CCE second graders complete a unit on oceans and marine life to finish out the year, and this year we decided to try something new! Shannon Foley, CCE librarian, learned about the gallery method of research at a conference she previously attended. This method of research involves setting up stations or individual tasks for students to go through with guiding questions and activities. Stations can be completed in any order.
We collaborated with Mrs. Foley and Gifted and Talented teacher Cara Beth McLeod to brainstorm activities and ideas aligned with 2nd grade TEKS from all subject areas. Then, we created stations covering various ocean topics and aligned with grade level TEKS such as using frequency charts, making scientific observations, and making inferences. Our goal was to give students a variety of learning experiences, including hands-on experiments, videos, and books.
Students came to the Learning Lounge every day for 5 days, and stayed for 45 minutes. The Learning Lounge was the best place to conduct this particular activity, since it has a variety of furniture that can be rearranged to accommodate different activities, and plenty of space for students to move in between stations.
Each student received a paper copy of the "Ocean Field Guide" below. It contains the directions for each station, QR codes to accompanying websites, and questions for students to answer. We checked students' work after completing each station, and students kept track of their progress on the last page.
Here's an example of a student's acrostic poem about sharks (and his super cute fish face photo!) from station #3:
And here are some photos of students working on various ocean research stations:
Appy Holidays from Amy and Jolie! This week we visited classrooms to spread holiday cheer and teach students how to use an iPad app. In kindergarten and first grade, students wrote letters of appreciation. They used the template below to compose the letter.
Next, students chose two holiday props and had their picture taken in front of a festive background. Students put their photo into the Screen Chomp app, then recorded themselves reading their letter of appreciation. Screen Chomp creates a URL to videos made in the app, so we shared the link with parents so they could watch their child's video. Here are some examples from kindergarten:
Second and third grade became comic book authors with the Strip Designer app. We read the beginning of the book Penguins by Liz Pichon, where a girl drops her camera into the penguin enclosure at the zoo. Students had to write their own ending to the story to tell what happened to the girl and her camera. Here are some alternate endings:
We're looking forward to an Appy New Year in 2014!
On Tuesday, second graders spoke with Kelly Drinnen, Education and Outreach Specialist for the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary. She showed us different types of coral, various fish and animals that live in coral reefs, and we even got to see a lionfish!
On Wednesday, students “visited” the Georgia Sea Turtle Center. Katie Higgins took us on a virtual tour of the center, where rescued sea turtles are rehabilitated. We learned about the different types of sea turtles and how sea turtles can sometimes be injured by people.
Students also had the opportunity to ask questions. It was amazing to be able to see and talk to someone in Galveston one day and someone in Georgia the next day without ever leaving our school!
Students (and teachers!) learned so much about marine life! Hopefully we will have more experts speak with us in the future!
As part of their unit on economics, second grade students created a business that provides a good or service, then made commercials advertising their business. Some used iMovie, and other used iMovie trailers. Check out our future directors!