Wednesday, November 27, 2013

5th Grade - Thanksgiving 11/2013 - Who's Coming to Dinner?

Imagine you are hosting Thanksgiving. You can invite one person to eat with. That one person can be anyone at all. It must be a living person, but other than that you can choose anyone in the world to share Thanksgiving dinner....

Who would you choose? Why them?

Your assignment:

4th Grade - Thanksgiving 11/2013 - How to Cook a Turkey

You are in charge of cooking Thanksgiving dinner. You have to cook a turkey and 2 side dishes (a side dish is usually mashed potato, mac & cheese, stuffing, etc).

How are you going to cook the turkey? What side dishes are you going to make?

Imagine you have no help from your parents, what & how are you going to prepare for Thanksgiving dinner?

Your assignment:

3rd Grade - Thanksgiving 11/2013 - What is Thanksgiving?

What is Thanksgiving? Do you know where the holiday came from? Do you know some of the myths of thanksgiving?

For me Thanksgiving is about remembering how we got to where we are. Remembering those who came before us to help us get where we are. It is a chance to get together with family and friends and think about our history as well as look to the future. And honestly, for me, it's also a little bit about football. Eating and watching football has always been a big part of Thanksgiving in my family. We have a football tradition, every year we play the "Turkey Bowl". The Turkey Bowl is a 1 hour touch-football game where we split the family into 2 teams and play before we eat. It's all in fun, and it works up an appetite.

Your assignment:

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Blog homework - "how to comment" tutorial video

There are often assignments for students that require them to comment on a blog post.

We do a number of these assignments in class, but there are also homework posts.

The regular homework assignments are:

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Blog homework practice post

This post is for 3rd-5th graders to practice leaving a comment

Over Thanksgiving, Christmas, February, and Spring Breaks all 3rd-5th graders will have homework. The homework will be in the form of a post on this blog. Student will have to read the post, follow the directions, and leave a comment as directed to complete the comment.

This post is a practice forum for leaving comments...

Remember - Comment as "Name/URL" and use your first name and last initial (proper capitalization, no URL)- please respond in full and complete sentences - double check your work before posting your comment.

Monday, November 18, 2013

5th Grade Bloggers

In the ongoing experiment about the best ways to use various tools within the elementary environment I have been letting one class create, manage, and curate their own independent blogs. Ideally we will expand beyond this one class, but at this time a single class is the ideal setting to test the limitations & possibilities of independent student blogging.

The list of their blogs is on the right hand side of this blog.

One of the things I like best about it is seeing the excitement they have in writing & publishing on their terms. It is also great to see the focus and dedication they give to their design and layout.

A brief glimpse of the independent writing & design during their class period today...

Blogging is a great way to create a positive digital footprint, a portfolio of independent (and sometimes directed) writing, meet a number of the Common Core learning standards, and maintain a creative outlet they are excited about and proud of. Authentic learning & true publishing beyond the bulletin board...

Friday, November 15, 2013

Missed Parent-Teacher Conferences

As a teacher with roughly 700 students it is not possible to have all the conferences in the time allotted.

If you were not able to meet with me, Mr. Casal, during the Parent-Teacher Conference times but would still like to speak, feel free to email me to set up a time...

I am happy to connect via email, phone, in person, or via Skype/Google Hangout. Which ever medium is most convenient.

If your child is in Kindergarten or 1st Grade, Mr. Waisome is the lower grade computer teacher. He can be contacted via to schedule any needed conferences.

Thank you

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Google Apps for Students

PS 10 has been a Google Apps for Education (GAFE) school for over 3 years. Teachers have been using Google Apps for email ( and collaboration. This year we have begun to roll it out to students for instructional use. Grades 3-5 have accounts. Grade 2 students will get them closer to June.

No. Students do not have email. Just wanted to get that out of the way.

The following document will be going home with the student's login name and password. These accounts are strictly for school-related purposes so parents are encouraged to look at the types of things students are using Google Apps for. With this login information students will be able to access schoolwork at home, share files with their teacher (without printing), and begin to create an authentic digital portfolio.

Many middle and high schools are using GAFE, as are many colleges & universities. Various governmental agencies are using Google Apps as well. Having PS 10 students use Google Apps puts them at the forefront of a technology used globally on a daily basis.

Students will also be issued, via their Google Drives, and will review in class, the PS 10 Student Code of Ethics with Digital Tools and Accounts.

Feel free to contact Mr. Casal with questions or concerns at any time.

All documents related to PS 10's GAFE platform can be found here.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Social Media @PS10Brooklyn

I am often asked about how we use "social media" here at PS 10. It is a question that is both very simple & easy to answer and one that is also complex and nuanced. Let me elaborate...

Social media as defined by many people includes things like Facebook and Twitter. According to the Department of Education's social media policy for staff, social media is defined as: