Friday, September 19, 2014

Week 7- Dot Day, Speed, & Proactive Activity

Monday was International Dot Day. We read the book, The Dot by Peter Reynolds. We talked about ways we could make our mark on the world. 

I gave each student a red dot to use in their picture. I told them there were no requirements with the dot, other than the fact that it needed to be on their picture somewhere. While they worked on their posters we enjoyed eating dot candy.

Take a look at some of the posters they created.

This week we also used toy cars and tape measures to calculate the speed of our cars. This goes along with our study of speed and velocity. 

Want to know their favorite part of the lessons? The song, of course! Click the song name to find it on YouTube. Speed and Velocity by They Might Be Giants.

To practice our multiplication this week, we played number crunchers. I love this game because the kids practice multiplication but share their work with a partner. They can compare answers and find any mistakes they might have made. 

We also started working on a hallway display for special visitors next week. All of the activities I found for Habit 1: Be Proactive were all more for younger elementary. So I started looking for inspiration and ran across this picture. 

Since we talk about how you carry your own weather while being Proactive, I knew exactly what to do! I showed this picture to my students and had them create their own. They wrote ways to be proactive under the umbrella and ways to be reactive around the outside. 

These are just a few examples but I love what they did with my inspiration!

STUDENTS: This week we celebrated International Dot Day. What do you plan to do to make your mark on the world?

Friday, September 12, 2014

Week 5 & 6- Hiccups & Math Fun

When I got home last weekend my internet was down and I wasn't able to do my weekly post. So this week I'll share a few things that happened over the last 2 weeks. 

Have you ever had a kid with the hiccups in your classroom? My students get them all the time and I have a great way to get rid of them. It works every time. Give the student a cup and have them fill it with water all the way to the top. 

Then turn upside down and drink that way from the wrong side of the cup. So your top lip goes on the outside edge and your bottom lip goes on the inside edge. Drink some water that way and then stand back up. Easy way to cure the hiccups every time!

Have you seen this book? I gave one of the activities a try during math. 

One of the pages has dice roll prompts. So I partnered my students up and had them work in pairs to solve word problems. They rolled a dice to discuss a question before the problem solving started. 

Then they each worked separately to solve the problem. Finally they would roll the dice to choose the final discussion question for that problem and compare answers. 

There was a lot of on task discussion about math! They decided this was a lot more fun than just sitting and solving the problems alone. Plus, everyone was engaged!

We used my favorite reading strategy again this week, Keep It or Junk It. I also hung my posters on the wall under the clock so everyone could see them. 

This is another great way to have students working together in groups. They work to find words to help answer a focus question and them write an answer to that question. 

Have you used Kahoot? I created a review quiz to help prepare for the social studies test this week. We did it Monday and when the kids came back to me Tuesday they were begging to play again. They didn't care that I hadn't made a new game yet. 

I grouped my students to work as teams and submit their answers with the iPads. It is like a game show and they earn points for each correctly answered question. It also shows the leader after each question. They were cheering so loud when the correct answer showed up that I told them they would have to have a silent celebration or Mrs. Reasner and Mrs. Smith (our neighbors on either side) would ban us from playing. 

I wanted to share a picture of me and my Kindergarten buddy. I talk to him every morning in the gym and he has been trying to learn to tie his shoes. He works so hard and almost has it down!

Finally, here is a picture of my wonderful 5th grade team! We all purchased matching shirts and wore them today. I have the best team! Our shirts say, "In 5th grade we... share, love, laugh, grow, show respect, apologize, sing and dance, do our best, encourage, make mistakes, create, play, word hard, have fun, learn   We Are Family

L to R: Mrs. White, Mrs. Reasner, Mr. Schmitt, and Mrs. Smith

STUDENTS: I'd love to hear from you! What is your favorite part about 5th grade so far?

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.