We started our first Great Artist project of the year. Edgar Degas was the first artist we studied and after a few days students created their own versions of "Green Dancers". We also spread colored chalk all over the desks so cleanup took a while. I'm impressed with their efforts.
The class has worked really hard these first few weeks of the year. So, it was time to celebrate Friday with DONUTS. It was a fun way to start the day. The sugar rush also helped us learn some new math skills.
We went outside to study waves. Small groups were given ropes, a ruler and some basic instructions. They spread out and studied different sizes waves while enjoying some beautiful weather.
I recently shared Flip.com with my students. They created videos of themselves sharing important details about their interests and hobbies all in a private grid where students can watch and comment on videos created by their classmates. This tool will be used throughout the year to practice presentation skills.
We had fun that past friday creating customized Funko Pops of ourselves. My class is very creative and really enjoyed this task.
It was time to build again. We did this activity twice. Groups of four were given a stack of newspaper and a roll of tape. With 10 minutes on the clock they had to design the tallest structure but with an important rule. It must be able to stand for at least three minutes. This activity was used to start exploring earthquakes and building design.
Time for Mystery Science! We studied different types of lava using flour and water. It was hands-on and gave us a chance to understand the difference between cone and shield volcanoes.
Students were given a handful of wooden toothpicks and a cup of mini marshmallows and a mission - Build the tallest structure your can. We are studying earthquakes in science so this was an exciting way to test out some designs and get to know my scholars.
One of the strategies I use to help students learn is using a variety of activities that appeal to various learning styles. I also give frequent breaks and embed engaging and enjoyable "choices" as rewards for completing required work. Sometimes we do art together but other times I allow students to go to ArtforKidsHub.com and choose their own art tutorial. These kid-friendly videos walk them through the drawing progress. They love it!
Having fun is an important part of learning in my classroom. Playdoh was given out on the first day of school and is probably the most requested activity. My students love creating with it though sometimes it ends up on the floor. Back to School should mean Back to Fun!
Today we started our unit on fractions. With PlayDoh, plates and plastic knives on our desks, we are building conceptual understanding by comparing medium and large "pizza" slices. It will take time to understand what a fradtion really is but some students learn this easier because they are visual. It's a nice change from the division algorithm.
We hit a self-inflicted roadblock. Some PlayDoh was old and dry. I should have checked first. We'll hit the concept again tomorrow but with better PlayDoh.
It took many days of sitting and recording to take a deep dive into every student's reading, writing and math progress. I used Screencastomatic and my assessments files to give parents a comprehensive picture of strengths and weaknesses. The feedback was very encouraging but I need a nap. Check out the sample video below.
Mr. Rubio is so dedicated to supporting students. He put together a dessert celebration for all students who had earned at last 10 Soaring tickets. Students earn these tickets each week by completing all their homework, serving others, doing something extraordinary or just remembering to use the bathroom at recess or lunch. I wasn't here but the word on the street was this - It was sweet!