Friday, April 18, 2014

A Rare Glimpse

One of the challenges of blogging about my classroom is that I want to share what I'm doing while respecting the privacy of my students.  So, I don't post videos or photos with faces which means there are so many wonderful moments I can't share.

Our district tech department is having a video contest and I got permission to post a video to their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/NapaEdTech on the right under recent posts by others.  I think the direct link is here.


If you go there you can see a glimpse into my school and help me win a free Chromebook by liking the video by April 24th.  The three videos with the most likes get a free Chromebook and the top three are in the 30-90 likes range right now so this is very possible to win.

Help me win a free Chromebook!


I have one computer in my classroom right now which is attached to my smart board in a way that I have to turn the smart board off in order to do anything without every student watching.  This would be such a huge help for me.

The video features one day of teaching... last Saturday.

Saturday?

No, it wasn't like Breakfast Club.  No one was there because they were in trouble.

Yes.  I am an elementary teacher who has taught on several Saturdays.  I'm not the only one am I?

Some Saturdays in the past were for intervention before state testing.  This year is different though.

Our district has started recovering attendance money by inviting students that miss a day of school to make it up on a Saturday. We were told we could do what ever we want.  I've been having so much fun.

I usually have a group of about 20-30 5th and 6th graders for about 3 hours.  When they arrive I let them choose teammates and a research topic under a category (this week mammals).  They develop questions, research, and then present.

It. Is. Amazing.

The kids are excited and motivated.  I actually have kids come up to me enthusiastically and ask if I'll be teaching Saturday School and what we'll be researching.  I had a kid joke that they were going to make sure to be absent again so they could come to the next Saturday School- of course we had a talk.

I love see the students collaborate and present.   I feel like I'm seeing them at their best.  This last Saturday, I told them that we'd make PowerPoints and while we were in the lab, kids started asking if they could do a Prezi instead and if they could also make a GoAnimate.


My teacher-y instinct was to remind them of the directions but then I reconsidered. "Yes, this is your presentation.  Make it what you want."

The most amazing part of all?  They barely needed my help.  I was walking in circles with so little to do, I made that video and showed it to them by the end of the day.  (If you haven't played with the iMovie app, you'll be amazed how easy it is.)

Check out what my kids accomplished in a few hours.  You'll love it.



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