Showcase Week 2019


Recently, our school had a full week of students sharing their process of learning and projects.  It was a great time to also reflect on how we have been learning this school year.  I had a great time visiting different classes in the elementary to high school level.  Students were excited to have an audience to present to, and also learn from.  In my 6th grade project class with co-teacher, Mrs. Algarin, our students were introduced to the Question Formulation Technique. (You can read more about the QFT in the book Make Just Once Change by Dan Rothstein and Luz Santana).  Students asked their own questions which later turned into mini passion projects.  Students focused on topics relating to the environment and animal cruelty.  Each group chose different mediums to demonstrate what they learned and to create awareness.

We met with a few experts and participated in a field experience to help us with our projects.  We even published a digital book using Bookcreator about our field experience. Furthermore, we used Agile to keep us focused on our goals and to meet deadlines. We became teachers when sharing our projects with younger students and received great feedback.  As their facilitator, I was very proud of how much they improved in their collaborative, inquiry, research, and presentation skills. Scroll down to see us in action!



Guest were able to speak to us about each phase of our project.

Students presenting their Adobe Spark video and Agile board. 




Novel Study: Airman by Eoin Colfer

After reading Airman by Eoin Colfer with my 7th graders, students were given a tic-tac-toe choice menu for their final project assessment.  Each of the choices related to a skill we learned and practiced throughout the year.  Research, narrative,expository writing, poetry, and use of digital creation tools.  I made sure to balance the amount of work load for each, and kept students’ interest level in mind.  My students have been engaged during our project work time in class, and that is half the battle for a teacher.  The choice board was inspired by Kasey Bell’s 


Airman book trailer by T.J. (7th grade)  This book trailer was created with Adobe Spark video.

Here is how I made it work for my class:

Research Choices:

The Saltee Islands by Marcus

The Saltees are a pair of small islands lying three miles off the southern coast of Ireland.The two islands are Great Saltee and Little Saltee.They have been privately owned since 1943 by the Neale family.A line of rocks connect  the smaller of the two islands to Kilmore Quay,county Wexford on the mainland of Ireland.Legend has it that Saint.Patrick pelted rocks at the fleeing devil as he tried to escape his wrath..Geologists characterize the formation of the gravel bar as a neat glacial deposit.The islands are made of precambrian bedrock  between 600 million and 2 billion years old.There were people on the island as long ago as 3,500 to 2,000 B.C.At one time there were Vikings, Normans, and medieval monks that inhabited the islands,there is evidence of a promontory fort,ancient graves, an Ogham stone and ring forts all over the island.There is also evidence of wreckers and smugglers and pirates.The waters around the islands became known as “the graveyard of a thousand ships”because it was so treacherous,perfect for finding treasure.The gains of the wreckers could very well be hidden in the many caves around the islands.

     Great Saltee is today best known as a bird sanctuary.Many birds,from Gannets,Puffins, Gulls and Manx Shearwaters all stop off on the island to nest or to rest on their migration paths.About 120  grey seals also live around the island and prey on the chicks and fish the waters.The story of the owner of the islands, Prince Michael Neale is very fascinating and quite funny.He is the interesting character who bought the islands in 1943 and declared himself King!He built a heavy stone throne and several monuments on the island.On the throne it says ”this chair is erected in memory of my mother to whom I made a vow when I was ten years old ,that one day I would own the Saltee Islands.”He and is family are very generous and invite anyone to visit the island anytime for free and nature lovers and birdwatchers love to go there.




  • Website Title The Saltee Islands, South & East Islands, Ireland
  • Article Title The Saltee Islands                                       
  • Date Accessed May 22, 2019


  • Website Title Wikipedia
  • Article Title Saltee Islands
  • Date Published November 19, 2018
  • Date Accessed May 22, 2019


  • Website Title Saltee Islands
  • Date Accessed May 22, 2019



Website Title:

Article Title: | Saltee islands – SALTEE ISLANDS

Date Accessed May 22, 2019



By: Adam 

Aeronautics is the production of machines capable of flying in the air and aircraft and rocket handling techniques in the atmosphere. In the beginning, the aeronautics concerned only the servicing of the aircraft, until now it has been grimaced by other aviation aspects.

