Thursday, December 15, 2011

Delgado's Dragons Research Dragonflies

Mrs. Delgado's Dragons conducted research on dragonflies using a variety of non-fiction sources.  Last week, they published their research using Microsoft Word. The students integrated their research skills, writing skills, and their technology skills.  The students practiced saving their work to their own network drive and inputting written work into Microsoft Word. These first grader students also learned to search for clip art that enhanced their text.  After they were done with their work, the students practiced finding the correct printer on the network and printing. We are very proud of everything these first graders have learned. Please enjoy these few samples of the amazing work they did!

Peterson's Leaping Learners Experienced Mechanical Engineering!

John Menk, a mechanical engineer, came and presented to Mrs. Peterson's class the week before the winter holidays.  According to him, "I showed everyone how a mechanical engineer designs parts on the computer in 3D.  I used a powerful solid modeling program called Unigraphics, and I told the class how engineers can create large assemblies of parts on the screen before we make the real parts.  That way we can be sure that all the parts are the right size and shape and will fit together correctly.  This saves engineering companies time and money.  We also talked about how we use other computer programs to find out how fast these assemblies will vibrate (their natural frequencies) and when they will break.  In class today we made a Christmas tree with a star-pierced heart ornament on top."   Mrs. Peterson's third graders were amazed at what you can do with technology.  Way to go Learning Leapers!

Garcia's Gators Explore Math with Hands On Technology

Mrs. Garcia's students are using an interactive Smart Board to learn math this year. The interactive white board allows students to manipulate images to show how story problems work out, to show addition and subtraction problems, and to work on daily warm ups.  Students can also use special pens to annotate on the white board and control the computer.  The students love being in charge of the computer and it makes math exciting and fun.  Here are a few pictures of the students using the Smart Board for a morning warm up. Way to go Gators!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Mrs. Rodger's Neighborhood is Thankful

Kindergarten students in Mrs. Rodger's Neighborhood brainstormed about why they were thankful before Thanksgiving. They used Kidspiration to capture their thoughts.  In previous lessons, students learned how to create thought bubbles in the program and then how to find pictures to represent their thoughts.  This week, the students learned how to connect their ideas with lines and several of them started writing sentences about their ideas.  The students had to "sound out" the words they wanted to use. The students also practiced printing their work to the printers in the computer lab. We are so proud of our students as they forge ahead using technology to help express their thoughts. Please enjoy a sample of their work. Please note: the spellings are the students' authentic spellings and represent their level of sound mastery. Please enjoy this work as the students put in much time and effort!

Canizales' Cuddly Bears Use Kidspiration to Enforce Addition

Mrs. Canizales' second grade students are exploring addition in math. Using Kidspiration, they "balanced" number equations. Each shape was given a value and they created equal number sentences on each side of the balance.  Not only were the students practicing their technology skills, they are preparing themselves for algebra!  Way to go Cuddly Bears!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Fulp's Flashy Fish Explore Literature with the Web

Fulp's second grade students are exploring literature using interactive websites.  Recently, they used Book Flix, an interactive website that pairs a nonfiction book with a fiction book. Students responded to the main idea and found details in both books.  Students of all abilities are able to access the same books because Book Flix will read the text aloud.  They have also used the new interactive features of Reading A-Z, another online resource.  The students were able to annotate over the text using the website and the projector in their room.  The students used the site for procedural texts.  Way to go Flashy Fish! We are so impressed with how you are using Web 2.0 tools to improve your reading skills!

Bartholomew's Bats Explore Science Through StemScopes

Mrs. Bartholomew's fourth graders have been using StemScopes, an online science resource created by Rice University this year.  According to Mrs. Bartholomew, "We have fun with Webquests, interactive experiments, science rock songs, and more."  Mrs. Bartholomew has added activities to "buckets" inside of StemScopes Students are able to access their teacher's accounts at home and at school so they have more time to explore and learn cool science concepts.

Several people have asked for the link to the website.  You can find it linked under the Forest Creek website For Students page. Here is the direct link also:  Students have logins from their teacher.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Alvarez's Fifth Grade Students Moodle

This year, Round Rock ISD is opening their Moodle to elementary students.  Moodle is an online learning management system that "provide(s) teachers and students with Web-Enhanced instructional capabilities."  Mr. Alvarez attended a multi-day Moodle academy this summer to prepare to incorporate this interactive tool in his classroom this year.  According to Mr. Alvarez, "Moodle is an on-line extension of the work the kids and I do in class.   Kids do "Moodle Multiplication" a timed multiplication practice which records accuracy and fluency.  I also post classwork and homework assignments kids/parents can download and print.  Recently, I added links to Youtube demonstrating methods for multiplication."  Mr. Alvarez is incorporating interactive internet activities to enhance his instruction. Congratulations to Mr. Alvarez for finding interactive ways to make learning multiplication math fun and interesting.

