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Friday, August 29, 2014

Week 4- Math Games & Energy

The best part about teaching math is being able to use games to practice what we've been learning. It is great when the game is over and you tell the students they just practiced math and they can't believe it was fun.


I put the students in pairs and they wrote place value columns on their desk. Then each took turns rolling a 10 sided dice (0-9). Each student had to use the number rolled to fill in their chart. On the top row they were trying to make the highest number and on the bottom row they tried to make the smallest number. Once the number was completed they compared their numbers to see who had the highest/lowest (depending on the round). The winner earned a ticket for the good job jar. 


We also did a science experiment to compare how the drop height of a bouncy ball effected how high it bounced. This helped to learn about potential and kinetic energy. The higher you held the ball to let it go, the higher it bounced off the ground. 



I also gave each group an iPad mini and had them take pictures to document their results. We ran out of time this week but next week we are going to complete graphs and make a video explaining what was learned during the experiment. 



I started introducing math games for the students to play during math rotations. 


Like I said at the beginning of the post, I love using games for math! I think my students enjoy them too. 


Here are a few more pictures of my students sharing their place value posters. 


I've had a few questions about the guidelines I gave them. If you are interested in having your students do this you should look at the Place Value Poster Project on TpT by Confessions of a Teaching Junkie. It has student directions and rubric to grade the project. 


Today I also had my students hand out happy notes to people in the school building. My mom sent me some notes she found that have positive quotes and Disney characters on them. As soon as I saw them I knew what I would use them for. My kids wrote a happy note on the back and signed them. On the way to recess, they stopped in classroom to give them to teachers, siblings, or even a student they didn't know. We have been talking a lot about random acts of kindness. A happy note doesn't cost a thing and it puts a smile on someone's face. 

STUDENTS: Do you have an idea of a Random Act of Kindness (RAK) we could do? Share your idea here to earn a ticket for the good job jar. Remember, RAKs don't have to cost a dime! 






Friday, August 22, 2014

Week 3- Heart Maps, Posters, & Videos

We started the week with #geniushour. My students worked on finishing their heart maps and deciding what their passions are. I also had them begin choosing that they would like to learn more about.



We also used my favorite reading strategy, Keep It or Junk It during our social studies lesson this week. I was so impressed with one of my groups that I asked them to create a video explaining how they did it. 


This is the first time they have used this strategy and I was super impressed with their answers. Check out their video explaining the strategy.



We also took some time to share our place value math posters with each other. 


I had some really creative posters and I'll try to remember to take some more pictures next week to share. 



We finished up the week by starting our unit on energy in science. I have started having students come up with hand motions to go with what we are learning so they can remember it easier. Here are the hand motions my class (Mrs. Smith's homeroom) came up with. I told them we would have to create a video so I didn't confuse the two classes. 


I overheard one of my students saying this school year was already flying by. I love hearing things like that because time flies when you're having fun!

My kids also told me I have OHKD, obsessive Hello Kitty disorder. They are learning how much I love Hello Kitty and Jakob came up with that new disorder.


STUDENTS: Share what you know about energy. What do you want to learn about energy? Answer these questions to earn a ticket for the good job jar.




Friday, August 15, 2014

Week 2- Visitors, CPR, & Saving Fred

I can't believe it is only week 2 at we already have so many things going on at school this week. 

We started the week with a visit from Trevor Lacey and Levi Randolph. They came to talk to the 5th grade students about leadership and goal setting. They did a wonderful job and it was great to have them come share with our students.


You'll probably laugh but I had to have my picture made with them. When at school, all the kids comment about how tall I am. I love to wear heals but this was a flip flop day. However, I wanted a picture to show them I'm not really super tall in the real world, only in the elementary school. 


I've already pulled out some of my favorite science toys. One day this week the students noticed that I have a blow torch on top of my science cabinet and they were shocked (it is up there with the deer skull). So I had to pull out the energy transfer balls I ordered a few years back and burn a hole in everyone's math homework. Below is a picture of the hole. 


When you see the hole you think it was just torn but you can smell the paper burning in person. My students just couldn't figure out how I did that. You just hit the balls together with the paper in between and it burns a hole. 


The end the week we had a parent come talk to the students about CPR.


Everyone had a chance to practice on the dummy. After 30 seconds they were exhausted. 


We wrapped up Friday with a little team building for science. The students learned about Fred (the gummy worm). He loves to go out on his boat but always forgets to put on his life jacket. Fred can't swim and his boat tipped over. 



They had to work together to figure out how to get Fred's life jacket on without touching him with their hands. I gave each group 4 paper clips. 


They really got into this and many were successful!


