Monday, December 5, 2016

Hour of Code is BACK!

“The 'Hour of Code™' is a nationwide initiative by Computer Science Education Week and to introduce millions of students to one hour of computer science and computer programming.”

  1. Click the yellow Start button
  2. Choose from Moana, Minecraft, Star Wars, Anna and Elsa
  3. The left side of the screen is the Game Space, the middle section is your Tool Box, and the right side is the Work Space
  4. If you get stuck, Read and Reread your directions at the top of the game space

Monday, November 28, 2016


Can't draw?  Try doodling. It's relaxing, creative, and fun! Explore doodling in the  Learning Commons new Maker Space. Watch these videos to learn more. Enjoy!

Creative work will be displayed in the Learning Commons and shared on the Learning Commons website. 

Monday, October 17, 2016

Trees Are Terrific!

Visit the Learning Commons to look at trees close up. Learn more about trees and why they are important. Visit these links and watch these videos for more information. Go for a walk in the forest and admire Mother Nature's handy work.

Think about the following:
  1. What makes a tree a tree?
  2. How should you prepare to go out in the woods to look at trees.
  3. When we breathe, we give something to trees. What is it?
  4. What do trees give to us?
  5. What are the three things we can look at to identify a tree?
  6. Draw an example of a tree that has opposite branch patterns.
  7. Draw a picture of a tree that has an alternate branch pattern. 
  8. What kind of branch pattern does a maple have?
  9. What are three things trees need to live?
Sources for more information:

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Digital Citizens

Photograph of Canada Geese on Martha's Vineyard by Mrs. Tibbetts, April 2016

Children today are growing up in a media rich environment.  Responsible digital citizens need to know how to use the internet safely, how to search the internet effectively, how to respect the work of others, and how to communicate respectfully using digital tools.   

Respect the Work of Others
There are lots of great images, music, stories, and information available on the internet. Responsible digital citizens don't take things that don't belong to them because that would be stealing.  If you want to borrow things you find on the internet to use for school projects there are some basic rules you should follow:
  1. Find out who owns it.
  2. Get permission to use it. 
  3. Pay for it if necessary.
  4. Give credit to the creator.
  5. Use it responsibly.
LINK to this video to learn about copyright. Watch videos in the playlist below to learn more.

Britannica Encyclopedia allows students to cut and paste images for their creations and provides citations to help you give credit to the creator.

Sites for responsible and ethical use of photographs. 
Photos for Class
Pics 4 Learning

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Literacy Night

Write About It
My Storybook is a web based app that's perfect for elementary school students.  You can set up a free account. Create your own simple storybook using images from their small image bank or upload your own. You can also use provided background scenes and colors. Change font size, style, and color. Share your completed stories with others through email, Facebook, Twitter. Download and print your books for a small fee.

All South School students have their own Google Drive account. Google Drive is a web based storage and creation program as well as an app for iPads and tablets. We begin modeling how to use Google Drive in Kindergarten but it is not taught until second grade. Students in grade two through four use it regularly to write and collaborate. In Google Drive you can create Documents, Sheets, and Slides among other things. Children are encouraged to use Google Drive at home as well as at school. Anytime children use the internet, they should be closely supervised by an adult.

Read About It
The South School Library eBooks
The South School Library has begun a collection of eBooks that are available to all of our students. To access these eBooks, go to the library website and click on the online library catalog.

From the online library catalog, click on Follett Shelf.

When you are in Follett Shelf, look in the top right corner and click on "Collections". Then click on eBooks.

Books that are available will say "in" in the top right corner.
Books that can be checked out by an unlimited number of people will have a blue corner and the infinity symbol. You will need your username and password to check books out. Your username should be your first initial and last name.  Your password should be your district password. See Mrs. Tibbetts if you need help.
You can also download the Free Follett Brytewave K-12 app on your iPad or tablet.
Open eBooks and First Book
South School students qualify for this free eBooks program accessible from your iPad, iPhone, or tablet. Watch this video to learn more. See Mrs. Tibbetts for a username and password.

Read more here. LINK
And here. LINK
Learn how to use Open eBooks here. LINK

Book Bub is a daily email service that helps you to stock your digital library with free and low cost books.  You can choose the categories of books you want to be notified about including children, middle grades, teen and young adult. This is a service that adults should use on behalf of their children, I do not recommend that children have their own accounts.

Larger public libraries in the state of Maine belong to a consortium that provides digital books and digital audio books free to members. They have children's and teen categories.  You will need your public library card number. If you don't have a public library card, applications are available from the South School Library. Just click on the "Download Library" icon from the Rockland Public Library website and login.  The Maine InfoNet Download Library includes for all ages including adults. Parents should filter accounts so that only appropriate content is available to their children. From your account you can change settings to filter out adult content. See Mrs. Tibbetts if you need help with this.

Talk About It
Adobe Voice is an iPad app.  It's a great program to create simple videos comprised of images and audio recordings.  We have used it many times in the library. We have created ABC books, recorded fractured fairy tales, retold classic fairy tales, and created Maine postcards for friends in New Zealand. Videos can be embedded in a website and emailed to friends. You can use your own photographs and artwork or use icons from their image bank.  You can also search the internet for images.  This is an amazing app with infinite possibilities.

