September 16, 2011
by Mrs. Hamman


This week we started the Student Blogging Challenge. The activities in the challenge are designed to teach us all about blogging and commenting on blogs.

One activity we really enjoyed is creating our avatars. Avatars are pictures that we use to represent our identities online. We each explored different avatar generators before we decided on one to save. It was challenging to create JPEG files of our avatars, but we worked together until we figured it out. If any of you have trouble with it, leave your question in a comment to this post and we’ll tell you how we did it!

Some of us chose to make avatars that sort of looked like us, while others made avatars that just looked cool! Here is a slideshow of our avatars.



Here are the three sites we used to create our avatars:

Build Your Wild Self

Wimp Yourself


August 29, 2011
by Mrs. Hamman

A Trip Back in Time

Last week we traveled back in time to visit Setauket, New York, in the year 1778. Well, we didn’t really travel through time, but we felt like we did!

We participated in a videoconference with the Ward Melville Heritage Organization in Long Island, New York. They presented a program called “Windows through Time: Journals of Revolutionary War Spies”. We learned about the Setauket Spy Ring, which operated undercover delivering important messages to help the Patriots during the American Revolution. Members of our class participated by pretending to be members of the Setauket community; some of us played ordinary townspeople and some of us were spies. It was really interesting to learn about all the ways the spies delivered their secret messages, all without the British soldiers suspecting a thing. The presenter made us feel like we were really there! Thank you, Anna!

Videoconferencing is a great way to visit places and make connections with people we wouldn’t be able to meet in person. This was our first videoconference of the year, and for many of us it was the first one we had ever experienced. We learned some tips for making a videoconference successful, and we took photos and drew pictures to illustrate our tips. Here is our Voicethread showing what we have learned so far:

We’re looking forward to doing lots more videoconferencing this year, and we will be adding to our Voicethread as we learn more.

Did you know there were Patriot spies during the American Revolution?

Have you ever participated in a videoconference?

August 15, 2011
by Mrs. Hamman

Welcome to our blog!

Welcome to a new school year and to our new class blog! We are a class of fifth grade students in Arizona. We’ll be telling you more about ourselves and our school as we write this blog.

This is the view outside our classroom

We started school last Tuesday, August 9. It has been very hot outside, but inside we kept cool as we explored the new technology we’ll be using in our class this year. On Tuesday we tried out our brand-new netbook cart. It’s a good thing the cart holds 32 netbooks, because there are 31 students in our class! We looked at some other class blogs and websites and planned what we’d like ours to include. We also used our new Smartboard to play an online Jeopardy game.

On Wednesday we learned how to use an iPod touch. We’re lucky to have eight iPods which we’ll take turns using this year. We explored a few of the educational songs and apps on the iPods; it looks like Stack the States is going to be a class favorite!

On Thursday we used the Smartboard to look at posts on several different class blogs. We paid special attention to the comments sections and we started a conversation about what makes a good comment. We noticed that the best comments were polite, thoughtful, and used proper spelling and grammar. Blogging is a new experience for all of us this year, so it’s a good thing there are so many great class blogs out there to teach us more about it! We will start writing our own comments next week.

On Friday we brainstormed what to write about in our first blog post. We talked about all the new things we learned and did this week. Some people wanted to write about the activities and games we played in class, and some wanted to talk about our new choices in the school cafeteria. After a vote, we decided to focus on the technology we used this week.

At the end of the day on Friday we filled out a survey on the netbooks. One of the questions was: “What are three words that describe your first week of fifth grade?” Mrs. Hamman took all of the responses and pasted them into a Wordle. A Wordle creates a “word cloud” from text, with the words used the most often appearing largest. Here is our first week of school Wordle:

It looks like our most commonly used word to describe our first week was “fun”!

What was your favorite thing about our first week of school?

What kinds of technology help you to learn?

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