Thursday, March 29, 2012

Spring Break- DC Trip


We had a great time in Washington DC this week! A few of your classmates went on the trip with us. We visited lots of different monuments, memorials, and museums.


We even made a side trip to Canada. You can see us all on Canadian soil (above) at the Canadian Embassy.



We were also able to tour the Capitol building. Here is Tanya waiting for the tour to start!


Can you tell who that is at the bottom of the MLK statue? This is a newly opened memorial that we were able to see.

We also got to go in the White House! Of course, we weren't allowed to take our camera inside but I couldn't pass up a picture once we went outside.


Do you know what kind of animal this is? Think back to the very beginning of the year in Social Studies. We talked about it then.


While at Arlington we saw a Caisson. Do you know what this is?


The above statue is one that was given to the Capitol from Alabama. It is the only child statue. Can you guess who she is?

STUDENTS: Post on this blog post for a bonus ticket. What did you do during spring break? If you went on the DC trip what was your favorite place we visited and why? If you did something else, what was your favorite part of the break? I need at least 3 sentences (5th grade sentences) for you to get a bonus ticket! See you Monday!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Week 30

We have another new science song. I'm sure most of you have probably already heard it at home but I wanted to share the link here for all my teacher friends who read the blog. I love how it goes a little more in depth than we do but my students are learning a lot!

I haven't been taking pictures during my science lessons/experiments this week because I've been filming my lessons for a science teacher award I'm applying for. I think this week I was able to capture the video I need.

More candy math

These are a few pictures from a math lesson we did this week. Each kid had a bag of M&Ms. Before they opened their bags they had to estimate how many of each color was in the bag. Once we opened the bag we calculated the probability of picking each color, a percent of that color in the bag, and the angle to represent that percent. The kids made a pie graph showing the M&M colors in each of their bags. I think they had fun with this and getting to eat candy is always a good thing in my classroom.
M&M math

More jigsaw

Ms. Robison, our student teacher, has been teaching several subjects this week. In SS she had the kids do jigsaw groups. They had to research and learn about a topic and then switch groups. They were responsible for teaching their material to the new group.

Jigsaw groups

They make me laugh

At the end of the day today we got our pets out of their habitat. The kids always make me laugh because some love our hissing cockroaches and some are still creeped out by them. These are just a few of them. Right now we have about 30 living in the habitat. Anyone want a Madagascar Hissing Cockroach? We have plenty.
Our babies

STUDENTS: I hope you all enjoy your spring break next week. While you are off I'd like for you to post something you learned in science this week. Since I don't have pictures to share, tell our readers about the experiment we did Wednesday with the mixture.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Week 29

We have been studying chemistry and having a lot of fun doing it! Here is a song we have been singing about solids, liquids, and gases.

And here is the acids and bases song!

I won a drawing on facebook with EAIEducation and we got a class set of SmartPals. We started using them week with our test prep practice. The kids are able to insert the paper inside and write on it with a dry erase marker. Once we are finished I can take the pages back up to use again later.

We also completed a general characteristic/personality trait inventory to learn a little more about ourselves. Below you will see the bananas. Bananas enjoy planning, fact-finding, organizing, and following directions. They learn best when they have an orderly environment and predictable situations. I am a banana as well!


Below are the melons. They are naturals when it comes to debating points of view and finding solutions. They learn best when they have access to resources, can work independently and are respected for their intellectual ability.

If you would like to see more about this inventory check out the book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens by Sean Covey.

STUDENTS: What have you learned about acids and bases? How do you think it will help you in your life?

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

How to Play Oh No 99!

Oh no 99

Several people have asked how to play Oh No 99! so I'm sharing it here. Everyone playing gets 5 cards and each person keeps 5 cards at all times. When you play a card you draw another one to replace it.
Oh no 99 start

Turn one card face up and that gives you a starting place. In this game we started with 9. Each person plays a card, adding the value of the card played to the total of the stack. So if you play a 10 on this card the stack total would be 19. Keep playing cards. What about face cards?

Oh no 99 face cards

This is how you count face cards:

Ace= 1
Jack = minus 10
Queen = wild 1 to 9 (positive number)
King = Add 0

So you keep playing until you reach 99. Once the stack totals 99 you must be able to play a card or you are out. The last person holding cards wins. The kids love this game and I play it with them a lot today.

