Friday, May 22, 2015

Week 36 & 37- End of 2014-2015 School Year

The last 2 weeks of school have rushed by in a hurry! Last week we did a little dissecting. We started with sheep hearts.

The following day we dissected cow eyeballs. This one is my favorite because you can remove the lens and take a look through it. 

The kids loved it and we were able to look at some of the things they had learned about this year in science. 

I also had the students write on 2 different posters. We made one that said "What we learn in math" and the other said "What we learn in science."

I'll be using these at the beginning of the school year next year for my hallway display. That way all the parents and students in my upcoming class can see what they will learn. 

This week we did the index card engineering challenge. The students were given a pack of index cards and 12 inches of tape. They had to make a structure that was at least 2 feet tall and it had to hold my little stuffed Hello Kitty.

The one below is the only one that held the animal. Great job guys!

We also had a retirement party for our principal, Dr. Davis. She is going to retire the end of June and we will all miss her dearly. She is the only principal I've ever worked for. I am going to miss her!

Tuesday was graduation for my 5th graders. After the ceremony we had our final walk. 

All the 5th grade kids line up and walk the hallways through the school. 

All the teachers and younger students stand in the hallway and cheer for the 5th graders. They will not be returning to the elementary school since 6th grade is in the middle school. We play music over the intercom and there are lots of tears shed. 

We wrapped up the end of the year with a school dance for 4th and 5th graders. This year we had a disco theme and (as you can see) even the teachers had a great time. 

I can't believe the 2014-2015 school year has come to a close. I plan to blog some this summer about what I'm planning for next year. 

I have a few topics I'd like to learn more about:
Interactive Notebooks for Grammar
Real-World Math Practice

Teacher followers- if you have any suggestions for professional learning books I'd love to hear about them. I'm trying to decide which books to order so I can read and learn this summer. 

Friday, May 8, 2015

Week 35- Skittles Math, Soared Awards, MMS, & Field Day Celebration

Wow! This was a busy week! In math, we learned about mean, median, mode, and range. We made cootie catches but I forgot to take a picture. We wrote mean, median, mode and range on the outside. Then the kids rolled dice to create a set of data inside each.

Then we did a fun activity with Skittles. I purchased the Mean, Median, Mode, & Range bundle from Teaching with a Mountain View.  The kids loved the skittles activity. I gave each of them a cup of Skittles and they calculated the numbers based on their cup.

Then they partnered with someone else and did the same thing. Finally, they combined those groups to make a larger group and did it again. 

I loved this because it was lots of practice without just doing a worksheet! My new hashtag is #morefunthanaworksheet. 

We also had some of our atom art on display for the STEAM show at our school this week before the PTA meeting. 

Have you see the Together We Soared Awards by Deb Hanson? When I saw this I loved it and couldn't wait to use it with my class. 

I randomly assigned each student a classmate to write about. They were able to choose the type of award they were giving and then they had to write a paragraph to tell about what the award is and why they are giving it to that person. 

Next week I plan to let the kids share the awards they gave to their classmates. As I read through these I almost started to cry. I am so glad to see that my speeches about us being a family have really connected with my students. 

Each one of these is so thought out and I'm so proud!

We also took a trip to the middle school for my students to see what they are going to be a part of next year. 

I always love going because I get to see my former students! I sure do miss these sweet kids!

The end of our week was wrapped up with a celebration and field day. 

We celebrated the fact that our school was awarded the Blue Ribbon School of Excellence Lighthouse Award and the Leader in Me Lighthouse Award. 

Field day was full of fun relay races and water fun. 

STUDENTS: We had a lot going on this week! What was your favorite part of the week? Start making a list of everything we have learned this year in math and science. I have a plan for next week! Have a great weekend. 

Friday, May 1, 2015

Week 34- Civil War, Integer Battle, & Mixtures

This week we started studying about the Civil War. Each student has been assigned a different historical figure to research and present to the class. We used a little class time to get started on this assignment.

We also learned how to add integers this week. I had several games lined up for us to play but the students loved this one so much they begged to play Integer Battle every day. We divided into teams and started with the X. One team moved up & down from the selected number and the other team moved left & right from the selected number. We decided if the highest or lowest score would win the game. Then they added integers to earn their points for the team. 

There was so much discussion between teammates about strategy and planning what the other team would pick. It only took one round for them to start developing a strategy to help their team win!

Our class had our Box Top celebration party this week. We collected the most Box Tops in the school so we were rewarded with a snow cone and popcorn party. It was a beautiful day so we took advantage of it. 

We concluded our lesson about mixtures and solutions by creating our own mixtures (iron filings, salt, sand, and beads). The students had to observe the properties of each material and then mix them together. We used this TpT file- Mixtures and Solutions Interactive Notebook Bundle- to add pages in our interactive notebook (see one page pictured)

Each group developed a plan for separating the mixtures and started to work. It was great to watch them all talk about the different ideas and come together to make the plan happen.  

Have you used the Lab Team Roles by The Science Penguin? I love using these cards when students work in groups for science labs. Each card has a different role and their responsibilities. It helps with group work and makes sure everyone does their part. You should check them out!

STUDENTS: It is so hard to believe the school year is coming to a close. What is the one end-of-year activity you're looking forward to? Why?

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Week 33- Atoms, Physical Changes, & Math Review

We started this week with a very difficult concept for my 5th graders to understand, atoms. My student teacher, Ms. Jordan, found this activity to help students visualize an atom so we did it!

I had to break it down step by step to help them understand protons, electrons, and neutrons. In the end, I think they understood it! This hands on activity really helped them process this very abstract concept. 

I got to introduce chemical and physical changes to my students in a fun way this week! Each student brought in a small bottle of soda and we prepared them for a physical change. 

Shake them up and much as you can and put them in the freezer for 3 hours 15 minutes. You get a soda slush! Now this is my kind of physical change! Some of the bottles didn't freeze so we took the opportunity to discuss variables and what might have happened to prevent some from freezing. Overall it was a success. Click here to view the YouTube video to explain how to freeze a soda

Ms. Jordan also tried out Plickers! I love using this with my class and so she wanted to test it out too. 

Have you ever seen the old game show $50,000 Pyramid? Here's a spin off that which helps students review math vocabulary learned for the year. I divided the students into groups and had each group create a pyramid. Then one team (not the ones who created the pyramid) came up and turned their back to the board. The class gave hints without using the words on the pyramid to try to get the team to guess the word in the blank. 

We had fun and the students reviewed lots of math in a very short period of time. Want your own copy? Click the photo below to download one to try. 

We also reviewed by playing Task Card Grave Yard and task cards for skills we have studied this year. 

Playing SPOONS was also another fun rotation to review. 

Do you follow Chalk One Up for the Teacher on Facebook? She shared this word sort idea and I wanted to try it! I listed vocabulary for chemical and physical changes. Check out the picture below to see what I did and our sort poster.

At the end of the week we had to say farewell to our student teacher Ms. Jordan. The kids brought in goodies and we helped her start her supply stash! Everyone knows there are some things you can never have enough of when you're a teacher. Classroom supplies are always on the wish list!

We are super sad to see her go but I have no doubt she will be an amazing teacher! Ms. Jordan was willing to try new things and teach without the textbook (like I do). This is something that isn't easy to do when you're learning the content but she did great! She soaked up everything I shared with her and I could see it in her lessons. She used interactive notebooks and lots of technology (just like me)! She was willing to listen, try new things, and learn from her mistakes. Ms Jordan's passion for teaching was evident! We will miss you Ms. Jordan!

STUDENTS: Think about the review games that we played (listed above). Which was your favorite and why?