Aeronautics is not just aviation. also includes lighter-than-air vehicles and ballistic vehicles. An important part of aeronautics is the science called aerodynamics, which is the science that deals with the air movement and the way it interacts with objects in motion, such as an airplane.


At first people tried to fly without any knowledge of aeronautics. they usually constructed wings and jumped from the tower with paralyzing or deadly results. The founders of aeronautics were Leonardo da Vinci in Renaissance and Cayley in 1799. Both began their investigations with studies of bird flight.

People think that there were popular kites carrying people in China. In 1282, the European explorer Marco Polo described Chinese techniques. according to him, the Chinese also constructed small hot-air balloons or lanterns and wing toys.

Roger Bacon is the first European who described the principles of a lighter-than-air balloon. A lifter for his balloon would be an “ether” whose composition he did not know. On September 19, 1783, the first manned flight took place. The Montgolfier brothers, along with the Swiss physicist Ami Argand, built a hot-air balloon with a ram, rooster and duck on board.The flight from December 17, 1903 is considered the first flight in history. Orville Wright is the first man in history who has risen to heaven on a plane. The plane was called Flyer I.

The next step of aeronautics were flights to space. The first artificial satellite was fired by the USSR on October 4, 1957. The first man in space was Yuri Gagarin. He flew into space for 108 minutes. His flight took place on April 12, 1961.



Poetry Choice:

   Basketball by James                                                 

Basketball takes a lot of hard work and time

In basketball, you have to keep doing the same moves over and over

You can’t just get really good at it in just a month

To make shots you have to take more than 100 shots a day


If you want to get good at driving in and scoring a layup, you have to be strong

It can be really hard to get good at dribbling the basketball

Because you have to get good at dribbling with both hands and doing fancy moves

People say, “don’t do fancy moves”

Like behind the back and between the legs


But you can get by people a lot easier if you know how to do fancy moves

The reason is that if you do some crazy moves you “juke” them out, you can just go by

All of the fancy moves can get the ball stolen from you if you can’t control the ball

After a while, if you keep practicing all of this stuff you’ll get really good.


The Islands by Charles (Inspired by the novel, Airman, by Eoin Colfer

The night sky

The place where the birds fly

The morning sky

Where you hear birds cry

Out over a clear blue sky.


Overheard from the fence

There’s prisoners acting sad and dense

Just waiting for the chance

To go off and hop the fence

To the land that put them in a trance.


If you go down a chimney far and wide

You’ll find a house where a man resides

A man who flies from high to low tide

And with him resides

A man who has a lack of eyes

Simply put an old state spy.


Creative Book Review Project

Earlier in the third quarter of school, I invited my 6th graders to a “Book Tasting” cafe.  This was a way to introduce my students to new novels that ranged in genre and reading level.  After “tasting” some books, each student chose one book to read for an independent novel study.   Throughout the reading of the novel I met with students to scaffold reading skills.  We ended the novel study with a creative book review project using Book Creator.  Please check out the book reviews that many of my students completed recently.  They even include an audio sample of the novel.  (Great way to practice fluency). *Please note, the review page is completely made up.  We did enjoy all of the novels!

Spin-off Story Project using Book Creator

As a culminating project to a novel my 6th graders read in class, they were assigned to write a spin-off story.  We read Restart by Gordon Korman in small, whole group, and independently.  Then, students chose one of the characters to do a spin-off story for.  We used Book Creator for this project, which the students were excited about.  Check-out some of the stories below by my writers!

