Thursday, December 22, 2016



The past few weeks we have been reading Hatcheta great piece of writing by Gary Paulson. It's a story about a young teenage boy struggling with his feelings about his parents' divorce and fighting to survive in the wilderness after a freak plane crash on his way to visit his father. To introduce the story, children were asked to make a list of items they would want if they were stranded in the wilderness. But there was a challenge, they couldn't use any technology. They will revisit these lists today.

Every week, the students are met with a reading inventory highlighting five vocabulary words they could easily add to their own writing. They read them over and decide their familiarity with the word. Extra boxes are given for other interesting words they encounter.

These words are given to them as classwork. Every student writes sentences that are at least 7 words long living up to their newly developed personalized writing goals. The definitions are on the page and they have the direct link to these words in Quizlet. They can use Quizlet to study, take practice tests and play quiz-like games. 

Later in the week, groups are given one of these assigned words to demonstrate using a part of speech, definition, synonyms, antonyms and finally a drawing. These words are later added to a classroom student alphabetized dictionary. 

Throughout the week, we listen to the book on tape as we follow along on the iPads. The iPads have vocabulary words highlighted and linked to their definitions, questions for discussion and the opportunity to answer embedded questions. The responses can be seen by all students encouraging all members to work toward the best responses. Students have received direct instruction regarding how to answer who, what, when, where, why and how questions. 

As the book ends, students are asked to revisit their initial lists and finally write a persuasive piece trying to convince the reader to bring along the most perfect survival item. What item would you bring?

Monday, December 19, 2016

Explain the Remainder

Explain the Remainder

Suppose you have 134 stamps in your collection.  You want to display them on 5 pages of an album with about the same number of stamps on each page.  About how many stamps should go on each page?

To solve, first we have to estimate. There are many different estimates. 150/5, 135/5 and even 130/5. Any of these estimates are reasonable. To check your work you can do the real division which results in 26 r 4. This meant that 4 of the 5 pages would have 27 stamps and one page would have 26 stamps.

This week, please write your own word problem that
  • uses division to solve
  • requires estimation
  • requires the actual answer
  • results in a remainder
  • requires an explanation of that remainder
Make sure you write the problem and do all the work!

Saturday, December 10, 2016

How Do We get from Here to There?

Latitude and Longitude

Students have been working with latitude and longitude throughout the course of the week. We reviewed terms such as compass rose, Prime Meridian, cartographer and more. Many children were able to determine coordinates out to minutes and seconds. 

As the week ended, we were trying to determine how to get from one side of the globe to the other by going in the opposite direction. Some children went straight to math while others drew pictures. One even tried to map it out as if they were going on a road trip. 

All of the children were happy to get up to the board and work out their thinking as a group.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Decimals Surround Us

Greetings Math Class

Mrs Lynch is redoing the floors in the bedrooms of her house. She has one bedroom that is 9.5 ft by 10.4 ft. She also has 3 bedrooms that are 8.4 ft by 9.35 ft. The amount of flooring is determined by finding the area of all four rooms. Write an equation to show the problem that needs to be solved, use a variable that helps tell the story. Explain your variable. How much flooring does she need?

(9.5 * 10.4) + 3(8.4 * 9.35) = s 
s = square feet of flooring

(9.5 * 10.4) + 3(8.4 * 9.35) = s 
     98.8       +  3   (78.54)    = s
     98.8       +      235.62     = s
              334.42                  = s  
             334.42 sq. ft

Your turn. Use the comment box to write your own word problem similar to the one above. Make sure to ask the same questions and include the answers using the same format. Type this ahead of time in a document. notes, etc. Then copy and paste it into the comment box. 

Special notes: 
  • * means to multiply
  • parenthesis next to a number means to multiply
    3(4) = 3*4=12
    or 3(9-4) = 3*5=15
  • Do not forget the order of operations

Monday, October 3, 2016

Election Central: Learning About the Government and Citizenship

 Throughout the beginning of the school we visit the Constitution and explore the branches of government as well as what it means to be a citizen. Election years are always exciting because we get to explore the candidates and their views. This year is especially contentious with our current candidates. The students watched some of the debate, discussed the issues and even brainstormed some well thought out plans for getting what they want out of the candidates. One plan was to take Trump's ideas of changing laws of commerce along with Clinton's ideas for creating jobs and putting them together. This turned into one of them becoming President while the other became Vice President. Maybe this idea would not work, but it was a carefully considered plan for any fifth grader.
After completing our Government Brochures, the children role played the different branches of government. The Legislative Branch decided on an unfair law, "Only rich children will be offered an education." The Executive Branch quickly vetoed the law and the Legislative Branch had to rewrite the law making education available to all students. But, what if the President had not made that decision? What if he had passed the law? Well, we explored that possibility as well. Ask your child to see how it ended. Hint, hint, hint...there's one more branch!

Our exploration of government is complete but student interest is high. We may be continuing on with the issue of Presidency until we have a new President. I wonder how the students will take the results.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

We the People

We the People of classroom 202 SOAR!

New Year: New Motto

Self Control
Outstanding Effort
Acts of Kindness Respect

As a teacher and a parent, I am always searching for ways to bring home and school together. I want to know what words teachers use so that I may use them at home.

The goal is to encourage behavior expectations throughout the school day. Students have had direct instruction regarding behavior expectations throughout the building. As a group, students went to different locations as they were introduced to our new motto and expectations.

Here are our words from top to bottom:

Earning Your Wings
Ready to Fly
Losing Altitude
Report In

How to Make a Math Test More Fun: Dividers

New style work-space involves a creative solution.

First Days: Recess Fun

Our first day of school brought rain, but we have enjoyed recess outside every day since.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Lego Robotics

Whether we are organizing, planning or creating, Lego Robotics is REALLY COOL!