Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Buddy Time!

We finally got to meet our buddy class! We are buddies with Mrs. Mariott's Kindergarten class. We will meet with our Kindergarten buddies a few times this year. It was great to finally meet them!

Sticks and Stones

     Our first read aloud this year has been Abby Cooper's debut novel Sticks and Stones. We are so close to the home stretch. I know the kids wanted me to keep reading today to finish. Today, we clapped and cheered.  I also cried (tears of joy) while students identified the "heart of the story" (which matches what we are doing in writing as we write our narratives).  

    Our character, Elyse, can't wait to see her picture on the poster for this  year's Explorer Leader.  She has been longing to see all of the compliments that her peers would write on the poster, which in turn, would fulfill her need for acceptance- or so she thought! 

   Students made their own "poster" today and using a wax-resist, "tattooed" our own words of "self-love" demonstrating that we too have the power to change our mind-set.

Here are some examples of completed posters. It was a great day and a much needed break from our fast paced world.

It is a great read! I hope you consider picking up a copy for yourself!

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Using Picture Books to Plot the Narrative Arc

In writing, we are in the stage of evaluating the narrative arc.  We looked at the picture book Each Kindness and plotted its arc.  

Using another picture book that we read recently, students reread the story Those Shoes to see if they could work collaboratively to identify the rising action, the climax, the theme and the falling action in the story.

Some student work.  

Next, students will evaluate the first narrative draft and plot their story on the narrative arc and see if there are a progression of problems that leads to a climax.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

9/11 Literature allows us to have conversations and think on a momentous day

      Talking about difficult events in history is not ever easy. It seems easy to talk about the Revolutionary War or the Civil War-- that happened so long ago it seems like something that happened to "them". Talking about recent historical events like 9/11 feels like we are talking about "us".  We want to be sensitive to the images and ideas that we share with young children, however, this is an event that is still playing out today. 
    Children's literature has always opened the door to others lives. We can peek through the window and observe from afar. We can think for the moment how someone else feels or lived through a difficult time. Books allow us to initiate a conversation within a context and begin a conversation about difficult subject matter.  
     We will be reading some picture books on 9/11 to discuss its historical implications.  The following books will be used in class:

This summer, I read the book Towers Falling. It is an excellent middle-grade book that is appropriate for fifth-grade. It was released this summer and it is available at the public library.

Water and Waves

Students made wind by blowing or waving an object and tried to make waves. Using a long straw, short straw, fan and "half plate". They are observing how the force of the wind and the direction of the wind impacts the hydrosphere and geosphere.

    Earlier in the week we observed how the temperature of water impacts the movement of waves. We looked at direction and speed.  Did erosion or deposition occur?  Using the slo-mo feature in the camera allowed us to really look at the speed and movement of the water.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Class Read Aloud

        We are currently reading aloud the first, new book by Abby Cooper.  The book, Sticks and Stones, is a perfect book for the beginning of the school year!  It is about sixth-grader, Elyse, who has a rare disease called CAV. Whenever someone calls her a negative name, the word mysteriously appears on her body like a tattoo. Positive words can appear too!  We follow Elyse, and the Loud Crowd, as they journey to become the year's next Explorer Leader.  Students are cheering for Elyse all the way! 

The author, Abby Cooper, noticed a tweet that I had sent stating that we were reading her book out loud. She was so excited and declared that we were the first class to read her book out loud (that she knew of).

We were so excited to hear from her!  She went further sending us these awesome bookmarks and a signed bookplate for my copy of the book.
She also invited us to Skype with her when we were done with the book! Oh my, such a generous, exciting treat for us! We will be sure to post later after our Skype!

Friday, September 2, 2016

Students check in to show their understanding of science vocabulary

Students have begun our unit on Earth Systems in Science. We have created terrariums that are a closed system that include four of the earth's systems.  

Students then found images to represent each system using the app Pic Collage.

Here are some finished examples!  Students needed to use the quadrant template, include one image to represent the system, and label it with the correct vocabulary.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Mrs. Sadewhite visits

Mrs. Sadewhite visited room 206 and schooled us on what a school counselor can do for them!  Students played a trivia game and it was a great match between the boys and girls!

Students continue to build their understanding of place value

Students continue to grapple with the relationship between the tenths, hundredths, and thousandths place. It is an abstract concept and one that many students struggle with.

When thinking of a number that is greater than 0.23 but less than 0.24 prompted further practice.  

Using a number line is one visual that may support students when developing their understanding of how these quantities are related.  We will keep working on developing this concept in our next unit!