Friday, December 9, 2016

Day 62 - Computer Science Education Week (Hour of Code) 12/12-12/16 - Mr. Wong - BHS Help Desk

BHS will be celebrating Computer Science Education Week or the Hour of Code from 12/12-12/16. Most schools and districts are doing it this week, but the week of the 12th works better for most of our schedules. Thank you to Computer Science Teacher Meg Bednarcik for creating a sign-up for classes who are interested. Please sign up in the Google Form here.
In the past, most classes have signed up with their math teachers. Anyone in the BHS community is welcome to sign up his or her class, but please check to make sure your students haven’t already planned to do the Hour of Code with their math teacher.

These are the companies who will be planning to visit BHS for the week:
These are the activities we have planned:
Hour of code with and Swift Playgrounds
Creating Drawbots
Arduino Demo
We hope you’ll be able to join us for a very exciting and informative week!

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Day 61 - Decem-BURRR! - Ms. Christie - Fox Hill Kindergarten

Please check out some of our "December-doings" this week! We have talked a lot about animals, and how they survive during the cold months of winter! We also talked about how WE get ready for the upcoming winter months too! 

Fundations Letters: 
Image result for d and s fundations cardsImage result for d and s fundations cards
We have been practicing the letters d & s this week. The letters we learn are becoming increasingly challenging to write! We practice writing letters during Fundations and center time. Don't forget to practice at home too!

Check out some pictures below! The students are working hard at our centers this week!! 

Students at read to self center - introducing some new "rocker" chairs!  

Charlie at the iPad center

Making some sleepy bears at the art center to show hibernation!

Read to Self Center

Erin working hard at pick a Gumdrop center!

Working together at the game center 

Listening Center

Rainbow Write!  

 We talked about the things WE do to get ready for winter. Then we each made our very own poster in which we drew and/or wrote out the steps.

Jan Brett is our Author of the Month for December! 

Our poem this week "Winter Animals"

Our hibernating bears are sleeping in the cave!!

This week's shake breaks!

Guiding Questions: 
- What are some words that begin with s? What are some words that begin with d?
- What else do animals do besides hibernate during the winter?
-What does your child do to get ready for the winter?
-What was your child's favorite center this week?

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Day 60 - Coding in Elementary - Diana Marcus - BPS Mobile Learning Coach

Last week was an exciting one as Sarah Visocchi’s fourth-grade class at Pine Glen began integrating coding lessons into their math classes.  The objective of using coding lessons is to help students hone their computational thinking and problem-solving skills, generalizing them into their work in all academic disciplines and areas of their life where logical thinking and problem solving occurs.
We are beginning with’s Code Studio Course 2, a beginner course for students who are readers.  (Course 1 is a beginner course for students who don’t yet read.)  Each new concept is presented in “Unplugged” mode where students either act out or engage in paper-based activities that allow them to understand the concept and vocabulary in real-world situations before applying them to coding and computers.  In our first two Unplugged lessons, students are beginning to understand what “programming” is really about and relating the concept of algorithms to everyday activities.  
In Lesson 1, students practiced using codes to communicate with peers.  First they wrote “code” to tell others how to create designs.  Students then swapped papers and “ran” their classmates’ code to find the design.  If the completed design didn’t match the original, students analyzed the code to determine what went wrong.  Lesson 2 focuses on how we use algorithms in our daily lives as we create instructions for folding a paper airplane.  With a little luck, we’ll have good weather for flying our paper airplanes when we’re done!
The same factors that make Mrs. Visocchi’s class a vibrant and diverse learning community present challenges in implementing a provided curriculum, even one as good as’s.  As a result, it provides opportunities to be creative in modifying the curriculum to reach as wide a variety of learners as possible.  Our hope is to not only modify the curriculum but to share those modifications with the wider BPS community in order to support coding across the district.
Touch base with me or with your building-based ITS to see how incorporating coding into your lesson time can build skills across the curriculum.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Day 59 - Reader's Theater - Mrs. Duncan - Francis Wyman Kindergarten

This post first appeared on Mrs. Duncan's Blog 

Our class performed a Reader's Theater for the book, Polar Bear, Polar Bear by Bill Martin, Jr.  The students helped write the script, made their own masks, and practiced all their lines. 

