Filed Under (science) by Lee Kolbert on 25-05-2010

I’m happy to present our final group of science videos created this week. The students worked long and hard in their groups to write their scripts and develop their explanations to create these videos using the model inspired by CommonCraft. We hope you enjoy them. Please leave us a comment to tell us what you think.

It’s The Rock Cycle by Troy, Rachel and Frankie

It’s Raining Weather by Jack, Katie and Taylor

Weathering and Erosion by Olivia, Eric, Seth and Ray

It’s Raining (The Water Cycle) by Miles, Madison and Grace

Saving The Earth (Conservation) by Kyle, Santiago, Elle and Maria

Sensational Soil by Ben, Dario and Nick

Filed Under (science) by Lee Kolbert on 19-05-2010

I’ve always loved the way the folks at CommonCraft, with their “In Plain English” series, use paper cut-outs to give simple explanations about not-so-simple things. The CommonCraft-like videos we created a few weeks ago were created by my 3rd block class. They were all on the same topic, The Reason For The Seasons. They did a great job on the videos and learned a lot about their topic in the process of creating their videos.

After going through the process with that class, I decided to let my 1st and 2nd block do similar projects, but this time gave each group a different topic that basically covered the most difficult ideas from this year’s science curriculum.

I’m also very excited to announce that Lee LeFever from CommonCraft has agreed to videoconference with my class next week. Lee and his wife, Sachi, comprise the entire company of CommonCraft and produce all their own videos from start to finish. My students will have the unique opportunity to “meet” and ask questions of Lee and they are already generating their questions.

So here are the latest videos. I will post them as they are created. I hope you enjoy them. Please leave a comment.

How Land Features Affect The Water Cycle by Alayna, Brett and Carly.

It’s Rocktastic by Jordana, Noah, Hannah and KimWhat Are Mineral Resources? by Gabby, Rachel and Julianna

Wild Weather by Lilly, Jordan and Jessica

The Water Cycle by Ryan, Raegan and Isabella

Spoil The Soil (the role of soil) by Julia, Ethan and Brooke

Weathering and Erosion By Elly, Ashley and Jenna

Filed Under (writing) by Lee Kolbert on 14-05-2010

This post is written by students, Hannah and Julianna.

For the past few weeks, Mrs. Kolbert’s writing classes have been participating in a program called “Books of Hope.” This project is when we write non-fiction books for our sister-school, Lalogi Primary School in Uganda. Each child in our class picked a topic to write a book about. Then, we did some research and collected two or more books to help us get started. Every book we created must have about 15 pages of text and each page shuold have an estimate of 100-150 words. After completing our rough drafts, we typed it up and started our illustrations. To make sure our books had all the materials it needed, we got a checklist that had to be checked off in order for the book to be published.

After the teacher had made sure our books were OK, they will now be binded and shipped away to the fortunate children in Uganda. We hope that they enjoy our books.

We asked a student in our class what she thought of participating in Books of Hope. Her response was, “this was easy and fun experience was cool.” Another student said, “Even though it was lots of hard work, it truly paid off.”

From our observations we’ve noticed that other students thoughts writing, typing and drawing the pictures for these books was overwhelming work.

Filed Under (science) by Lee Kolbert on 05-05-2010

In class we are studying the solar system and the students have been engaged in labs and activities to explore the Reason for The Seasons. One of my classes has been working on creating short videos (like CommonCraft) to explain why we have seasons. Here they are:

By Ben, Maya and ErielBy Justin, Remi and Gadiel

By Rishi, Sahil and Zack

By Colin, Akshay and Jack

by Sam, Griffin and Michael

by Katie, Sarah and Jonathan

by Maria, Alec and Leo

Filed Under (holidays) by Lee Kolbert on 03-05-2010

This week is Teacher Appreciation week and today I walked into my classroom to find my door decorated. It wasn’t JUST decorated, it was alive with the faces of my students and their comments about why they enjoy my class. I am so touched by their thoughtful comments. I am posting just a few here to share with the world. Everyone should be as lucky as I am to have such awesome kids! Thank you to my students and also to my thoughtful Room Mom who not only put all this together, but also brought me my favorite Starbucks drink first thing this morning! Wow!!! I feel very appreciated and spoiled! Thank you so much!