Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Writing Myths: Resources and Videos

For our new unit, Where We Are in Place and Time, grade 5 is exploring how people learn about the past. We have already put the puzzle pieces together for what makes a civilization and are exploring how places change over time.

Central Idea: Historical evidence helps us connect today's way of life with the past. 

Lines of Inquiry:

  • Processes involved in collecting, analyzing and validating evidence
  • How people build upon previous understanding
  • Ways in which our understanding of the past has evolved over time, and shapes the future. 

We are also looking into mythology and writing our own myths. To help us get some instruction on how to write myths we watched these two videos.

How To Write Myths
What Is A Myth?

After watching the videos, we began our pre-writing task. In table groups, the students wrote ideas about what we could write about to explain the natural world. Some of my favorites were "Why do snails have shells?" and "Why do hounds have long ears?" Next, we brainstormed words associated with the topic to go in a word box and then plotted out several story possibilities. Our next step this week will be to learn about different Gods and Goddesses so that we can build them into our myths.

I will let you know how they progress, but until then, here are some other websites that might be useful.

Characteristics of Myths
Creating Your Own Myth
Scholastic Writing With Writers: Jane Yolen
Greek and Roman Gods and Goddesses
Scholastic- Myths, Fairy Tales and Folktales
Write Your Own Myth
Myth Story Examples

Also, the Mythic Warriors series shows are great for learning about the Gods and Goddesses. Youtube has a ton to watch.

Vocabulary Parade Photos

It is Sunday and therefore I have had some time to catch-up on my To-Do List, including downloading some photos from a while ago. Here are some shots of the kids dressed up in their vocabulary costumes. They chose really great words and it was a total blast. I even shared with them that it might have been the most exciting event I have ever participated in as a teacher, but then again, I am really into words!


Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Fractions Math Test on Friday!

Hi students! Hope you are getting ready for your math test on Friday. I know this was the first test I actually wanted you to "study" for. It is important that you take responsibility for your learning more and more the older you get and studying is one way to do this. I know we have IXL and you have your daily homework, but I wanted to share with you some videos that also might help you with some concepts covered on the test. Enjoy!

The Big 7 Division Strategy

Finding Equivalent Fractions

Improper Fractions to Mixed Numbers

Improper Fractions To Mixed Numbers Song

Mixed Numbers to Improper Fractions

Adding Fractions With Unlike Denominators

Converting Between Fractions and Decimals

Percent Circle Graphs

Circle Graphs


Friday, January 30, 2015

Show, Don't Tell

This past week we have been working on Show, Don't Tell in writing. It is a part of the Common Core State Standard W.5.3 and we have been looking at how to elaborate our writing. We examined this concept in connection to our reading concept of inference and how we use our schema and what is in the writing to put the pieces together to determine what the author is trying to tell us. I emphasized that an author has to assume that their reader is smart and instead of just telling them what is happening, they need to leave little story clues.

We took some basic tell sentences like "It was cold" and changed them to make them show sentences like "The chilled air was a frigid -8 degrees Celsius as I stepped out of the car and my feet crunched on the hard, crunchy earth." First we made a word box to brainstorm some words that related to the sentence and then we wrote some sentences to show the concept.
Pencil, Pointed, Pen, Write, Pointy
Here are two student paragraphs to Show, Don't Tell. 


My friend is a joker
that makes me laugh till
crying and feel like I can’t breathe. Also when
I look at him he looks
like a legendary comedian
and like a flying banana
that will keep flying, flying
and flying to heaven. He will always have a joke
whenever I go to school and whenever
he goes to school. I also think he gets paid for making jokes.


She is kind and caring all day long. She cheers when she knows that we are going to lose. Every day I get a present from her. She is helpful and very happy too. We smile play and draw. She is a perfect friend.


Religion Presentations

Our PYP unit on How We Express Ourselves just ended this week and students have developed a great understanding of world religions. Each student got to choose their group and how they wanted to show their learning. Our students worked really hard to show their knowledge of two different religions and to compare and contrast them. Here are some photos of the projects they created. The projects were incredibly varied and included skits, brochures, gameshows, technology presentations, picture books and board games.


Friday, January 16, 2015

Vocabulary Parade Planning

Students have a big task this weekend... they have to choose their Vocabulary Parade words so we can start planning our costumes. Two students have already chosen their words and I am excited to see what they come up with. For some help choosing, I wanted to provide some resources to help make the choice easier.

You can use the classroom word wall...

or other internet resources!

Pinterest Ideas
New York Times Word of the Day
Word Dynamo


Sunday, January 11, 2015

Sunday Scoop

Today is the last day of vacation and while I planned on going in to work... I slept in and am working from home. The candles are lit, the sweet potatoes are in the oven and the snow is falling outside as I look through the window. I think I made the right decision.

I am excited to get back into the swing of things and see my kids. It has been a good three week stay-cation but I am ready to go back. Here is what I have on the agenda for the week.


Friday, January 9, 2015

Religion Spelling Fun

Why I never break out the clay for 5th graders is a mystery, but on the second to last week of school before the holiday I broke out the clay for spelling practice. It was an option for practicing their words, but most everyone chose it. The kids had fun and it was a nice change of pace. My students asked me to post the photos so enjoy!


Friday, January 2, 2015

Get Ready for School in 2015!

Happy New Year kids!!! Let's see what we can do with this when we get back to school. Miss you!