Monday, December 5, 2016

Day 58 - Preparing for Winter, Owl Ways Learning - Mrs. Bennett - Fox Hill Kindergarten

Our class is continuing to become very extinguished researchers! Each time we begin a new topic we ask students to share their schema, prior learning, about the subject.  Then we use different resources to gain more understanding and new learning to add to our chart.  Our researchers use books, pictures, and even videos to gain new learning. BrainPOP is one of our favorite resources. 

Check out all of our new learning: 

Emergent Reader
This week we read: Where Will That Arctic Animal Go?

Check out our brave volunteers: 

OWLS (Centers)
After Thanksgiving is the time students should be on their way to being independent workers.  The routines and expectations have been explained, modeled, practiced, and are quickly becoming second nature! 

Here are some snapshots of them in action! 

Teacher Talk. . .

Fair is Not Always Equal
Mrs. Greene's lesson this week focused on Fairness.  She talked to them about what fair looks like and read them a story.  She compared fairness to someone needing glasses.  Someone who has needs glasses to see is given glasses because that is fair.  Everyone having a pair of glasses is not fair, especially if they don't need glasses to see.  

The students worked on an activity about fairness and what each individual person or even animal needs to get through their day.  Students looked at different animals and added the things they need. For instance, a pig needs mud and a fish needs water.  That is fair because they both need those things.  The fish doesn't just get mud because the pig needs mud. 

We will continue to practice these skills and have these conversations about fairness.

Class Reward
Room 5 has done it again! We've earned many compliments about our behavior from other teachers and staff members in the building. They are VERY impressed by Room 5! To celebrate we've selected to have a stuffed animal day! Students may bring in 1 stuffed animal of their choice. The stuffed animal should be able to fit in your child's backpack and cannot make any sounds/music. Don't forget to celebrate their accomplishments! 

Friday, December 2, 2016

Day 57 - Classroom Summary November 21 - December 2 - Miss Varrell Pine Glen Grade 2

This post first appeared on Miss Varrell's Blog

Gwyneth's Go Noodle Turkey Character

Morgan's Go Noodle Turkey Character
Here's what we've been up to...

In math we have been working very hard learning different strategies for adding two digit numbers. We have learned to break apart addends into tens and ones and then add those tens and ones separately before putting them back together again. We also learned how to keep one addend whole and break apart only one of the addends. We used cubes, place value blocks (a.k.a. base ten blocks) and open number lines too. We even learned a strategy called compensation (Miss Varrell calls it the Robin Hood strategy) where we subtract a small amount from one addend and immediately add it onto the other addend to make the two numbers easier to add.

This week we learned some new math vocabulary words: compatible numbers,  partial sum and regrouping.  We know that two addends that are easier to add are called compatible numbers. For instance, would you rather add these ---->     28 + 49  or these ---->     27 + 50?    If you would rather add the second equation, that's probably because those numbers are more compatible. It's much easier to add two addends when one of them is just a group of tens! We also learned that the word partial means 'part of' so we were pretty excited to find out that we have been doing partial sums when we broke apart numbers into tens and ones to add them! We will learn about regrouping next week.

In Fundations this week we learned some new suffixes. Our list has now grown from six to thirteen! Here are the suffixes that we are now responsible for spelling in our writing and decoding in our reading: -s, -es, -ing, -ed, -er, -est, -less, -ness, -ment, -ful, -able, -en, and -ish. Here is a group playing a suffix game to help us differentiate the sounds of the suffix -ed:

In Miss Varrell's reading group students have been working on learning how to retell, or summarize, a fiction story. Students used a graphic organizer to collect story notes about an independent text and used them to create a short summary 'paragraph' [N.B. formal paragraph writing will not be taught until the new year]. We spent a lot of time discussing the elements of a story(characters, setting, problem, solution, ending, and sometimes a moral or author's message) and how details included in a summary are usually the important events that move the story forward to its conclusion. We will practice more written retells/summaries in the future. Next week teachers will be assessing children on their reading progress to date to provide data for administration and to inform teachers for instructional purposes.

In social studies we have begun working on our unit about continents, oceans and cultures. We will be studying about maps, globes, landforms and bodies of water while learning about various cultures around the world. Next week please be on the look out for a cultural survey that will be coming home as part of a homework assignment. We will use the information brought back to school to help us understand about our own family traditions and cultures and how to appreciate our unique differences and worldwide similarities.