Cross-Curricular Learning: Reading, Writing, & Innovation

In late January of 2018, my students were introduced to fables during reading in my homeroom class.  We read fables from our textbook, leveled readers, and picture books.  In small groups, we broke down the elements of the fable genre.  We used comprehension strategies to help understand what we read, and pulled out figurative language when it was used.  Once we had a good grasp on what a fable story needed to sound like we were ready to write one.  We did some practice prior to the final fable draft, with shorter stories.  Then, we were ready for the “Real Deal”.  The students worked in pairs to brainstorm their ideas for a fable story.  These students became the best storytellers, creating wonderful characters and morals to the story.  Once this was complete, it was time for our Innovation teacher, Mrs. Avrith to step in.  She helped the students create storyboards for a trailer to the fables they had just finished writing. She taught the students all about stop-frame animation.  Please click on the link to read all about the students’ claymation trailers

This was one of our favorite projects this year!  We love GPS!

A little plug, and she didn’t put me up to this. * Tanya Avrith is one of the authors of The Google Infused Classroom

Find her and Holly Clark’s book on Amazon


Using Agile Reflection After Social Studies Project Presentations

In third grade, students continue to learn about their communities and the world around them.  Two of the Social Studies standards are for students to be able to identify the five regions of the United States, and label each state with its capital.  We began this unit of study after the winter break.  We used informative text, color coded maps, student made flash cards, Geo Bingo, my own self-created incentive game (AKA “Treasure Box”), and some digital tools ( and Stack the States for the IPAD).  A few weeks into our unit of study, I introduced our states project for this unit.  The kids were very excited about the choices they had, and that they would be able to work in a group for a whole month.  I was excited that I would be able to make their learning come to life for them.  In addition, the students would be able to work on geography, research, writing, communication, technology, and collaborative skills during this project.  There were four groups:  The States Parade-  Each student in this group would become a state of their choice.  They would give an informative speech in first person, and dress the part too.

Here is the State Parade group: Ms. Ohio, Mr. Wyoming, Ms. Hawaii, and Ms. Texas!

Guests visited the States Parade group, and left them great “grow” and “glow” feedback. The students brought their Agile boards to display their process of learning throughout the project.

There was a Brochure Group that students were able to choose to participate in for this project.  We had some wonderful “travel agents” that were ready to help students book vacations!

The Travel States agents did a fantastic job of showcasing some wonderful states.

North Carolina seems like a popular state to visit.

We couldn’t leave out our own state of Florida.

The front cover of the Washington brochure.

A glimpse of the Georgia brochure.


The Digital Group chose to inform us about their states using Google slides and Google maps.  They did a really nice job of presenting during the culmination day.  Here is our Google map link to learn about New York  and for our other states on Google slides

Our digital presenters were doing a great job of interacting with the guests.

These kids showcased California, New York, Pennsylvania, and Arizona using Google Maps and Google Slides.

Our last group designed and made a fun board game to help people learn their states and capitals.  These kids had a lot of fun thinking of an original game that could be educational for all.  I think they should consider getting a patent for this game after using the “glow” discussions during their reflection time.

Race Around the U.S.A.

Everyone wanted to play the new board game.

Following the culminations, we used a class period to reflect on the entire process and presentations.  I was very impressed on the level of honesty that my students showcased during their discussions.  Many could clearly identify what they felt they did best at, and where they needed to grow.  Some flat out said, “I failed!”  I always tell them that it’s okay to fail because we learn from that.  They were also holding each other accountable, since it was part of their Alliance Canvas.  I loved hearing one or two students fess up when the word accountability came up.  And, it was done very respectfully too!  I already had Rock Stars in my class, but with the implementation of Agile they are at a whole other level.  I love how much more productive and mature my students are being.

After reading through their “Glow” and “Grow” feedback from other students. Each group went through one of the Agile reflection processes.

Students truly reflected on how they did throughout the month long project.

Click on the following link to view some video on some of the Agile reflections in action.