Here is another example of how I am using the interactive notebook (read more about it here). I am really in love with this new tool for showing learning in my class. We are discussing insects this week and the first thing we did is go outside and look for insects. We found crickets, pill bugs, ladybugs and a few crawly things but the highlight was the stink bug pictured above. I know we were lucky to find such a great insect but using a real example that the class found themselves really added to the excitement. Once we had them in the room we used those discoveries to begin to learn “what is an insect.” Through discussion and by sharing the “rules” to be an insect they learned that some of the things they had found were insect and some were not. To demonstrate their knowledge of the topic we used the interactive notebook. The image above was printed for each child and they glued it on the teacher side of their journal. I also printed a set of images for them to organize on their side of the journal… some were insects and some were not (printable below). My instructions to the kids were show me what is and insect and what is not. A few examples are below. Since I didn’t give specific directions on HOW to show their thinking you can see that the kids had several ideas that all are creative yet show they have an understanding of the topic. We used the Skitch app to label the image above and the insects are spending some time in our living center so we can observe them more.
Download Insect/Not Insect Printable Here and Download Teacher Side Image Here
One of my favorite examples, the student first made a Venn diagram and then realized he didn’t need the middle part so marked it out. Learning through mistakes and practice.
The image below the student wrote 6 and “not 6” by making an x through the 6. Love the thinking!
My class had a unique and fun experience on twitter recently when they were able to tweet with two local weather experts. It all started when I tweeted to several news stations asking if they would be interested in tweeting with my Kindergarten class. I think reaching out to these experts on twitter is much more effective than email because the people you are looking for need to be familiar with the tool anyway. Thankfully I got a response from two news stations and I worked with them to set up the tweeting. Twitter is a great way to connect with experts because it is not time sensitive allowing them to respond whenever they have a chance. I told them my class was used to waiting for responses on twitter and that as long as they would respond within around 48 hours it would work for us. Mr. Delkus from Channel 8 in Dallas agreed and we sent him several tweets that he responded to the next day and he even responded to a follow-up question they had. Ms. Shade from NBC Channel 5 in Dallas also agreed to tweet but was willing to do a live tweet session with my class. We spent about 20 minutes sending tweets back and forth with her on twitter. You can see some of the tweets below.
After tweeting we wrote in our interactive journals and also the kids made books about weather on the iPad.
The highlights for me…
* The look on the girls face when they realized one of our weather experts was a girl!
* Showing my class that you can connect with experts
* Introducing my class to people passionate about science
* My class seeing some of the technology used by weather experts
* Tracking the weather forecast Mr. Delkus gave us