Kaynes' Kinkajous create Photostories

Mrs. Kaynes' Third Grade Class learned how to use a variety of technology. First they took pictures with digital cameras and learned how to save the pictures to the shared folder. They then imported the pictures into Photostory and created slide transitions. They wrote a script about how we use writing everyday and recorded their voices to match with their pictures of writing. It was a fun way to combine the real life connection of daily writing with technology. We are looking forward to creating more Photostories in class!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Jezisek's Students GLOG!

Mrs. Jezisek's fourth and fifth grade language arts students have incorporated Glogster as part of their novel check-up responses. Utilizing Edward DeBono's Six Thinking Hats, students are responding to literature by creating Glogsters based upon the different thinking hats. A Glog is an interactive poster that is fun and allows students to explore their creative side. Students can add videos, graphics, and moving text boxes to spice up their responses. The program also supports the National Education Standards.

Coyotes Explore Environmental Murals

Students in Mrs. Arnolds' art class explored what makes an environmental composition complete (sky, land, animals, flora) in the computer lab on Friday.  Using a Web 2.0 tool from the National Gallery of Art for Kids,  students in first through fifth grade created a tropical jungle scene filled with tigers, monkeys, and other exotic creatures. While exploring the website, the students also discovered some of the art elements Henry Rousseau used in his  paintings.  This lesson was the first lesson on murals. The other lessons are hands on activities in the art room.  The students will create a mural about the environment around Round Rock and it will hang in the garden outside the gymnasium.  The students were excited to create art on the computers. Check out the NGA Kids websites for more fabulous activities online:

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Fifth Grade Coyotes go high tech with assessment!

This year, Texas has started a new initiative to determine if fifth grade students are on track to be successful in algebra. Our fifth grade students have taken the MSTAR (Middle School Students in Texas Algebra Ready Universal Screener) the week of September 26 - 30th.  We are so proud of our students for forging ahead and taking this high tech assessment!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Fulp's Flashy Fish Create with Wordle

Mrs. Fulp's second grade students recently learned about Wordle, a website that creates word clouds. Each student was able to go around and write down one word that described each of their fellow students.  They typed these words into Wordle and created a "word cloud."  Even though the school was experiencing wireless problems and the students were unable to print, they persevered and learned how to copy their Wordle into a Word document and edit it using picture tools. These are skills that are normally introduced in upper grades. I am so proud of these flashy fish! They truly used all their technology skills to create an impressive product!  Congratulations to all the flashy fish.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Bartholomew's Bats, Service Learning, and Technolgy...What a Combination!

Mrs. Bartholomew's bats have been working with a group of senior citizens from The Court Round Rock Retirement Facility all year long. They have had many adventures with their buddies. Recently, they took their friends into the computer lab to explore learning through technology.  According to Mrs. Bartholomew's students, "We went onto our class website and posted comments on our blog. Then we explored a website on Antarctica because we had been reading about animals and explorers in Antarctica recently.  The most exciting part of our visit was experimenting with the Proscopes.  We had fun seeing the ladybugs up close and even more fun looking at our skin, our hair, our clothing, tissues, one of our pen pal's diamond ring, and another pen pal's floral patterned fingernail!  Our pen pals were amazed at the fourth graders technical skills!  We will be visiting them at The Court in Round Rock Retirement Facility on May 2.  We have enjoyed learning from them this year and sharing new experiences with them.  We love technology and our pen pals!"

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Jezisek's Yellow Jackets Observe Ladybugs!

Mrs. Jezisek's Yellow Jackets are currently learning about ladybugs.  They recently used "Proscopes," which are digital microscopes that connect to laptops, to view living ladybugs.  The students were able to use the Proscopes to observe the eyes, antennae, mouthparts, and legs of the ladybugs. They also closely examined the thorax and abdomen. They all saw the silver beating heart of the ladybugs working when they looked at the underside of it.  The Yellow Jackets told me "The ladybug looked like a gigantic monster!"  The students were amazed at their ability to become entomologists for a day.

Thank you to Mrs. Jezisek's Yellow Jackets for helping write and edit this post also! They are becoming great writers and added sparkle to this post.

Heinzen's Honeybees are Letter Writers

Mrs. Heinzen's students are learning to write letters in their class.  They utilized email to write a letter to their parents.  The wonderful Honey Bee parents are sending letters back and the students are responding again.  The children were super excited when they received their first letters.  They were noticing the different kinds of greetings and closings used by their parents.

Shogan's Salamanders are Exploring the World as They Spell

Do you remember spelling assignments from elementary school?  Boring was a good descriptive word for most of them.  Mrs. Shogan's students have a new spelling activity called Geogreeting this year that adds fun, geography, and Web 2.0 skills to her spelling lessons!  Students have the option to go to and see their spelling words created with buildings from around the world.  Anything you type can be spelled out in the aerial shot of a building and it shows where in the world the building was located.  The students then get to practice their email skills by emailing Mrs. Shogan a link to one word they created.

