Monday, January 16, 2017

Rocky Run

It is hard to believe that it is already the middle of January! Like most of you, when we returned from Holiday Vacation, I had my students color in a cute foldable with the numbers 2 0 1 7 on the outside flaps. They were supposed to write 2 things they were most looking forward to this year, 0 - something they wanted to stop or do 0 times this year, 1 person they would like to become friends with this year and 7 books they wanted to read. It was a cute assignment and time filler when we first got back. However, that is exactly how my students looked at it; a cute fluff assignment, not really something to put much thought into. I was frustrated with them for not taking it serious and with myself for even giving them the assignment. I wanted to incorporate goal planning into our daily schedule. So I came up with The Rocky Run! 

Rocky Run?? What is that? Well I am sure you have all seen at least once in your life Rocky Balboa run up the stairs in Philadelphia... It is on that same idea... The students chose an academic goal and we created goal sheets. If they complete their goal by the end of January, they will be able to do our version of the Rocky Run and run a lap around the school and up the stairs while the Rocky theme is playing to thunderous applause! 

I first showed the students his early attempts at training and getting up the stairs with much difficulty. They did not like the raw egg scene, and I would have to agree with them. 

Then I showed them after hard work and dedication he was able to make it up the stairs! They were hooked and all in! 

Let the training begin! 


Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Cooperative Groups

Do you use cooperative groups? This is my first year using them and I love them! They have made a positive impact on our classroom culture and achievement. My class is 75% ELL, by using Kagan all of my students are engaged in the lesson. They are exposed to language in a natural way and their confidence grows.

Here is a wonderful explanation on how to implement cooperative learning from The Behavior Advisor.

What kind of classroom do you have? Do you use cooperative learning? Share your success!


Monday, December 7, 2015

Pilgrims of today

Thanksgiving has come and gone but this year I have left my bulletin board up a little bit longer than I normally do. I have a very diverse class and when I gave them the task of creating themselves as Pilgrims..... they did!

My class really is a perfect example of Pilgrims of today! Many of my students have recently moved here from another country or have family members that live in another part of the world. Each student was given  a person cut out and construction paper to create their "Pilgrim"

I love how they incorporated their culture into their Pilgrim.

I hope your Thanksgiving was filled with family and love and you took a moment to remember that not all Pilgrims came over on the Mayflower.... :-)


Monday, January 26, 2015

Explain Everything

If you have never tried the Ipad app, I highly recommend it! Here is a brief video overview to show how this app works.

My class recently completed a project trapping a gingerbread man. The students created traps and they then used Explain Everything to explain how their traps worked. The app was very user friendly and the students were able to navigate and create their very own videos.

I can't wait to try this app in science for our Rock and Water Cycle!

What apps have you tried and loved??

Sunday, January 4, 2015

We Trapped Him!

We had so much fun designing, building, and writing about our Gingerbread Man Traps! The students were so engaged and couldn't wait to work on them. Not a bad way to spend the last week before vacation!

Here is a look at some of our Writing!

We trapped that treat!

Check out the entire project! Gingerbread STEM

Happy New Year!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Gingerbread Madness

We have begun to build our traps! My kids are so excited and have been fully immersed into capturing the cookie! We collected any and all recycling materials that the students brought in to build with. I did pre-warn the students that we were going to create a stock pile of materials for all of the students to use and that they may not get their particular "recyclables" back !

Here is a look at our stock pile!

I was so impressed with my kids when we started to create- there was no fighting! They were helping each other out - and just having fun!  As a teacher, it was a great moment!

We are on step 4 of The Engineering Design Process!

Gingerbread Man STEM Activity   Check out the entire project here!

Happy Holidays


Sunday, December 7, 2014

Trap that Treat!

It is that time of year again.... Time when my classroom gets taken over by the Gingerbread Man and we have to design a contraption to trap him! I love this unit... the students are so engaged, and during this time of year that says an awful lot!!

Each student colors and decorates a gingerbread man that they have to design a working trap to catch him. I let them work in pairs or small groups. We discuss the Engineering Design Process and walk the kids through it. Then let them loose and see what they can come up with!

                         *Ask    *Brainstorm     *Plan     *Build/create     *Improve

This year we are doing a few things differently...

I put together a fun resource packet for the students to use while doing this project and we added a How To writing piece with a craftivity to display on our bulletin board. 

I am very excited about our How To writing piece that we added this year! I can't wait to see the finished product and how adorable they are going to look hanging up on the bulletin board!

I will keep you up to date on our progress, until then... Happy trapping!