Dec 13, 2013

Adding Kidblog to your devices

Last week I made the decision to switch from Edublogs to Kidblog. I'm really happy with the decision. Kidblog is a much better platform to work with especially younger students. Here's how to add it to your devices.
You can also get to it from this blog, go to Favourite Links and click on 'Student Blogs' it will take you to the main page of the blog. If you decide to add this blog to your child's device here's how to do it.

1. Go to App Store and find Kidblog; it looks like this: It's also free.

2. Download the App and then open it up.
3. You'll get a screen that looks like this:

4. My url is MsBrownsClass1314 (not bold) you need to type it in just as you see it or it won't link to our class blog and the kids won't be able to add to their blog.
5. Once they can open the blog they will see a screen which looks like this:

• They add the title and then type in the body just like they would if they were on Edublogs. This blog allows them to log out and back in again on our class devices. It's a much easier site for the kids to work with. Good luck with downloading. If you have any questions please just ask. 

Dec 4, 2013

Switching Blog Sites

I've finally made an executive decision. I'm switching our blog site. I've had nothing but problems with the Edublogs site. I'm finding it too difficult for the kids to navigate around, the iPad app keeps crashing and half the time it doesn't load all of their posts properly. I spend more time, trouble shooting than I do helping students with their writing. Today was the final straw. Edublogs made changes to their iPad app (Yah!!! Was what I was thinking) but as it turns out, it was a huge HAY!!!! 
It appears I've got to individually load 19 blogs on all of my devices. Right now we're borrowing 6 iPads from a friend and to do this 8 times, it just plain RIDICULOUS. I've got better things to do with my time. 
So I'm going back to Kidblogs. It's still operated by the same company but it's a much easier blog to use for the students than Edublogs. You can still download the app for free. I'll show you how to do this tomorrow and to get the students logged on. If you want to download the app onto your personal devices then I can help them get logged on in the next couple of days. 
Here's the link to the students' blog site. 
Best of luck. Let's hope this works better than the other one. 

Nov 17, 2013

Grade 2 At A Glance

Parents if you are wondering about what or why things are taught in school, the government of Alberta has put out A Child's Learning: A Parent Resource to help you understand what we are trying to accomplish. This link above takes you to a general page. You are welcome to explore other grades but here is the link to grade 2. It's a pdf file so it might be difficult to view on your phone. 
Here is a visual I use to help me in my planning and thinking about curriculum.

I've linked it to the Alberta Education website if you wanted more information. I hope this helps to clarify or maybe give you more insight into what you're child should be learning in school. 

Nov 16, 2013

All Aboard Inquiry Project

Starting next week, we'll start to get serious about our All Aboard/Canoe project. I've had to make several adjustments to the investigation but I'm happy I did because it's going to be a new experience for the students. 
Inquiry means - a close examination of a matter in a search for information or truth, basically it means coming to conclusions yourself by examining several factors, images, ideas, and resources. The students will be inquiring about; how waterways in Canada shaped various communities? This project will look at the various communities in Canada and how boat transportation in early settlements shaped each community.  
Our investigation will be an inquiry into the availability and accessibility of Canadian waterways, and how individuals, along with good and services, would have been able to move about different communities in Canada by way of boat. As well we will look at how the waterways and transportation of goods and people shaped the communities the students will look at. As we investigate, the students will uncover why the canoe have become a wonder of Canada? 
This graphic shows all of the sites which are safe for students to search. They will be using these images and information to help them answer important questions. 
They will use their blogs to write journal entries as to what they've learned and discovered. Please check them regularly to give them feedback and quality comments on what they've written.

Oct 28, 2013

I've Unleashed the Monsters

Well I've unleashed the texting monsters. They were so excited to know how to text me information. I've had them add my contact information to their list of contacts so it's easier for them to send me video or images. 
I also had a talk with them about what's appropriate and not appropriate to send to their teacher and to someone else. 
Some of the students did not have iMessage set up. It's a simple thing to do and it doesn't cost you anything because Apple is genius, yes I just said that, sorry Blackberry or Android users. iMessage is used over wi-fi so anytime the students send me something it's through iMessage and not normal texting, unless you had a texting plan which I'm sure you don't. If you could set this up on their devices then it's an easy way for them to send me images or video they might take in the classroom.

