Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Learning From A Favorite Author: Tamara Ellis Smith @tsesmith @resvt #AnotherKindOfHurricane #Write

Another Kind Of Hurricane is a book about two very different boys, from opposite sides of our country, who become connected.  It is Tamara Ellis Smith's first book, and a book that finds its way deep into the heart of anyone who reads it.
We had the honor of welcoming Tam Smith into our classroom!  She shared her journey, as a writer, with us.  Her words were inspiring and empowering!  You can experience her magic too, by watching the videos below!  Enjoy!

Link to Video: https://youtu.be/-0BOo4kCcMc

Link to Video: https://youtu.be/DoS1lcGkUIg

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Publishing Our Stories! @resvt #Write #Publish

After a lot of hard work and perseverance, we published our stories!  Students enjoyed sharing their beautifully illustrated books with each other.  It was so wonderful to enjoy the fruits of our labor!
Thank you to everyone who sent in treats to make our party even more special!

Link to Video: https://sharalike.com/s/qVWw

Friday, November 17, 2017

COUGAR CUB INVENTOR’S WORKSHOP @darcierankin @resvt #Makerspace #Create

Hello!  The annual Cougar Cub Inventor's Workshop is coming up soon!  On Thursday November 30th the RES community is invited to come and create with us! We have many outside community volunteers that are going to make the evening special---and I hope many of you will also be able to join us (either as volunteers or just to make and create alongside students).  Please check out the information below, and let me know if you have any questions.
Thanks Darcie
1.  If you are interested in volunteering at a station, you can sign up here:
2.  I am seeking two baby plastic wading pools if you have one you could loan us for the night, please let me know!

3.  If you have a class newsletters, please consider adding the dates and times of the event.  If you have class blogs, please consider adding the below detailed information.  Please consider announcing and encouraging families and students to attend!

Richmond Elementary School , in conjunction with
the Society of Women Engineers, ECHO Science Museum, Radiate Art Space and  MMUSD Educators is proud to present the third annual:
Thursday November 30th, 2017
5:30 – 7:30pm
RES Gym, Library and Art Room
Cost: 2$ per project (to cover cost of disposable resources, scholarships available)

What is an Inventor’s Workshop?
This workshop is a family-friendly event to MAKE, create, learn, invent, craft, recycle, think, play and be inspired by celebrating arts, crafts, engineering, science and technology.  Students will work with their families to create!  Activities will be facilitated by engineers and teachers, but tasks will be open ended and creative.  Families will have an opportunity to learn together as they experience the fun of making / building / constructing / designing and more! A variety of activities will be available to challenge students from Grades K – 8.

Activities planned for our workshop include:
Cardboard Challenge:  Create with cardboard! The possibilities are endless!
Making a keyboard with bananas!  MaKey MaKey Boards are electronic devices that convert many regular objects into keys on your computer to control programs like Scratch or videos games.  Objects that are conductive, even slightly, like fruit or people, can be used with the MaKey. 
*New this year*Build and Launch a Rocket!  Using makerspaces materials we will build rockets that reach for the stars as they travel several stories into the night sky.
Creating lighted artwork with throwies!  LED Throwies are LEDs connected to coin batteries to create artwork with light.  They can be added to greeting cards or origami, or used to create nightlights or glowing badges. We will have a station to add LEDs to our rockets
Creating interactive circuits with littleBits!  littleBits are electronic modules that snap together with magnets to make circuits.  Each bit has a specific function (light, sound, sensors, buttons, motors, etc), and modules snap together to make larger circuits. We will have a teacher on hand to use synthesizer Little Bits to create awesome sounds.
Checking out a 3D printer in action!  CHMS and RES students have been using a 3D printer during technology/enrichment classes. Come and watch a 3D printer in action and explore the Tinkercad software we use to make our designs.
Creating abstract art with a digital microscope!  DinoXcope Art is artwork created using a digital microscope to photograph intentional arrangements of materials.  
Programming interactive games with Scratch!  Scratch is a visual programming language.  Use colorful interlocking building blocks of code like legos to build interactive games and programs.
Green Screen! Green screen technology is used to create background scenes for pictures in films and photographs.  Come and create your own awesome photo.
JitterBots!  Back due to popularity, you can create your very own jittery robot!

