Grandparents’ Day Arrives!

And the second graders finally have the chance to share their Heritage projects! (If you want to read more about the children creating a touching look at their family history, click here.)

We had a “dress rehearsal” this week – just to make sure the students knew how to access their video or ePub book created in the Book Creator app.

dress rehearsal for GP dayFinally, the big day arrived! The children led their special visitors into their classrooms, retrieved their iPads, plugged in the headsets, and shared their project. They knew exactly what to do!

Watching the expressions of the grandparents is priceless! Listening to the sweet voices of their grandchildren tell about their family history is such a special moment.

Here’s a very quick look at the children sharing.

A Very Special Day!

I love Grandparents’ Day! Yes, it is loads of work preparing for it. But grandparents come to be with their grandchildren, not to evaluate all that we do. It’s such a busy day but I truly enjoy the opportunity to visit with these wonderful visitors.

The second graders have done a Heritage Project for several years. In the past few years, this has evolved into a technology project. Students bring in pictures from the past and I am in charge of uploading these to the students’ home directories so that they can add them to VoiceThread, where they narrate each photo. It’s always fascinating to look at these pictures – some are quite old!

This year the students shared their projects using the iPads. We suggested that ear buds be brought so that the narration could be heard more clearly. Everything went quite smoothly. (Only one iPad decided not to connect to the Internet!)

Below are some snapshots of students sharing their projects with their visitors.

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Preparing for Grandparents’ and Special Visitors’ Day

It’s almost here! Grandparents’ and Special Visitors’ Day is less than a week away and we have been working HARD to get ready – and we’re just about ready!

On the technology end, the first graders have been filmed talking about their ideas regarding grandparents. After a few retakes, these have been made into videos that the teachers will share with the visitors next Friday. It’s always fun to listen to their comments – you never quite know what they’ll say!

Second graders have finished a huge “Heritage” project created in Microsoft PhotoStory 3. It’s a lot of work for the parents as they find photos of ancestors. Most are sent to me in digital form but it takes quite a while to place these in each student’s home directory. The first year we did this, most of the photos needed to be scanned. (In case you haven’t experienced this, scanning 400 or so pictures is very time-consuming!) Although this is a time-intensive project, it’s well worth it. The students learn quite a bit about their heritage and listening to the children’s sweet voices can bring tears to the listener’s eyes! They will also be sharing their blogs with their visitors. They’ll show their self-portraits and bio-poems to their guests and then teach them how to leave comments on their post.

In between practicing for their Charlotte’s Web play, the third graders have been recorded as they read their “I Am” poems. They illustrated their self-portraits in MS Paint which were then uploaded to PhotoStory 3. These can be seen here. The teachers will be sharing these in the classroom. In a joint Spanish/Computer project that will be shown during Spanish time on Grandparents’ Day, the children each created a PowerPoint slide about a region in Spain which were then combined into a single slideshow. They added photos and facts, written in English that will be read in Spanish during their presentation.

Fourth graders have also worked on a PowerPoint slide about a Spanish country. They learned how to use Google Translate┬áto write their facts. Their were also some “wow” looks as they discovered that there are keyboard shortcuts to make accented letters for the Spanish language. Unfortunately, because of the tight schedule on Friday, only one of the fourth grade classes will be able to present their slideshow.

This is always such a special day at our school. Grandparents and other guests are so much fun to meet. However, I always worry about the technology – will it work correctly? We’ll keep our fingers crossed. Everything works now; let’s just hope next Friday goes off without a hitch!