Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Changes

It's been a while!!! Things have changed very much for me since my last post. 

1.  I moved to a new district. 
2.  My son now goes to the same school I do. This has been a big difference because not only is he now a "teacher's kid" but he's right down the hall from me. He has made a big transition from a private school curriculum to public school Common Core. Even learning how to get your lunch tray was a change for him. He went from being able to order chicken nuggets every day to getting what is being served in the cafeteria. 
3.  I teach only one grade and one subject... 5th grade math. Makes planning so much easier!
4.  Now instead of learning 24 names, I have learned 91. 
5.  I went from having a 5 minute commute to a 30 minute commute. I love the time I get to spend with my son on the way to and from school. Most mornings he takes a cat nap though. :)
6.  I miss my friends from my previous school and district terribly, but I already love the new school and district I'm at. 
7.  I'm teaching with a friend that I taught with 10 years ago. We were both pregnant at the same time when we taught together ten years ago, and now our boys are in the same class. This was a tremendous help in our transition!
8. I definitely appreciate all the junior high and high school teachers out there because I only have 4 class periods. By the time the last class comes to me, I think... Do I really have to teach this lesson again? Of either, Now I know how to teach this lesson more effectively. 
9.  I am a little lost without all the technology I used to have. Last year I had 1:1 iPads in my class, a SMART board, a NEO cart, 4 computers, and Nooks. Now I have a Promethean board, 4 computers, and the NEO cart I borrowed from the library. 

But all in all I can say change is a good thing. Sometimes I get too comfortable and need a change in some way to challenge me. I absolutely love the 5th grade age though. I believe it is my niche. 

I guess a name change for my blog is in order since I guess I will only be rambling about 5th grade. :) Suggestions?

Have a fabulous week!!!!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Easter egg math

I hid eggs in my classroom today that contained some math problems and a few prize eggs. The kids love homework passes and free Dojo points!! 
I let the kids pair up with a friend and set the class timer on 30 minutes. The kids went around the room finding eggs. They would work the problem on their notebook paper then place the egg back where they found it. Then move on to another egg. The first pair of students who finished first with the most correct answers earned a free 100 in math. I hid two homework passes and two +5 Dojo points in my surprise eggs. The kids love collecting Class Dojo points. The student with the most points at the end of class gets a prize from the treasure chest. If I would have given the students a worksheet with 15 math problems today... They would have not been so excited to see test prep on Easter party day, but this way they had fun, worked together, and learned from each other. 

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Grandfather Tang: Tangram activity

This week we are giving our nine weeks test. The students and I took a much needed break from test prep yesterday to read Grandfather Tang's Story written by Ann Tompert and illustrated by Robert Andrew Parker.
http://www.amazon.com/Grandfather-Tangs-Story-Dragonfly-Books/dp/0517885581
After reading the story to my fifth and sixth graders, I passed out the tangram manipulatives for them to explore with. We reviewed transformations and attributes of polygons while they were "playing with their puzzle." They tried to make a square using all seven pieces, but only one was successful. I found some wonderful activities on CREATE for Mississippi (link here) to work with my students this week. I downloaded some free apps for our iPads to let the students play. Yesterday the fifth grade each picked a character from the book, created the tangram animal with their manipulatives, traced and colored the pieces, and wrote which character changed into that animal. When they finished, we used their art work to create a quilt that would tell the story in order. The students arranged the pictures in the order they happened in the story and taped them to bulletin board paper. We hung the quilt in the hall to display for the other classes.

My sixth grade class also created the characters from the story using their tangram pieces. After testing this week, they will continue working on their project. I am going to have them create a book using the pictures and summarizing the story. They will type their summary for the character they chose and I will publish each student a copy using our binding system. My colleague and I have been discussing how much trouble the students have with summarizing. Hopefully I can help with this skill as well as their writing skills with this lesson.