      SNAP Circuits, Art Creation with Radiate Art Space, ECHO Engineering Challenge, Keva Planks, Robots…and more!!!!
Please contact Darcie Rankin, RES Enrichment Teacher at darcie.rankin@cesuvt.org with questions.
We hope to see you there!

Meeting Our Preschool Buddies! @resvt #Community #Grateful #PreschoolBuddies

We are so thankful that our community grew just a little bit bigger today!  The feeling of magic in the room was amazing!!!

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

Link to Video: https://sharalike.com/s/qTJD

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Bus Stop: Building Community & Self Confidence Through Improv @BenWhiteEdu @resvt

We had an awesome time getting to know one another on a whole new level for Fabulously Fun Friday!  It is always so exciting to watch students get out of their comfort zones and just have fun!  We were so grateful that Mr. White decided to join us!

Friday, November 10, 2017

Traveling to Mexico: Have You Ever Tasted A Grasshopper? @resvt #DifferentCultures #Mexico

Wow!  One of our students recently traveled to the place she was born, Oaxaca, Mexico.  To share her incredible experience with us, she and her parents put together a slideshow.  Her presentation was amazing and truly captivating!  She showed us artifacts from Mexico and even let us try some chocolate and grasshopper, a couple of her favorite treats from her trip!  Have you ever eaten an insect before?  It's a pretty great experience!

You can check out her presentation here:

Below is a slideshow of our experience:

Link to Slideshow: https://sharalike.com/s/qTfc

Mindfulness Through Music @resvt @RachelPlatten #Mindfulness

When I was getting ready for work, Rachel Platten's song "Better Place" began to play.  I thought of my students as I listened to the words.  For mindfulness, we closed our eyes and breathed together as we took in her words and made them our own.
Students really connected with the song and asked me to share it with all of you.  Enjoy!

Link to video: https://youtu.be/pvI9PuGorwI

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Being Kind: A Discussion @resvt #Bullying #StandUpForOthers #KindnessMatters

Today we watched this video.  Through writing, we reflected and answered the question, "What does it really mean to be kind?"  Students then shared their thinking and personal experiences in a class discussion. 
It's important to remember that it sometimes takes courage to be kind.  As a society, we need to be kind and stand up for one another.

(When watching the video with kids, stop the video at 1:30 and replay at 1:34 to the end.)

Link to video:  https://youtu.be/mnKPEsbTo9s

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Feeling Inspired and Thinking of Others @resvy @sharonmdraper ‏ #ActsOfKindness #OutOfMyMind

As we read aloud and discuss Out Of My Mind, we think deeply about the main character Melody.  One student decided to capture how she felt Melody sees colors, by making each of us a small symbolic gift, connecting us even more to Melody and the story!  I feel so lucky to be surrounded by such thoughtful and creative students!  I get to witness acts of kindness like this, big and small, each and every day!  

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Force & Motion: Learning About Energy @resvt #NGSS @MysterySci #Energy #Science

We LOVED learning about energy!  Ending our unit with a day full of designing and creating the perfect amount of potential energy to get our marbles from point A to point B was priceless!  Thanks to everyone who sent in materials for us to use!  We just about finished our supply of masking tape, so if you would like to send in more for future projects, we would love it!
Thanks for all of your support!  You can watch the video to experience the thoughtful learning, relationship building, and fun that filled our day!

Link to video: https://animoto.com/play/lqo3HiuIGnTg0f7w5QwN2A

Friday, October 27, 2017

Learning How To Tell A Deliciously Detailed Story With Mr. Alberghini! @SuptAlberghini @resvt #Storytelling #Write

On Monday, Mr. Alberghini told us a story that he wrote when he was about 8 years old.  The story was so thoughtful and well written that it got published in "Yankee Magazine"!  We were captivated and inspired by his "Seagull Story".  You can watch the video below to learn what happened when he and Louie went fishing!
We're so thankful to Mr. Alberghini for sharing his gift of storytelling with us and for helping us become better writers!

Link to video: https://animoto.com/play/8i0gtQjb4qa4lVSJBuNCKg 

Movement Break! @resvt @jratey #Spark

Enjoying the fresh air and beautiful fall weather!

