Friday, September 12, 2014

Week of 9/8 - 9/12

5M Highlights:

  • I am so enjoying getting to know your students. This week I learned that many are artistic, several are interested in Greek Mythology, one loves to tell knock-knock jokes, three to want to be veterinarians, and so much more!
  • The group is coming together as a team quite well. This week we began working on our Classroom Constitution Projects. One group of students is working on writing a constitution that can govern us. Another group is in the process of building a class mascot for us out of clay. A third group is designing a welcome poster for the classroom door. Additionally a group is creating a class flag that will symbolize our unique groups. Lastly, one group is working on a secret class handshake/chant so that we can always recognize our own. These teambuilding activities help the students to feel connected as one large team. Please visit our classroom website in the next few weeks for pictures of the finished Constitution Projects.
  • Have you ever heard of the elusive Pandicorn – half unicorn/half panda? Well, this is what the kids have voted will be our class mascot this year. We spent some time thinking and talking about the qualities of the magical pandicorn that we would want to emulate. Here is what we came up with so far…careful, playful, magical, and strong.
  • Ask your student to tell you about our first read aloud book, Loser by Jerry Spinelli. The kids are loving this book and beg daily for “one more chapter, please!” The book is full of opportunities to discuss how we are all different and how important it is to appreciate these differences.
  • We have begun Math Workshop this week by practicing how the workshop model works. We start each workshop with Shared Math. This is a chance for kids to share ideas and talk about math strategies. This is followed by a lesson from the teacher. The last component is lab time, where students are working on a variety of things, including practice, games/activities, and projects. At times they will work independently and at times in small groups. So far the kids are excited about the opportunity to have some choice in their learning.
  • In addition to Math Workshop, we have also practiced Language Arts Workshop. It is similarly organized in that we do some shared reading, have a lesson, and then have lab time. This week our goals have been to do a few reading assessments, including a Book Report and a Developmental Reading Assessment. These two assessments are designed to let me know what they kids already know and can do. In addition, we have been working on building a writing community. This entails beginning to collect ideas for writing, meeting writing partners, and building the trust it takes to be a community of writers.
  • Can you believe all that we have packed into a week?! Please visit our classroom website to see pictures from the week. 

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About Me

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I live in Cape Elizabeth with my husband, two daughters, and our cat Nessie. Our family loves to spend time outdoors together, camping, hiking, and gardening. Another past time of mine is triathlons. I have completed nine triathlons, including one Half Ironman. I loved swimming, biking, and running 70.3 miles! You might also find me cozied up with a good book in my free time. I have been teaching for 10 years in a variety of grade levels. Fifth grade is my favorite! The kids are capable of so much! I can't say I have a favorite subject to teach, but love getting students to think deeply. I enjoy getting kids to think critically and be creative in all subject areas. I often use simulations and project based learning to do this. Teambuilding and working on social skills in another major goal of mine. Teaching kids to work effectively together and use good communication skills will help prepare them for life after school.