Friday, September 9, 2016

#Iwishmyteacherknew and Questions I can Ask

The agenda book was more formerly introduced yesterday morning, which will be a powerful tool for students to keep their at home assignments organized. I sign it before the book is placed in the student’s mailbox so we know it matches the agenda book on the board. I color code the assignments so if your child is color blind kindly let me know, as they all told me they could see color. If the date is written in orange, any assignment due the following school day is also written in orange. However if assignments are due on different days then each one will have its own color and due date. If you are ever in the room check it out! Students are getting to know our morning routine, which involves writing in the agenda book, ordering lunch, and handwriting. On Friday’s students complete a Going for Goals sheet which will give you insight into their week at school. If they are done with all classwork for the week they transition to pentominoes, which is a logic puzzle using various shapes to make a perfect rectangle.

Students participated in an activity called “I wish my teacher knew.” This is a great way for me to truly understand the individual children in our classroom. I work very hard to reach the individuals in our room! Students shared they were athletes, readers, and writers. Several have interest in social studies. Some have fears of taking risks and being wrong. Others wish the world was a fair place. The idea for this activity was inspired by a story that made national news. Check it out here:

You will hear me talking a lot about growth of the student. I did a lot of reading last summer on growth mindset and teaching kids grit in order to succeed in this world. Though this is something I have always done I wanted to share some information with you. One is an argument for mindset and the other a counter argument; however I find I am more in the middle of the two! The third is about grit.

Students also learned about our question wall. This is a place for them to write down their questions that they might not be ready to ask in front of the class. I had read this article about a teacher who completed a math unit and asked the kids if they were ready for the assessment. They students responded with an enthusiastic yes but did not do well upon taking the assessment. She handed them all a piece of paper and asked them to write down the questions they never asked during the unit and the questions she received were fascinating! I hope to encourage students to take risks and feel comfortable asking anything, even if it means writing on a piece of paper.

Lastly, Catlin Tucker (one of our keynote speakers at the MassCUE Fall conference)  tweeted a great resource for parents.

There are fantastic questions to ask your child beyond how was your day. I hope you find these resources helpful.

Today we talked about the 5 Finger rule when choose just right books, Multiplication Madness, and our math drills today too!

During our PBIS lesson we discussed appropriate behavior in the hallway. Student did some improve exercises to model various hallway behaviors that could occur and how to react to them. Students also discovered they have a detective log which will be used to reflect and write in throughout the year.  It will be used in conjunction with my state teacher and student learning goal on mindfulness. Today’s exercise asked students to think about things that distract them and to reflect on that. We also celebrated Stella’s birthday!

We kicked off our Peter Reynold’s author study during read aloud! His books have fabulous life lessons that inspire people to think and follow their own path. He encourages creativity and imagination in his stories.

I taught the agents how to play pico, fermi, bagels during our mini math lesson today. We have been spending time getting to know each other through play, which will come up again when we delve into our Red Rubber Ball project. Here is how to play the game in case you want to play at home:

Monday we will have our first math lesson on place value. Research says that place value may be a difficult concept for fifth grade students when it involved place value notations beyond tens. A status study of children found that one third of fifth graders had difficulty with the place value concept involving relatively small numbers such as 25. In this lesson, as students use a chart to represent place value, they develop a foundation for understanding place value and representing large numbers. We discussed math vocabulary such as digits, value, standard form, expanded form, and word form. Students have a math assignment Monday evening based on the lesson that will be due Tuesday.

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