the month of march

blogging alongside my students

The Month of March

Everyday a new post is up,
from 22 fifth grade writers faced with a challenge.
Small moments transformed into slices of life,
captured through photos, poems, and stories.

Everyday I learn something new,
about the lives of our students.
Reading all the posts,
leaving as many comments as I can.
When school is out,
a tidal wave of comments,
and a flurry of e-mails fill my inbox,
as new comments are posted.

Everyday I laugh, I smile, and I wonder.
I appreciate, I marvel, and I enjoy,
these slices of our daily lives:

Unexpectedly getting soaked in the rain,
six hour Irish dance rehearsals,
learning to ride a bike,
competing in lego robotics competition,
ordering the newest Rubik’s cubes,
a haiku on zelda,
poems on favorite foods and places like Paris,
failures and successes with slime.
Did you know we love making slime?

Unfortunate rope burns and big toes hurting,
making omelettes with family,
when your Spanish class turns into a jungle,
playing tennis when the rain comes,
playing basketball,
doing the daily routine,
cleaning your mind,
watching movies with friends,
and saying goodbye to close friends.

All these separate slices,
fitting together everyday,
creating the story of our lives.

Digital Storytelling through Google Search

Digital storytelling through google search! I just discovered this website where you can create your own search stories through another slice of life entry. I was actually just thinking about how to incorporate digital storytelling with my students, and I think this could be the perfect first steps. So I played around with the program and here are some of my first attempts at making these search stories:

Ways to help Japan

Saturday in Seoul

Some of my favorites to watch:

Parisian Love

Toy Story: The Discovery

Brother and Sister

JK Wedding Dance

I’m wondering how other teachers have used this in their classroom.¬†What are some ways we can integrate these search stories into the curriculum?

Revolutionize Your Grading

I recently read about an online program called quizstar that is free for teachers. I mean who doesn’t love free stuff?! A few minutes later, I signed up and created an account as an instructor. I decided to create a multiple choice science quiz for my students. You can also include T/F questions and short response questions. However with short response questions you have to grade.

The next day, I had my students create their own user name & password. You can do this yourself, but I felt my 5th grade students could handle this on their own.

Once they created an account, you can add their user name to your class roster. I had students take the quiz on laptops in class. It was cool because students can see their results right after. Also, you get an online report of how each student did. They make neat graphs and charts and tell you which ones they get right and wrong. So here are the benefits I have found in using this online quiz program:

  • You save paper!! No more standing in line for the copy machine and having to deal with annoying paper jams.
  • You save time because you don’t have to grade! The computer does it for you.
  • Immediate feedback for students on their score. None of that nagging you whether you’ve graded their quizzes or not.
  • Immediate feedback for you as the teacher. You can see which questions students got wrong and right, and use that to plan your instruction.

Here are some snapshots of what the report you get for each quiz looks like:

Are there any other online quiz making programs people have used and recommend?