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Friday, September 26, 2014

First Field Trip - Low Ropes Course & Disc Golf

We had a fantastic (and exhausting) walking field trip to the Low Ropes Course at the high school, followed by disc golf at Lime Kiln Park. 4th and 5th graders were separated into 6 groups where they participating in teambuilding activities that focused on communication, problem solving, cooperation, leadership, and positive risk taking.

While all the teachers involved were at different activities, I was able to capture some pictures at the Mohawk Walk. It was a fun challenge and it was great to hear students sharing strategies, and encouraging each other.

Following our teambuilding adventures we walked over to Lime Kiln Park for lunch and a game of Disc Golf. Mr. Huber has been playing Disc Golf with the 4th and 5th graders in physical education, so this was a fun way to put their new skills to the test!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Math Gallery Walk - Math Practice Standards

Communicating in math can be a challenging task. Not only do students have to make sense of a problem, and pull out the important information, but they also have to take their calculations and put it back into the original story/problem (Math Practice Standard #2). We have worked on this skill quite a bit during the first few weeks of school and the students are improving this skill every day.

Now once student groups solved the problem we asked them to share their thinking with their classmates. This is where being precise in our language (Math Practice Standard #6), and constructing reasonable arguments (Math Practice Standard #2) becomes important.

After groups created posters to show their thinking we took a "Math Gallery Walk"; with post-its in hand they read through the work of other groups, thinking about if the work made sense, how the group's strategies were different from their own, etc.  Students were now being asked to critique the reasoning of others (Math Practice Standard #3).  This was a lot of work, and for some students a new way to work in math!  I was so impressed by the thinking of these 5th graders, they stepped up to the challenge!

We gave students some ways to get their post-its started.....

When we were done with this activity, original groups reformed and read through the post-its. During this time they were able to adjust their thinking or explanations if necessary.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Saving Sam: Beginning of the Year Recap - Part 3

Teambuilding continues during the first few weeks of 5th grade!  

Students were given the following materials:
"Sam" = gummy worm
Life preserver = gummy life saver
boat = clear cup
additional life saving tools = paper clips

The task: get the life preserver (which was under the boat), around Sam so he doesn't drown.

This was such a fun activity where students had to work together to get the task of saving Sam completed.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Teambuilding in 5th Grade: Beginning of the Year Recap - Part 2

Working independently is important, but so in working in a team. Working collaboratively with others involve many skills and to work well in a team takes practice.  This teambuilding task had an interesting twist to it that added a layer of challenge: students weren't allowed to talk (such an important part of working with a team).

Students were given a variety of shapes with the goal of creating five squares per group.  Students needed to give some of their shapes away to accomplish this task, and without communication it was challenging. Look at some of this great thinking:

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Creating Classroom Expectations: Beginning of the Year Recap - Part 1

At the start of the school year we unveiled our "Fly Like an Eagle" - PBIS expectations:

Dr. Gunderson and Mrs. Binder joined our 5th grade classes to talk about how to "Be Responsible, Be Respectful, Be Safe, and Be Ready to Learn" in our cafeteria and hallways.

As a 5th grade we continued to discuss what "Fly Like an Eagle" looks like in our classrooms. Students brainstormed ideas in small groups and we collaboratively created posters that outlined classroom expectations.