Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Just For Our 2nd Graders New PBL Project...."Let's Celebrate Our Community" Smore Full Of Resources!

The last few days I have been meeting with our two second grade teachers, Tracy Ferguson and Melanie Smith to plan the 2nd graders new PBL project.  We are going to focus on all of the different parts of our community at Van Meter....the different people, jobs, and places.

We meet in the morning before school and will be planning out the next steps but we do know that we will be using lots of different resources such as books in the library, eBooks, databases, and websites to research all of these different pieces that make up our community.

I created the "Let's Celebrate Our Community" Smore and embedded it into the 2nd grade Symbaloo so it is all ready to go this afternoon during their library and technology time with me.  This will link them to the things they need for this project.

This is just the first step......We will tell you all about how we are going to "sell" Van Meter to everyone in another post later today. 

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Sending Off Bracelets & Letters To Our Friends In India Inspire The New "Banding Together" Edmodo Community

Tomorrow is a very special day for the "Banding Together" project.  
It is the day that all of the beautiful Rainbow Loom bracelets that have been created with love from children around the world are going to make their journey to our friends in Mangalore, India.  There are thousands of bracelets that will be spreading love, friendship, and hope to the children, teachers, and community there.
As the third graders at Van Meter prepare to send them tomorrow, they also wanted to write very special letters to their pen pals in India.  
It was so sweet watching them write letters, create pictures, and then look up their pen pals name on the Google Doc that we started with our friends at In This Together Media.  
At Van Meter, it isn't just the third graders that are making Rainbow Loom bracelets to send to India. A lot of our students in kindergarten through 12th grade have brought them into the library to be part of the "Banding Together" project too.  

And all of these friends and so many more around the world have asked the third graders and myself how we can continue to help and stay connected.  

So last week during a conversation we had in the library, we decided that it would be a great idea to start a community within Edmodo....a place for all of us to connect.  
Today I started the "Banding Together" Edmodo Communtiy.  

We are encouraging those who have created bracelets and anyone who wants to get involved in the "Banding Together" project to join.  

The orphanage in India is just the first stop of our journey in making a difference in children's lives around the world.  

The new Edmodo community will be the perfect place to connect, to communicate, and to change the world. 

You can join the "Banding Together" Edmodo community at this link.   Once I confirm your request, please read the "Welcome Note" and introduce your group to all of us.  There will be news soon on a Google Hangout that we will be having to share more with everyone.  
So as the bracelets, letters, charms, poems, and art are sent off to India tomorrow with a whole lot of love and happiness, let's all come together to continue our project in making a difference.

Thank you, friends.  We love that you have joined us and can't wait for what is next.

Love,  Van Meter Third Graders

Saturday, April 19, 2014

We Are Getting Ready To Celebrate "Poem In Your Pocket" This Week!

This coming week is one of my favorites of the year.  

It is the week we celebrate "Poem In Your Pocket."  Even though it is officially April 24th, I love making it a week long celebration with our school and friends around the world.  
To get ready for "Poem In Your Pocket Day" I create some really fun posters to hang around the school.  It is great fun when everyone participates by putting a poem in their pocket.    

I made the first one in this post using PinWords.com and the second one with Pages on my MacBook. I took the picture of a students pocket at school with the little poem and message in it a couple years ago. It is nice to be able to use them year after year.......but mixing them up a bit with new digital tools.   
On the Poets.org website from The Academy of American Poets, they have a wonderful collection of resources, ideas and of course lots of "Poems" for your pocket.
They even have poems you can run off for kids and a whole bunch of other ones too.

Diana, my associate, and I find all kinds of poems in our poetry books, run them off, cut them apart, and put them in a big basket for the kids to pick from too if they need one.

And a lot of our young people will choose to write their very own poem too.  I love it when they do this....it is so sweet to see their little handwritten poem on a piece of paper.
We all have the best time sharing our little poems....and everyone in our school community participates.
With so many wonderful poems, I wanted to have a way for everyone to capture their "Poems In Your Pockets" forever.  

I created the "Poem In Your Pocket" FlipGrid and will share it on our Symbaloo.  You can all follow our FlipGrid too as it grows throughout the week.   
Have a fun time celebrating "Poem In Your Pocket" and Poetry Month.

We hope you share the stories and poetry from your schools, libraries, classrooms, and communities too.