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Writing A Story @resvt #Writing @TCRWP ‏

Writers know that ideas need to be nurtured and grown.  Before we dove into writing our narratives, we helped each other build a story that would captivate the reader and motivate the writer to persevere!

Link to video: https://animoto.com/play/5sBLoSgET1oSkJBAkG20AA

(FYI:  I "finished" this video, then lost all my work when searching for the perfect music.  This video was smoother, shorter and should have better music... I had to let it go so I could get it to a place where I could share it with you.  Sorry it's a little long and choppy!) 

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Parts of Speech & Sentence Structure @resvt #FramingYourThoughts #MultipleIntelligences

When we learned about verbs, of course we went outside and acted out running, swimming and leaping!  When we added adjectives to the mix, we had to get that sentence structure into our muscle memory too!
We've written and acted out sentences like...

Beautiful fish fart.


Strong Rhinos prance.

Subject describer subject predicate.
Adjective noun verb.

We have been having so much fun in word study!!!

Link to video: https://animoto.com/play/cDO1qdTEgb4ry6zv8q0H0A

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Learning About Energy! @resvt @MysterySci ‏#NGSS

Students reflected on where their racers got their energy from.  They adjusted the energy they gave their racers to find the perfect amount needed to get their vehicle to the given "sweet spot"!  We had a great time and learned even more about energy!

Link to video: https://animoto.com/play/LNFQosmrvkMyoch5WoVbDw

Friday, October 6, 2017

We Are Published Authors!!!! @resvt #Poetry #CreatingPassionateWriters

We published our poetry anthologies today!!!!!  Our poetry unit has been so inspiring!  Students have been writing poems at home and feeling brave enough to share them with the class!  I hope that their passion for writing will continue to grow as we journey into new genres together! 
To celebrate all of our hard work and perseverance, we will be having a PUBLISHING PARTY on Tuesday, October 10th!  Instead of going to the cafeteria for lunch, we will dine and dance together in the classroom to celebrate how awesome and talented we are!  If you would like, you can send in a treat to make our celebration even more special!  Please send in treats that are gluten free.  Thank you! 
Thank you also to everyone who sent in shaving cream!  Your gift made our books so beautiful and we had a lot of fun using it!  We will continue to use your shaving cream throughout the year!

Making Our Books:

Link to video: https://animoto.com/play/glnXsju3yTHV9YN2youJKw

Our published books:

Some Of Our Inspired Poets Sharing Their Work From Home With The Class:

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Kicking Off Word Study! @resvt #FramingYourThoughts #SchoolHouseRock

Soon, we will be writing narratives.  And as writers, we know that it is important to understand sentence structure in order to write a story.  Today, we kicked off word study by starting to learn about sentence structure and parts of speech.  We thought of barebones sentences with a subject/noun & predicate/verb, like:

I'm running!
Dogs biking?

We then watched and discussed this video to solidify our thinking!

Ask your child how to write a barebones sentence!
We can't wait to learn more about our language and use our knowledge to make our stories amazing!!!

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Where Does This Car Get Its Energy From? @resvt @MysterySci #NGSS #Science

We are excited to learn about energy in our new science unit!  We explored wind-up toys and took time to think, discuss and write about where we imagine their energy comes from and how they work.  Kids drew awesome models and had thoughtful conversations!  We can't wait to learn more about energy!

We Started Composting In Our Classroom Today! @resvt @BagItMovie #Compost #MakeADifference

Today we talked about the environment, and how simple choices we make each day can have a huge impact on our lives and the world we live in.  We watched this video and started to think about all of the items we use for only a few minutes, that when thrown away, never really go away.  We discussed ways we can make small changes that make a huge difference!
Last year, one of my students donated a compost bin to help us make an impact!  Today, we proudly dropped our peels and cores into the bin!  We can't wait to turn our waste into nutritious soil!  
Please watch this video and discuss with your child ways you can support their efforts to make a difference!

