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2016 archive

2016 Summer Reading Program - Read to Feed

This summer, our students are participating in Heifer's Read to Feed read-a-thon. "The Read to Feed program encourages reading, while heightening students’ awareness that their actions make a difference in the lives of others. As students read more books, they improve their reading abilities and more families receive gifts of livestock and training." Heifer works to reduce hunger in about 30 countries by giving people livestock and other essentials, like water pumps, and then training them on how to use them.

When they take their packet home, each student should look through it and then ask for sponsors from the adults in their community. For each unit of reading (chapter, amount of time, book - their choice) the sponsor will commit to donating an amount to Heifer. For example, "For each book I will read my father will donate $2.00. [three months later]  I read ten books this summer so my father is donating $20.00." 

Nothing needs to be returned to school until the Fall. In September, donations made by cash, check or credit card will be collected by homeroom teachers (thank you!). Even easier, sponsors can donate online. Our WIS Read to Feed website, which will be updated throughout the summer, is: fundraise.heifer.org/wis .

A few notes:
  • This is not a competition among our students/classes/grades. We will not compare progress but instead focus on the goal as a whole school.
  • Being read to and listening to audiobooks count!
  • Read in any language.
  • Fifth graders can bring their donations to Tregaron librarian, Jane McMahon, in the fall.
  • Student voting to choose which livestock our gifts support will take place in the library until June 3
Let's see what reading we can do to improve the world!

French and Spanish

Choose below to find helpful sites for learning. As always, although these web sites may be aimed at students, web sites on the Internet are inherently not secure. Therefore, be aware that these web sites may lead to OTHER web sites that are not recommended for students. On the other hand, our subscription online resources ARE self-contained, secure sites for students.



Parenting in the Digital Age (moved off site 10/14/15)

General Guidance:

  • A Platform for Good - a project of the Family Online Safety Institute that focuses on responsible online behavior and usage.
  • Common Sense Media - a site for parents of children of all ages that rates the latest video games, apps, movies, websites, etc. for content.
  • Connect Safely - a space for learning about safe, civil use of web and mobile technology.
  • Digizen - digital citizenship and social media education.
  • Google's "Good to Know" - a multilingual resource with information on adult, family, child, and teen-oriented best online practices and safety.
  • PBS: Digital Media- New Learners of the 21st Century - video interviews and full shows on a wide range of digital media topics.
  • Quib.ly Community - a discussion forum for parents to learn from other parents and professionals about online resources.

Internet Safety:

Books and Publications:

  • Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other. Sherry Turkle. 2011.
  • The App Generation: How Today's Youth Navigate Identity, Intimacy, and Imagination in a Digital World. Howard Gardner and Katie Davis. 2013
  • The Big Disconnect: Protecting Childhood and Family Relationships in the Digital Age. Catherine Steiner-Adair, EdD. with Teresa H. Barker. 2013.
  • Common Sense Media's "Family Media Agreement: K-5" (opens as PDF)
  • Dot Complicated: Untangling Our Wired Lives. Randi Zuckerberg. 2013.
  • Smarter Than You Think: How Technology is Changing our Minds for the Better. Clive Thompson. 2013.
  • Talking Back to Facebook: The Common Sense Guide to Raising Kids in the Digital Age. James P. Steyer. 2012.

April 2015 -- A couple of videos highlighting teaching and learning in ICL class this year...

Using Online Databases to Support Inquiry

ICL Integrated into Weather Unit of Inquiry

January 2015 -- Fifth graders are now on their way researching with the help of NoodleTools! One skeptical class out of four remains to be convinced that this online tool will make their lives easier. We need to check back in and see if they've changed their minds! Small research projects related to their Social Justice unit are fodder for their organized, ethical notetaking and bibliography creation.

