Saturday, August 31, 2013

Week 2 (August 26-30)

Our second week of school is over and I have a lot to report. 

At the beginning of the week, we created S.M.A.R.T. Goals.  SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely.  We discussed the meaning of each of these words and developed one academic goal for this first nine weeks.  We created an Action Plan for our goal and will reassess it at midterm.  Then, we can adjust our goal, if necessary.  We will do this for each nine weeks.
I introduced the students to and
We had a lot of fun exploring these sites.
ClassDojo is going very well and most of my students have earned over 25 points!  I told them that I would give them their "secret code" once they earned 25 points.  With this code, they are able to make changes to their avatar.  I should have made it 50 points instead because they earned the 25 so quickly!

I distributed Bible reading charts to the students so they can keep up with how much Scripture they read in 5th grade.  There are many great Bible reading plans out there, but you can CLICK HERE to print the one that I gave my students.  It's very easy to use.

In geography, we learned about latitude and longitude and are practicing our skills by tracking active hurricanes in the Atlantic.  Usually, at this time of year, we have more than one storm to track.  Right now, however, there isn't much activity.  We know something will come up; hurricane season lasts 'til November. 
You can get free hurricane maps at your local news station.

Moving on to math...

I introduced math journals this week and we began putting them together.  I've never incorporated math journals into the curriculum before, so this is a new thing for me too.  We are using composition notebooks and the journals will serve as a resource for the students.  The journals will hold various foldables and notes which the students can refer to when they are stuck on a problem.  The children will also reflect on their learning by writing actual journal entries.  Here's what the notebooks look like so far:
I printed the cover from Teacher's Notebook.  If you're interested in this free download, click here.
I typed up this "instruction" sheet with the rules/reasons posted, and I modeled it after bits and pieces of information I found online.  We glued this onto the inside cover.
Inside the back cover, I hot glued a piece of ribbon to use as a bookmark.
Here's the start of our Table of Contents:
 And some of our work so far:
I'm excited to see how these develop throughout the year.  If you're interested in using interactive math journals, this teacher has the best info and resources.

The final thing I'll share from this week is our Marble Maze Challenge.  I tried this cooperative exercise last year for the first time, and it was a huge hit!  I decided to use it again this year.  It was also a perfect segue into reading as next week's story is titled, "The Marble Champ."

The students were given some supplies (various sized boxes, empty paper towel and toilet tissue tubes, tape, index cards, a marble) and a challenge--with these supplies, create a maze in which a marble can roll for at least three seconds before hitting the floor.  The students were divided into small groups and had 30 minutes to work:
Here are the mazes (two teams tied with a marble travel time of 5 seconds!):
For last year's post and explanation of this activity, click here.  

The class had a wonderful time with this challenge and a productive second week of school.

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