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Saturday, June 29, 2013

Passing The Torch!

Cindy and I are now passing the torch to our fellow Instructional Coaches, Teresa and Susan!  You ladies will do GREAT!

Last Day Of The 2 Weeks!

Students worked hard throughout the 2 weeks!  Students had the opportunity to choose from a variety of books to read over their short break.  There were times when students would work individually (for different reasons), but they worked just was well.  They seemed excited about finishing out the last half  (2 weeks) of the camp.  They were given the opportunity to provide us with some feedback about:  what they most enjoyed about camp, what the hope to see for the next two weeks, and how we could make camp better.  Before they left, students wrote a brief individual/group note about where they were in their investigation so the the next round of facilitators (Teresa and Susan) would know where to continue.

Thursday, June 27, 2013


In addition to collaborating in the classrooms to resolve questions about food and how it impacts our bodies, culture and society.  Students have been receiving some teambuilding sessions from a ROPES expert.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

What am I putting into my body when I eat my favorite food?!!

Today my class researched the nutritional value of their favorite fast food meal.  The focus was on 6 aspects of nutrition: calories, carbs, cholesterol, protein, sodium, and sugar.  Once they found the values for each item of their meal, they added them to find the total nutritional value.  So far students have been surprised to learn what they are ingesting when they take bites of their favorite fare!

Teachers deliver a Math Workshop

Today was the 1st time dual language teachers came in to deliver a workshop to a group of our students based on some learning the students felt they needed.  Mrs. Hilary and Mrs. Bernhardt taught  a lesson on graphing data on a bar graph.  The students learned about the important parts of a bar graph: the title of the graph, the numbering system used to display their data, and the labels of the info. being displayed.  Students then worked in pairs to recreated their own bar graph based on the data that was on a table given to them.  During this activity students had rich conversations with their partners about how they wanted to represent the data on the graph and the numbering system that would be best to display the data (skip counting by either 5, 10, 20, or 50).  Overall, the learning was well received and the students will know how to graph the data they get while investigating their focus questions.  Thank you Mrs. Hilary and Mrs. Bernhardt!!!

Day 6---Word wall, Workshops, and Padlet

The word wall is coming along well.  Students are developing a grade appropriate list of words that is based on the research they are performing.  Students are pulling vocabulary from their research material, food magazines, and classroom library, and their own personal reading!

Throughout the 2 weeks, students placed words that they come into contact with.  They did a great job of keeping the vocabulary at a grade level appropriate.


Examples of student generated vocabulary words.

Norma and Allison delivered a workshop for language arts on  procedural writing.  Students worked in groups and pairs and followed the lesson cycle.

Today, during my read-a-loud, I presented as a discussion forum for my students.  This was a first time experience for all of the students.  I posted 3 questionsThey seemed to be extremely engaged and were excited to see their answers posted on the wall.  At the end, students were even asking if they could access this app from home!
Students enjoyed posting to the wall.  Foe some, it was the first time they they have been exposed to this type of question/answer format.

Students accessed the URL to begin posting thier thought, comments and answers on the Padlet forum.


Monday, June 24, 2013

Day 5---MONDAY!

We started our Monday morning with the strategy of  "tell me something good!"  Students discussed where they went, what they, did and of course what they ate.  We took some time to recap all of last week's events and we also discussed what we've learned un until now.  Groups talked about where they were in their timelines of the project and some of the things they still needed to get accomplished.  Just as I anticipated, all groups are still in the research phase of the project and are not at a point where all of their questions regarding their topic have been answered.
They have 3 activities from the menu to work on, and most groups alternate time on each of the 2 activities from the menu.  The 3rd (and mandatory activity) will most likely start to take form closer to the end, as it details their PBL journey throughout the 4 weeks.

Last week, I started conferencing with the groups regarding their chosen activities to see what they had in mind for their projects .  I have found that students want to rush through the process without really having enough information to complete the project.  I'm also finding over and over that students will need workshops in editing their writing and organizing information (charts graphs and graphs).  

Today, students participated in a workshop that would support their writing, especially on technological devices.

