Our Class on Social Media

Friday, September 28, 2012

Skip Counting by 4's: And the Winner Is....

A fantastic job Miss Tripp's class!  I am so proud of everyone's hard work on skip counting!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Quad Blogging with Four Countries and Four Continents!

What would you like to know about the students in Australia, Greece, and China? Read the board, and if your question is not there, click on the board and carefully type your thoughtful question.

Check out our quad blogging partner answers on our Google Doc!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

How Fast Can You Skip Count By 3's?

The Garden Of Learning is alive with math action! Check out this video and see one of the math activities we've been working on.  Try to skip count along with our 3's skip counting winners!

Congratulation Ms. Witherspoon's Class!

Skip Counting by 3's from K Tripp on Vimeo.

Also, congratulations are in order for the following people who were able to not only skip count forwards by 3's, but they also counted backwards by 3's.  You are my challenge seekers...enjoy your prize from the treasure chest!

Miss Tripp's Class: Nadallie, Erik, Bronson, Jacob

Ms. Witherspoon's Class: Samuel, Morgan, Jacob, Emmanuel, Yarenza, Hailey, Daphne, and Gage

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Miss Tripp's Furry Boys

So, the big question a lot of my students like to ask me is, "Do you have any children?"  I know my 2 cats are not real children, but they're still very, very special to me.  Pumpkin is 12 years old and Tigger is 6.  I got both of my cats when they were 6 weeks old from our local animal shelter.  When Pumpkin was a wee little thing, he would snuggle up in my hair and fall asleep each night.  Guess what?  He still does that every night!  He loves to purr in my ear and lately, he's been meowing at me to give him lots of love and attention before I fall asleep. At night, Tigger will usually jump up on my bed for a little bit.  His favorite thing he'll do every one and awhile is give nose kisses or nose rubs.  He sits on my chest very close to my face and puts his nose out and touches mine.  He will usually do it for a couple seconds and then he either jumps down or snuggles on the bed beside me.  I sure do love my two boys, and they bring out the simple yet relaxing things of life that I need after a long hard day of work!  I love you Pumpkin and Tigger...I sure am glad you're mine :)

Monday, June 11, 2012

Bring the World to Your Students Through a 21st Century PLN

Blog with a class in Argentina, skype with an explorer in Antarctica, tweet with world-wide educators and join multi-continent curriculum projects. Learn how to create these types of connections through a global Professional Learning Network.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

iDream of the Potential of the iPad!

Bring your own iPad and come explore the power of this emergent technology and how it can quickly become an essential tool for engaging the minds of your students. 

Click here to submit your questions for our Upstate Technology Conference iPad session.

My UTC iPad presentation eBook created in Issuu (flash necessary):

Valuable iPad links:

Please, as you find valuable iPad information, leave the link and your comments about where this information can best be incorporated into a class.  The more we can share, the more time we save each other! 

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Amazing Natural Wonders of the World!

If you could go anywhere to explore the beauty of the earth, where would you go?  Below is an electronic book of where my students chose to go.  We were blown away by the amazing natural wonders of the world, and many of my students never knew these phenomenal sites existed.  Check out this link to see our complete list of destinations, and enjoy a global expedition of beauty, intrigue, and fascination!

Have you ever visited one of the world's natural wonders?  We would love to hear all about your experiences...please share!

Great Information About the Decorah Eagles!

I have been in such awe as my students and I continually observed the Decorah Eagles.  We have been observing over the last eight weeks, and this experience has changed us in so many ways!  I know I personally have such a deep profound admiration for these eagles and the hard work and dedication of the parents! My students and I have learned such an incredible amounts of information through our observations and research.  Yesterday, I came upon some wonderful details on the eagles' FaceBook page that helped me to understand the growth and development of the eaglets over the next couple weeks. I thought it was so neat, I decided to post it on our blog.  Thank you so much to the Raptor Resource Project and the Decorah Eagles' Team for making this information available.

Questions of the Week:   When will they (the baby eagles) fly?

"Learning to fly is a process. They are currently wingercizing. This entails flapping their wings and hopping. Late in the wingercizing phase, a gust of wind will lift them accidentally, and they will hover over the nest because their muscles are strong enough to hold their wings in the correct position and their flight feathers are long enough to sustain the lift. Branching comes after that. Branching is defined as a small hop and lift onto the closest branch. Unless there is a panner present at the time, we will not see this first very small journey away from the nest to the branch. Fledge or first self-propelled flight away from and back to the nest tree comes last. The whole process last 10-13 weeks.

Why do the eaglets so often sit at the dangerous edge of the nest looking out rather than stay more safely in the bowl? An eagle lives by perusing the landscape in the hunt for prey, and eaglets have the instinct to do this at an early age, as soon as their eyes can focus and see long distances. It would be abnormal for them not to go up to the edge of the sticks surrounding the bowl and look out. Also by instinct eaglets almost never will wander beyond the sticks, so they are not in danger of falling out. Are the eaglets safe when the parents are not in the nest, especially at night? Perfectly safe. One or both parents will roost on branches nearby and can fly to the nest in an instant if necessary.

