Sunday, September 11, 2016

STEAM Friday!

Our second STEAM Friday was a success (thanks to Teachers are Terrific)!! The kids worked in groups to build bridges using only toothpicks, marshmallows and one piece of paper.  This was their second attempt building suspension bridges (last week they used straws, paper clips and 2 index cards) so they carried their successes and failures from the previous week to help this week.

The plans:

Building Time:

Cheering on the groups!
Testing the Bridges:

The winner- held over 2 pounds!

The kids love these activities and they're learning problem solving skills as well as group work skills. Here are a few reflections from the students:

Today in STEAM we designed and engineered bridges.  Our first plan when making bridges was to put the marshmallows on the side.  Then we changed our plan by putting the toothpicks with the marshmallows on the bottom.  My favorite part of the challenge was putting the bottom on.  I think STEAM is important because you get to learn and have fun. - Autumn

Today in STEAM we designed and engineered bridges.  Our first plan when making bridges was to poke holes on the tips to make it stay on the bridge holder.  Then we changed our plan by putting more toothpicks on so it can stay on the right part of the bridge holder.  My favorite part of the challenge was to test the bridge on the holder and seeing if it would work.  I think STEAM is important because you can make all sorts of things an practice until you're older, you will know how to do it without directions, it is awesome! - Kiara

I think STEAM is important because you get to have fun with groups by making things and messing up, but it's OK if you mess up because you learn and it's only for fun! - Nevaeh

The final guess the winner :)

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Back to School!

I can't believe summer has already come to an end!  It went so fast, but I have to remind myself that not everyone gets two months off so I need to be thankful for the time I did have!  :)

I am excited to start this year because we are trying a lot of new things!  My teammate and I will continue to tackle the Growth Mindset based on Carol Dweck's book, Mindset (if you haven't read it yet, I highly recommend it...find it here on Amazon!)

In addition, we will also be piloting Google Classroom so I am anxious to see what that brings to our kids.  My personal goal this year is to plan a thematic unit around culture and expanding our students' world knowledge. With a new reading curriculum on top of all this, it will be an exciting but challenging year!

Check back often to see our kids' great blog posts!

Friday, April 8, 2016

Greek Mythology Part II- Favorite People

This week we read the story of Perseus and Medusa.  While it seemed a little gory for some of the girls, the boys all loved it!  I asked the students to write about their favorite person so far and as you can see, Perseus is the favorite!

My favorite person is Perseus because he was brave and nice.  He went to get Medusa’s head and he did not turn into stone.

My favorite person is Athena because she’s a goddess of beauty and what’s cool about her is she helps Perseus complete his quest.

My favorite person is Perseus because he is brave and nice.  Something that he did that was brave was that he went to go get Medusa’s head to save his mom from Polydecetes.

My favorite person us Perseus because he solved most the problems in the story.

My favorite person is Perseus because his adventurous and brave.  He’s adventurous because he went to cut off the head of Medusa and he cut it off.

My favorite person is Perseus because he saved his mom.  He saved his mom by getting Medusa’s head.

- Josh

Pandora's Box is up next week!

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Introducing Greek Mythology!

As we near the end of another school year, I decided I wanted to branch out from our current curriculum.  I remember learning about Greek Mythology when I was in 5th grade and how I loved every second of it.  I figured if I love something this much, maybe my students will too!  I did some searching on Teachers Pay Teachers and discovered amazing units by Nicole Shelby (find her units here).  Because Greek myths can be a bit racy, she took the main myths and re-wrote them in kid friendly language.

We are a week into the unit, and my kids are in love!  They walk in every morning and ask when we are going to do more Greek mythology.  Music to my ears!! As we finished our first week, I had the students write their favorite thing they’ve learned so far or one new thing they have learned.  I hope these make you smile as much as they made me! J 

My favorite thing I learned so far is King Midas is a greedy man and powerful man.  I learned that Zeus is the boss of all the Gods and is married to Hera and his brother Hades is the God of the underworld.
- Juan

Something new I learned in from the Golden Touch is never like gold more than your family because you can get sad when something happens.
- Lupita

My favorite thing I’ve learned so far is King Midas because he had the golden touch and because he learned his lesson that family is more important than money.
- Emily

My favorite God is Zeus because he is the king of every God and the king of lightening. 
- Luis

My favorite thing that I've learned so far was sometimes there is bad luck and good luck.
- Josh T.

My favorite thing I've learned so far is King Midas got the golden touch.  One new thing I've learned is never wish a foolish wish.
- Priscilla

More to come every Friday!

