Monday, March 23, 2015

5th Grade ELA Magazine Research Project

Last week the students in Mrs. Fitzpatrick's ELA class began a magazine research project.  Each student chose a broad topic-such as baseball, dance, and Walt Disney-that they will study and break down into smaller "articles" for their magazine.

After Mrs. Fitzpatrick introduced the project to the class, Mrs. Ardizzoni and Miss Carney went to Rm. 215 to help the students begin their research and discuss their topics.  Once the topics were set, Mrs. Ardizzoni and Miss Carney used library time to pass along helpful research tips and discuss how to cite their research, both print and online.

Work will continue this week as time allows with PARCC testing.  We can't wait to see these magazines take shape!

Book of the Week: March 16, 2015

In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, students in grades 1 and 2 read Fin M’Coul: The Giant of Knockmany Hill as retold and illustrated by Tomie DePaola.  We also watched a Brain Pop video that discussed the origins of St. Patrick’s Day.  The students really enjoyed the story, and Miss Carney tried her best to read with an Irish brogue, with varying degrees of success!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Slainte!

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Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Library Happenings!

With all the snow finally starting to melt and Spring just around the corner, here’s a look at what’s been happening in the Pine Glen Library over the last few weeks.

Our third graders have been studying fairy tales, folk tales, and fables.  We’ve been having a lot of fun reading classic stories like Cinderella, Rumpelstiltskin, and How the Ostrich Got its Long Neck. This week we’ll have some fun studying character perspective with a “fractured fairy tale” or two!

Discussing the differences between folktales and fairy tales

We’ve also been working with Mrs. Visocchi and her fourth graders on their national parks writing project. The students have been working on research tips and citing print and internet sources with Miss Carney and Mrs. Ardizzoni, Mrs. Visocchi has been working with her students on writing, and Mrs. Ardizzoni reintroduced the students to Book Creator this week.  We can’t wait to see their completed books about their respective national parks! It’s so much fun to work together on these projects!

Fifth graders in Miss Lane’s class have been working on their fiction genre study project.  Miss Lane introduced the project and assigned each group a fiction genre.  The students then came to the library where Miss Carney talked about the key ingredients of different types of fiction and helped the students pick out their books. After Mrs. Ardizzoni’s lessons on the Notability and Explain Everything apps and Miss Carney’s lesson on citing sources in a bibliography, the students are putting the finishing touches on their projects!

Learning all about how to cite our work

We also took time last week to celebrate what would have been Dr. Seuss’s 111th birthday!  It was fun reading classic Seuss tales with our students in grades K, 1, and 2.  

Now that it looks like the worst of Winter may finally be behind us, we’re looking forward to a wonderful Spring here in the library!

Monday, March 16, 2015

Tellagami - Another Option for Student Publishing

Third graders in Mrs. Lynch's classroom have finished writing their "How To" paragraphs are were eager to publish their work!  By using the app, Tellagami, students created an avatar, inserted a background, and recorded their voice as they read their paragraphs. 
How to Build a Snowman
How to Make a Fluffernutter Sandwich


Fourth grade students have been receiving digital citizenship lessons on the topic of Cyberbullying.  Cyberbullying as defined by Common Sense Media is: the use of digital media tools such as the Internet and cell phones to deliberately upset or harass someone else.  During the lesson, students have the opportunity to discuss cyberbullying from the point of view of the victim, the bully, and the bystanders.  Here are some useful links for more information:
Common Sense Media Cyberbullying Lesson
Common Sense Media Home

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Parent Tech Night: PARCC

The BPS EdTech Team will be hosting a Parent Tech Night on Wednesday, March 18 from 6-8PM at Marshall Simonds Middle School. Join us to learn about the 2015 Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) assessments for grades 3-8 in Burlington schools. Participants will be able to explore practice tests and experience features of the PARCC TestNav application being used by students during the assessments.
Burlington students in grades 3-8 will be completing the PARCC assessments for English Language Arts and Math during the week of March 23-27. Students will be using their 1:1 iPads for the tests. The BPS EdTech and IT Teams have been preparing student devices and helping to support teachers and students for the upcoming assessments.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

A Snapshot of Student Learning

Here's a snapshot of the technology integrated projects our students have been working on at Pine Glen.

Kindergarten students have been continuing to work on their computer coding (Hour of Code) and reading decoding skills ( as well as mouse skills.

Our second and fourth graders have begun to use Quizlet, an online resource ( as well as an app, that allows students to learn, study, and review teacher-created electronic flashcards.  I have been in students' homerooms, providing instruction that integrates this technology and our MA Social Studies curriculum. Quizlet allows students to progress at their own individual pace, with student-directed choices for their style of learning.  For example, students can choose to practice their flashcards in a traditional yet electronic format, as a matching exercise, or a student-designed test.  I created the flashcards sets below, with collaboration from the second grade teachers, and my experience as a fourth grade teacher, all for the purpose to support student learning.  Give it a try.  Learning can be highly engaging, effective, and well... fun!

Fifth graders in Ms. Lane's ELA class are working collaboratively in groups at the conclusion of their genre study.  Students are being given the opportunity to show what they know about their group's genre by using either app, Notability or Explain Everything to create their presentation.  Their presentations include text, pictures, audio, video, graphics, and citations.  Here's a look at their technology lesson, where I presented features from Notability and Explain Everything in order for the groups to choose their preferred presentation app.  The next photo shows the project in progress.  Stay tuned for the final products.

Third grade students have dedicated many hours toward researching their Massachusetts historical figures.  At the culmination of this project, students participated in a "wax museum" day where they dressed, spoke, and portrayed their historical figure for our teachers, family, and one another.  By the use of a green screen sheet, and the app, Green Screen by Do Ink I recorded students in the setting of their figure. What an exciting way to wrap up this project.