Friday, April 27, 2012

Week 34

Two of our students participated in the Madison County 4H County Round Up!


Carolyn- "$15 Challenge" 2nd place for the outfit she put together


Micah- "What Wood You Build" 2nd place for his magazine rack and
"Freestyle Demonstration" 1st place for karate demo

Way to go Carolyn and Micah!

Power tower

The kids are still enjoying 4 corners during math time. We start every Monday through Wednesday with math games.

Math corners Oh no 99

Poor cockroach

We had a hissing cockroach die this week. The girls were so upset about it. I told them to put it in a bag and throw it away. They brought it to me to see if I wanted to say goodbye. So we took it to the bathroom and gave it a goldfish burial. Don't worry, we still have about 30 left!

Bumper Stumpers

Ms. Robison finished her student teaching with us this week. While she was teaching Mrs. Reasner and I put together this bulletin board. Do you remember the old game show called Bumper Stumpers? These are personalized license plates. Have fun figuring them out!

STUDENTS: What was your favorite part about having a student teacher? Are you ready for me to start teaching again? Why? I know I am excited about getting back to teaching you. I have missed you guys! I got a lot done while Ms. Robison was teaching and I was also watching a lot of webinars and learning about a lot of new apps and web sites to use in the classroom. I can't wait to share them with you!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Week 33

Can you tell we are happy that testing is over? Wednesday we finished our final portion of ARMT testing so the rest of the day was game day. When we have game day we bring in the Wii and play dance games. Others bring in their DS, iPod, or board games. The kids love having a little time to unwind after the stress of testing. I must say that I'm the dancing queen. I took 13 years of dance growing up and normally win most of the time. Some of the kids have been practicing since our last game day around Christmas. I still beat most of them and I told them that was a shame because I'm an old lady.
Caleb's math award

Here is a picture of Caleb showing off his Continental Math League award. We have monthly competitions and he was one of the highest scores in 5th grade. Congratulations Caleb!

Density Crayon experiment

We also found some time to work in a science experiment to wrap up our chemistry unit. The kids were experimenting with density. We used crayons in water and stirred in salt, spoon by spoon. The kids kept a log to see how many scoops of salt it took for each color to float.


Different groups got different results. So I encouraged them to share why they thought that happened. There were several good ideas like maybe the crayons were different brands and that made a difference, or maybe the beaker was contaminated with some salt dried in it before beginning the experiment.

Working hard

My birthday is Friday, April 20, and I always take off for my birthday. My mom always told me I didn't have to do anything I didn't want to on my birthday. So tomorrow I plan on sleeping in because I hate getting up early. My friends joke me because they love going on trips with me. They say they never have to fight me for the bathroom to get ready in the morning. My husband says all I do it grunt at him in the mornings. But I'm the early teacher at school. I'm normally one of the first ones there around 6:20 am!

My Birthday Jar of Joy

Since my students knew I wouldn't be there Friday they surprised me with a Jar of Joy and a birthday card. I was really surprised and very grateful. I have a wonderful group of parents and students!

STUDENTS: Tell me about your birthday tradition. Do you do something special on your birthday every year? If not what do you want to do for your next birthday? Or what did you do on your last birthday?

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Week 32

Concave brain dump

This week we had ARMT testing for 3 days. There wasn't too much excitement but we did manage to have a little bit of fun.

We started by reviewing concave and convex lenses. The kids were having a hard time remembering the light path so I came up with 2 brain dumps to help them remember.
Convex lens brain dump

I also set up an Edmodo account for the class. As you can see below, it is set up like Facebook but it isn't open to the public. It is just for our class. Make sure to check your e-mail for information about signing up. I thought it might be fun for us to use this to see how we might be able to use it for the classroom.

Edmodo   Home

Class Dojo is another technology tool we started using. Each kid has an icon and I can add +1 for positive behavior and -1 for negative behavior. It was amazing to see how it helped those off task to be able to focus on the lesson.

ClassDojo Gold rush store owners

Ms. Robison, our student teacher, had a great lesson planned for us about the gold rush. Timothy was the first to discover gold. The kids were assigned times to "arrive" to search for gold. Justin and Nick were shop keepers where the students had to buy food and tools. Andrea was Levi and everyone had to purchase jeans to be able to mine for gold.
Timothy was the first to find gold!

We started with just a few miners. When mining for gold the students would squat down to pick it up and then stand all the way back up before getting another piece.

  Mining for gold

As you can see, things started to get a little crowded and it was harder to find gold, just like the real goldrush!
Things are getting crowded

Thomas got be to the bandit. He could go to different people and "rob" them of some of their gold. He didn't have to work near as hard to get his gold. As you can see, he enjoyed getting to play the bandit.

Thomas the bandit

To conclude the activity, the students were asked to write a journal entry as if they were at the real gold rush. Here are a few of the entries:

The Gold Rush of August 1849
Today is August of 1849, my job is a miner. I just heard about the discovery in California. August was the busiest time of the year because everyone came to California. It's just because the president announced that there really was gold in California. I had to first purchase all the supplies I needed then head down to where the gold was. I think January was the worst month ever because most of the gold was gone by then, but the best month to go mining for gold was June. I got 36 pieces of gold I had more though, it's just because people bumped me and shoved me. The prices for supplies started to raise up to $10 instead of $5. So I guess I'm not that rich after all. In August though there came a bandit who was taking peoples money, but he didn't even come near me. So that day was a busy day for me, but it was worth it. I'm just glad it's over.
Anna Lee
i was a miner in august 1849 I've got a lot of gold i got 299 pieces i did not run out of any food tools or jeans or anything and I am glad i did not get robbed people were pushing me so i dropped gold i am :) happy and glad i got gold it was fun even though there was a lot of people and I am glad we did fun things like that

