Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Twelve Days of Ugly Teacher Sweaters and a Moldy Potato Experiment

T-minus 2 days before students, and myself, partake in some well deserved laziness.  When I say myself, I am of course delusional, because, well, I have a two-year old. As we near the week's end, I can't help but look back over the last couple of weeks and shutter to think of all the ugly Christmas sweaters, vests, and shirts that have been worn in our school and throughout the United States.  I am looking forward to tucking them away for the season and putting on my trusted hoodie and sweats for the next couple weeks.  Until that time comes, I will bravely wear my sequined, glitter, and bejeweled quilted snowman sweatshirt that I found in the old lady experienced lady section of the store and work diligently to continue to try to inspire educational passion in the hearts of my students.  Here are some things of greatness that the students have been working on. (Despite the constant onslaught of sugar, my class has rocked this week and truly have been successful learners!).

 In this last week of school, before Christmas break, yes, I said Christmas, we have been cranking out some great thoughts, ideas, and INFERENCES.

I borrowed this first idea from Life in 4B.  For a week, the class tracked and graphed their hours of sleep.  Each child then responded to the data and came up with some great inferences! I was surprised with how many kiddos slept 5 hours or less on a regular basis.  Go to bed!!  Here are a few pictures, more to come tomorrow that had some great inferences and connections between attitude, grades, work, and sleep.

Our class mean 

After the students inferred that we should all take after-lunch naps, we moved on to the Potato Experiment.  (If  you've never seen it, be prepared to be amazed.)  Quick summary; 4 potatoes, dirty hands, clean hands, flu season..ewww!!We are on day one of the experiment, but as a dutiful teacher, I will post every couple days, even over break, to share pictures of the potatoes. ( Sorry some are sideways, but it is 10:49 pm and bed is calling my name...loudly.)

Again the students used sticky notes to record observations. Changes are occuring and it has only been hours. 

Students used sticky notes to record their thoughts.  Not bad for first try! We will be working on adding exact measures next time. 

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Flying Pretzels and a Comprehension Toolkit

It is Tuesday night, and already it has been a week!  I started this week really excited to get into the classroom, and ended the day with crazy student events and a 2 year old monster toddler chucking pretzel chunks at my head while we were driving home.  Happy place; happy place; happy place...

I came to the conclusion that a.) my toddler is amazing because he has a baseball arm on him for sure, you should have seen those pretzels flying b.) every teacher is feeling the same way right now and c.) we ARE going to have a SUPER 13 days before the holidays!

My favorite blog right now is Life in 4B; if you haven't checked it out, you should!  Her curriculum is so closely matched to us right now that I am finding tons of great ideas to keep my teaching fresh, exciting, and yet structured.  I will post pictures tomorrow, but we are building Thoughtful Journals using the Thinking Strategies and the Comprehension Toolkit activities.  I love her idea, but my OCD brain is struggling with the fact that it is the end of November so how do I find the time to add Quarter 1's learning to it.  Is anyone else doing these journals?  I would love suggestions!!

If life isn't complicated enough I am trying to create a new grade-book checklist that at some point I am hoping to share with the higher ups in the higher-ups building.  Really feel that students are getting grades for more of work ethics rather than proficiency.  Thoughts anyone?

Well, I have pretzel chunks to pick up and other blogs to surf. Have a great Wednesday!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Well, here goes...I'm biting the bullet; I'm jumping on the bandwagon; I'm bleating with the other sheep! Yes, I officially have a blog!  My goal for this blog is to step past all the negative politics surrounding education at this time and to focus on what is IMPORTANT, the students.  

A couple weeks ago I was spending quality time on, yes, that means ignoring the laundry, when I came across a couple education blogs. Wow, is all I can say!  Jackpot! What great ideas and visuals I've found for incorporating into my classroom, while still being able to maintain the (inserting buzzwords of the day) integrity and fidelity of our curriculum and gvc that our district has adopted.  

My goal for this blog is humor, ideas, and always a positive learning attitude!  Here goes the ramblings of a 5th grade teacher....