Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Brain Breaks, Mapping Skills, and Word Study

Happy Thanksgiving!  I am very thankful that I get to spend time teaching your children.

Here are some of the things we've been doing in 5B:

Brain Breaks
We have been taking brain breaks at school using a program called GoNoodle.  We use these breaks to get the wiggles out, and to calm down.  The kids love them!  Every time we do a brain break, the GoNoodle champ they have chosen grows a little.  They love to see their champ grow from a young baby champ to an older champ kid.  After a certain number of activities, we graduate to a new champ.  We are posting the champs that are full grown on our wall and are currently on our 2nd champ. There is a new GoNoodle app now available so kids, and families, can enjoy the GoNoodle activities they enjoy at school, at home.  Click here to get information about the free GoNoodle app. 

Mapping Skills
Students have been practicing their mapping skills to prepare for our colonization unit that we will be starting next week.  They worked together to figure out how to read longitude and latitude lines on different maps. They also learned about different water and land forms such as bay, delta, straight, peninsula, and many others. 

Word Study
Students have been working with words that compliment our mapping skills work, which will be used in our social studies colonization unit next week. This week they focused on words that have one meaning as compared to words that have multiple meanings. We will discuss their word sorts next week. Here is how each group sorted their words:  

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Presidential Election, Lots of Books, and Problem Solving in Math

Presidential Election
The students waited with great anticipation to see who our next president would be after Tuesday's nationwide election.  They also wanted to see how the national results compared to their mock election results.  Let me begin by saying that I made a mistake when I posted our class mock election results last week.  I should have reported our class results as follows:

Hillary Clinton = 13.3%
Gary Johnson = 40%
Jill Stein = 40%
Donald Trump = 6.7%

When the students came to school on Wednesday morning there were many emotions shared about the election.  Some were happy about the outcome while others were upset.   It was important to let them talk about it.  Regardless of my political choice, I view it as my responsibility to make sure the kids have a safe place to talk about the election results in a respectful way.  I will continue to use our Second Step program to help students practice their social and emotional learning.  One of the most recent lessons was learning how to agree to disagree respectfully; very timely as they process the election results.

Lots of Books!
Lots of books were delivered to our classroom last week as part of a study our school is participating in, headed by Mrs. Newton and Miss Carlock.  We received 15 bags of books to keep in our classroom for a while; each bag contains many books about the same topic. Research has shown that regardless of their reading level, reading scores will improve if students are exposed to multiple books about the same topic. So... we are giving it a try and are very lucky to have these books in our classroom.  The books are all from our library so if students want to continue reading books from these bags, they can sign them out of the library when the books are finished circulating in the classrooms. 

Problem Solving in Math
Students worked together in math this week to solve a problem for our math forum next week.  They are trying to figure out which is a better buy:  a package of 8 granola bars that costs $10, or a package of 20 granola bars that costs $23:

They are creating posters to share their thinking.  I can't wait to see and hear what they have to say.  This lesson is in support of our fractions unit.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Scary Readers Theater, A Mock Presidential Election, and Mapping with Fractions

Scary Readers Theater
During our special Halloween snack, students had a great time watching the movies of their scary readers theater skits.  Click here to see the movies. I suggest hooking up speakers to your computer, if you have them, so you can hear the voices of the students better.  It was a fun way to have the students practice their reading fluency.  Enjoy the movies!

Mock Election
Students have been learning about the presidential election.  They have been reading about the candidates and discussing the issues of this year's election.  On Tuesday they participated in a mock election hosted by Newsela, which is a great on-line resource for non-fiction reading that we have been using in class.  After reading and discussing the candidates, they participated in a mock election.  Here are the class results:

40% = Hillary Clinton
40% = Donald Trump
13.3% = Jill Stein
6.7% = Gary Johnson

They were very informed voters and very passionate about their candidates. We will be comparing their results to the national results.  

Students also had fun playing a game called Win the White House.  Please click here to get to the site.  You may want to see if you can make it to the White House.

5B Voting in a Mock Presidential Election

Mapping with Fractions
We have started a unit in math about fractions.  Students created maps this week to help them understand fractions on a number line.  They also used their maps to add and subtract fractions with unlike denominators.  They worked very well with each other and created beautiful maps.