Tuesday, October 28, 2014

News Flash

All parents, Friday, October 31 at 1:30 is Francis Wyman's annual Halloween Parade. Please stop on by!

Homeroom parents are also invited Wednesday, November 5 to see our classroom presentations of 'The Constitution'. Please join us at 9:15 as we unveil our first iMovie presentations to demonstrate our learning.

See you soon.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Recess Time

Nothing Like a Little Recess Fun

Just last week some students came up to me requesting I play with them at recess. Not being dressed appropriately and feeling a little guilty about it, the next time I had recess duty I guaranteed I'd be ready.  

I came in to school with shorts, sneakers, and a t-shirt ready to learn this new spinning, jump rope, hula-hoop jumping game.  (And speed game!) I am not sure I was physically prepared for both the speed and effort involved in keeping up with these 10 year old girls.

Apparently, one child stands in the middle holding the handle of a looped jump rope with a hula hoop to swing around in a circle. The child in the middle spins the rope around at the desired speed of the children around the outside who then jump over the hula hoop as it gets to them.  

So I made my playground debut and held my own. I even successfully navigated their most expertise fast level. However, I will admit to being a little weary in the end. Thanks for the laughs girls!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Typhoon Joins 103

A Classroom Pet

A few students responsibly came to me last week inquiring about a classroom pet.  After careful consideration, I couldn't come up with a reason to say, "No!" So last week, we welcomed Typhoon to our class.

Typhoon is a male guinea pig.  Our guinea pig is about 5 years old. Guinea pigs are not very active.   When you hold a guinea pig, you must support its back legs.  It needs to get its vitamins from fruit and vegetables daily.  It is part of the cavia family.  They are nocturnal. and they like to hide in tall grass in the wild as camouflage and for warmth.  

Mrs. Pavlicek came with our new classroom friend and the students are already in love.  I can't believe how attentive the children are.  One student even wrote out the care and maintenance for our new pet. And, although, I got a printed copy of the directions, I feel strongly that it will be these nicely hand printed directions I will use as we enjoy our visitor.  

The children come in every morning eager to take him out and say hello.  I am proud of the class for genuinely caring about our new pet.  Not only do they pay attention to Typhoon but they feed him fruits and vegetables daily, change his water and clean his cage with no complaints.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Student Council

8 Responsible Students
Only 3 Seats to be Filled
What Will Happen?

Okay, so maybe I am being slightly dramatic, but you should have been here.  It was tense.  The children prepared to read their speeches.  I went through the typical discussion about their responsibilities as citizens to be responsible voters.  I heard the children talking about butterflies in their stomachs and being nervous about the speech and if they might win.  Listening really put it into perspective for me.

The children took this opportunity seriously!  I am impressed.  I heard all about our CARES motto.  For those of us who might not be sure about this: Compassion, Accomplishment, Respect, Enthusiasm and Self-reliance.  I heard children talk about what they can do to help our school and how they can help others make similar accomplishments.  I heard them talk about responsible ways to help children who are being bullied.  I admired students for accepting that they will give up some of their own recess time to be a member of this community.  Good job boys and girls; I can't wait to see who will represent 103, the fifth grade and Francis Wyman!

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Commuting and Associating

It isn't Just for the Work Place.

This week was the introduction of some properties of math.  For those of us who don't remember, I always fall back to what the words mean.  I commute to work and I associate with people.  In other words, the order doesn't matter when you add or multiply.  The simple act of commuting just means you change the order while associating means you put numbers that fit together or make landmark numbers. Our first method of trying this out was using Popplet to move number bubbles around.

As this task grew, students were the numbers and the operations signs and they had to move according to my direction, Commutative or Associative Property.  More and more numbers came into play along with our addition signs.  As it came to a close, the children could give some great definitions for compatible numbers, landmark numbers, and the properties covered in this very class.  

The boys and girls were visited by two representatives from Google.  They came to observe what education in the elementary setting looks like today.  Some of their take-aways were all of the group work and desks being put together in table groups.  Things have changed since we were in school.

In this final picture, we employed the use of parenthesis to help us see where numbers associated.  Ask your math experts to explain how this all went down.

Light, Shadows and a Webquest

What are These SCIENTISTS up to?

We are finishing up our explorations of light with a webquest involving light and shadows, natural sources of light as well as some things that simply reflect (like the moon), and finally some confirmation of light traveling in straight lines.  My budding scientists had their work sent to them through Google Classroom.  They simply opened up the work, clicked on the links within the questions and answered from the interactive games. Classroom also allows the children to easily turn the work in when they are done.

The children were able to work at their own pace, test their own ideas and observe the outcomes.  This is yet another method for students to utilize so they can learn like scientists.  In the end, the students' answers were their way of explaining what they saw and how they understood it.

One student's notes from the online interactive game.

In the follow up activity the next day, the children made a t-chart of natural sources of lights and some items that simply reflect in their Notability Science folder. This led to the review of transparent, translucent and opaques items.  Our third grade review is complete as is our new fifth grade learning.

There is nothing better than watching a child take control of his or her own learning.  By allowing the children the opportunity to see various ways to learn science they are also learning the real ways scientists learn and use science.  The unit's close revolved around the class acting as scientists who use real life scientific methods from which to learn.  We come up with questions, use resources such as books and the internet to learn from, then we experiment or try it out and finally observe the outcomes.  This almost always leads to more questions...