Sunday, October 26, 2014

Week 11- Student Lead Conferences & Data

I thought I'd share a new board I've recently added in my classroom. I love the National Geographic Weird But True books. I created a board where I can share those facts with my students. I have also added a joke at the bottom of this board. 

I've also been graphing our attendance and math test data. I showed this board back before school started but this is how I've displayed the graphs. I've been using the web site This is a great site that makes creating graphs easy! If you are graphing data in your classroom and haven't seen this site you have to take a look!

Wednesday we had student lead conferences. Our students each have a leadership notebook where they graph their test data for reading and math. 

We had a great turn out and parents loved hearing from their children about how they are doing in school. 

I love using lamps in my classroom and I've added 2 more this week. I now have 6 lamps in the room and we don't turn the overhead lights on very often. The students love that I never turn the lights on. 

I had to share a success story from this week. One of my students noticed another struggling with long division this week. So when we were doing small group rotations he asked if he could help his classmate. They worked together and he showed her the way he divides. I'm happy to report that she made a 100 on her math test Friday! They were both super excited and so was I. I love seeing my students help each other. 

I also wanted to share a picture I took this weekend. All my students know how much I love insects. I'm probably the only teacher they know who is excited to get new bugs in ziploc bags! I went to take out the trash at home today and look at this gigantic bug I found. I didn't put him in a bag, instead I just got the camera with the macro lens and took this shot. 

STUDENTS: What did you learn this week? Were you able to help someone else learn something new?

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Week 10- Roanoke, Important Questions, & Padlet

We have been exploring the different theories about what happened to the Roanoke colony. 

Student have been working together to explore those theories and we will be discussing which they believe might have happened. Every year my students are amazed that no one really knows what happened to the colonists. They always say, "OK, so what really happened?"

I found the Roanoke: Cold Case Investigation on TpT and that's what we have been using. 

After watching the Kid President videos I posted last week, I had my students answer the important questions that could change the world. 

What are you not okay with?

What do you have?

What can we do about it?

Each Wednesday our school has a classroom community meeting time. We discuss concerns of students and talk about what we can do to change things. So my plan is to discuss some of these issues and have the students develop a plan to figure out what we can do about what they are not okay with.

I created a Padlet for my science classes to use in order to keep all their notes digitally. We make interactive notebook pages but this is another option, in case they forget their notebook at school. Please take a minute to see what we've added so far.

Layer of the Earth Padlet

STUDENTS: What are you not okay with? What do you think our class can do about it?

Friday, October 10, 2014

Fall Break- #Socktober

When we return from fall break I'll be sharing this with all my students. Out 5th grade will be collecting socks for the homeless shelter in our area. Here's the information I'll be sharing with my classes.

MES 5th Grade Socktober Drive
MES 5th graders will be collecting socks for Socktober. This October, SoulPancake and Kid President want 2 million people to prove that even the smallest acts of love, like donating a pair of socks, can make a big difference in the lives of our neighbors who are homeless. Please send new socks to Mrs. Reasner or Mrs. White by Friday, October 24th. We will donate all socks collected to the Downtown Rescue Mission. 

We'll watch the Kid President video below and discuss the 3 important questions.

I can't wait to share this with my students and get our entire school involved!

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Week 9- Math Relays, 3 Free Apps, & Newton's Laws

We started our math this week with a relay race. I love these relay races and the kids really have to work together to get the right answer. It is also a great way to warm up before jumping into multiplying decimals. The relay races are from Lorraine Salmoe on TpT. Check out her store for the math relays. 

We finished up our study of Newton's Laws of Motion so I wanted my students to use the iPad minis to create a project to show they understand the laws. I gave them an option. They could pick Sock Puppets, Tellagami, or Yak It Kids to create the video. 

Sock Puppets (free)

Tellagami (free)

Yakit Kids (free)

I loved hearing them work together and brainstorm ideas!

Some groups even used iMovie to combine each of the 3 laws videos into one. I told them to play with the apps and see what they could do. I'm familiar with each of these apps but I've learned not to limit the kids because I don't know how to do something. Normally someone will figure it out and share with others who want to use the app. 

Here are just a few of the finished projects. 

STUDENTS: This week is our fall break. What are your plans for the week?

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Week 8- Newton's Laws Stations & Explorer Day

This week we have been learning about Newton's Law of Motion. I love sharing this video with my students because it helps them connect the laws to the world. 

I also found this song for the laws that I shared with my classes.

At the end of the week we were ready for our stations to help learn more about the laws. I love these stations from Focus Learning Resources on TpT.

My favorite station is where the students have 2 eggs, one raw and one boiled. They have to use Newton's 1st Law of Motion to figure out which is which. 

Friday was a 1/2 day for students so the 5th grade had Explorer Day. Our students dressed as explorers and Native Americans. They all brought things to trade and had a great time!

STUDENTS: We have played Kahoot several times now. Do you like playing the game? Why or why not? It is something you would like to continue playing?

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?