I also had them take picture of the steps they were using as they worked and then I challenged them to use the Animoto app and create a video about saving Fred. This is the first time I've used the app and I told my kids to play around with it and see what they could do. I had to share this video with you! These girls did an amazing job with their video. 




Now we just need to play around with it and see if we can add voice with the video so next time they can explain what they did.

STUDENTS: What was your favorite part of the week this week? Answer this question to earn a ticket for the good job jar.


Friday, August 8, 2014

Week 1- PlayDoh & PicCollage

The first week of the 2014-2015 school year is in the books! We had a great week and had a lot of fun getting to know each other. We started with Play-Doh. I gave each student a container of Play-Doh and had them make something to represent themselves. I had many great creations!


I then had them use the iPad mini and make a "selfie" with their creation in the background. 


I used the Pic Collage app to create this poster about me. I shared this with my class so they could learn something new about their teacher. I got the idea from the blog post How to Use PicCollage- And Five Ideas for Using It In Your Classroom. 


Then I asked them to use the Pic Collage app on the minis and use their picture along with other pictures from the internet to create their own Pic Collage. The only thing I showed them was how to insert a photo and text. Then I let them be creative and make their own posters. 





I love the creativity I saw and they did a great job sharing new things about themselves with their classmates!

I also wanted to share my objective board I created in my classroom. I always forget to write the new objectives so I decided to create posters for each subject I teach. I purchased the math posters on TpT from Jason's Classroom



I made my own science objective posters and social studies objective posters because I couldn't find any that went well with the Alabama Course of Study objectives.

I also added 7 Habits posters and Essential 55 posters so I can flip to the one we are focusing on for the day. I hope this makes things a little easier to keep my objective board up to date.

The lamps were a hit in my classroom! I've always had 2 small table lamps but this summer I added 2 floor lamps. My students are really excited that we can leave the lamps on and not turn on the lights.




Friday, July 18, 2014

New Tech, #Geniushour Set Up, & Trace's Room


Are you familiar with Trello? I found out about it from What's Going On in Mr. Solarz' Class? passion time (genius hour) resources. He has his students use Trello to plan their project for genius hour. Want to see work from his class? Click here!

When I saw this I knew I needed to use it with my class when I start genius hour this year. I love the way it is organized so I set up a board with instructions and a sample for my students to see. Here is my board if you want to take a look!

If you think this is something you might use and you are going to sign up for a free account please use this link: https://trello.com/mwhitemes/recommend
This will help me get free gold access.

Here are a few other Trello Genius Hour examples I found and thought I'd share with you.
Genius Hour Projects on Trello
Status of the Class Trello

Have you ever used Pic Collage?
I saw an idea on Pinterest and I fell in love with it. I'm going to use this to have students made a collage about themselves to start school. I am planning to have them use Play Doh the first day to make something that represents them. So I will have them make a picture of it and a selfie. Then I'm going to have them use the Pic Collage app to create a collage to share things with their classmates. I made one myself so I have an example to show them.


Of course, I've worked a little bit in my room this week. I have dedicated my new cabinet space to Genius Hour. I plan to have my students post their wonders on the cabinets on the left side. I think I'll use post it notes for them to do that. I found the quote that I added to the top of the cabinet- "Wonder is the beginning of wisdom." I also found a place for the poster I ordered from Vistaprint. I love the way it turned out. I'm not exactly sure what I'll put on the long cabinet doors under Genius Hour but I'm sure I'll need space for something else. 


I printed and laminated new signs to post outside the classroom. I've been using the set I had before for 3 years so the old ones were well worn. Want to get some of these for your classroom? Head on over to my TpT Store and purchase a set. I love them because it is an easy way for the kids to change the sign to let anyone know where we are. Where Are We Signs ($2.00) 


Monday and Tuesday I helped my friend Trace get her room ready. She is an awesome 3rd grade teacher and this year she decided to change her theme. She is doing the super hero theme so I asked her if I could take a few pictures of what she has done. I wanted to share them with you so you can take a peek into her classroom too!


MARVELous Math Wall



The Spidey sign flips over and the other side says science. She uses the pocket chart for vocabulary words.


Ironman's Intentions- will be used for students to post goals.


Captain America Can- place to post rules


Incredible Habits- this is still a work in progress but I still had to post it. She still has to add border. 


Dash's Data- This is where her class will graph their test, attendance, and behavior data. 

Wonderful Work

She is super talented because she painted and made all the super hero posters! My personal favorite is the Wonderful Work board with Wonder Woman. 

The days of summer are ticking down! I can't believe it but teachers start back July 30th. I'm excited to start a new school year.