Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Learning about the History of the Olympic Torch

Yesterday, seventh graders had the opportunity to Skype with a former London 2012 Olympic torch bearer, Jon Tait.  During Bulldog Time, Jon did a presentation all the way from Great Britain (2:55 pm our time was 7:55 am his time) on the history of the Olympic torch, how he was selected to run in the relay, and the impact that it has had on his life.  The students were excited to see the real torch that he carried!

Thanks to Skype's generosity, we were able to use Skype's free group calling feature, allowing Jon to present to all seventh graders spread out across six different Bulldog Time classrooms.  Jon did a fantastic job answering their questions which ranged from "Was the torch hot?" to "How far did you have to run?" to  "Did you have to do any training before you ran?"  Our students truly enjoyed learning more about the torch and connecting what they learned to their previous Language Arts/Social Studies projects where they created persuasive videos to convince the Olympic Committee Chair to choose a country that they researched as the host of the next Olympic games. (You can view the top 10 videos at http://www.newlondon.k12.wi.us/midint/olympicvideos.cfm).

To learn more about Jon and his story, you can visit his blog Edutait.  You can follow him on Twitter @TeamTait.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Another Mystery Skype with...

Last Friday, Integrated Technology students practiced their online communication and research skills with another Mystery Skype.  This time students discovered that they were talking with students from Elma, Iowa, a very small town whose population is less than the number of students at the MSIS!  

Instead of having students ask yes or no questions to guess the other school's location, each school gave out a series of clues about their state, county, and city to help one another narrow down the location.  Students used the Google search engine to research the information presented in the clues.

Our clue givers stayed on camera to be ready to give the next clue when needed.

Thanks to students' expert Google Maps and Google searching skills, they quickly discovered one another's location!  We also had a little time at the end to ask one another more questions about our cities.  It was especially fun to share a little trivia about "New Dublin's" St. Patrick's Day traditions and festivities.

Our students are bloggers!

Fifth grade Integrated Technology students are excited about sharing their knowledge of Internet safety through their very own blogs!  Working collaboratively with schools in Somers Point, NJ and Bethel, CT, students from each school will be writing blog posts following various lessons on Internet safety.  They will also be reading one another's posts and adding comments to create a virtual discussion about these important topics.

We would love to hear what you think about our blog posts as well.  View our blogs by going to http://kidblog.org/IntegratedTechnology/ and http://kidblog.org/KaburuYoungBlog/.  You can view students' individual blogs by choosing a name from the list on the right.  Please leave the students comments as well.  They would love to hear what you think.

At the end of the project, students from each school will be creating Internet safety public service announcements and exchanging them with one another.  Stay tuned for a future post sharing their creations.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Our Celebration of Reading Continues with World Read Aloud Day

Our reading celebration continued today with Mrs. Pritchard's class connecting with Mrs. Manko's class in Pittsburgh, PA to share their love of literacy as part of World Read Aloud Day.  World Read Aloud Day exists to promote the importance of worldwide literacy, especially for the 793 million people who are still illiterate.  Students at New London Middle School showed the value and importance of literacy through their connection with their new 5th grade friends from PA.  

We began by listening to a story from the PA students.  Afterwards, they performed a short news broadcast show where they shared interesting facts about Pittsburgh.  We learned a lot, especially about the many sports teams in Pittsburgh.

Then, it was our turn to share.  Mrs. Pritchard and her class read the book It's Too Noisy! by Joanna Cole, a  funny retelling of a Yiddish folktale about a farmer and his, uh, crowded home.  Enjoy watching the video of their reading.  

Finally, we shared some interesting facts about Wisconsin from the book Weird Wisconsin by Linda S. Godfrey.  Who knew that Wisconsin had so many strange places!

We had a wonderful experience celebrating with Mrs. Manko's class!  Happy World Read Aloud Day!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Reading Across America Part 2

We love to read across America!  Today 5th graders in Mrs. Krause's class met with 5th graders from Wentzville, MO to celebrate some great books in honor of Read Across America and World Read Aloud Day.  Mrs. Krause's students first read Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons by James Dean and then listened to Mrs. Cook from Wentzville read One Cool Friend by Toni Buzzeo.  After the readings, students had the chance to learn a little bit about one another through a short question-and-answer that included favorite books and weather in our respective cities.

Stay tuned to find out who we will read with next!

Friday, March 1, 2013

Reading Across America!

What an exciting day!  In celebration of Dr. Seuss's birthday and Read Across America, we have some lively reading activities happening in our school.

The seventh graders in Mrs. Wilson's class connected with another group of seventh graders in Kentucky to share their favorite books, what they are reading in Language Arts, and some fun facts about their respective states.

Some of our eighth graders also had a chance to shine and inspire the love of reading in some younger students.  They were the stars at an elementary school in North Carolina.  Their Skype reading of  both Oh, The Places You will Go! and Green Eggs and Ham was broadcast to the entire school!  The elementary students were also curious to learn more about Wisconsin and New London after they finished reading.

Finally, our book club, Lit Masters, met to discuss this month's book selections.  We had lively and interesting conversations as usual.

Thanks to all of the students who participated in our reading activities today and promoting literacy throughout America!