Where to find great books 
for your kids (or yourself):

Award book lists make great reading lists and they are a great way to challenge yourself. Make it a goal to read all of the Caldecotts or Newberys, participate in choosing the Maine Student Book Award or Chickadee Award medal winner.  Click on the links at the top right side of the library website to learn more.
  • Maine Student Book Award. Forty books are nominated each year by a panel of librarians and teachers. Students in grades four through eight vote for the award winner.
  • Chickadee Award. Ten nominees are selected by librarians and teachers each year. Maine students in grades K through four vote for the winner.
  • Caldecott Award. The Caldecott Medal is selected annually each year by the American Library Association, usually in January at their annual conference. The medal is given to the artist of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children.
  • Newbery Award. The Newbery Award is selected annually by the American Library Association to the "author of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children".
  • Theodore Geisel Award Awarded by the American Library Association to the author of "the most distinguished American book for beginning readers."
  • Sibert Award is selected annualy by the American Library Association for the most distinguished informational books.
  • Noteable Children's Books are the "best of the best" as selected by the American Library Association. The list is for children from birth through age 17.
  • Novelist K-8 is a book review site located in Marvel Maine.  You can find out Lexile level, reading level, locate new titles based on old favorites and more. You will need your public library card to login.
  • Common Sense Media Visit this site to evaluate children's books, videos, and apps to see if they are appropriate for your child.
  • Good Reads is a reader's service that helps you to locate books, read reviews from other members, view "best" book lists...  This site is not intended for children but is a place where parents can learn more about books their children might be interested in.
  • Of course!  This is a great place to read reviews and determine suitability.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Birds 598

This picture and many others can be found on the "Photos for Class" website. This is a great place to find images for school presentations, papers, and projects. Each photo includes the citation information. Use the search box below to look for pictures by keyword.

Web Cams
Watch this pair of barn owls in real time from the Cornell Ornithology website. LINK

I just added the Kidwings website to our bird resources.  Take a look. LINK 

Do you like to be creative?  Here are some bird projects you can make at home.

This is from one of my favorite websites, 
Made by Joel. LINK

Made by Joel also offers this and other coloring pages. 

Make these curly birds. LINK

Monday, March 14, 2016

Math Fun!

Hello South students!  Here are some fun games that will also help you to learn.  You can play them for free!  Enjoy, and remember, always ask permission from an adult before you go online, only talk with people you know, stick to sites that are just right for kids and don't wander off on your own.


Math Web Games

Math games from PBS featuring favorite characters like the Cat in the Hat, Curious George and Clifford. For ages 3-6.  LINK

Sheppard Software has some simple math games to practice the basics.  I had a lot of fun with Bubble Math and MonkeyDrive!  LINK

Math Playground includes games you can play online with other players.  LINK

Math Apps for iPad

Math Ninja by Razeware LLC FREE from the iTunes Store, 
There are three levels of play: Easy, Normal, Ninja.  Operations include addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.  You can select one operation or a combination of the four.
To learn more, click on this link LINK

Math vs Zombies by TapToLearn Software FREE from the iTunes Store 
This app is for addition only.  You can do one, two, and three digits.  To turn zombies back to humans you must answer the math fact correctly.  Includes spooky music!
To learn more, click on this link LINK

Splash Math by StudyPad, FREE abbreviated version from the iTunes Store
Available for grades K-5 but the version reviewed was the 3rd grade version.  Select the operation you want to do and then choose the fact family.  There are 10 facts in a set.  The full version is $9.99. Kids earn sea creatures for their aquarium when they answer the facts correctly.  They can use earned points to play a game, make their sea creatures dance to music and more. There are also Splash Math apps for Time, Money.  There is a free 7 day trial if you want to try the full version.
To learn more, click on this link LINK

My Times Tables by Who Made This, FREE from the iTunes Store
This is a very simple app to practice multiplication and divisiion.
To learn more, click on this link LINK

Play 19x19 by Blue Onion Soft
This is another very simple app for multiplication facts, similar to using flashcards.  The free version is limited to x9, x12, x19. Factors are multiplied by 2, 3, 4, and 5 only.
To learn more, click this link LINK

Math Champions by Nicolas Lehovetzki
This app includes building symmetrical figures, counting the missing cubes, and operations.
To learn more, click on this link LINK

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

American Revolution

Liberty Kids!

Colonial Williamsburg

For additional information look for books using the online library catalog. Don't forget about Brain Pop and the 900s section of this website.

Monday, January 18, 2016


The world is filled with everyday people who go out of their way to be kind and helpful. We will read two Chickadee nominees that are remarkable true stories of how people can make a difference in the lives of others. We will also read a fiction story about kindness and accepting differences and the greatest gifts of all, love and time. 

“People began to grow angry about Ivan’s lonely life. Children and adults wrote letters, and signed petitions, and held protests.”

“I make a promise to my pets. I promise that if I can ever find my voice, I will be their voice and keep them from harm.”

"All the other eggs were given endless gifts: fast toys; vast toys; flashing, clattering things that made a noise. But Little One was given love and time, the greatest gifts of all."
San Diego Zoo Watch this video to learn about African Penguins.
Don't forget to visit Pebble Go for information about penguins of all kinds.

Would you like to be a philanthropist?
Join South school in their fund drive for Koins for Kenya.
Koins for Kenya LINK

From the Merriam-Webster Dictionary

Main Entry: phi·lan·thro·py 
Pronunciation: fschwa-primarystresslan(t)-thrschwa-pemacron
Function: noun
Inflected Form(s): plural -pies
1 : a spirit of goodwill toward all people especially when expressed in active and generous efforts to help others
2 : a charitable act or gift
3 : an organization which distributes or is supported by charitable contributions 
phi·lan·thro·pist  /-pschwastnoun

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

The Three Little Pigs Retold by Kindergarten and First Grade

Folktales are stories that have been passed down from generation to generation, usually by word of mouth.  Our kindergarten and first grade students practiced their own oral story telling skills to retell the story of the Three Little Pigs.  This is what they came up with.

Mrs. Richard's Class

Ms. Schintzius's Class

Mrs. Joki's Class

Mrs. Linscott's Class

Mrs. Wilgus's  Class