Our Class on Social Media

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

We Finally Meet Our Friends in Joliet, Illinois!

Today we had the wonderful opportunity of talking with the 4th grade students of Cathedral of St. Raymond School in Joliet, Illinois.  The day before we skyped, our class explored Joliet on Google Earth and talked about what we thought our new new friends might be like. Here are the ideas we brainstormed:

We imagine that you love some of the same foods we do like pizza, chicken nuggets, and ice cream...that it gets really cold there and you get more snow than we do...you visit Lake Michigan often and you might have an accent.

We imagine that your teacher is nice to you....you hunt and fish...you get to have snowball fight and build snowmen, and you have big malls in Chicago.

We imagine you have to wear warmer clothes than we do for most of the year...that you have heard of Justin Beiber, Taylor Swift, and Michael Jackson...and that not many of you have visited South Carolina.

We imagine that you do not have to wear school uniforms...that you have a very big school...that many of you have digital cameras at home and your teacher shows you how to do a lot of cool stuff with technology.

So what stood out to you about our classes?   How are we alike; how are we different?  What other questions do you have for one another?  Let's blog about it :)

Questions some students still had for our new friends:
1. What are some of your favorite types of technology to use?  --Brittany
2. Do you have any skate parks in your city?  Do any of you like to skateboard?  --Seth
3. Is your class learning a foreign language in school?  --Hunter
4. What are you favorite types of music/artists?  --Mitzi
5. What advice would you give us about becoming better bloggers?  --Miss Gomez

PS.  A special thank you to two of our students, Taylor and John, who took pictures and videotaped our Skype session! Here is John's first video:

Skype Session with Students from Joliet, Illinois from K Tripp on Vimeo.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Reaching Beyond Our MAP Test Goals!

"If you aim at nothing, you surely will hit it!"  -Lt. General Robert H. Forman

At the beginning of the week, I challenged my students to memorize their Math MAP testing goal, and focus on how they will accomplish it.  All this week, my students have had a BLAST motivating one another to accomplish their goal, even reach beyond it.  On Monday, they posted their goal sheet in a place at home they would see it several times a day.  Each night, they completed a special task focused on reaching their goal and then shared it with our class the next day. One night they gave a pep talk to the person in the mirror.  Another night they wrote a song, rap, or TV jingle focused on their goal.  Tonight they will create a dance about their goal, and this weekend they will identify strategies to help accomplish their goal.  Each student has identified their target and is doing his/her best to reach beyond their goal!

Students, would you share about some of the special activities you have been doing this week at home.  Maybe share your song or rap.  Even better, share several strategies students could use to accomplish their Math MAP goal! We'd also love any other ideas from those of you out in the world of blogging :)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

My "Ten Picture" Tour

After reading several tweets and encouraging blogs by several of you, @4thGrdTeach @theteachinggame @Nunavut_Teacher and @birklearns , I have been inspired and motivated by your thoughts and ideas.  Thank you for being a valuable voice to the educational world, and thank you for sharing a "window view" into your professional lives!  You have inspired me to create my own "Ten Picture" tour and continue the "connection challenge."

I can't say thank you enough to so many of you who are helping me grow professionally by leaps and bounds through the information you post on Twitter.  I am watching, reading and listening and am truly grateful! 

Wellford Academy of Science and Technology in Wellford, South Carolina, USA.

Outside our class, we display our current writing.
I call our class, The Garden of Learning,  where ideas and thoughts germinate, grow and blossom into amazing learning!

My wonderful student teacher, Miss Gomez, in action.  She's going to make an amazing teacher, and I know any school in Alaska will be blessed to have her teach at their school!

Learning takes place even on our floors!

Our 2nd grade buddies in action...We LOVE Ms. Witherspoon's class!

Our flex computer lab...we look forward to coming here often!!!
Outside learning and gathering times in our courtyard provide wonderful experiences here at Wellford Academy!

A very important place at our school.  The students LOVE their playground!

This is one of my most favorite sights around my school. I love this tree in the spring and fall, and I can imagine this being a  perfect place for an outdoor classroom!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Skyping With Our Soldiers in Baghdad, Iraq

Today we skyped with several military personnel in Baghdad, Iraq.

Colonel Craft

Chief B and Major Hale

Miss Tripp and Mrs. Mace's 4th grade classes

Here are a couple students' writing about these special people:

American Troops
You protect our country,
You dedicate yourself to our country,
You stay up all night sometimes,
You are a hero!
You are brave,
You have a very kind soul,
You are an American soldier!

--Estela M

Dear Soldiers,

We are honored that you are serving in the military.  We are allhappy to have freedom because of you.  You are very, very nice to risk your life serving.  We hope you come back.  Thank you for serving in the military!


We are thankful for the soldiers
Who use guns to pow our enemies
Who are able to stand up and fight
With their heart by our sides,
We are safe from danger right now. 

--Mitzi H.

We Imagine...

Before we skyped with our military friends in Baghdad, the class brainstormed about what we imagined their lives were like.  Here are our ideas:

We Imagine…
That somewhere in the world you are in a field.

We Imagine…
That you eat cafeteria food like beans, chicken, dead birds, and goats.  Sorry.  When you get home have a nice home cooked meal and feel safe at home.

We Imagine…
You have good friendships because if you did not it would be hard.

We Imagine…
You really miss your family and we hope you go and visit your family.

We Imagine…
You stay up day and night when you serve our country.

We Imagine…
You skateboard in your free time, and do baseball, and call your family.

We Imagine…
You trained and worked hard to get where you are right now.

We Imagine…
You wear bullet proof things, and camo.

We Imagine…
You go POW with two AK-47s, one shotgun, and three grenade launchers.

We Imagine…
That you listen to American tunes.

We Imagine…
That the truck that you drive has a big gun on the tip of it and that it is camouflaged.

We Imagine…
You were a hard working student in school and smart to become an American soldier.

We Imagine…

Thursday, April 7, 2011

How to Make Quality Comments When Blogging

I found this wonderful class blog where the teacher, Mrs. Yollis, and her students teach us how to develop quality comments when blogging.  They have five tips for writing quality comments. Here is their video:

How to Compose a Quality Comment! from yourwonderfulteacher on Vimeo.

Check out Mrs. Yollis' blog for lots of great ideas!

How do you want to improve in how you write your blogging comments?

Classifying Plants

This year we have learned plants can be classified by their physical characteristics.  Do you remember the different types of classifications we talked about?  What are some examples of each types.  Check out the pictures I took as I walked around our school and my neighborhood.  Many times I'll take a picture of the plant from a distance, then the second shot is zoomed up on the plant.

See if this video of my explorations will help you remember the classification, their characteristics, and the different types of plants in each classification.  Good luck (:

Flowering and Nonflowering Plants from K Tripp on Vimeo.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Our First International Blog Response from Buenos Aires, Argentina!!!

Exciting times in Miss Tripp's Class Blog ~

Today, I discovered a wonderful blog by Miss Anne in St. Andrews, Buenos Aires, Argentina and she wrote us back on our blog tonight (see below)! Her class of 4th Graders are discussing and reflecting on values, or what motivates their behavior responses to life's circumstance.  I would love our class to follow her blog (Miss Anne's Blog and the link to her class blog will always be at the bottom of our blog), so please share your thoughts and ideas.  Following their blog is a wonderful way to find out how 4th graders below the equator think and feel about life!  Great times are ahead in the world of blogging :)

Below is Miss Anne's post on our blog.  Students, what do you think about blogging the 4th Graders in Argentina?

Anne said...

Hello there! How nice to have a reply! I told my students I had published our blog and they have been eager to find someone to collaborate with us!

I am Miss Anne from St. Andrew’s in Buenos Aires, Argentina and I started a Values Blog in year 4 :

Thank you so much for your blog comment. I'm sure the kids will be incredibly happy to read it!

The truth is we are working with this blog in three 4th grade groups (9 year olds mostly) and English is their second language in general.
We decided to combine our Literacy unit (we will be reading Charlotte's Web) to our PSE (Personal and Social Education) work. Our aim is for them to discuss and reflect upon values. Of course we believe this will be richer if the work is collaborative.

I tend to post a song, quote, picture, video, etc once a week and we work on it and discuss it in class. We expect the kids to comment on the posts and share their views. Our aim is for the kids in year four to map their own values by the end of this unit (midyear here in Argentina/end of the year to you in the states!). I guess in the end we would be doing something like the "promise" video you share in your blog (beautiful, by the way!).

I look forward to hearing from you! Let me know your ideas, suggestions and of course, I hope you are interested!!!

We Have 4th Grade Friends in Illinois!

Tonight I made a new connection for our class with a teacher who also uses Skype!  She works with student in Preschool - 8th grade in Illinois!  She just started a class blog with her 4th Graders, so let's check out their blog and share your thoughts and ideas in comments about what they wrote.  Here's a link to their blog: Mrs. Allen's Blog

They will be checking in on our blog, so it's very important to clearly communicate your ideas :)  I know you're going to have an excellent time learning from these 4th graders, and sometime in the near future, we will get to Skype with them :)

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

What Are These???

Yesterday, as I was on a walk, and I came across these objects.  They brought back wonderful memories from my childhood; we used to look for these, throw them up in the air and watch them as they propelled back to Earth.  Look around your house; can you find any of these?  As you look at the pictures below, think back to when we studied plants and how these relate to what you learned.  Think carefully, and then give us your ideas about the questions below!

Using several of the following words, explain what the pictures, what they are, where they came from, and what will they do in the future?
  1. Flowering
  2. Nonflowering
  3. Seeds
  4. Flowers
  5. Cones
  6. Spores

Monday, April 4, 2011

Online Safety Come FIRST!!!

Students, check out these website to learn more about internet safety!  This website is designed to introduce you to basic Internet safety concepts through interactions with animated characters—Clicky, a yellow robot, and the sister-and-brother team, Nettie and Webster. Children learn the importance of being safer on- and offline from the repetition of safety messaging in Clicky’s songs. The ultimate goal of NetSmartzKids is to teach you to identify online dangers and practice safer behaviors.



Saturday, April 2, 2011

Spring Break Has Come and Gone!

A whole week off and boy did Miss Tripp rest, rest, REST!!! I was sick a good bit of the time, but now I'm doing much better. Once I got on my feet, I enjoyed relaxing around the house, taking some walks, doing a little spring cleaning, watching Netflix, and learning how to repair things around the house. I caulked cracks in my window sills, repaired nicks on the walls, painted trim around the windows, and even bought a wireless screw driver to put together a filing cabinet stand and a desk. I'm very proud of myself, and I see a lot of "around the house" projects in my future!

There was another important event I was apart of during the break. A group of teachers and myself gathered together on the steps of the statehouse and shared our thoughts and ideas about current education legislation being considered by our state government. We as citizens of the United States have a wonderful right, our 1st Amendment rights, of being able to publicly gather together to express our opinions and thoughts. My group also met with a legislator to share these ideas we feel very strongly about. I hope each of you will sometime during your lifetime will also evoke your 1st Amendment rights!

So, how did you keep yourself busy this spring break? I'd love to hear about what you did. If you didn't like your spring break, tell me how you wish you could have spent it! I can't wait to read what you write!