Saturday, January 24, 2015

Week 21- Stomach Model Lab & Dividing Fractions

This week we finished up our unit on the digestive system. The kids made a stomach model. We used 1/2 of a banana and a few crackers and mushed them up in a bag. 

Then they added water with a couple of drops of food coloring. 

What resulted was our model of the stomach and the way it breaks down food for our body.

I think they were a little grossed out!

This is my favorite video for the digestive system. It shows all the yucky details and the kids love it!

We also played a math game to practice multiplying and dividing fractions.  Each group got a stack of fraction cards, a 10 sided and 4 sided dice. 

Roll the green dice- if the number is even you multiply, if it is odd you divide.
Roll the black dice to get your numbers. If you roll 1- whole number, 2-mixed number, 3 or 4- fraction. To create your mixed number roll the green dice and draw a fraction card. Create your whole number by rolling green dice. Draw a card for a fraction.  

I love seeing the groups working together to solve the math problems. 

Each group divided into 2 teams and played against each other. Everyone had to work out the problems they created because they had to check each other's answers. 

STUDENTS: What did you learn about the digestive system that you didn't already know before our unit? 

Friday, January 16, 2015

Week 20- Leaders and Digestion

I can't believe I forgot to post on the blog last week! Oh no! I guess I was so excited about going to the concert that I never even thought about it. I had tons to do before heading to Atlanta last weekend.

Janna Korak, a former MES student, came to talk to the 5th graders about becoming a leader. We love when former students come back to talk to us and share the life lessons they have learned.

This week the Kindergarten students were preparing to share their leadership notebooks with their parents during student lead conference.

The 5th graders met them in the lunchroom and the K students practiced sharing their notebooks. 

It was great getting to watch them build relationships and also we had several siblings share notebooks. My 5th graders were so tickled to get to make connections with the younger students. 

We have been learning about the digestive system so this week we did a few hands on labs. One was called esophastraws. We used straws (esophagus) and seeds (food) to show how food moves through the esophagus. 

We also did an activity where we chewed crackers for one minute and wrote words that described the taste and feel of the cracker at 15 second increments. 

I also wanted to share the fact that most of the pictures on the blog this week were taken by the photography committee in my classroom. We have been having Wednesday Morning Meetings all year and my students made a wish box. They put ideas and suggestions in the box for us to review on Wednesday. When students make a suggestion I have them share their vision with the class and we create committees. We have our committee meetings on Thursday morning. 

One suggestion was the photography committee. They use the iPad minis to take pictures of things going on so I will have pictures to post on the blog. I'm so excited to see what all my committees develop. We have several committees- Random Acts of Kindness, Classroom Council, Activities, Science, Photography... I know I'm leaving some off the list but these are the ones I can think of right now. 

I'm so proud of the leadership skills my students have developed. If you plant the seed they will take your idea and do it 10 times better than you ever imagined. Each of them takes ownership of our classroom and we are always working to improve. 

STUDENTS: Share something your committee is working on. Make sure to tell us which committee you are a part of. Not on a committee? Share your favorite digestive system activity so far. Why was it your favorite?

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Week 18- Picture Pie Fractions

Last week, at the Blue Ribbon Conference, I attended a session about using art in the general education classroom. When the presenter shared Ed Emberley's Picture Pie, I knew exactly what I wanted to do. I ordered both of these books from Amazon and was ready to go!

This is a page inside the 2nd book. It shows students how to cut shapes to make a bulldog. 

So I shared my vision with my math classes and they went to work. I told them I wanted them to create pictures with cut circles and squares. After they made their pictures I asked them to use the pieces to create fractions. I also had them take any mixed numbers they had and convert them to improper fractions, which is what we did this week. 

I was excited about the way they embraced this project and ran with it. Most of them were really excited to be able to do art during math time. :)

Each of them put their own spin on the project, which is exactly what I wanted them to do!

The most challenging part for them was writing the fractions after their pictures were finished. I reminded them that I wanted them to use fractional pieces somewhere in the picture because this would be a 1st grade project if we just used whole numbers. The picture above used fractional pieces but when adding them all she ended up with whole numbers. So this student added a little more to her art project to end up with fractions!

The kids are still working on these projects but these are a few finished ones. I love how they each made something to reflect themselves!

STUDENTS: Did you like the Picture Pie art project during math? What was the best part of the project? What was the most challenging? Explain why.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Week 17- Blue Ribbon Lighthouse School & My Tech Tools Presentation

This week I traveled with some of my co-workers to Orlando to attend the Blue Ribbon Conference. 

Mrs. Reasner and I got our Wonder Twin bracelets and got to be twins for the week. 

Our school was awarded the Blue Ribbon School of Excellence Award. 

During the awards banquet we received our award and had a great time! 

This was a great award for our school and we were all so excited to earn it!

As you can see, Mrs. Lawrence can't hide her excitement. 

We didn't actually make it to Disney but we did go to Downtown Disney. We had a great time getting to spend time together and a long trip is always more fun when you're with friends. 

On the last day of the conference I presented about technology tools I use in my classroom. Interested? You can see my full presentation here

STUDENTS: What was your favorite part of the week this week? I know I was only there one day and I missed you all! I can't wait to see you Monday. 

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Week 16- Cell Projects & Colonial Day

This week we only went to school for 2 days. We'll have the rest of the week off for Thanksgiving break. Even though we were only there a couple of days, we had a lot of fun.

Last week I shared #projectrippleeffect with you. We started making happy posters for all the adults in our school building. We finished making them this week. Since I was guiding this I didn't include my name in the list for a poster. So while we were making the other posters my class snuck and made one for me. It made my day and also made me happy.

Today we had colonial day at school. This was a traditional colonial lunch. We made butter and had biscuits and stir about (colonial stew). It was delicious!

The kids had a great time making butter. They kept asking if it was ready yet. We shook jars for a while before the butter was finally finished.

After lunch we played marbles and jacks. I told the kids we were going to play colonial games with a twist. I had each group choose what they wanted to play and then use the iPad minis to find out how to play the game. Most of them had never played these games before and we are keeping them in the room to play when we have indoor recess.

We are almost finished with our completely digital cell projects. Some of the finished videos are coming in now so I wanted to share a couple of them. They were a little stressed about getting their assigned cell correct. My students have not had any experience identifying cells when looking at real pictures. So I told them not to worry about it. I'm looking for a completed project and evidence to show why they think it is a plant or animal cell.

STUDENTS: What was your favorite part of our colonial lunch? We had a lot of yummy food and fun games. I'm curious to find out your favorite. I hope everyone has a happy Thanksgiving!