Sunday, August 14, 2016

Welcome!

Greetings and Welcome to Room 200!

School is just around the corner and I am so excited to meet all of the newest members of Room 200. I am very curious to learn about you and I will bet that you are very curious to learn about me. 

Here are 10 interesting facts about me:

1. This will be my 13th year as a Kaneland teacher and my 3rd Kaneland building. I have taught 1st, 2nd and 3rd grade. 



2. I am a huge Harry Potter fan and I am always rereading one of the books. It is my happy, magical place. 

3. My husband and I are fur parents. We have 2 dogs (had 3 until recently) and 2 cats. They all greet me when I get home from school and that makes me so happy.



4. I am very passionate about making your 2nd grade experience super comfortable and stress free. I think about this all of the time. I try to make our room cozy and creative. I think you will love it!
You can get a glimpse of our room by following us on Instagram: @mrsbrightkbk


5. I LOVE plants!  I love gardening and spending time with my flowers and vegetables outside. I also love bringing nature indoors in my home and our classroom. We will have a very "green" classroom!


6. Last November, I became an aunt for the first time. You are going to hear A LOT about Baby Wayne!




7. I am entering the 3rd and final year of my National Board Certification process. I had to take a really big test and send in videos of myself teaching and my students learning. I am always working on being the best teacher that I can be. This process has helped me on my teaching journey.

8. I love fitness! It is really important for me to be in great shape so that I can have enough energy to be the best teacher for all of my Room 200 friends. I enjoy biking, running, climbing and hanging. However, my favorite is weightlifting. I am on my journey to become a national qualifier in my age and weight bracket. I like being strong and confident. I am on a team filled with other amazing women and we have a blast!



9. My friends are super important to me and they make a huge difference in my life. You will hear me talk about a few of them a lot. 


10. I love teaching because I love my students. I am SO excited to meet you and start our journey together. We will have fun, challenge our minds and stretch our hearts. This is going to be amazing!


As you can see, I think having many hobbies and interests is important and makes me a better teacher. I look forward to learning all about you!

Now I'm going to ask two things from you:

1. Please click here to tell me a bit about yourself and your family. 

2. Please email me a picture of your family so that I can hang it up in our room to make it even more comfortable. laura.bright@kaneland.org


I look forward to meeting you Monday night. Until then, feel free to browse the blog to get a feel for what our adventure might look like this year.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Genius Hour in Room 200 - Requests

Dear Room 200 Parents,

We are in the final stages of our Genius Hour projects. We have researched and planned. Now we are ready to create and share. 

However, we need a bit of help first. We are in need of supplies to help with a few of our projects. 
Please see the attached list and sign your name next to any supplies that you are willing to donate. 

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1CCfzDJDMsNeOpRaNEXU5iu8g8vH4V0cWX2DVb5aE72k/edit?usp=sharing

Please bring in your supplies by Wednesday of this week. I know it is short notice but great learning takes a while (and we are almost out of school days)!

Still wondering about Genius Hour in Room 200? 
Let us tell you about it!

Genius Hour from LBright on Vimeo.

Finally, one of our projects is already in motion. Check out this video to learn more about how you and your family can help J.B. with her project!



J.B. from LBright on Vimeo.

Please start bringing in coins this week if you would like to donate to J.B.'s project!

Sunday, April 10, 2016

A Presidential Review

Wow! We have been a busy group of learners recently! One of our major projects this year has been our President Research Presentation Project. The students ROCKED this project far beyond what I could have imagined.

Let me take you through the journey that they students have been on:

Phase 1: Activate our Schema and Share Wonders
 The students started by writing what they thought we already knew about their President and also shared wonders or questions that they had.





Phase 2: Research using PebbleGo.Com
The students use an online database of information to begin researching their President's life as a child, an adult, as President, and other interesting facts. They added these facts to their research poster.




Phases 3 and 4: Multiple Resources
The students used biographies from our KBK library and Youtube videos to gather even more information about their President. This information was also added to the categories on their research poster. 



Phase 5: Planning and Presenting
This was the critical phase! The students had 1 week to plan and create their informational video.





Once their videos were complete, the groups checked to make sure they included all of the requirements. 


Here are their final projects. Please check them out and leave comments below. They are really proud of their hard work and would love to hear from you!

George Washington Group 1

George Washington Group 2

Ronald Reagan

John F. Kennedy

Abraham Lincoln


Sunday, March 13, 2016

Week in Review

Room 200 had a great week learning and getting ready for our amazing Open House. Thank you to the families that joined us. I was great to see all of you!

I would like to start today by adding a few links that might be helpful.

1. KBK Math 411 - This is KBK's new math site filled with videos to help assist with the school-to-home connection. Check it out to see our strategies for our current math unit.


2. Class Dojo Growth Mindset Video Series - A great way to showcase positive thinking and a Growth Mindset.

3. Our Classroom Kidblog Page - The students have been working REALLY hard on their blog posts for several weeks. Parent Call to Action - Please visit the link and comment on one of your child's blog posts. Also, comment on another child's as well. The students would really appreciate it.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Here are a few other tidbits from this week:

We had an author visit from Carron Brown. She shared her super cool books that have a hidden secret. Ask your child about them.


