We had a great time in December! The children really enjoyed making the Christmas Houses! I wish you could have heard the oohs and aahh when the glitter falls of the houses and sticks to the “glue” lights! Lots of fun!
We will be using these houses as covers for our Christmas Senses booklets. I think they will make a great keepsake! We have been recording how Christmas affects our senses. Lots of great language and images!
We also had a great time on our Polar Express Day! We read the book by Chris Van Alsburg and watched the movie while we completed some related work! We had hot chocolate with lots of marshmallows, cookies, and oranges. Yummy! We got to wear our pajamas too. The weather was just like at the North Pole too! Do you see the silver bell?
The last day before Christmas we made a Gingerbread man and put him in the oven with a lot of little gingerbread men. He led us on a merry chase around the school! He left a clue to his route in each classroom that we visited! We eventually caught up with him and ate him up! We will be working on other gingerbread stories after the break! We made a story map of the one we read! Check it out!
Here’s a closer view! Love all that detail!
Notice the name of the school! We thought it should be Mountain View! Hope you had a wonderful Christmas!
The weeks have been flying by! Why does December go so fast when you are an adult and so slow when you are a kid?
The elf and Gus have been surprising us each day in a different spot! Here are just a few of their antics! They have been leaving us books to read and puzzles to do!
We have been working on the iPads and we have used them quite a bit for silent reading time. By adding the headphones to the iPads the children can listen to the stories without distraction. I bought a neat accessory that lets me have several children at a time listen to one iPad using their headphones!
We have been doing lots of things with the iPads and with Christmas. We have been drawing gingerbread men and making patterns. We hope to incorporate these into a little book!
We made Christmas poems using Doodle Buddy. The children had to create text boxes and add them to the screen and then add the pictures. Doesn’t sound like much but when you are six it is a big deal!
They also had to change colors and use different sizes of stamps. Lots of fun!
Really looking forward to all the neat things we can try!
Today we used the iPads to post on our student blogs! We managed to put the app for KidBlog on all the iPads. It is a great app! We walked through the steps to take a picture and then blog about it. The only real glitch we had is that some of the children inadvertently did their entries on someone else’s name. I think that we need to do a repeat of the lesson on how to sign out when you are done and make sure you are signed on as yourself. I will have to try to find the time to have the children who blogged on someone else’s blog to redo their entry!
But all in all I think we did GREAT! It is not a small task for primary students to navigate around the page and add images and so on. The children copied the title and the first sentence from the board and then were encouraged to write their own sentence. We had some interesting invented spellings but I think everyone can understand what they were trying to write! It is a lot of work for those little fingers to type those sentences. Everyone was really focussed and wanted to get the job done! We had a couple of the students who figured it out really quickly and were able to help everyone else! We couldn’t have done it without them!
I hope you take a minute to have a look! Gus and Sparkles even wrote their name on the Chicka Chicka Boom Boom tree!
The Elf and Gus have been having a good time in our classroom. They decorated a little tree and decided to read Christmas stories on Wednesday night. They left some Christmas confetti to play with too. We are trying to record what they are up to each day in our little booklets about their adventures.
On Thursday night they went for a ride on Mr. Mugs!
We had a great time making gingerbread houses with our Big Buddies on Friday! We hope to blog about it in our student blogs this week! We have downloaded Kid Blog onto the iPads and are learning how to use it. It is a free app!
Today Sinterclaas left a treat for our class. I am a first generation Canadian as my parents emigrated to Canada in 1952. We brought some customs that we still celebrate today! One of my favourites is Dutch Christmas. So, today I brought my wooden shoes to school. The children learned to count to 10 in Dutch and say Merry Christmas. Sinterclaas must have noticed because when we put my wooden shoes outside our classroom door, Sinterclaas came! He brought little treats for the children along with special gingerbread cookies called speculaas, some gumdrops, and chocolate letters. Lots of fun.
The Elf and Gus built a castle out of the blocks last night and played with some of our dinosaurs! Take a look! The children brainstormed some names for the elf and the elf is going to let us know what her name will be in the morning!
We decided to take our silent reading up a notch and used the iPads and our headphones and listened to the stories on the I Like Books app again today. It is hard to tell which story is their favourite! I like this program because as it reads the story the words are also highlighted.
They look focussed, don’t they!
Today when we came to school we had a new visitor! We have a little ghost named Gus who likes to write to us each day and play tricks on Mrs. Anton. He always seems to know where the stapler is even if Mrs. Anton doesn’t! Today he had a visitor to help him!
An elf on the shelf arrived from the North Pole and together they wrote the morning message backwards, went for a ride on our big life size stegosaurus, and left us a puzzle to play with today!
So, of course, we had to write about it and draw pictures! We used Doodle Buddy again for the pictures. We are making a little journal chronicling The Adventures of the Elf and Gus. I don’t have pictures of it yet but the children did some great work there too.
We also did some more spelling with word families and some Christmas words on the iPads again this morning. So easy to find the common endings and underline them or look for a little word within a big one!
We also tried out some of the spelling apps. I will post the names of the Spelling apps tomorrow! In the excitement, I forgot to write it down…
Now, I wonder what we will find Gus and the elf up to tomorrow!
Today was awesome! The iPads for the iPad project arrived today! I definitely did a happy dance! I unpacked them from the cart and we got started right away! I wanted to have the children get oriented with the iPads and we had a talk about how we need to take good care of them. Then we got started!
The first program I showed them was a favourite of mine from last year’s project called Doodle Buddy! Doodle Buddy is an awesome tool for drawing and writing. I use it for almost anything. This morning and this afternoon we used it to draw, do some spelling, and make some patterns in math!
First we learned how to use the tools in this program to draw. Here are some samples of their work! Love that glitter pen!
We also did some spelling and simple word families using Doodle Buddy. Basically we used the ipads as our own personal whiteboards! Works just great!
Later in the afternoon, we used Doodle Buddy to make simple patterns using the stamps. We just used the Christmas ones. After the children had started their patterns, we got up, went to a friend’s iPad and continued their pattern. Lots of fun and learning too!
We also worked with an old favourite from last year called I Like Books. It has a lot of different stories that the children can either listen to, read with, or read by themselves. I had the children use their headphones from the computer lab to listen to the stories. Why didn’t I think of that last year! It worked great.
This last weekend, I picked up a really cool headphone accessory! It allows five headphones to plug into one iPad! Really worth it!
See, wasn’t it an awesome day!