What is a pellet? At about 4 weeks of age the eaglets begin eating all parts of the prey including bones, scales, fins, fur, feathers, teeth, etc. Indigestible parts are compressed into a pellet that the eagle then casts back up out of the mouth. An eagle might cast a pellet once a day, usually before eating."

To learn more, check out the Decorah Eagles on FaceBook or YouTube!

Student Leadership and Mentoring at Its Best!

As you wrap up your final days/weeks of school, an easy activity to try is one that will build bridges with possible students you have next year.

This week, I had all three 3rd grade classes set up a time to visit my classroom for my students to share their perspectives about the life of a 4th grader.  The beautiful thing about this activity is my current students were the leaders and communicators of sharing their experiences from this year, not me :)  I divided my students into 5 groups and gave them a topic of discussion to mentor the 3rd graders in, topics such as our technology projects, math and science units, classroom culture, and so much more.  My 4th graders talked as a group to develop their collective ideas and how they wanted to share their ideas.  To help my students feel more at ease, we divided the 3rd graders into small groups and had them rotate through the different 4th grade student groups.  These rising 4th graders learned valuable information to help them be successful next year, and my students learned very beneficial communication and leadership skills.  Even if I do not have some of the students we mentored this week, we still helped each student begin contemplating and anticipating great things for next year.

Give this activity a try!  You'll be so proud of your mentoring students, and your heart will smile as you see them express an enthusiasm and excitement for what they experienced this year.

Here are some pictures and videos from this special time!

Monday, May 21, 2012

HELP! We're Under Attack by Invasive Species!

We're being invaded by INVASIVE SPECIES...they are taking over different regions killing off native plants and animals! Help, we're under attack!!!

We have tons of kudzu in our area, in fact, it's taking over the entire south region of the United States! Just this year, we have begun to see the kudzu bug that has traveled north from Latin American and has now reached us here in Wellford due to our warmer winter temperatures. A positive for the kudzu bug is that it can eat the quickly growing kudzu, but unfortunately this new insect pest is killing other valuable crops necessary for farmers to sell. Currently, there is no know options of how to get rid of kudzu and the kudzu bug without harming other important species!

Below is an electronic book our classes created to help your learn more about these pesky, harmful, and uninvited organisms.

What invasive species does your region have to deal with and how are they harming the local plants and animals around you? We'd love to hear your stories!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

End of the Year Excitement!

All the curriculum has wrapped up, state testing is over, and we're in our last several days of school....I can't believe it! There's such freedom in the exciting times I can plan for my students.

Victoria Falls, Zambia, Africa

Right now we're researching Natural Wonders of the World and my students are experiencing places they have never heard of.  It makes me smile to hear the oooohs and aaaahhs as they observe in fascination destinations far beyond their rural town of Wellford, SC.

The Great Blue Hole, Belize, Central America

Ayers Rock, Australia

From a list of 16 Natural Wonders of the World, students chose their top three locations and later after more research, decided on the one place they would love to visit.  Each student, using their research will be creating part of our Natural Wonders of the World electronic book.  More to come about this activity later.

Another engaging time I am planning is a mentoring times with the 3rd grade students allowing my 4th graders to take on a leadership role to explain "the year of a 4th grader."  This is always a fulfilling time I sit back and listen in pride as I see my students share the excitement of their school year!

What fun activities do you have planned for your students.  How will your students enjoy their remaining time in school?  We would love to hear all about it!

PS. Below was a fantastic bubble competition our science lab teacher, Ms. Carson, set up.  The kids had a blast, and her desks receiving a thorough cleaning.  Enjoy our times of Bubble Bonanza!

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Thank You Nancy Carroll...We LOVE the Decorah Eagle Cam!

Last night as I was perusing through Edmodo, I saw a link for animal webcams which I thought would  be great for my upcoming unit on animal behaviors.  I posted the link on Twitter to pass the wonderful info on, and almost immediately I received a tweet from Nancy Carroll (ncarroll24) asking if I was following the Decorah Eagles.  I looked on the site I had just found and didn't see a link, so I searched a bit and finally found what she was referring to.  I was so excited as I watched the live cam, even though it was just momma eagle sitting on the nest with the night sounds all around her...I couldn't wait to share this amazing experience with my students the next morning.

It was endearing to watch my students reactions and instant attachments built as they witnessed throughout the day the behaviors of the mom, dad, and little babies.  What conversations were spurred on through our observations.  Believe it or not, I hated that we were going on spring break the next week and that we wouldn't be able to continue observing this wonder of nature together.  I know many of my students said they were headed home to continue watching the eagles, and I'm also excited to continue watching this unfolding drama!

PS. Thank you Nancy for your passing on this wonderful experience so many more of us could share in the breath-taking excitement of the Project Decorah Eagle Cam!  Check out Nancy's blog for more information on the Raptor Resource Project and Decorah Eagle Cam!

Today was career day at our school and we certainly learned about a very real career of being the parent of baby birds.  This is a short clip I captured of the birds during one of our other guest speakers:

(videos quit working...will have them up again soon!)

Several drawings from students inspired by our bird watching experiences:

Friday, March 30, 2012

Share your Observations From the Decorah Eagle Cam!!!

*Latest Update, 4/7/12

Find out up to date information about the Decorah Eagles as well as their organization at the links below.  They also provide the latest pictures and videos of how the birds are progressing on these sites. These are wonderful resources to continue our observing:

1. Decorah Eagles on FaceBook
2. Decorah Eables on UStream
3. The Raptor Resource Project on FaceBook

Wellford students and any other Decorah Eagle Cam enthusiasts, I know we all can't watch the webcam 24/7, so what if we shared our observations and the time of our observations...then anyone who wants to see what they missed could go back and look over our comments.   Come one, come all, lets observe and share together!

Decorah Eagle Webcam

3/30/12 around 7:30pm

3/31/12 around 7:40am

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Night and Day, the Astronomy STEM Way

This year our school has been developing a beginning understand of the STEM learning process, so my classes have begun the challenge of learning how to incorporate this special approach.  Before we began our STEM learning project, we shared some very interesting ideas of how we thought night and day happened.  After much exploration, students began to understand the scientific explanations behind this daily occurrence, and they had a blast exploring and developing their ideas of how Earth's night and day comes about.

One aspect of our STEM astronomy project that makes my teacher heart smile was how the students motivated their own learning through the use of group questions, exploration and continual discussions.  I truly felt like a facilitator and conduit of information as the students were on their quest to develop their own understanding of how the creation of night and day occurs!

This Friday, March 30th, our school will be hosting Career Day where each class will debut a STEM project they developed throughout the last couple months.

We want to share with our Twitter friends an "early showing" of our STEM project, Night and Day, the Astronomy STEM Way!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Planet Rotation Order, Silly Phrase Style!

Do you know the order of the planets as they rotate around the Sun?  Our classes worked in groups to develop silly phrases helping students remember the rotation order.  We had a special competition for the most creative phrase/drawing and Seleena of Miss Tripp's homeroom class won this special honor.  She also won a New York t-shirt as a prize for this special time!  Below, check out some of the thoughtful work created by students from both classes:

Our winner, Seleena

My very energized mummy Jack sat under Nanny's tree. 

Friday, February 24, 2012

Congratulations to our February Terrific Kid!

Here are many reasons why Elizabeth was chosen by her classmates 
to represent our class as Terrific Kid, because she:
  • pays attention in class so she can learn and do things right!
  •  is sweet, kind, generous, but most of all, a great friend!
  • helps others when they need help or need something
  • is smart, funny, and ready to learn
  • is intelligent and sweet
  • follows instructions
  • she is always helping others
  • she is sweet, nice, respectful and responsible to others!

Connecting with the Families of my Students!

This semester, I have started a special outreach program to connect with my students and their families outside of the classroom.  My goal is to grow in understanding my student's families so I can relate to them better in and out of the classroom.  It's been wonderful visiting homes, talking to the students, their parents and siblings and especially their pets...so many cutie pies!  I look forward to spending time with all my students' families!

Hannah E.

Hannah is a lot like Miss Tripp...she loves to play her wii!  My favorite games are Wakeboarding and Speed Slicing, but Hannah loves her dance programs!

Love certainly abounds at Hannah's home!

Christopher M.

Elizabeth R.

I am impressed by all the animals Elizabeth's family raises!  I know they have a lot of fun taking care of each animal, but what a great business they have in selling the animals at the jockey-lot!  Elizabeth's family if very hardworking and industrious!

Callie Y.
Callie's mom did an amazing job remodeling their house and I got to learn all about the process of revitalizing an old house.  Callie's mom is also a wonderful photographer.  Callie is showing off her latest pet...I wonder how Tigger looks now?

Rebecca V.

Every time I turned around, I wanted to take another picture...all the bunny rabbits were SOOO STINKIN' CUTE!!! Rebecca, you and your mom have done an AMAZING job developing your rabbit farm!

If you would like to learn more about the Vickers rabbits, please check out her website!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Congratulations to our January Terrific Kid!

Congratulations to a very special student who has been elected by his fellow students to represent our class as the January Terrific Kid!  See the comments below for why Carson's fellow students elected him and felt he deserved this honor.  Keep up the GREAT work in school Carson!