C.P. showed off one of her passions this week. It was great to have her share and the students had a lot of questions.


One of our groups performed a great reader's theater about a competition for catching the first fish. You'll never guess who caught it!

One of our amazing authors, M. M., is working on writing and publishing her own reader's theater script. There will be a performance when she is ready to publish!


Speaking of authors, we had an author celebration this week! Room 200 finished our first research project of the year. The books are fantastic and filled with great eagle knowledge. 

During this writing project we learned about facts and support. Many of the students showed this by using different colors of pens. 



We are now starting our second research writing project of the year, Presidents. Students will be researching collaboratively and focusing on multiple sources and synthesizing information.




Collaboration is a huge focus in Room 200 and we will be sharing more evidence of this soon.

Thanks for checking in and have a great week!

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Week in Review

We have been BUSY, BUSY, BUSY and can't wait to share our learning process with you at our Open House this Thursday.

Meanwhile... Here is just a bit of what we have been working on:


It is starting to feel like Spring in Room 200. Our gardeners are making sure our garden is being well cared for. 




One of our talented groups has written a poem about Eagles. 


Read it here
Here it here:



We also entered our 2nd official session of Genius Hour! The students began drawing and writing all they know about their topic. They are working towards identifying a driving question.







The students have also been working very hard in their Special classes. Their artwork from Mrs. Berth's class is just lovely. You should hear the students talk about their Chinese Dragons!  Keep an eye out for them at Open House!



Lastly, the students visited the Book Fair this week and are really excited about the new choices! Make sure you stop by and check it out on Thursday.




See you at Open House!

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Week in Review

Yet another powerful week in Room 200!

Project/Problem Based Learning

We started our week with a project/problem to solve during our Reader's Workshop. We identified that it was an area that we could improve. So, we began brainstorming, what we wanted in our Reader's Workshop and what we didn't want. 



Then we began talking about the good components of a great Reader's Workshop and how they should revolve around our CAFE model of Comprehension, Accuracy, Fluency and Expanding our Vocabulary. We came up with a ton of great activity suggestions that could fall into our already established choices.



Once our board was full, the students began taking suggested activities from the board and trying them out.  The goal was to see if the activity helped us become better readers and was something we enjoyed.


(Activity Pictured: Song/Poem Writing)

(Activity Pictured: Danger Reading - Focus: Danger Books)
(Activity Pictured: Read Fluently to the Digital Device)
Once the students found an activity that they enjoyed and found valuable, they logged it into our Today's Meet so that we could review and discuss it. The students added the name of the activity, what area it belonged in, the volume level, and a brief description.




Now we have an excellent working list of great ideas to use during our Reader's Workshop!

Informational and Procedural Writing
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.2.2
Write informative/explanatory texts in which they introduce a topic, use facts and definitions to develop points, and provide a concluding statement or section.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.2.7
Participate in shared research and writing projects (e.g., read a number of books on a single topic to produce a report; record science observations).
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.2.8
Recall information from experiences or gather information from provided sources to answer a question.
K-2-ETS1-1. Ask questions, make observations, and gather information about a situation people want to change to define a simple problem that can be solved through the development of a new or improved object or tool. 
K-2-ETS1-2. Develop a simple sketch, drawing, or physical model to illustrate how the shape of an object helps it function as needed to solve a given problem. 
K-2-ETS1-3. Analyze data from tests of two objects designed to solve the same problem to compare the strengths and weaknesses of how each performs.

Last week, the students began embarking on their own informational/procedural writing adventures. The students were tasked to come up with a guiding question, a hypothesis, and full procedure (list of materials, numbered steps, and detailed and labeled illustrations) before beginning their experiment. 



During the experiment, students recorded their data so that they will be prepared to write their scientific conclusion this week.



2nd Grade and 5th Grade Engineering Collaboration

K-2-ETS1-1. Ask questions, make observations, and gather information about a situation people want to change to define a simple problem that can be solved through the development of a new or improved object or tool.
K-2-ETS1-2. Develop a simple sketch, drawing, or physical model to illustrate how the shape of an object helps it function as needed to solve a given problem. 
K-2-ETS1-3. Analyze data from tests of two objects designed to solve the same problem to compare the strengths and weaknesses of how each performs.

On Friday, we combined forces with Miss Owen's homeroom class to solve an engineering problem. The students broke off into groups and began making plans for a waterproof boat. The finish products will be tested by identifying how many washers each boat can hold. We will continue this project next Friday.






Genius Hour!

On Friday, we began our introduction to Genius Hour.


We began by watching the following video clip:




Then we began brainstorming all of the things we enjoyed, were good at, and wanted more information on. This helped us create our Wonder Wall. 

Stay tuned for MUCH more to come on Genius Hour very soon!


Read to Self - Our most important part of the day!

As always, we took time to enjoy a good book. 


Have a fabulous week!