explain their thinking, to show their work and really demonstrate an understanding of the strategies.
Measurement We took a short break from Patterning and Geometry this week to talk about the seasons (we finally had a drop in temperature and there’s some snow!) and how they help us measure time. Grade 1s will: name the months of the year, in order; relate temperature to experiences of the seasons. Grade 2s will: relate days to weeks, and months to years; explain how changes in temperature affect everyday experiences.
Math Folders Students have red math folders to keep their class work in (after we’ve done a lesson and have a follow up activity), but also to go to for extension and review activities. Every few weeks or so students are given a new package of work to add to the folder and to complete at their own pace. We spent some time this week catching up and doing some review.
Grade 7/8 Fundraiser:
We had a visit from two senior students from Anastasia's class today and they told us about their Toy and Book Sale. Happening January 28th, HPAS students will have the chance to visit the sale to buy gently used items and support the senior class in their fundraising for their end of the year trip... but they need your help! If you have any gently used toys or books that you and your children are willing to donate, please send them in ASAP! The senior class will be collecting and sorting items in the next two weeks. Thanks for your support.
In our Room 108 Classroom Community, we foster an engaging, respectful and caring environment. I aim to balance a consistent program with flexible responsiveness to students' individual needs.