Sunday, October 25, 2015

Explorer Journal Excerpts

This Explorer Simulation not only teaches the kids about life as an explorer in the 1400 and 1500s. It also is the source of some terrific writing by the kids. They have been challenged in keep a journal from the perspective of their various characters. We've been building a vocabulary wall with lots of interesting and explorer-specific vocabulary. Many students have done a terrific job incorporating many of these words into their writing. Please enjoy...

"I have very big fears about this voyage. Here are some of them. One is any of kind of storm, because the boat could capsize. We could get any kind of diseases. For example, scurvy is one. Scurvy is caused by a lack of Vitamin C. If you get scurvy, your teeth will start to fall out and your joints can hurt. It sometimes means death if it gets serious. The only known antidote is fresh citrus, like oranges, lemons, and limes. The trouble is it is hard to keep fresh lemons or oranges on a boat." - Alice Bailey

"My name is David Huntman. I'm 18 years old and I'm a poor hunter. I live with my brothers Rex and Cody, my mother Martha and my dad Allen. I became interested in sailing because I lived next to a shipyard. I will miss my family." - David Huntman

"I was walking on to the boat, as my mother and papa were waving goodbye from the dock. All of a sudden, the captain called "All Aboard!" I heard the sails crack and we left. As tears poured down my face, I could smell the salty air. Suddenly, I couldn't see my parents anymore, so I sat down and hoped that I would someday see them again." - Laura Page

"Growing up, I was tutored by someone named Mrs. Rogers. Boy did I hate being tutored, learning all that stuff about how to do things that bored me to death. I guess it will help me explore. I am sailing for curiosity. I want to know what else is out there in the world. I know that has to be more and I want to be the one to discover it." - Audrey Page

Hoist the Sails & Stow the Anchor

 Check out the awesome team flags, created by the explorers...
EL Toro, sailing for Spain.
Crew: Maysun, Alex R., Micah, Elvis, and Jack

The Lions, sailing for England.
Crew: Victor, Adian, Emma, Lilly, and Alex T. 

Double Fishes, sailing for Portugal.
Crew: Caleb, Henry, Matthew, and Lucas

Valeo, sailing for France.
Crew: Holly, Anna, Emilie, Ben, and Jacob

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Chewonki Visit

A huge thank you goes out to the PTA for providing the funds to allow folks from the Chewonki Foundation to visit Skillin School again. Our class really enjoyed a presentation on Biomes of the World. They learned about adaptations that animals have to live in a variety of biomes.  The most exciting part was having visitors from the animal world...



Thursday, October 8, 2015

Sailor School

In order to prepare the sailors for their upcoming journey at sea, students attended Prince Henry's Sailing School, just as young sailors did back in the 1400s. Sailors completed courses in navigation, first aid, knot tying, and food preservation.

Team Valeo, sailing for France,
practices tying knots.

Sisters Audrey and Laura proudly show off
their knot tying prowess. 

Sailors for England's boat
The Lions use an astrolabe to
help with navigation.

Two sailors from Portugal's ship
Double Fishes spot the North Star.

Three sailors use teamwork
to build an astrolabe.

Friday, October 2, 2015

More Place Value

In an effort to continue our work on being able to explain place value patterns we worked more with seeing the value of numbers.

That worked a little bit. A few more kids were starting to be able to put the pattern into words.  But what really seemed to be the "aha" moment was to relate it to one of their favorite! 

When I got out the Monopoly money and they could see that Ben had $6, Jacob had $60, and Caleb had $600, they started to see the real significance of place value. Students could finally begin articulating clearly how changing the position of a digit in the number, significantly changes the value of the number. I pretended that we had earned this much money at a car wash. I told them that I would keep Caleb's 6 and they could have Jacob's 6. I this fair?  Suddenly, they could all VERY articulately explain the importance of place value. They were able to tell me that no way was this fair because the Caleb's 6 is worth ten times the amount of Jacob's 6. 

I have to give credit to Jack, whose fascination with money sparked the idea in the first place. Thanks Jack!

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.