Students had opportunities to visit the library on a regular basis during camp.  They enjoyed time in the library for SSR and continued research.  Students really utilized their time wisely during that time!

I'm excited to see how much this camp (and all of the many reading opportunities) of an impact this camp will make on their reading levels at the beginning of the following school year! Students are constantly reading, discussing and digesting information.

The class chose Charlotte's Web as the read aloud for the class.  I read from 15-20 minutes a day, making sure that I was asking questions about vocabulary, comprehension, and asking students to make inference during the reading.

This will also be Day 5 of students posting in their journals.  They are journaling about:  things that they've learned, things they still want to learn about, next steps in their investigations, and what they want to continue learning.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Comic Life experts share their knowledge with fellow teammates,

I am amazed by our students willingness to share and collaborate with their peers! Two boys in my group have been titled "The Comic Life Experts"!!!  And they were very willing to share their knowledge with a group of girls who who were working on one of their choice activities from the matrix!

PBL Day 4

Students met with the district's Child Nutrition Services Staff to discuss their research and their current findings.  Our students were readily able to respond to their questions with a level of sophistication that I felt was impressive!   They discussed everything from reasons for vegetarian diets to the implications of fast food to our health and nutrition.  
     The CNS staff also opened up a forum for discussion on student ideas for entrees, sides, vegetables, and even healthy desserts.  They were informed that the feedback collected today would be used to create, what I would call, a "combinations" game, with their choices.  There would also perhaps be an opportunity for the students to help prepare some of the menu's choice items for summer school later on (an even possibly for the next school year)!
The CNS department took note of student responses and will use that info to create a combinations game and as possible food menu items for a later date

Discussion forum with CNS staff on possible food item menu choices.

Groups explored began the different options that Glogster provides for theit 
Students seemed to have a better grasp of what the next steps for their research was.  We started our morning with a debrief of the last 3 days.  We reiterated our questions, we talked about chosen activities, and our next steps for learning.  I introduced Glogster Edu to a group of students who were ready to begin thinking about a format for their presentation.  That group sat together and explored the variety of functions that Glogster had to offer.  

Another group began the planning of one of their activities that included buying groceries for their family for a week and comparing it to families of other countries. 

Students began utilizing space and resources more efficiently today as well!
Groups used the large boards for planning, collaborating, and jotting thoughts and ideas.
Students will require some workshops on tables and charts to fully develop their the organization of their data.

PBL Day 3

Today, some students were still rethinking their questions and deciding on how to seek more information and questions for their learning.  Other students stayed strong and continued the trajectory of their learning paths that they chose in the beginning.  At this point, students are continuing to work on their alphabet and the words for the word wall.  

Students chose vocabulary that was tied in with the research that they were carrying out.  They used technology extensively to aid that process!
Students continued to work on their alphabets throughout the week.  They chose the format for this process.  They wanted the letter in the center, the word, an image, a sentence, and a student generated definition.   Students chose great, grade-appropriate vocabulary and had great ideas on graphics.  Some workshops on editing (before presenting),
 is still needed.  Great job, guys!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Hard at work on our investigations...

Second Day (cont)

We created a menu with activities that would lead to the final project and ensure the types of learning that we are expecting. The students have to choose to complete a minimum of three from nine different proposals, being only one of them required and the other two of their own choice. 

We also decided on some of the workshops that we think the students may need once they decide on their choices from the menu.
  • Taller de comunicación y escritura procesal
  • Taller de comunicación y escritura persuasiva
  • Workshop on representing data through charts and graphs
  • Workshop on measuring in fractions and capacity
We are working on improving the students access to information on line so that the resources we have are available to them both on the Ipads and laptops. Exciting!!!

Second Day!

Students were engaged in the research process and were focused on the driving question!
Students accessed information/articles in English and Spanish to supplement their learning.
Students (on their own) made mixed aged groups to work with!  Students worked in groups based on their chosen
problem.  We weren't sure if they would want to mix, without being asked.


Monday, June 17, 2013

First day

We just finished the first day.  We had some minor set backs, the videos we chose were not accessible from school ipads, so students did not get to explore in smaller groups before coming up with questions.    We had to all watch pretty much the same videos.  But, by 3:00 pm we had groups of students with questions to investigate. We think some groups and questions will need to be tweaked over the next few days.  Pairs seem to work better than trios and some questions could be refined.