They also used voice memos today. The iPads/mini's don't have this app and it's not one you can get in the App Store. You can get others just not the Apple version. You don't need to have this app, it's just a fun way to record voices. 
Have fun. 

Oct 21, 2013

What is Quantity?

Students learned a new math word today? You might to ask them what does quantity mean? 
We also looked at what was 10 more than 35. You might want to ask them?

They also looked at what a boat needs to float. Do you have any ideas you could share with them? 
Their task is to build a boat from either paper, wax paper, plasticine or tin foil. 

Oct 20, 2013

What Are We Up To...

It's been a very busy 2 months of school and the days are flying by. I can't believe Halloween is next week...please save me know. Here's what's been happening in 2B.

Writer's Workshop:
In September the kids focused in on writing their ideas down. Some are still working on this while others are moving on to use Organization in their writing. They are learning how to use question leads and sound leads to create Bold Beginnings.
• They'll be moving onto learning how to write Mighty Middles and Excellent Endings.

Word Study:
They've learned the routines and activities we'll do while Ms. Brown works with small groups to teach them their sounds.
• Our first test is on Tuesday. You won't know how you did until Wed.
• New words will come home on Wednesdays - I think we'll take 2 weeks to do this next set of words again because we miss school on Friday and Halloween activities the following week.

Reading/Daily 5:
They've built up their stamina for being able to read independently for 20 minutes. I've finished the testing I needed to do and now I get to conference with students. They'll be picking a reading goal and strategy to work on during Daily 5 time. I can't wait to meet with each of them.
• Several reading strategies have been introduced and they have all been sent home. More will come home so please save them.
• They are working at building their stamina with Reading to Someone. Work on Words and Listening to Reading will be coming up next.

Math: (Ms. Brown's favourite subject to teach :-))
They've worked on knowing the words Compare, Build, Measure, Organize and Thinking. They've done a lot of work with building with Cuisenaire Rods (They are math manipulative used to help explain their thinking). They've built relationships, worked on building their visual memories, building equalities all to reach the goal of being able to use personal strategies to solve problems. They've measured length, height, and distance around then compared the measurements.
We'll be looking at how to measure the canoe/kayak as well as look at building larger numbers to 100 in the coming weeks.
Here are some photos of the Kayaks they built. I learned in my research that a traditional kayak is:
- The length of they kayak is 3 full arm spans long (from finger to finger)
- The cockpit is your hips plus 2 fists
- The depth of the kayak is your fist plus the hitchhikers thumb.
Interesting information, so we set out to build the length of what their kayaks would look like.
Look at how long they are. Some were very surprised. 

The length, distance around of cockpit and the depth of their kayak.

Helping each other measure.

Showing where he'd sit in his kayak.

So nicely labelled

We're investigating Boats/Canoes and trying to answer the driving questions:
Why would the canoe be named as one of Canada's 7 Wonders of Canada?
• They'll work in building canoes/boats that are stable and can carry a load.
• They've tested to see what objects float and sink
• In the coming weeks, they'll learn more about Canada and the communities of the north, east and a prairie community.
I can't wait to share all that we learn about these communities.

In the coming weeks, we'll be prepping for our Halloween Party. The students will decide what they would like to do. We've also committed to decorating a Mini Christmas Tree for the Festival of Trees. I can't decide if we should be a Charlie Brown Tree or a Scaredy Squirrel Tree. I'll need to make a decision soon.

If you have any questions, please just email us. Or better yet, leave a comment so the students can learn how to respond and write good quality comments themselves.

How to Get Edublogs on Devices

Blogging has become part of our routine in grade 2. Some of you might ask, What is blogging? Good question. It's an online journey which allows you to keep up to date with friends, family (close or far away), global community or write about how you're feeling or just share some of your thoughts. 
I've created this classroom blog, my apologies for not keeping it up, but I can always strive to be better so that I can share what happens in our classroom with all of you. 
I started blogging with my students to help improve their writing and willingness to write. Writer's write for an audience, blogging provides that audience which is you the parent, aunt, uncle or grandparent as well as an engaging platform. The possibilities are endless, images and videos can be added which opens up the opportunity to be creative in other ways. 
This video from Linda Yollis who has been blogging for many years with her grade 2 and 3 students shows a little bit about what the possibilities are with blogging. She uses it for a more global perspective, I'm not quite their yet. 

