Sunday, April 20, 2014

Williams community is proud to be part of the Boston Strong tribute

Our school was fortunate to be chosen to participate in a project called America 4 Boston, which has been creating a quilt of artwork and well-wishes from across the country. This “prayer canvas” project began last spring as an expression of support and care for the city and people of Boston in the aftermath of the marathon bombing last year. This giant symbol of love and support will be displayed on the Boston Common on April 15th and presented to the City of Boston at the Red Sox game on April 20th. It will be exhibited at the Red Sox game on April 21st and at future events. Let by our wonderful art teacher, Kathy McGill, each student and staff member created a 6”x6” square on our portion of the canvas. They used paint markers in blue, red, black, and white. We got 340 squares for our school. We are honored to be part of the tribute to the strength, resilience, and determination of all the people who were affected by the tragic events of that day last April. Our own third grade teacher, Kate Reardon, is running in the race tomorrow. Many of us will be there to support and encourage her and all of the people who will participate tomorrow and continue the message of Boston Strong. Here are a few pictures of our quilt.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Williams Library student teacher, Gabrielle Sobilo, checks in on the blog!

Guest post by student teacher, Ms. Sobilo: Hello, my name is Ms. Sobilo and I am a student teacher in the school library at Williams Elementary School. Since January, I have been working with Mrs. Kosmo, and learning about the school library program. During the month of March, second grade students studied Aesop’s fables. Students learned the different characteristics of a fable and all about Aesop, a famous Greek storyteller who loved to tell fables. With a partner, students read three fables and matched a moral to each fable. Then each group selected and read one fable from the Aesop’s Wheel of Fables App on our ipads and wrote a moral in their own words. Students created an illustration using Kid Pix that included the fable title, the moral, two characters from their fable, and a background in their illustrations. Students used their creativity and imagination to create these artistic pictures. Take at look at each group’s artwork by clicking on the classroom teacher’s name below. Mrs. Osiecki's class

Monday, April 14, 2014

Can kindergartners do research? Yes they can!

We are fortunate to have a district-wide subscription to PebbleGo, a research database for K-3 learners. Recently, our kindergartners had a chance to explore the animal database. Led by my student teacher, Gabrielle Sobilo, they learned how to go to the PebbleGo database from our school website, log in, and access the animal database. Ms. Sobilo created a screeencast to introduce the access and login process. She demoonstrated with them, and the eager researchers were off and running. They were able to choose the animal they wanted to research, and then they used the audio feature to read an article, look at pictures, view video, and see a map of their animal's habitat. Then they recorded what their animal eats and something else new they learned. We asked these questions: What is an online database? Why do we use a database? How can we access and use our subscription database to find the information we need? The students thought about more questions as they completed their Share what you know guide: What animal do you want to know more about? What do you think you know about the animal you chose? What do you want to know? It is very exciting to see our youngest students so enthusiastic about an opportunity to take charge of their own learning in the library. The best thing is they can access and use it at home so they can share with their parents and others as they use their new skills to explore all four PebbleGo databases to find information they need and want to know about. Here are a few examples of their work:

Friday, April 11, 2014

Ruby Bridges visits Williams

April 10th was an exciting day for Williams students in grades 3-5. Ruby Bridges visited our school and engaged students in the story of her role in the integration of New Orleans schools in 1960. The event was funded by the Creative arts and Sciences. In preparation for the event we studied about Ruby Bridge's experience on the PebbleGo database and with biographies in our library. We also viewed Disney's Ruby Bridges, a full length movie that was a powerful visual for our students. The children asked many insightful questions and we are grateful for the authentic learning experience that happened at Williams. It isn't often that we are able to have such a difference maker in our midst during a school day. Ruby Bridges certainly made a difference and continues to work for Civil Rights for all in her work today. Thanks to all who made it happen.