Showing posts from March, 2017

Social Studies Tuesdays and Thursdays

I apologize if it's been too long since my last post; life gets hectic, and sometimes I don't want to school after school hours.  Anyways, today I'll explain how my Tuesdays and Thursdays are going this term, and give a preview of what's to come.  Buckle up!  This post will probably end up taking a while!

My Tuesdays and Thursdays start with French, which we have combined with Mrs. Kenter's Spanish class.  Some of our kids are excelling at learning language.  Many of them have completed more than 20% of the language (as scored by Duo Lingo, which is our online language program) this term.  I only have 9 students, but they are mostly flying.  In fact, I recently gave the students who have completed 20% of the language the chance to learn other languages.  The kids are having fun, and I enjoy seeing them learn.

Next is my Mesopotamia and Egypt class, built for 1st grade students.  This class is a Core Knowledge curriculum class.  These kids are amazing!  They've …


1st/2nd Grade Reader's Theatre: Reader's Theatre has been a blast so far; we have been practicing our reading skills under the guise of fun stories and acting! Recently we've been practicing our prosody (reading with expression) using childhood favorites such as Judith Viorst's Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. The kids have gotten great at adding inflection and feeling to their reading; a key component of reading fluency. We just started working on adding actions to the stories we are reading. We spent a day practicing with Mercer Mayer's There's a Nightmare in my Closet, using the text and picture clues to help us decide on actions that fit the story. Acting out a story helps support reading comprehension. This week we will continue practicing prosody and adding appropriate actions with the fable Rumpelstiltskin.
4th - 6th Grade Spanish: The Spanish kids are soaring through lessons in their new language! With the help of DuoLingo, …

STEMrec challenges March 27

Math - Place the Digits (math game)

Why - To develop understanding of place value and number position relationships
This game gives children the opportunity to change the value of numbers by assigning digits to different positions.  
Science - Jumping Macaroni
Question:  The law of gravity states what comes up will come down.  But sometimes other forces can make it appear that gravity is not working.  This is a magic trick where you will make macaroni defy gravity and jump up.  
Why it works: This jumping action is called the Mound Effect.  The ribbon and macaroni form a series of hard rods separated by flexible ribbon.  It is physics.  As one side of the pasta is lifted, the other side pushes down, causing it to "jump". 
Social Studies - This is Me Map Book (continued)
Why - To practice spatial thinking.  Spatial skills are what allow us to picture the locations of objects, their shapes, their relation to each other and the paths they take as they move.  Maps help children vi…

STEM Rec Challenges - March 22 - 29

STEM Rec Challenges - March 22 - 29
Math - Double Digits (math game)
Why - To practice place value and estimations skills
Both skill and chance play important roles in this game. Dice rolls make it difficult to use a consistent winning strategy.  However, an intuitive understanding of probability, or what usually happens, will allow children to find a strategy that will be successful more often than not.  Development of estimation skills will increase a child's chances for success in other areas of mathematics
Science - Dissolving Ink

Question: Can you make permanent ink dissolve?
The experiment - Color a coffee filter with permanent markers.  Use a solvent (rubbing alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, and water) to see the the colors change (or don't!).
Social Studies - This is Me Map Book 
Why - To practice spatial thinking.  Spatial skills are what allow us to picture the locations of objects, their shapes, their relation to each other and the paths they take as they move.  Maps help …
Build a wall with a pulley system that can lift a load of pennies.

Our first plants...hopefully :)

Learning and Science!

Hi All,

  This block we are doing so many fun and interesting activities in Science!

  Two cooking classes are in fun effect.  They have made popsicles and pudding pops.  This week we are planning our next creation...pancakes!  Next week we will be baking bread and making homemade butter.  The next couple of weeks are looking very tasty!

  There are also three classes in progress preparing first through third graders for next year's First Lego League team.  They have begun learning about simple machines.  This week, the challenge is to create a pulley system that can lift a "basket" of pennies as high as the construction will allow.

  In addition, there are several groups of students learning about plants and gardening.  One class in particular is learning about the plants and animals of Utah.  They will be dissecting owl pellets in the coming weeks.  The students have begun planting a variety of seeds.  In the next weeks your kiddos will be bringing home a seedling that…

This term.

This term, I have most, if not all, of the students between grades 3 and 6.  I also have roughly 50 1st graders and 50 2nd graders in various classes.  That's a lot of students!  If my numbers are correct, it's more than 350 per week!  While our schedule is just short of where we want it, it's a lot better than it once was!

My classes this term are a mixture of core classes as directed by Utah standards and Core Knowledge Curriculum classes that I am trying to tweak to fit our model of active students in our Engage! classes.  So far, it seems that most students are enjoying what they get in Social Studies Engage! classes (or Social Studies and Literacy Engage! classes when we smash the two together).

On Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, I start the day with 3rd/4th grade Medieval History.  I love the Medieval Period.  It's my favorite historical era!  So far, our students have learned about castles (ask them about crennelations!) and illuminated text.  This is a Core Kn…