Today was a good day - starting with the birthday breakfast that surprised me (not my birthday, just celebrating October birthdays). Soon after I began racing around with our Tech Integration Specialist to install Google Earth and Chrome in the computer lab at Korn. On Wednesdays we work with the Fourth grade team to use technology. They have been coming to the lab all year for various projects. Today Mrs. G planned a Google Earth lesson to work in conjunction with their study of U.S. regions. As the first class walked in though, they decided to finish the Smartboard Notebook activity they started 2 weeks ago. They were learning about climate and lifestyle, etc. and then creating their own "region" with Smart Notebook. They loved it! Today they discussed economy which is a tough concept to understand. They were then able to hear about the Google Earth project. There is nothing like hearing the ooooohs and aaaahs as they are able to see the landscape of Iowa come into focus, then New York City, then South Dakota. So they will be learning about their assigned region, collecting data, and organizing it next week.
I was also finally able to spend some time investigating our subscription (which expires in Jan.) which our teachers love! They use it constantly. I also took at look at website which goes together with 2 books, The Daily Five and The CAFE book. I wish I had these when I was teaching in the classroom. So many great research based strategies for teaching reading to all grade levels! I introduced our staff to these books because I thought they were so terrific and useful immediately. I love the idea of building kids stamina for reading! The web site has videos that can be used for Prof. Dev. - but I think we will hold off buying it until teachers have time to look at the books.
I also got my 4th graders signed up for the project. CT has 10 Intermediate Nutmeg books that are selected each year. Students read as many as they like and can post comments and questions to students and teachers from around the world.
At Brewster I finally was able to finish my purchasing for the fall. Several DVDs to support classroom teachers on topics like Mexico, Community, and Weather were bought. My big book purchase also was completed! It is so hard to choose! So many great books and I really have to balance what kids want, teachers needs, and just wonderful books. We'll see what they think!
Tonight I am finishing up editing my web page and adding a great spelling website called to the Grade 4 resource page. For staff, a terrific writing site called Writing Fix. It comes from Northern Nevada and there is everything you ever wanted to know about writing and inspiring teachers to teach and reluctant writers to write.