Saturday, May 24, 2014

Remember Our Fallen

Memorial Day was originally known as Decoration Day. On this day people remember the military personnel who have died serving our country. It began as Decoration Day because many people decorated the graves of the fallen brave soldiers. Many Americans in Germany visit the WWII grave sites, which include numerous Americans, in Germany as well as in the surrounding countries. We are so thankful for these men and women whose bravery and sacrifice help to keep our country’s freedom. So please take a moment this weekend to honor our fallen soldiers.

 Our children participated in many activities in class and are planning to visit cemeteries in Luxembourg this weekend. 

We decided to ask Lady Liberty -who symbolizes freedom- about ideas on celebrating Memorial Day.  Watch and enjoy!

Pixie Slides on Educreations

Other activities to honor our soldiers: Accordion books and riddles

We restudied the meaning of the Pledge:

Pictures of Normandy from the N Family’s visit (Thank you!)

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Kindness Book :   The Wall by Eve  Bunting                       

This is the second Eve Bunting book I’ve chosen this year to share.  What an incredible author!   In The Wall she’s done an outstanding job of capturing the meaning of Memorial Day.  

Normandy Today:

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Saturday, May 17, 2014

It's a Zoo, Here! Project Based Learning

Last week we blogged about our classroom study of zoo animals in preparation for our upcoming zoo trip and posted some of the awesome work our kids have done so far. This week we continued working with zoo animals and our kids have gone above and beyond our expectations. They created the perfect zoo for animals!  This is the greatest aspect of doing project based learning (PBL’s) with kids. You never know where they are going to take you and THEY ARE TOTALLY FUN! 

We started off with listening to a Voki present the problem/question about zoo animals. For this project we wanted to know:  What does the ideal zoo look like? Before we could answer this question, we needed to get some background knowledge, so we went into our zoo animal web quest to learn about animals that live in a zoo.

The next step was to start group discussions about the conditions in a zoo. The kids worked in groups, with parents helping each group, and came up with ideas that would help create the ideal zoo for the animals.
Here are a few of the pictures of parents helping kids gather their materials for what they came up with: The Ideal Zoo.

These are pictures of kids creating the ideal zoo to solve the problems of the animals.

Using Pixie and Educreations – they put their ideas and thoughts together:

Final pictures of the Ideal Zoo.

I never get tired of seeing their creativity!

With the help of Happy Crayon and ChatterPix they interviewed animals about their new home.

Kindness Book: Jungle Bullies by Steven Kroll 

This is a great book to teach children how to stand-up for themselves and also teaches them not to be bullied. 

iPAD App about zoo animals:  

New product: Beezy BRATS clip art 

Have a great week!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Lions, Tigers and Bears, Oh My!

We are going to the zoo! What an enriching experience this is for children!  Zoos are one of the best ways to make classroom connections to the real world and our classrooms are already abuzz with activities and research about animals that live in the zoo.  The zoo we will be visiting is in our local area and has a limited number of animals, so we have narrowed the research to those animals that we will actually see in the zoo, but what fun we are having. We’ll get to learn the names of the animals in German too! Here are some of the activities that went on this week starting with a web quest.  Because there is so much to share, the zoo PBL (project based learning) project will be posted next week.

The children paired off in groups and researched animals, wrote a report, and created the animal. In addition to their web quest animal project, they had fun solving animal riddles, creating Chatter pix of their animal and were introduced to a new app called Thinglink.


Animal Riddles:


A fun iPad App - Thinglink &

Art Activities:                  

Kindness Book of the Week: A Sick Day for Amos McGee by Phillip C Stead.
This is a beautiful story about friendship.  Amos McGee is a friend to all and his friends come in all sorts of shapes, sizes, and species.  He spends time with each of his friends and when he become sick, his friends return the favor and come to see him and help him.  Now that’s the meaning of true friendship!     

More ChatterPix Kids: 


San Diego Zoo

Friday, May 2, 2014

May Mayhem!

March Madness is nothing compared to May Mayhem! Cinco de Mayo, Mother’s Day, Teacher Appreciation Week, retirement parties, end-of-the –year activities, final assessments, and just the general craziness of the end of the year! This is the time of the year we all need that extra push to make it to the end. J So, take a deep breath and smile. Here are some fun facts about upcoming celebrations in May.

May Day (German holiday): The first of May in Germany is what we celebrate as Labor Day in September. The first of May also celebrates the welcoming of spring. Many villages put up maypoles to celebrate and usually the whole village joins in the raising of the maypole and the celebration afterwards. The night between April 30th and May 1st is called witches night.

Cinco de Mayo: This holiday celebrates Mexico’s victory over France in 1862. It is celebrated on a bigger scale in the United States than in Mexico with lots of traditional fiestas!

Mother’s Day: Not all countries celebrate Mother’s Day on the same day, but Germany and the United States are two countries that celebrate it on the second Sunday in May. This year marks the 100th anniversary of Mother’s Day.  Anna Jarvis is considered the originator of Mother’s Day, but later regretted the fact that Mother’s Day became a national holiday because of all the commercialism. (Isn’t that the truth!) But we definitely want to remember our mother’s and all they do for us. So look to see what we did to let our mother’s know how much we love them!

Pixie 3 + Educreations=Fun Tech Tools!

(check it out)

Tagxedo Word Splash:
The students brainstormed and came up with many words to describe their mothers and developed a word splash using Tagxedo!

Simplebooklet of Love!

More Mamma Love Activities!

A Simple but Beautiful Tribute to Our Moms!
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ChatterPix for Kids:
This new iPAD App allows your students' drawings to talk! Check it out!

Kindness Books on Mother’s Day:
You can't go wrong on any of these choices! Love all of them - but then who doesn't love and appreciate a book about a special person in our lives!

Disney Mothers – A Mother’s Love Video