Happy Halloween everyone!
In science (which is still my favorite subject to teach hands-down), we are learning about states of matter. First, we created a cute foldable with information about the three states of matter and used cheerios to represent how close the atoms are in each state of matter. I took these pictures before my kids were finished gluing all of their cheerios.
It was a fantastic, interactive way for them to understand how the atoms look in each state of matter! After we discussed the three states of matter, we made an oldie but a goodie: Oobleck! (I called it a non-newtonian fluid since I'm trying to get my students to be more scientific).
My kids had so much fun getting their hands covered in the gloopy fluid! Science is better messy! :) For a copy of my lab click the button below!
I'm sure your school (like mine) is busy getting your students prepared for 21st Century Learning. My students are learning more about technology and leadership skills this year, and I couldn't be more excited!
My kiddos also have keyboarding class once a week with our 21st Century Learning Specialist (how cool of a job is that?). In order to help retain those keyboarding skills, I came up with an awesome idea!
I sent out a letter to my parents asking if they had any old keyboards to donate to our classroom. In less than an hour, I had a parent dropping off 23 old keyboards at my classroom door! My parents are truly the best.
What are we using the old keyboards for? Why, to "type' our spelling words and practice our typing finger placement. My kids absolutely LOVE doing this for a weekly spelling activity-and it's reinforcing the skills they need to be successful typists in their future. :)
This past weekend we got to spend some time with our nephew while we watched the Cardinals win the pennant! This picture of my husband and nephew warms my heart. :)
I decided to play off of my love for science with my classroom door this year. My husband even put it on Reddit and it got about 50 upvotes! Science nerd Halloween humor for the win!
I just love coming in to my empty classroom in the mornings. It is so peaceful arriving at school before anyone else. I usually get to my school at 7:00 (I'm still used to middle school time) and that gives me about two hours before my kids arrive! I would much rather be there early than stay late!
Sorry I've been MIA as of late. Last week I celebrated a glorious (yes, glorious) Fall Break! In my past school district, we never had a Fall Break, so you can imagine the elation I felt having five spectacular days off in a row last week! I caught up on my sleep, cleaned my house, worked in my classroom with some of my favorite former middle school kiddos, and did some shopping. It was definitely a much needed break!
I wanted to share with you how my kids set goals in my classroom. I've already shared my Seven Habits bulletin board, where my students chose one habit to focus on for the next month. However, in my classroom we set goals for math, reading, and writing every quarter. We set those goals based on data from past assessments, tests, and upcoming SMART goals that we will be working towards. I wanted to create a display for our goals that would allow students to show their progress as they reached their goals each quarter.
This is what my board used to look like, but I recently moved it to my two door cabinet (I forgot to take a picture of the cabinet before break-ugh).
There are three different sections:
Starting Out- This is when we just beginning to work on our goals.
Making Progress- We have collected data to show that we are beginning to meet our goals.
Met Goal- We have collected enough evidence to show that we have met our goal!
If you look up close, each kiddo is "holding" their goals and has a magnet attached to their back to allow them to move their goal as they master it. I had the kids hold up a sheet of poster board and took their picture, then laminated the pictures and attached them to the magnets. The goals are written on regular computer paper, and I keep them after each quarter in my students' files.
Pretty cute huh? How do you set goals in your classroom?
This post is about happiness. Yep, I'm about to get all emotional and sappy on all of you! :)
I am so incredibly happy at my new building and in my new position. Words can't begin to articulate the joy I feel now when I go to work. My building radiates sunshine and smiles and glitter and encouragement and all of the other spectacular things teachers need to feel in order to be the best teacher possible for kids. It's indescribable.
My team is amazing. Not only are they experts in their craft, they are willing to share and adapt their instruction to best meet the needs of kids. They answer my every question, listen to my suggestions and ideas, and make me feel welcome and part of the fifth grade family. It's so great to be inspired by these phenomenal teachers who truly are there for kids.
I feel like I'm breathing again. I'm being challenged and working harder than I've worked in a LONG time. At the end of the day, I'm exhausted. I'm hungry. I can barely get out of my big purple teacher's chair. But...knowing that I get the opportunity to help my fantastic twenty three fifth graders make a difference in the world with the support of my school behind me makes me smile all over again. And even on the brink of report cards and parent teacher conferences, I can't help but reflect on how truly happy and lucky I feel to be at the place I am today.
Yep, I'm pretty happy. :)
Sorry I've been MIA lately. We are getting ready to have Parent Teacher Conferences soon and I've had meeting after meeting the past few weeks! I wanted to share with you a few things from my classroom last week.
I've started implementing Diane from Fifth in the Middle's NOISE letters in my classroom. Whenever my students are loud and off-task, I take a letter away. When we get to "NO," they do not earn their class puzzle piece towards their class reward. If we lose an "O" the entire class has to stay an extra minute after the bell.
My math unit right now is fractions, and I've been doing a lot of small group instruction. It has been WONDERFUL! I would love suggestions from intermediate elementary teachers who implement centers/stations and small group instruction for math!
Did I mention I moved my desk again? I think I've finally found the classroom arrangement I want! New pictures soon!
Teacher of leaders. Life-long learner. Space geek. Lover of all things color-coordinated, organized, and cutesy.