Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Easter Bunny Balloon Car Races Are A Big Hit!

Last week Wednesday, before our school started spring break, I gave my first graders some little bunny cars, that were "powered" by balloons. We took the crazy vehicles to a less-traveled hallway, blew up the balloons (some of them a bit TOO much! POP!), and ran some bunny races! The furthest one traveled over 10 feet!

Spring Break Progress Post!

Our school had a shorter spring break than some, but it gave me enough time to get some more pictures taken of our hydroponic Romaine lettuce garden's progress, as well as show you what our worm camp looks like--before the kids come back tomorrow and mix up all the worms, vegetable scraps, shredded paper and soil particles all over again! (They love mixing the compost pile, and would be heartbroken if I told them I did it while they were gone!)

I bought some Coleus plants, a Black Pagoda, and a wonderfully interesting plant called Alocasia today, from my botanical buddy Aric. He's been a huge help for my husband and I, as we explore the world of hydroponic gardening! Check out his store, Aric's Indoor Garden Supply, on Wisconsin Avenue in Appleton, or on the web at www.aigs1.com. It's a gardener's dream come true!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Goodreads Book Review on Technology

Born Digital: Understanding the First Generation of Digital Natives Born Digital: Understanding the First Generation of Digital Natives by John Palfrey

My review

rating: 3 of 5 stars
This was an informative, well-researched book. As a "non-native," I have developed a strong interest in the grand possibilities of ever-changing, ever-expanding technology. At the same time, I've had to battle strong fears (what if my mp3 gets smaller and vaporizes in my pocket, or--worse yet--ends up in the washing machine?), and listen to the tech naysayers who are still hoping it's just a fad, and they don't wish to deal with it right now. In my educational profession, I don't believe we can wish technology to go away, or even to stay the same for any amount of time. Is there honestly any profession that doesn't stand to improve with technology literacy? I believe it is imperative that us "old" folks get on the ball, and get ourselves educated in technology, so we can assist these digital natives as they come up through the grades. Technology's going to be a large part of their lives, whether we use it (and ALLOW it) in our classrooms or not. It's time to be proactive and share the positive aspects and safe usage practices of recent technology leaps with these curious young minds.

View all my reviews.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Our Hydroponic Garden Adventure, in Pictures, Begins...

Here are some pictures from another one of our classroom science adventures.

Those are Romaine seedlings in growing cells. Next step? Into the hydroponic unit, which my husband so cleverly constructed.

All these photos were taken March 21st; it was a busy day for taking pictures!

Here's what our compost looked like this morning, before I added more shredded paper bedding. I'm amazed how quickly these creatures have created something new and useful out of food and paper scraps! My first graders are thrilled to see so many more worms getting to work! Wiggler Worm Composting Camp rocks! :)