2015 is definitely ending on a high note! Check out all of the powerful learning happening in Bloomingdale School District 13!
Here's to a wonderful 2016 year filled with many more inspirational instructional opportunities for our students!
Guest Blogger: Mrs. Kat Lents, DuJardin Fourth Grade Teacher
Today students are asked to not only understand the process of solving a math problem, but also the reasoning behind the process. In order to help students master these concepts, I began creating instructional videos for students to reference while working at home. These videos were posted onto our Google Classroom which students have access to on their Chromebooks. Students would come back to class excited that things clicked for them at home after watching the review video. I was very impressed that students began taking ownership of their own learning and even asked me when the video would be up if I hadn't been posted yet!
Now that students are more comfortable using their Chromebooks and have learned strategies to explain their thinking while solving math problems, they have become the teacher. After each lesson, a group of students creates a review video to be posted onto our Google Classroom. In these videos students not only explain how to solve the problem, but the reasoning behind what they do. They ask guiding questions to help remind classmates of each step along the way (check out the example above). In class, these students have become the "expert" on that particular topic. Students know to reference our experts when they are stuck.
It has been great watching my class teach one another. They take pride in become our resident expert and work hard to be chosen for the next lesson. Our video library is growing everyday and the class is excited to see all that they have learned this year!
--Mrs. Kat Lents, DuJardin Fourth Grade Teacher
In 5th grade, we have been working with an incredible cloud-based music program known as Flat. Flat is a type of notation software that allows the user to create musical compositions by entering in music notes and also allows for immediate feedback on how it sounds. This enables students to quickly hear whether or not they like the sound of something rather than the traditional method of writing it down on paper and finding out later.
In class, students have been given the opportunity to create their own musical compositions using Flat and the students have been having a blast doing so! The images above are actual student samples of what we have been working on!
Students will be playing their composed pieces from their Chromebooks in class at the conclusion of this unit. I highly recommend the use of Flat for simple or complicated compositional endeavors. A link has been provided to a reference sheet I put together on how to navigate most of the basic aspects of the program. Happy composing!
--Mr. Cooper Evans, DuJardin School Music Student Teacher
The kindergarten students in D13 are using Asus Memo tablets. We have tried apps, explored google classroom, and even had 5th grade tech buddies problem solve with us.
This week in kindergarten we did an awesome lesson with our tablets and digital photography. Miss Eirinberg and I started the lesson with a digital citizenship discussion on how to ask someone’s permission before taking a photo. The students were then given a grid of items to find in the classroom and photograph. We discussed how to focus and take the picture. We heard great discussions on how to find things in the room to photograph. The students also were respectful and asked before taking pictures of each other. Several students chose to continue photographing things in the room and sounding out those objects on the back of the paper.
Watching the kindergarteners communicate with each other and collaborate on the lesson was exciting for us both! Thanks to our kindergarteners for jumping in and being respectful digital citizens!
--Amy Fonk, Kindergarten Teacher, DuJardin Elementary
Here in Bloomingdale School District 13, learning is... fun!
Check out the photos below!
Guest Blog Post on the Hour of Code! READ ALL ABOUT IT!
Last week was Computer Science Week and to celebrate this event, people from any age, from all over the world, created programs with computer coding! Hour of Code is a campaign to get everyone to join in and code for just one hour this week. Anyone from Ashton Kutcher to Barack Obama, 4 years old to 104 can learn how to code. And the Erickson Elementary students joined in the coding fun as well!
Erickson students from grades 1 to 5 learned that they can find coding all around them, from computer programs in a grocery store to their family room to the vehicle that got them to school! The students practiced coding on a website called code.org, which started the campaign Hour of Code in 2013. Not only does coding align with the Common Core Math Standards, it also promotes problem solving and thinking skills along with an understanding of technology.
Erickson Elementary also has a Coding Club for 4th graders where they program stories, games and other animations at scratch.mit.edu. The students think creatively and work together to make their programs come alive! In February, The Coding Club has an opportunity to go a student led conference called “Crack the Code” in Bensenville, IL where students will learn from other students about technology!
To code a computer is a fun activity that everyone can do! You don’t have to be a certain age, be at a certain place, or start at a certain time. Coding is meant for all of us. It is our future. Our children’s future. We all should know how to create a computer program! Might as well start now!
--Heather Grover, Erickson Elementary Librarian
Today, Kindergarteners used their Tablets to complete a differentiated word sort. They used the app "Google Classroom" to open, work on, and turn in their assignment. The activity involved dragging & dropping in addition to typing!
Check out this Kindergarten guest blogger's reflection!
The teaching of Digital Citizenship remains absolutely essential in any classroom. Our students live in a digital world where they must know how to protect themselves and stay safe. It can be a scary world out there for children. Teachers in Bloomingdale School District 13 have been embedding Digital Citizenship instruction regularly as they utilize the technology in their classrooms. Students should be learning Chromebook and Tablet skills, but also Digital Citizenship principles and ideas that allow them to maximize their learning.
Our district's Technology Scope and Sequence includes many aspects of Digital Citizenship teaching. Here are just a few:
Now that our students are knee deep in their technology facilitated learning, we thought it was a great idea to revisit some of these concepts. Check out the Digital Citizenship Challenge: What Should You Do? The kids are doing an amazing job!