Friday, September 20, 2013

What's Happening in 153?

Hello Parents & Friends of Room 153,
We have been working hard in our classroom. We have been learning all sorts of things and learning all about each other in the process. We have created quite a nice dynamic in our room and we have our routines and schedule down. We can accomplish a whole lot in one day as we work on lots of new skills. We have had some interesting classroom visitors, welcomed a new student and a student teacher since our last post! I thought it would be fun for you to catch up on the happenings around here with some pictures of our day to day.

We LOVE our new playground and love it even more when Mrs. Mays comes out to play.

S'mores the Gerbil came to visit us.

TANK the Bearded Dragon came to visit us too! We have had lots of creatures in the classroom.

Thanks to this dad for showing us all about the Bearded Dragon.

We all got the chance to get up close and personal with TANK.

On 9/11We learned all about the September 11th attacks on our country through an online timeline web quest. It was very interesting and so neat to see the kids explore this topic for the first time. They were so intrigued.

Learning about the 9/11 events.

They were able to see video footage from some of that day. Not many historical events have video footage and this was so interesting to them.

They worked together to find out information about the events.

More 9/11 teamwork.

We wrote paragraphs about our favorite cheeseburger toppings with the 3rd and 4th graders in the Village Square. We illustrated them and they are hanging in the cafeteria.

Cheeseburger construction.

Cheeseburger Teamwork.

On 9/13 our stage was put to use for the first time!! The Lexington Children's Theater came to do a production of Anansi. It was a great show and fit perfectly with our folk tales that we had been reading in class.

On Wednesday 9/18 we had a funeral. We said goodbye to the word SAID and came up with new words that would spice up our writing! It was an activity we did with the other 5th grade class and we were not sad to see SAID go.
On 9/20 we brought in our Native American projects!
These kids did some amazing work!!

We loved learning about this longhouse.

This rattle and Hogan were awesome too!

This totem poll was a great example of a symbol of the region of the Northwest Coast.

We had jewelry, tools, and weapons too!

We also played some Native American inspired games.

 Meet Mrs. Cudd. She is our student teacher from The University of the Cumberlands. She is a great addition to our classroom and has jumped right in with our day to day instruction. She will be with us for 4 more weeks.

Mrs. Cudd and her pink twin!!

A Peek at Next Week:

Math: We will be reviewing division strategies and learning to divide numbers with two digit divisors.
Reading: We will be reviewing our tests from this week and begin working on Non Fiction Text Features and Structures.
Writing: We will continue work on narrative writing.
Social Studies: We will wrap up our Native American Unit and begin our Exploration Unit.
STEM: We will continue to work on our STEM plant projects.

9/23- Book Fair Opens!
9/24- Family Night! Lots of fun things planned- you won't want to miss this!
9/25- Mrs. Snyder's Birthday!!!
9/27- GrandDay- Grandparents and Special Friends are welcome to come enjoy lunch and the book fair with their students. There was an RSVP flyer for this. If you need more information please ask!

Thanks so much for stopping by. As always we are glad you are interested in what we are up to and we hope you come back again to see what is new. Have a GREAT weekend.

Mrs. Snyder

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Teamwork Towers

This week we worked quite a bit on learning all about each other. We are working on building our classroom community and the more we are comfortable working together the better we work. We are learning to accept each other and know what everyone brings to the team. We did a few fun games to help us learn to work together but one of those games really stuck out. The teamwork tower required everyone working together for a common goal. There could be no "hogs" (someone who does all the work) or no "logs" (someone who does nothing). Everyone played a vital role in getting the job done. It was not an easy task. It forced us to be patient with one another, listen to each others ideas, pay attention and stay focused on the task. All of these skills are needed each day when we work in small groups to complete a task.

I had no idea that this little game would open up so much conversation and allow us to really build those bonds as a team. As soon as they got started I noticed just how well they were doing and I grabbed my camera and started snapping away capturing the teamwork in action. They really were cheerleaders for one another, very kind to each other and celebrated each others successes which was amazing to watch!

First, I gave each team six red Solo cups, and a rubber band with four strings tied to it and told them they would have to build a six cup tower like the model I had without touching the cup OR the rubber band. They looked confused and I got worried. I then gave them 3 minutes to discuss a plan of action without touching the materials. They had to talk it out and decide how they would attempt this task. They huddled up and shared lots of fun (and some funny) ideas of how they would make it happen. Once the timer went off they began. The conversations were great but the work was even better. (This is when I ran to grab the camera!)

It was not easy. They had to try many strategies until they perfected their method. One group finished quicker than the rest, cheered loudly, and begged to try it again.  Eventually three of the four groups had made a tower but one group was still struggling. They refused to give up. I stopped everyone and we had a conversation about the fact that this year there are going to be things that come easy to some of us and prove challenging to some of us and we are not going to stop until everyone reaches their goals. We talked about how we were not going to make people feel bad for their differences and how we would work to make everyone know that they are part of the team and it does not matter what time you cross the " finish line" as long as you cross it. They then offered a few words of advice to the struggling team and that also opened up conversation that we learn in different ways and we will be able to learn from each other this year too. Eventually we wrapped up the conversation and the final team completed their tower. The class cheered as the top cup remained steady and all towers were complete.

It was a great team building lesson and it made me so excited to call this bunch of kids mine for the year. They did great work and made me so proud. The conversation allowed for us to learn even more about each other and I think it really helped add a little extra to the overall feeling of community in room 153!

Thanks so much for stopping by!
Come back again and see what else we are up to as we make our way through a fun filled year of 5th grade.

(**Note, this was an activity I found on Pinterest. I made it my own version, but the idea was not original.)
Mrs. Snyder

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Welcome to 5th Grade!

The year has begun! We have been in school for two days and I have LOVED learning all about this bunch of sweet kiddos! It has been a great few days of getting to know each other. Learning all about the expectations of the school and our classroom. We have been working on becoming a classroom community and creating a team. We have discussed the fact that we will be working together all day everyday to accomplish a common goal and creating a plan for to assure that we will all learn and we will all grow and we will all achieve great things. We have learned about each others strengths and weaknesses and likes and dislikes. 

My plan for this blog is to keep a scrapbook of the events that happen in the classroom, outside of the classroom and within our amazing school. We will be doing a lot of learning, a lot of collaborating and a lot of celebrating in room 153. We will share as much as we can on this blog so that you can learn, collaborate and celebrate right along with us. If you have any suggestions of what you would like to see shared on the blog, please let me know!

For now here are a few pictures to give you a peek into our last few days...

Thanks so much for stopping by!
My goal is to post at least once a week. So come back often.
Don't forget that I am looking for a few missing back to school forms from some of you and the All About Me Robot is due on Friday.

Whatever you do, be GREAT at it!!

Mrs. Snyder