Filed Under (blogging, general) by Lee Kolbert on 03-06-2010

Today is the last day of school and what a great year it’s been! My students brought me many gifts this year. The spontaneous cards and posters they created and many very generous gift cards and candles, mugs, beach bags and other items that I truly love. I recognize that, unlike many deserving teachers in the world, I’m very lucky to teach in such an affluent, generous and highly supportive community.

Then there were other gifts that didn’t come in colorful bags with tissue paper. Those were the gifts that showed me my students were learning and that they wanted to learn more. The gifts of interest, growth, kindness and eagerness. These are the gifts that teachers value the most; like when we recognize that we’ve reached our students in some special way.

Alayna surprised me with a lovely gift today. She brought me this video she created that was inspired by some recent projects we created in class. She said it only took her about an hour to create from start to finish but I think it must have taken her much, much longer. She did an awesome job and we all loved watching it in class. It’s the perfect digital send-off for our class blog. Enjoy!

Filed Under (blogging, carnival, PalmBreezeCAFE) by Lee Kolbert on 02-03-2010

Have you ever wanted to be on TV? Well, this wish came true for one of my students last week!

Katie G. won a guest appearance on PalmBreezeCAFE as part of our school carnival fund-raiser. It was a great pleasure having Katie on the set with me as my co-host for the segment below. She was the perfect on-air “talent.” She arrived on time to have her make-up done (Thank you, Kay!) and was then whisked away for her personal tour of the studio (Thank you, Greg!). Not only did she get to host the segment with me, but also watch the other segments from inside the studio as well as, (and perhaps even more fun) from the control room where all the magic really happens.

So, what did we talk about on-air?

As our readers know, our class has been blogging, not only here at our class blog, but also over here at our kidblog site. The students are doing such a great job with their blogs. You can read their poems, essays, ideas and even some original plays they’ve written. They are also doing a wonderful job commenting on each other’s posts.

For this reason, I was very excited to finally be able to share our kidblog site on PalmBreezeCAFE and who else to tell you about it, then one of my students herself?

Here Katie and I tell you all about it. Please leave a comment to let Katie know what you think of her debut. Also, if you are a teacher who is using Kidblog with your class, we’d love to read what your kids are writing, so please leave a comment with your URL.

You can see all PalmBreezeCAFE educational tech segments here on YouTube.

Thank you to everyone at TEN and PalmBreezeCAFE for making Katie and her mom feel so welcome. You guys totally ROCK!

Filed Under (blogging, technology, writing) by Lee Kolbert on 20-02-2010

In the last of our Expository essay series, Ryan shares his thoughts on why school would be much better if every student were given a laptop to use.

Imagine if each student got a free laptop in school and you are allowed to use it.  It’s an outstanding idea because it has learning games that can give your teacher a break, it can help you understand technology and I can leave a comment on my classmates or teachers’ blog on our school’s website.  I bet laptops will make school ten times better!

Let’s go to Brainpop or Learning Tools!  With all these learning games online, we can learn anything we want or do anything our teacher assigns.  All these games you can play and learn can also lead to terrific grades and magnificent report cards.  You can not believe how fun learning can be when playing a learning game.  Learning games online can also give your teacher a break while you learn.  There are a variety of learning games you can play during school.  For example, Brainpop has videos, activities, and games you can play.  You just click Learning Tools and you will see it along with many other games as well.  Learning games are extremely helpful when it comes to learning, you have to just  wait and see.

Having a laptop can also help you learn about using technology.  It can teach you to type, how to use a computer and a whole lot more.  Soon I will be an expert at technology just like my teacher Mrs. Kolbert.  She loves teaching us about technology when we ask her.  When you get a new computer it usually comes with an instruction manual that tells you exactly what to do.  Always read the directions given to you or something wrong will happen.  The computer might also have some information about setting it up.  Getting a laptop at school would be a great way to learn about technology.

Let’s Blog! Blogging is another reason why we should have a laptop at school.  I get to comment on many of my teachers and classmates and they are amazing to read and comment every day.  Guess what? I can make my own blog post too! I type what I want and put a picture on top.  When my teacher edits and approves it, my blog is ready for people’s comments.  I haven’t blogged yet, but know that my teacher is making it better, so there’s no time to lose.  Now I know that blogging can be as easy as ABC, and I can blog about whatever I want to when we get a laptop for school.

Oh Yeah! Having a computer at school can be an astonishing experience.  We can play learning games, learn about technology, and blog anytime we want to.  Having a laptop computer at school will make me as happy as a pig in a mud puddle!

Filed Under (blogging, writing) by Lee Kolbert on 10-10-2009

This blogpost was written by student, Jessica. I added the image created from here.

warninglabelWhat is a strong verb, you might ask?

This week in school we learned about how strong verbs can accent our writing. A strong verb is a more interesting word that makes your writing POP! For example instead of saying I walked to the front door, you could say I strolled to the front door. In the same way a strong man lifts weights, a strong verb “lifts up” your writing, to make it more appealing to the reader. Try to think of some strong verbs to replace these weak verbs:

  • He cleaned my clothes.
  • I have a new pair of pants.
  • Ann looked for signs to the park
  • I ate my ice cream.
  • She went to the woods.

By Jessica

Filed Under (blogging) by Lee Kolbert on 06-08-2009

Hello NameTagWelcome to my class blog. This will be a space for sharing ideas and engaging in some ongoing conversations around posted topics. I hope you will feel comfortable commenting.

I’d like to use this space today to introduce myself. First let me say that I’m very excited to be teaching at Waters Edge this year.

I have been a teacher for 25 years. My first 20 were in the classroom where I have taught 1st, 2nd, 4th and 5th grade students. I taught at Coral Sunset Elementary, Waters Edge Elementary (yes, I’m back!), and Sunrise Park Elementary. For the last 5 years, I have been a district administrator where my job has been mostly to help teachers learn to use technology effectively in their classrooms.

I’ve always missed teaching students but more so recently. So, when I heard about all the great things happening at Waters Edge, I decided that I really wanted to be a part of such a wonderful learning experience.

Do you ever get nervous on the first day of school? We all do. It always makes me nervous when I meet someone for the first time. I wonder if the person will like me and what impression I will make. I want people to know that I’m friendly and I also want them to know that I ask a lot of questions, not because I’m nosy or trying to argue, but because I’m curious.

What do you want people to know about you when you meet them for the first time?

(To my students, as a reminder, the first week optional homework assignment is posted below.)

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