You can learn more about this incredible film at http://www.bagitmovie.com/

Friday, September 29, 2017

Poetry in Motion @yanntiersen @sharonmdraper @resvt #Poetry #Art #Mindfulness

We have begun to bring our poetry unit to an end so that we can dive into realistic fiction!  I did this by reading aloud the first two chapters of Out of My Mind, by Sharon Draper.  In this book, we are introduced to a character by the name of Melody.  She shares that, "Words have always swirled around me like snowflakes--each one delicate and different, each one melting untouched in my hands..." Because at the age of ten and three quarters, although passionate about language, she has never spoken a word!

She shares that like words, music, is something she connects to and finds so powerful.  When she hears different kinds of music, she sees and tastes and smells different things.

Inspired by Melody, we took time to be mindful of the music we listened to.  We took time to draw what we heard, smelled, saw and tasted as Yann Tiersen's music played.  Sometimes we closed our eyes and just let our art flow from our bodies.

When the music stopped, we walked around and described each other's art using deliciously descriptive words.  Then we used the inspiration from our art, and the words before us, to write poems!

Link to video: https://animoto.com/play/qc4KBSBIkD0puKQ3wQ21tQ

(We listened to about the first 12 minutes of Yann Tiersen's music as we drew.)

Fabulously Fun Friday! @resvt #Community @Kdarling7112 @vtkteach

There's nothing more fabulous than a Friday filled with fun!  We started our day with a student lead greeting, then kindergarteners came to our room searching for their lost gingerbread men!  We ended our day by eating popsicles that Otis shared as I read aloud Out of My Mind!  What a wonderful day!!!

Link to slideshow: https://sharalike.com/s/qP3B

Listen to part of our super fun greeting!

Our Field Trip To The Audubon @resvt #Audubon #BirdsOfVermontMuseum

We had a wonderful field trip this week!  We went to the Audubon, and the Birds of Vermont Museum, to learn about how animals are structured impacts their ability to survive!  It was an inspiring day of learning!  Thanks to our awesome chaperone who helped make the day even more special!

Link to Slideshow: https://sharalike.com/s/qP3b

The Importance Of Having A Growth Mindset In Math @resvt #MathMind #GrowthMindset

Please watch this video!  It can help you feel better about yourself and your child as mathematicians. This video can also help you understand why our focus in math today is less about memorizing algorithms and more about understanding, seeing patterns and finding multiple ways to approach a given problem.
This is a great video to watch and discuss with your child!  We saw the video together today! We learned how our brains work and that anything is possible when we set our minds to it!

After we discussed the video, we tackled math problems in creative ways, seeing connections and using patterns to help us.  Then we danced to "Try Everything", because this song reminds us of all we learned!  Mistakes help us learn and grow our brains!  We can do anything--it just takes practice and perseverance!  

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Autumn Rhythm @resvt #JacksonPollock #Poetry #Art

Inspired by Jackson Pollock's "Autumn Rhythm", we went outside to experience fall and express our shared moment through art and through words.  As each student painted, we shared what we noticed about the artist, the art, and the world around us.  We used this experience to inspire our writing.
As students spoke and created, I did my best to write down their words and capture their "Autumn Rhythm" through photos and film.
You can see some of their words resting beside their captivating mural.

Link to video: https://animoto.com/play/HNwdEFMbjDkwOSgx8FwJTA

We can't wait to share all of our incredible poems and hard work with you at Open House!  See you Wednesday night, September 27th, from 6:00-7:00!

Monday, September 25, 2017

Becoming Poets! @resvt #Poetry #CreatingPassionateWriters

I always start the year with poetry because there is something very freeing about this genre.  Poetry also allows kids to play with writer's crafts, such as alliteration and similes, without the all the rules that come with other genres.  This freedom helps them take ownership of these crafts so they can later utilize them in future work.  It has been so incredible to watch these scholars growing as writers and becoming more and more passionate about their craft!

Link to video: https://animoto.com/play/mgdgwHCVt59uT7Md4SH94A

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Our Hopes And Dreams @resvt #HopesAndDreams #Community

Students thought about their hopes and dreams for the year.

Scholars chose the hopes and dreams they wanted to focus on and share with each other.

Students made designs and shared ideas on how to best present our hopes and dreams to the world.

Then we started making our hopes and dreams become a beautiful reality!

This year we will work hard and support each other so that all of our hopes and dreams can become an exciting reality!