Most definitely tomorrow we will need to start out with a lesson on internet searches for info.  I think it can be an optional workshop, as only some groups are struggling with searches.

Here are initial questions:
Que contienen los dulces
porque existe la comida chatarra
Porque comemos comida que nos hace gordo
Porque algunas comidas nos hace vomitar
Quien invento las diferentes dulces
De que esta hecho chocolate
Cuanta grasa come el mundo en un mes
Porque el azucar le da energia
Porque las personas comen comida que no es saludable
Cuales son los ingredientes que hacen que la hamburguesa de McDonalds sean ricas
Como engorda la comida que no es saludable
Porque el chocolate tiene azucar

We will have time tomorrow to give workshops on searches, then directions on how to explore the question further and make a plan

We will also need to present a rubric to set expectations for the final presentation

There will be time during the teambuilding rotations to conference with individual groups to help them refine their questions.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Initial video 
This is a hungry planet slide show.  Music is sort of obnoxious, but shows name of country, what they eat in a week and how much it costs. WOW the differences.  I think this might be a good one to show at the beginning.

Got Questions!!!

Which video are we using on Monday, as the first video?  We have 12 Ipads for kids to share, I don't know of the QR reader is loaded on all of them.  Are the QR codes already created?  I will try to do that bright and early on Monday morning.
Also, I don't think I want to read the How are you Peeling book--too corny--sorry Susan.  It has great pictures.
Galen suggested we ask some agree/disagree questions after our initial video and mapping.  To get kids ready to choose which main topic they want to explore further.   I am updating the curric google doc to add schedule details  

Monday, June 10, 2013

Mas Recursos (VIDEOS) en Español

The following links are Spanish YouTube videos (and a few links in English for tracking) for the video flood.  With the exception of a video that will be used in whole group, the rest of these videos will be connected to a QR Code.  Students will  not be required to watch all of the offered videos, but will have the opportunity to choose and view the videos that will fit their learning.  The idea was to provide the students to utilize the Padlet application to carryout the mind mapping.  

Nuestras sugerencias cocina con niños en el restaurante Rubaiyat

Comida Chatarra Documental

Cerremos la puerta a la comida chatarra

Campana de nutrición de alimentos

alimentos saludables de las escuelas

organic friends y la Buena alimentación

la gordura no es Buena

frutas vs vegetales

las verduras y las frutas

Food and You

10 cosas desconocidas de McDonalds

10 cosas desconocidas de Coca Cola

coca cola y los dientes

Nourish Interactive


Increíble realidad de los Cheetos

¿Agua o Coca Cola?

Como se fabrica la salchicha (English)

Physical Activity Trackers


Possible interest clip for Monday, June 17th.

Collaboration with Child Nutrition Services

We met with Chris Odom today from Child Nutrition and planned the following:
-Someone from Chris' group will come to introduce the menu challenge to our students on June 20th.

-On July 8th someone will come to work with our students on preparing the menus.
-July 10th someone will come to collect our proposals

-The following week, Child Nutrition will actually serve some of our student proposals in the summer feeding programs in LISD!  They will also provide some actual cooking opportunities for some of our students who did not participate in the Roving Chef program.

This really helped us set some milestones for our study.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Thank you to our dear LISD CNS Department for making time to include our Whitestone Bilingual students in the Roving Chef Program at the last minute!!!!  The students loved learning all about the work that goes into preparing meals for them.  It is very obvious that the program has been very well planned and prepared for.  Our students' participation in this morning's activities laid the foundation for the learning they will acquire during our Bilingual Problem-Based Learning Summer School Program!!!

Learning the proper way to wash our hands before preparing a meal!

Our Mission: Prepare a Garden Salad

Adding our ingredients

Proud of her culinary masterpiece!

Too shy to pose for a picture :o)

Attentively listening to learn about the equipment in our school's cafeteria kitchen.

Taking a tour of our school's kitchen.

Burrr! It's cold inside the freezer!!!

Our proud Chef graduates!!!