Thursday, January 28, 2016

Using what we know about Properties of Matter to Identify Substances

Oh my! Who knew that drops of vinegar were such a joy to fifth graders!  Students were presented with four white substances. They knew that the cups contained salt, sugar, cornstarch and baking soda.

Students had to use observational skills and what they knew about properties of matter in order to identify the matter.

video clip

Comparing the matter and making conclusions.

Abe Lincoln's Dream

Students have been knee-deep in Civil War history. Students are connecting so many pieces from the American Revolutionary War to the Civil War.

Studying the Gettysburg Address, its meaning and its purpose, students prepare to learn a section of the address to create a Gettysburg Mashup.

To accompany our study, students also created a likeness of Abe Lincoln as inspired by Lane Smith's book pictured here:

Using lesson plans from the website: Deep Space Sparkle
students began making their Abe Lincoln.

Here you can see how each child's Abe Lincoln is paired with their section from the Gettysburg Address.

Below is our Mashup of the Gettysburg Address.  Want to know more about learning the address? Check out this site: Learn the Address Project

Image study

I forgot to post this when we were knee deep in the Civil war study! Using a great site, students respond to this image while doing an on-line discussion. Exceptional thinking and ideas were shared.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Shared Book group

Ending the week with a shared book club experience with some future fifth graders!  We met with Mrs. Burks fourth grade class to share books that celebrate people and diversity.  Here are some of the books that we used:

Books that Mrs. Burks' students used:

We finished the conversation with an online discussion. Students shared how they can make a difference in their school and their community. A great way to end the week!

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

During our reading time this week we will be reading book sets of literature on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

While we will come back to the Civil Rights Era in the third trimester, we want to take the time to celebrate Dr. King's life during this week of memorial. 

Students will utilize this recording sheet to help them 
capture their thinking and jot down notes that will support them during their conversations.

At the end of the week, students will be meeting with students from Mrs. Burks' fourth grade class to have a book club discussion paired with talk and tech! We will meet in groups of four to share our ideas and have an online discussion as well. This will broaden our ideas and also give the fourth graders a peek into what a fifth grader does!

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Roll Around the Clock

Roll Around the Clock is a context from the Investigations book Name that Portion.

Students are solving fraction addition problems by using the clock as a model. This model is helpful when working with fractions involving 1/3, 1/6, and 1/12.  

In order to solve some of the addition problems, students need to find a common denominator (6 or 12) to support with solving the problem.  This experience also reinforces the relationship of equivalent fractions and representing a fraction in the lowest term.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Civil War centers

Finally! Students in action!  A glimpse at the picture center.
Textbooks in action
Photography Center/Podcast Reflection

Civil War trunk

Thank you Mrs. F for volunteering and sharing your wisdom!

Just a glimpse into our day and a few of the centers! Such engaging learning going on!

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Civil War gallery walk

New Year!  New study in Social Studies! Students 
shared what they know about the Civil War:

Students start the unit activating background knowledge and produce questions based on civil war images.

While we may have misconceptions now, students will continue to visit images throughout the civil war study. These images will be a part of a photography center. In addition to the gallery walk images, students will visit a media album in Schoology where they will comment, talk with a small group, and refine what they know about the images. Students will select 3-4 images and create a podcast to share how their thinking and knowledge has changed since the unit started.  

The idea for utilizing the podcast, which students will upload into the teacher folder on Google Drive, will provide a mid-way check-in to inform the teacher of where the student is with their thinking- as well as informing the teacher of how to move forward with instruction. Thanks to the book Amplify by Katie Muhtaris and Kristen Ziemke for the addition of the podcast to the gallery walk. The gallery walk, using a "see, think, wonder" format, is one strategy that can be further investigated in the book Upstanders by Harvey "Smokey" Daniels and Sara Ahmed. 


During the next 7 days, students will rotate through a variety of centers designed to provide opportunities for self-learning about this monumental time in history.  Students will rotate through the following centers:

  • Picture Book center
  • Audio/Visual Center (Resources curated on a padlet)

  • Photography Center (Images from gallery walk and a media album in Schoology)
  • Map Center (A variety of maps with a variety of information)
  • Primary Sources center where students will have access to famous speeches, letters from soldiers, and maps
  • Civil War Trunk: Courtesy of Missouri State Historical Musuem. Artifacts, as well as replica items, including a Confederate and Union soldier's uniform.
  • Textbook Center to use this resource as needed.
Students will be taking notes while further developing answers to their questions. Time will be provided for students to further investigate a question and synthesize that information in a way that makes sense to them! Can't wait!!!