Saturday, September 7, 2013

Flipping, Blogging, Classroom Champions, and CREATIVITY!

Week two was a great trip!  After a week one full of some ups and some downs, it was nice to feel like I was getting more in the swing of things with Week 2.

We officially started flipping this week!  Kids had two videos they had to watch this week.  The first video I only had 13 of my 75 students not watch it.  A huge increase over last year's numbers so I was quite thrilled!  The second video only had 3 students who didn't watch it.  I hope this keeps up because these kids are doing a great job so far keeping up with their videos!

We also had our week 2 of blogging this week, and man some of these kids have just become INCREDIBLE bloggers!!  I am so impressed by the amount of writing these students are doing!  Their topic this week was "the first two weeks of school" and they had quite a bit to say!

I also was able to finally tell my students about being one of the 33 United States classrooms to take part in the Classroom Champions program!  What that means is that we get an Olympic Athlete (who is competing in the Winter Olympics) that my students will get to meet (via Skype; twice at least) and that we'll learn from and gain character education type lessons from.  This program is quite incredible and Steve Mesler and Leigh Parise are doing some amazing work!  This week the kids just learned that we were selected, the got their forms signed, and we did the intro survey.  On Monday they get to find out who our Athlete is, and I can't wait to tell them!

We also had a very interesting activity that we did this week.  This week my students were introduced to or re-introduced to the concept of place value.  And every year I introduce place value by telling this big long 15 minute story about a mayor building a new city, families moving in, and what their first names and last names were, and so on and so on.  The story is always a big hit full of lots of laughs from the kids.  Well after seeing how well it went over I really wanted to "test" my kids and see what they gained from my story and at the same time see how much creativity I was working with this year.  Usually I have to really work to bring out the creative side in my students because it's been locked away for so long.

So what I had them do was work in groups to create their own place value story/skit and act it out in front of their peers.  They only had about 45 minutes.  Let me just say I was BLOWN AWAY by the results!  My kids had stories about animals, aliens, parents, bugs, alllll kinds of things.  They were humourous, creative, but most of all, every story ACCURATELY portrayed the concept of Place Value!  I was thrilled!

All that did was get me even more fired up to throw more stuff at my students and push them to their creative limits this year.  Why?  Because students will only rise to the expectations that you set, so I'm making sure to set my expectations HIGH!