Sunday, September 21, 2014

Celebrating International Dot Day at RES

Classrooms all over the world, in 60 countries including the United States, use the week of September 15th to celebrate International Dot Day!  This celebration is an opportunity for teachers to share the book The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds with students and connect with others about how we make our mark!

At RES students in grades 1-4 created  “DOTS” to represent a little about their talents and passions. When we follow our heart we make a difference and we learn how to “MAKE OUR MARK”.  Students all had a chance to use the coLAR Mix app on the iPads during their enrichment class and many were able to share their work and the technology with their families during our Open House. Check out this video of our celebration of Dot Day and more importantly, each other!

I feel it is very important at the beginning of each school year to make connections with each of my students. This dot day project allowed me to use our first classes together to not only integrate technology and practice our technology usage....but also to chat with each student about their passions.  Next year I hope to expand on this project to build connections beyond our Richmond community!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Welcome Back to the 2014-2015 School Year!

The first weeks of school have gone by in a buzz of excitement.  I feel so lucky to get the chance to visit with and catch up with every student in the school over the course of these first few days of enrichment AND to meet all the new kindergarten students!  I really cherish the summer time spent with my young family, but I also feel so lucky to come back to find my school community ready to jump into our next learning adventure.

In the enrichment classroom we spend the first few sessions of the school year getting back into our school routines, feeling out our news classes and working on projects that allow us to try collaboration in different groupings-- from individually to pairs and groups of four. In all five grade levels my first classes begin with students creating raps to describe their interests and passions.  Next we tour the classroom space and share observations and things we are excited to use/do/explore!  After our tour, students in grade 1 -4 participated in a global project called International Dot Day (look for a separate blog post on this activity coming soon!) During this project we each explored how we 'make our mark' with our talents and interests!

In kindergarten we begin the year by sharing one of my all time favorite picture books --Tacky the Penguin by Helen Lester.  We talk about the importance of being individuals--of sharing our talents AND appreciating our friends!  Next students each create a paper representation of themselves. Their paper person has a special shirt that shares one of their interests!  These paper people will be on display in the enrichment classroom for all the other grades to learn about our newest RES students.

I look forward to great learning with all students at RES this year.  I welcome visitors into my classroom at any time and am always looking for ideas,comments, questions and collaborators to make our learning environment the best it can be.

I am so thankful to learn alongside the teachers, staff and students at RES, and I can't wait to see what the year will hold!  Happy 2014-2015 school year everyone!