Visit the site for yourself and see if spelling isn't a lot more fun than it used to be! You might even see a few new places while you are at it.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Kelso's "Kritters" Participate in Email Discussions!

Mrs. Kelso's students are studying media literacy.  They have learned that email is an effective way of communicating with others.  They learned that all emails should have a clear purpose, as well as an introduction, body, and conclusion or signature line.  As a class, they composed an email and sent it to their parents, informing the parents about what they were learning!  Already, her students have received several replies from parents discussing how they use email in their daily lives.  We are very proud of our electronic authors!

Here is the email that her class composed:

Dear Parents,
We have been learning about media. We have learned that media is the internet, commercials, signs, TV shows, ads on boxes (like cereal boxes), magazines, emails, books... We have also learned that media can persuade us, entertain us, and give us information.
Today we learned about emails and how they help us communicate with each other. The class is helping me write this email so that you will be informed about what we're learning.
Have a great day!
Mrs. Kelso's Critters

Bartholomew's Bats and Maurer's are Media Savvy!

In today's world, students have to learn so much more than reading, writing, and mathematics. They must learn how to apply skills to problems that do not even exist yet.  With every new day, our children are exposed to new sources of information.  We must give our students opportunities to explore, analyze, and critique information.  The fourth grade students at Forest Creek are learning about media literacy and the effects that advertising has on our habits.  They are becoming critical thinkers as they watch commercials and examine advertisements, discovering how the media tries to persuade us to purchase products.  The students were able to create their own advertisments using many of the "tricks" they learned from examining other ads.  As students become more aware of how advertisments can influence people, students are able to make wise choices based on research, rather than impulse.  We are very proud of our media savvy students!

Please enjoy the pictures of some of Mrs. Maurer's students working on one website about media literacy.

Mrs. Bartholomew's students graciously allowed us to use parts of their reader's response journals on media literacy:

" Another cool think was how they taught us not to buy everything we see on T.V.  Grown-ups want you to learn that stuff."

"On food commercials, sometimes they try to make the food look perfect."

"In the commercials, they try to persuade you by putting famous people in the video."

"I learned advertisers make stuff look better in TV than in real life. I think advertisers are mad scientists."

"I learned you have to make an ad exciting and funny to attract new customers to your product."

"We played Cool or Cost. We had to pick which is a bargain brand and which is expensive."

"I learned some things are fake and advertisements can be a rip off!  I also learned that if you're selling something you should sell something that appeals to boys and girls because then you will have more buyers and make more money."

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Jezisek's Yellow Jackets are Authors, Photographers, and Producers!

Mrs. Jezisek's third grade class recently read the book The Greedy Triangle by Marilyn Burns.  They wrote their own versions in small groups and discussed what pictures would enhance their text. Each group then went out and took pictures of their three-dimensional shape. Each group of students then worked together to create a Photostory version of their story.  These students have learned how to create a storyboard to lay out their ideas in a cohesive fashion, use props to create visually interesting pictures to enhance their words, use Photostory to create a moving story, and record their voices in the story.  They have created a memorable experience that also helps them learn geometry!  In this way, the students have learned that technology enhances their learning of all subjects. Way to go Yellow Jackets!

All writing was done by third graders. While they went through and corrected their work, there are occasional "creative spellings."  Please enjoy these authentic works of art.

Shogan's Salamanders are in the Movies!

Mrs. Shogan's class recently researched various aspects of space.  The students conducted research about a variety of topics and then wrote original plays to present the information to others, including many first grade classrooms. The students worked very hard writing and editing their plays, as well as creating costumes to make sure they taught the younger students important science concepts. The Salamanders then recorded their plays using the school's broadcast equipment.  The students, as well as Mrs. Shogan and myself, are very proud of their plays. We hope you enjoy them also!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Fulp's Flashy Fish Research Weather

Mrs. Fulp's second grade students recently researched different weather phenomenon using multiple sources.  The students then created Power Point slide shows utilizing the information they learned. The students started with a blank Power Point show and had to decide how to categorize their information so they could present it in a manner that made sense.  This is a difficult task and elevates this lesson on the Blooms Taxonomy Higher Order Thinking Skills to synthesis because the students had to gather knowledge, understand it, and then create a product.

Her students learned about Power Point in addition to weather phenomenon.  The students learned that each slide contains one main idea. The students also learned to insert clip art that was relevant and would enhance their slides. The students are able to share their presentations with their classmates using the new projectors in their classroom. The students are so proud of their work!

Please enjoy a few examples of their work. These are authentic slides and may contain a few "creative" spelling mistakes.  Students were not penalized for spelling words that were not word wall words for second grade.