Wednesday, February 29, 2012

March Scholastic Book Order

Online Ordering Information
Web address:
Class Activation Code: GK9BF

Hi Everyone,

October Scholastic book orders were sent home today. Here is a reminder for the online ordering instructions:
Go to and log in using your user name and password.

If it’s your first time ordering online, use the Class Activation Code shown above to get started
  • SIGN UP at On the parent page, click the “Register” button in the “First Time Here?” section. Register for your own user name and password. When prompted, enter the one-time Class Activation Code shown above. This code ensures that your order is sent to me.
  • SELECT the books you’d like to order—choose from thousands of titles—many more than in our monthly flyers.
  • SEND your order to me online by the due date and your child’s books will be delivered directly to my classroom.
If you are interested in ordering, please submit your order by Wednesday, March 8. Please let me know if you have any questions! 

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day!

Amidst the craziness of celebrating Arizona's 100th birthday all day, we also managed to squeeze in a little bit of Valentine's Day fun as well. 
We have been working the last week or so on a special Valentine's Day project. First, students had to write a message in Google docs. Then they cut and paste the text into this cool site to turn the text into a heart!
Next, students worked together to create a festive background on the whiteboard. I recorded each student wishing their parents a happy Valentine's Day. Some of the students worked with me to create a Keynote presentation, which we converted to a Quicktime movie. We added each individual student recording to the beginning of the Keynote "ending" and created a personalized movie. Each movie was uploaded to YouTube and the privacy setting was changed to "anyone with link can view" (meaning it can't be searched or found, so the movies could remain a bit of a surprise!) Finally, we created a QR Code to the link for each movie and glued it to the Valentine greeting. 
A QR Code is a type of matrix bar code. QR stands for “quick response” and the code is able to hold significantly more data than a traditional bar code. Additionally, the code can link directly to text, a website, a telephone number, a vCard, a video and more!
We have been learning about QR Codes in the classroom. The QR generator we’ve been mainly using is from and the app we use in the classroom to scan the codes is the i-nigma reader but there are MANY other free QR scanner apps available.

QR Codes can be scanned using any smartphone which includes Droids, Blackberries, iPhones and Palms. QR Codes can also be scanned using iTouches or iPad 2s. If you don’t happen to own any of those devices, they can also be scanned on a Mac or a PC using QReader or QuickMark QR Code Reader.

Although originally created by Toyota to track vehicles during the manufacturing process, they have become increasingly common and you will notice them on everything - magazines, packaged food items, boarding passes, cups from fast food restaurants, menus, clothing labels, etc. Using QR Codes in the classroom is a highly effective and engaging teaching tool! Not only do they enhance the interaction in class, they also make learning more fun.
Each student created a special QR Code message for you, for a 21st Century Valentine’s Day card! Please let me know if you have any challenges scanning it.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Save the Date!

Join us at Sonoran Sky Elementary School on Thursday, March 8, 2012 at 6:30pm for the first ever Technology Night! 

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Puppet Book Report

The puppet book report presentations we saw today were wonderful! I am so impressed with the creativity of the students. Puppet designs included masks, marionettes, a sock puppet, paper bag puppets, stick puppets, finger puppets, life-like puppets and a very clever pair of shadow puppets.
We saw quite a few presentations today and will be treated to several more tomorrow. I can't wait to see what's in store! 

Monday, February 6, 2012

Slim Goodbody

Today we went on a field trip with all of the 2nd grade classes to see "Slim Goodbody" at the Orpheum Theater in downtown Phoenix. 
We arrived just as the show was beginning so we didn't miss any of Slim's antics. He entertained us with songs, sayings and funny demonstrations. 
He taught us about nutrition, the brain, the digestive system and to never, ever smoke! 
Slim Goodbody was a lot of fun, although my class was disappointed that he did not present anything about the urinary system. My students were also impressed with the sights of downtown Phoenix and liked being in a "real city"!
 I am writing this blog post with the students. They are blogging about today at the same time. Check out their blogs

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Busy, Busy and even Busier!

 Wow, we have been moving even faster than usual in the classroom! I am hoping to break some of our lessons into more detailed posts, but in the meantime you can use the following topics as a springboard for discussion at home.
We celebrated the 100th day of school last week by doing some discrete math, logic puzzles and coming up with many different ways to write an equation equaling 100.
We had an amazing Chinese New Year Celebration, lead by one of our wonderful parents and learned about customs, practiced eating using chopsticks, tried on authentic Chinese clothing, and even got a piece of Chinese money!
We've been learning about QR Codes and as part of a larger unit incorporating Ireland and St. Patrick's Day, each student created at least one QR Code with some facts about Ireland for our bulletin board. Next time you stop by make sure you have a scanning app on your smart phone to see what we are up to!
Each student started his or her own blog through kidblog. We learned to post, comment, tag and insert a photo.
Speaking of ed tech, we also learned to create a word cloud using Wordle and a new way to present using an app called Popplet. Of course each student is still studying a language through Rosetta Stone. We have been accessing Rosetta 3-4 times a week and students are welcome and encouraged to use Rosetta at home as well.