I keep these directions and the cards in a pencil bag. I hope you have fun playing this game. Please let me know if you have any questions!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Week 28

Cartesian Plane

This was another full week! We started off with a flipbook about the Cartesian plane. We put graph paper on the inside to help the students remember how to graph ordered pairs.

Cartesian plane

Finding articles

Mrs. Arredondo, our reading coach, came in and did a lesson with us about author's purpose. We knew all about PIE (persuade, inform, and entertain) but she helped us add a few more, XN. So now we have PIEXN to help us remember the author's purpose.

Author's purpose

Surface area

In math groups this week we practiced finding surface area. The kids used Unifix cubes to build shapes and then counted the faces to calculate surface area. They found that it was difficult to keep count so they used an expo to make a mark on each face as they counted.

More surface area

Using Author's purpose

After our author's purpose lesson we decided to write with a purpose in mind. Each student got a doughnut (thanks to TJ)! We were in groups and each student had to pick a different purpose and write a paragraph about their doughnut. We ended up with some great papers about them.
Amerrit and his donut

How to blow a bubble

We also finished our writing about how to blow a bubble. The kids wrote paragraphs explaining how to blow a bubble with bubble gum. Caleb read his paper to us and we all had a piece of bubble gum. We tried to blow a bubble using his directions. Some of us were successful. Thanks to Caleb for not forgetting to tell the reader to remove the wrapper from the gum.

How to blow a bubble

This is our hallway display of the how to blow a bubble papers. I think they turned out really cute!


Iodine chemistry

Friday we did another chemistry experiment. The kids have been using the same 6 powders and doing tests to learn about each. Today we used iodine to test for starch. If starch is present the mixture turns black. Next week we will be using the information we have gathered to test a mystery mixture of two powders. We'll see how well we have done if everyone is able to identify the mixture they are given.

Testing with iodine

Smart pals are here

I won a set of SmartPals for the classroom in Facebook from EAI Education. They came in Friday afternoon and I'm looking forward to using these with the class.

STUDENTS: We had lots of different activities going on this week. We focused on author's purpose this week. Your job this week is to write a paragraph (at least 5 sentences) about something that happened in our classroom. We will read these next week and try to guess the author's purpose. Remember, we have 2 new ones so try not to use the same purpose as someone that has already posted. What was the author's purpose for this blog post?

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Week 27

Math problems with Mobi

Several weeks ago we started doing open ended math word problems. We work the problems together in small groups and then use the Mobi to show our work.

Mobi math practice

You can see where each group is able to work out their problem on the board. We all share how we worked the problem. The kids are doing a great job with this and they're also learning how hard it really is to write with a Mobi.
Screen with multiple Mobis

Chemistry candle

We did an experiment this week in chemistry. The kids mixed a solid and a liquid to form a gas. They did this and then used the gas to put out the flame of a candle. We had a 50/50 success rate so the groups that accidentally pour liquid on the candle will get to try again at a later date.


Versatiles and Surface Area

One of our math groups used Versatiles and Unifix cubes this week to calculate surface area. We built the shapes and then counted up the exposed sides. This was a little challenging for most of the students in this group.


Thursday we took a class field trip to see High School Musical performed by Sparkman High School. The actors did a wonderful job. I was really impressed. It was obvious that they had been working very hard to make this a successful show.




The students who purchased a "swag bag" were able to go on stage with the actors to dance at the end. If you look real close you might be able to see some of our students in this picture.

It was a lot of fun for me too because there were several of my former students in the play. It was great to see them!


After the play we went to Ci Ci's pizza for lunch.

When we returned one of our class pets looked different. She had her egg sack out so it looks like we'll be having cockroach babies soon!

The week ended with a Friday morning spent in the hallway under multiple tornado warnings. The students weren't happy to be in the hallway but I kept reminding them that was the safest place to be. Several tornados came close but the school wasn't in the direct path of the storm. We were able to get everyone home safely.

STUDENTS: We had a very busy week! What was your favorite part of the week? Why was it your favorite?