December 5, 2014 -- Fourth graders are learning how to take efficient notes while gathering information on their units of inquiry. The notetaking skill will be used throughout their academic years. Here's an example of a student  taking the first steps of notetaking: learning which words are important and which can be left out of notes. This technique is explained at Fact Fragment Frenzy. After determining what information is important, students learn how to write using key words, create their own shorthand, paraphrase in their own words and use quotations.

November 5, 2014 -- Integrated into their unit about people who move

(immigration), third graders have had four ICL lessons to build their research skills. The lessons have focused on 1) giving credit to information sources, 2) finding information books in the online catalog and the library, 3) using Maps101 and 4) using our student-centered search engine Webpath Express (see image at right) instead of Google! Access Maps101 and Webpath Express from the Online Resources page.

October 2014 -- For their Character Connections unit, second graders have been researching famous people using the database PebbleGo Biographies. They are learning how to navigate around a database (organized information), extract relevant information and take notes in a graphic organizer. (Coming soon: a video of students presenting on their famous person.)

Following are some highlights from 2013-2014:

May 2014 -- Grade 1 conducted a detailed author/illustrator study of 

Chris Van Dusen that culminated with a field trip to see Mr. Van Dusen at Politics and Prose Bookstore. During the study, students read his books, watched interviews of the author to learn about his influences, writing process and early drawing, drew pictures of imaginary houses and created imaginary cars. At the bookstore, they were thrilled to meet the man in-person. Mr. Van Dusen made a drawing of "Dee" that he gave to WIS and he read aloud his favorite, The Circus Ship. To explain what they learned, the children used iPads to draw and narrate their thinking. [sample coming]

April 2014 -- During their inquiry about Family Histories,

Grade 2 students used Britannica's School Edition to find and download information about one of their ancestor's home country. After taking notes and organizing their information, the students used Inspiration to create a picture describing the selected country. To the right is a good example. 

January 2014 -- Grade 5 improved their research skills during their Energy unit with three lessons: searching online databases and student-appropriate web search engines, taking efficient, meaningful notes, and giving credit to their information sources. During their exploration of online databases, the students were challenged to (skip Google and) try out the image collection found in Britannica's ImageQuest.

In the process, they gained high respect for ImageQuest's copyright-cleared offerings and discovered just how fascinating photos of various energy resources can be. 

December 2013 -- Grades 1 and 2 have been making their recent inquiry unit learning visible by (1) reflecting on unit-related key questions

(for Grade 1, reflection relates to the daily lives of people around the world and for Grade 2, reflection relates to weather's effects on people), (2) creating drawings on iPads of their thinking, and (3) narrating their drawn thinking to produce a final "screencast." Click here to see/hear one student's finished product!

December 2013 -- Grade 4 students learned practical techniques for effective note-taking during research. They practiced their new skills using "Fact Fragment Frenzy" texts.

November 2013 -- In the two days leading up to Thanksgiving, Grade 3 students learned about how history is open to interpretation, changes with new information and can be told from various perspectives (e.g., Wompanoags and English settlers). 

They also learned what a primary source is and explored one (a settler's letter from 1621) in depth by viewing it, listening to the narration, and reading the modern translation of the old English. They completed an activity sheet that asked them to probe and question. Explore the original "Thanksgiving" yourself at Plimoth Plantation.

November 2013 --

To help launch their unit of inquiry on Communication, fifth graders listened to the picture book A Boy Named Chong (Brian Marchant) and made their thinking visible by voicing their observations, feelings and questions.

Octobe, 2013 -- Grade 5 students learned how to evaluate web sites with a range of criteria including relevance,

credibility/authority and currentness. They practiced evaluating information pulled from actual web sites. This was particularly important when gathering health and medical information, for example during their current unit of inquiry on the human body. Here are the lesson's slides.

September 2013 -- Students learned about book call numbers; at WIS these identify each book's language and location. They practiced their understanding using an iPad drawing app.

call number practice

September 2013 -- Students oriented themselves to the new library floorplan and learned about the different types of collections by making their own maps, scavenger hunt style.

library map