Friday, March 11, 2016

Compare and Contrast Part III

Chimpanzees and Gorillas
By: Breanna and Nylah

                Do you know a difference between a Chimpanzee and Gorilla? First, Chimpanzees and Gorillas both don’t have hair on their faces.  Second, Chimpanzees have brown fur, but Gorillas have black fur. Third, Chimpanzees have flexible arms, but Gorillas arms are longer than their legs.
Have you ever wondered what Chimpanzees and Gorillas eat? First, they both eat bananas, fruit, and flowers. Next, Chimpanzees eat small mammals, apples, sprouts, and seeds. Third, Gorillas eat bamboo, berries, young twigs, tree bark, and plums.
Do you know where Chimpanzees and Gorillas live? First, they both live in Africa, Rwanda, and Uganda. Then, chimpanzees live in Rain forest, middle of Africa, Burundi, and Jungles. Last, Gorillas live in Mountains, Dense Jungles, in small groups, and Western Lowland.
FUN FACTS ABOUT CHIMPANZEES! IF Chimpanzees stand up they are 4 feet. Baby Chimpanzees stay with their mom about 8 or 9 mouths. When a mom dies another mother adopts it. Chimpanzees use tools to help them. Chimpanzees can be 6 or 7 times stronger than a human. Chimpanzees can get the same diseases as humans.
FUN FACTS ABOUT GORILLAS! There are two different kinds of Gorillas a Eastern and Western. Gorillas are the world’s largest primates. Gorillas are almost related to humans, but they are 98% different. Adult Gorillas can eat up to (30kg) of food each day. Female Gorillas only give birth three or four times.
I hope you had fun learning about Chimpanzees and Gorillas!


Follow Deer and Chinese Water Deer
By Eimy

                Can you tell a different between a Chinese water deer and Follow deer? First, both have small tails and have small legs and small horns. Second, A Follow deer have white spots or dots and have red and brown fur A Chinese water deer only have brown fur. Third, A Follow deer can be brown or black, A Chinese water deer can be white or black.

Do you know what a Chinese water deer and a Follow deer eat? First, they both eat grass. Second, A Chinese water deer eat wheat, But a Follow deer eat fruit berry. Third, A Follow deer eat leaves, and chest nuts.

                Do you know where a Chinese water deer and A Follow deer live? First, A Chinese water deer and a Follow deer both live in grassy places. Second, a Chinese water deer live by small trees, but a Follow deer live in woodland and in deer park. Third, a Chinese water deer live around river and streams, But a Follow deer live in the Isles, Europe and in North Africa.  Those are some facts about a Follow deer and a Chinese water deer.        

Chinese Water Deer

Follow Deer

Compare and Contrast Part II

Basking Shark and Great White Shark
By Brian

You will learn about what Basking shark and great white shark looks like. First, basking shark has no teeth but great white shark have sharp teeth. Next, basking shark and great white shark are both 14 feet big. Then, basking shark swallows his food whole, but great white shark chows his food.
I will tell you about what basking shark and great white shark eat. First of all, they both eat seals and krill. Also, basking shark eats small fish. Great white shark eats big fish. After that, great white sharks eats sea lions and other sharks and basking sharks eat everything.
I will tell you where basking shark and great white shark live. In the beginning, both live in the ocean. Secondly, great white sharks live in North Africa and basking shark live in Southern California. Finally, both sharks live in Australia. I hope you liked my essay on Great white shark and basking shark.
                                                                                Thank you.

Basking Shark

Great White Shark

Compare and Contrast

The last few weeks, the students have been researching two animals and writing compare and contrast essays about those animals.  We've also been discussing blogging and how when we blog, the whole world can see our work, not just their teacher and parents.  We've discussed how motivating it can be to know that so many people around the world could view our work and make comments.  The next few posts will showcase some of our best work!

Camels and Kangaroos
By Emily and Lupita

You will learn about what kangaroos and look like. To begin with camels have small ears however kangaroos have big ears. Second, in common they both are mammals. They both have brown fur.  Another reason, kangaroos have straight necks and camels have curved necks.  Camels have humps on their back.
You will learn about what kangaroos and camels eat. First of all, camels eat thorns. Furthermore, they both eat plants but camels eat salty plants. Third, kangaroos eat grass and baby kangaroos eat small bugs or plants.
You will learn about what kangaroos and camels live. First of all, kangaroos live in New Guinea, Arabia Islands, and New Zealand. Besides,  in common they both live in Australia but camels live in the Australia  desert. After that, camels live in South America. I hope you liked my nonfiction writing. 
Fun Facts
You usually see Kangaroos in zoos and animals parks. Some kangaroos live in groups name mobs. Camels they find their way in a sand storm with their eyes closed.

Monday, February 29, 2016

Projects of Room 17

It's been way too long since my last blog post, which can only mean one thing...we've been busy! The past few weeks the students in my ALD class (academic language development) have been working on research projects.  They first picked their groups, then which topic they wanted to research based on leveled texts I got from a grant last year.

First, students read the book cover to cover.  Then they used an outline to write down facts and vocabulary from the book.  Once we were finished researching, students were able to choose between two final presentation tools: Animoto or Prezi.  Animoto is an animated slideshow that plays music, there is a free trial but it does cost money each month, not much though.  Prezi is a free interactive alternative to traditional slide making programs.  In our previous projects we used PowerPoint, but I wanted to show them a variety of ways to make final presentations.

I showed the students the basics of each platform, but then I gave them the time to really dive in and explore.  By the end, they were all able to add pictures and some even videos to their presentations.  I helped with final editing and finalizing each project, but the students truly did most of the work!



The Rockies

The Grand Canyon

Niagara Falls

Animoto Videos:

Niagara Falls

The Grand Canyon

The Mississippi River