Please don't get me wrong, I'm not advocating that your child should be on their device for hours on end. Devices can be used for creative purposes rather than than just a taking in of information or an escape from boredom. 
I am using a new blogging platform this year called Edublogs. In the past, I've used Kidblogs but I wanted to try something new that allowed the kids to add more content. This is an experiment and we'll see how it goes. 
I know Edublogs has an app that can be downloaded onto your child's device, that way they won't always have to go to the web to have access to it. Here's how to download the app and save it on their home screen so they can use their devices to blog with.
Let's get started:
1. Find the app (Edublogs) in the App Store. It looks like this. Download it. 

2. Open it up and you'll see a screen that looks like this or like this, it will depend which device you are using. 
iPod Screen

iPad screen

3. You want to press "Add blog hosted at Edublogs"  to get access to your child's blog. 
4. You'll then see a screen that looks like this. 

5. Your child can add their username and password. If they don't know it, please email me and I will pass it on. 
6. Then it's time to start blogging. The app is easy to use and I am showing students in class how to use it. I am open to having your child blog on their devices during writer's workshop time. 

Also, here is a nice link to show the reasons why kids start blogging. 

I hope this helped and we are looking forward to hearing your comments. 

Oct 6, 2013

Breaking Rocks 2013

I promised I would share photos but time just slips away. We're into week 6 of grade 2 and it's just flying by. 
Our Investigation on Breaking Rocks/Persevering was a huge success. I know the kids had fun and they learned what it means to persevere. We'll continue to work on this during math, Reading, Writing and of course our new unit Boats/Canoes.
Here are some photos to keep you updated as to what we've been doing in class. 
We sorted rocks by 2 attributes.

They checked to see which rocks weighed more and then ordered them by their weight.

Planned what they would bring to break rocks. 

And smashing they did. 

He brought the big guns.

Will this work???

I've got to think about safety.

Hmmm... How am I going to do this?

I wouldn't want to be the rock right about now. 

Lookin' Good while breaking rocks.

Some of the rock holders we made. 

I hope you enjoyed the images. More will come. Up next Boats/Canoes.

Here's our driving question for our Boat/Canoe Project:
Why would a canoe be named as one of Canada's 7 Wonders of Canada?

Sep 6, 2013

Successful Week

We've successfully completed our first 4 days of school. Some of them flew by and others well, let's just say I'm glad today was Friday. You could tell the kids were tired. 
What did we accomplish? Well, we learned how to fill out our agendas, continually learning the classroom routines, worked on building our stamina for Reading to Self, picked out books to take home for homework (although some are not making good selections but we'll work on that next week), did an important spelling assessment, worked on comparing in math, measuring and dot collections. Oh I forgot the dreaded computer lab. We went twice to learn how to log on and guess what, the second time we had no tears. They sure persevered which is great because we'll be working on this for the next two weeks. 
Next week we'll start our Rock Investigation and I can't wait. We'll be sorting, comparing, discussing equal, breaking them, building rock holders and collecting them. It's going to be so much fun. 
Here are some photos of the kids working in the classroom. 

Sep 5, 2013

Welcome Back to School

It's been two great days of school so far. We're heading into Thursday and we'll see how tired they are today. 
It's going to be a great year, well I have that feeling just from the conversations I've had with this group of little people. 
I can't wait to share all we do with you here. Come back and visit soon. 
Ms. Brown 

Jun 17, 2013

Butterflies Have Emerged

Our butterflies finally emerged from their chrysalis this weekend. We were fortunate enough today during math to watch many more come out of their chrysalis. It was an exciting morning. Tomorrow we'll release them so they can go and lay more eggs.
Please remember we need more volunteers for the field trip on Thursday afternoon as well as for the swimming on Monday, June 24th in the afternoon as well.

Jun 13, 2013

Caterpillars Moving Into Aquarium

1. Take out the caterpillar and put it in the aquarium.
2. Tape it on to the side.
3. Cut the silk to take off the lid.