I was miner in July, 1849. My name is Lindsey. The Gold Rush was good for me. I got a lot of gold until the bandit came and stole gold from people. The bandit came to me I told him I have no gold. But when you ran out of money you had to use gold. I broke my tools, ripped my pants and, I ran out of food. I arrived in California in July, 1849. I got pants from Levi Strauss. Once I heard about the discovery of gold in California, I decided to sell everything and get rich. Before I moved to California I used to live back East. I was very happy that I heard about the Gold Rush. I became very rich. When I was done purchasing supplies I kept mining gold until I couldn’t stop. We had to work and get gold but Levi Strauss and the store owners didn’t work as hard as we did. The worst time was January, 1850. Best time was June, 1849 because everybody heard about. It was worth it going to California to get some gold.
Tatiasha J. Webster

When I was in California I was a miner. It was worth it I guess. I got 101 pieces of gold! My only problem was I needed more food and had to pay for it with ten pieces of gold. Then the worst thing happened. A bandit came! He took 15 pieces of gold right out of my hand! I tried to get it back but I couldn’t. Then the people became angry mobs for gold. They were falling all over the place! They were pushing and shoving and pushing and shoving. Yah……..that probably wasn’t smart because one by one their jeans were ripping and tools were breaking. Sadly I was close to those crazy people and got 10 pieces of gold knocked right out of my hand:( !  It was chaotic but it was worth it I guess. Like I said I got 101 pieces of gold. Well…..see you later.
                                                                                   Megan McNabb

Well today we did the gold rush reenactment. It was crowded and people were pushing. Did I mention I was a miner? I found a lot of gold. I riped my pants one time, too. I had to pay for food and tools two times. It was very fun, because we fighting for paper that was yellow. I felt kinda stupid for fighting over yellow paper, but on the bright side I found 201 pieces of gold.
Thank you for this fun project!

I was a miner. I came in early June 1849. You had to by tools, food, and jeans to go and collect gold. My tools only broke once, and I didn’t rip my pants, or run out of food. At the End I collected 135 pieces of gold. I THINK. .We each had a name well some of us did. Mine was Emily. The more people who came the prices went up, and luckily I didn’t have to buy anything after that. I also got robbed 2 times so the second time I got robbed I gave him an extra piece of gold so he wouldn’t come back. I’m glad I didn’t rip my pants.
By Dakota (DR. DJ JR.)

James Marshall’s log

It’s been worth the trip for me. I am one of the wealthiest people. People were getting frantic and bumped me so hard most of my gold it took months to get fell. I now have 151 pieces of gold which is $151. Those miners sure were brutal with all there pushing and shoving especially one in a brown sweater, one in a stripped black shirt, and one in a marvel superheroes shirt. It was a good run I’m proud to be the first miner forty niner. I had fun even though I broke my tools. Then a bandit showed up but didn’t steal from me I hid and prospected as fast as I could but all I could do was watch as my friends as they got robbed but better them then me I guess. I finally struck it rich working for my boss even if my boss’ company is ruined and I’m out of work I can find a new job. Now year’s later kids will know who I am the man who discovered and prospected in January 1849 I’m James Marshall and I’m the first miner forty – niner.
August 9, 1849 California
By: Timothy Byrd
The Gold Rush- Miner in August 1849
 The gold rush happened so fast.  I made $50 in profit.  I had to use $20 of my money to buy pants, food, tools and more pants.  It was so crowded in August when everyone came.  People cheated other people.  There were bandits. A bandit stole 15 pieces of my gold.  It was hard work and my legs and back hurt.  It was rough and sometimes people dropped their gold into the water and they could not get it back. 
The pants used to made of wool, but someone invented pants made out of burlap and they were a lot cooler and these lasted longer.  The wool pants were very hot.  It was worth going to California.  It would have been better to become a store worker or shop owner because all the people needed supplies.  The worst time to come to California was January 1850; people who came then did not get much gold. 

STUDENTS: This week we took the reading and first part of the math ARMT. Is there a section where you believe you got all the answers right? We have to take the math and science sections next
week. Are you ready? What was your favorite part of this week?

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Week 31

Playing 24

This week some of us played 24 during our math group time. 24 is a fun game where the students earn points by collecting cards. Look at the card below.

24 card

All of the numbers on the card must be used. You can add, subtract, multiple, and divide to write an equation that equals 24. Can you solve this one? This card is worth 2 points (the dots in the corner of the card shows how many points you earn with this card).

Magic tree- before

We also predicted what might happen with this tree. Thomas thought we might burn it and create a chemical change. I didn't have anything quite that exciting in mind. We forgot to look at it before leaving for the long weekend today so I took a picture of the tree at the end of the day so everyone could see it.
Magic tree- after

My kids love doing brain breaks. Ever notice your students zoning out or getting that glassy look in their eyes? Getting them up and moving helps combat that!

Brain breaks

During chemistry today we had a lot of fun! You can see TJ pouring her Phenol Red into a small cup.

Phenol red

The cup then went inside a bag with baking soda and calcium chloride. The students all predicted a chemical change but I don't think any of them were prepared for what happened.

Chemical change Starts white

This is a look at the bag once the experiment was complete. This chemical change created a color change, gas, and heat!

Our chemical change

STUDENTS: This week we have been doing a lot of review to prepare for the ARMT (reading, math, and science). What part of the test do you know you are ready for? Is there a topic you would like me to review Monday? Here is your chance to show off. Tell us what you know about your favorite subject!