Thursday, September 14, 2017

We Like To Move Our Bodies! @resvt @BenWhiteEdu @jratey #Spark

Whether it's starting the day by getting our bodies moving...
(Sometimes even our middle school friends join in the fun!)  

having a dance party with our amazing principal at the end of snack...

or getting outside to take in the sun's rays, we like to get our bodies moving and our brains ready for new learning!

Link to slideshow: https://sharalike.com/s/qNB8

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Why Use Social Media In Education? @resvt @MichaelBerryEDU @bethredford @teachvt

Mr. Berry asked Aimee Randall from Jericho Elementary, Mrs. Redford, and me to talk about why we use social media as educators.  It's a fun, insightful video--check it out!

Link to Mr. Berry's post about the video: https://michaelberryedu.wordpress.com/2017/09/13/thank-you-bethredford-kblefrancois-and-teachvt-for-sharing-your-why-of-social-media-vted/

Learning To Trust One Another @resvt #BuildingCommunity

Trust is a powerful thing...

Link to video: https://animoto.com/play/UuwnZdhmO3M3bGCDVKev3A

Today we got friendship bracelets to symbolize the trust we feel toward one another and the support we promise to give each other!

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

There Is Nothing Better... #Music @resvt

Then getting serenaded when you eat your snack!

Words To Live By @kwamealexander #ThePlaybook @amyjccuddy #PowerPose @resvt

We started the year reading from Kwame Alexander's The Playbook: 52 Rules to Aim, Shoot, and Score in This Game Called Life.  We took time to mark the parts that spoke to us, discuss each message he shares, and write down the words and rules that we want to live by.
We made connections between Kwame's rules and Amy Cuddy's "Power Poses".  Students felt so inspired and powerful, they began writing their own rules to live by and ways of being.  We then took the words we felt were most important to remember, and surround ourselves with them.
We are ready for anything!  It's going to be a great year!  

Link to Slideshow: https://sharalike.com/s/qNqC

Friday, September 8, 2017

Playing With Alliteration... #Poetry @resvt #write

As we free our minds and take in the world around us!

Link to slideshow: https://sharalike.com/s/qM3M
(The slideshow slows down as the song comes to an end.  It will speed back up and continue to play when we come inside to share our amazing work!  It's worth the wait to see these proud authors!)

Building Our Classroom Community! @resvt #Community

Link to slideshow: https://animoto.com/play/ku1ut0rALp2t0yNW8acELw

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Every Teacher's Dream Come True! @resvt #PassionateWriters #poetry

When I got out books of poetry to read with my students, they started singing because it filled them with so much joy!!!  (I am so in love with them!) I cannot wait to read the poems that flow from these passionate writers!!!

Diving Into Math! @resvt #math

In math, we have begun collecting and organizing data and sharing our thinking!  Today we also got to show off our multiplication skills in our math books!!!

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Getting Ready To Learn! @HemmettHealth @resvt @jratey #Spark #MovementBreaks

Last year, I was talking about the importance of movement with Erik Hemmett from Hemmett Health. He generously offered to help me in any way that he could!  Hemmett Health donated sitting balls so that every student could have the option of using a ball to help them sit up straight, move, focus and learn, all while building core strength.  They also donated stretchy bands for us to use during movement breaks.  Lastly, he asked Alli Bologna, their athletic trainer, to design exercise routines for my students that would get their heart rates up while also working on balance, two things that help kids get ready to learn.  
This year we continue to utilize all of the tools they have given us!  Thanks Erik and Hemmett Health! 

We Are... @resvt #CreatingAClassroomCummunity #Reflection

We started the year by talking about who we are as individuals and who we are as a group.  Here are the words that truly get to the heart of who we are!

Link to slideshow to make it fullscreen: https://sharalike.com/s/qMKF

Fake It 'Til You Become It! @amyjccuddy @resvt #Confidence

Today we learned about how our body language not only has an impact on how others feel about us, but on how we feel about ourselves.  We are working on being more mindful about how we sit and stand.  This year, we will also do power poses when we are feeling nervous, before tests, and whenever we need to lift ourselves up!

I encourage you to watch and share Amy Cuddy's TED Talk!

Students trying out power poses: