Filed Under (holidays) by Lee Kolbert on 26-10-2010

What will you be for Halloween? Add your note to our sticky note wall. Just click “Post a Sticky” at the bottom. Tell about your costume and why you chose it. You can include a link to a picture too. Remember, first names only. Have fun!

Filed Under (science) by Lee Kolbert on 10-10-2010
Photo property of Karen McMillan

I’m always looking for ways to be sure students know what they’re doing online before they get there and to be sure their parents are comfortable with what they see their children doing. I believe this post showcases a best practice for that very thing. As always though, I look to you for feedback and more suggestions.

Karen McMillan (@mcteach on Twitter) just gave an awesome presentation on Classroom 2.0 Live where she showcased her Paper Blog activity. You MUST watch the archived session here. Karen shared her Paper Blog activity with me a few months ago and I’ve used it with my students to get them ready to blog with the “real thing.” My students have practiced writing and commenting appropriately.

This week, my students will be receiving their real blog credentials and I’ll be showing them the technical aspects of posting to their KidBlogs. Based on a recent comment to my class blog by an Australian teacher, I found my way over to his blog and loved what I saw; a well organized blog with some wonderfully helpful support pages for his students. Realizing I’ve taught these skills to my students, but have no place online for them to go for reference, I just had to steal this idea from Mr. Campbell in Australia. I’ve made some modifications and I’m excited to share it with you and show it to my students who will hopefully use it as a reference. Please check it out here and let me know what your thoughts are. Have I left anything out?

Filed Under (blogging, science, Secret Life of Scientists) by Lee Kolbert on 08-10-2010

I’m not going to post too much here, because I want you to read about it on the very cool Secret Life of Scientists site. So, follow some of my students’ work over there and give them some encouragement in their fame by leaving them a comment. Check out my first post about what we’re doing here and the follow-up post here.


Filed Under (science) by Lee Kolbert on 03-10-2010

Hannah (Mrs. Kolbert's class 2009-10) shows her project.

Is it every parent’s nightmare to have a science fair project assigned? I think often it is but it truly doesn’t have to be. With careful planning, following directions and helpful resources, creating a science fair project can (and should) be lots of fun and a great learning experience for kids. The most important thing to remember is that it’s not a competition. Oh, well, I guess it is a competition. Let me put it this way: it is a STUDENT competition. Parents should do their best to let their kids take ownership of the project as much as possible. That means coming up with a topic that is interesting to the student yet sufficiently challenging. Parents definitely need to be involved, but mostly to make sure their child is following their plan, the directions, and conducting their experiments properly. A fantastic resource is Science Fair Central. I LOVE the 3 step process that walks you through the entire process. Obviously, there may be items on your school’s criteria that is not on the site, but certainly you can make the adjustments.

What’s your best advice for parents who are helping their kids with a science fair project?