Friday, March 21, 2014

Five For Friday 3.21.14 {Best. Week. Ever!}

Happy Friday, Friends!!!  I don't know about you but for me, this week did fly by as compared to last week.  It's always so much fun when you have things going on through the week that help get your through.  With some nice weather here and there this week, that helped a lot too.  Sadly, March is still March...and the cold will be back again next week.  I'm just happy we got a small sample.  I'm linking up today with Doodle Bugs Teaching for the weekly 5 for Friday post!  I hope everyone had a great week... mine was really amazing!  Ahead of time, I'll apologize for my long post... just had so much to share!

Of course with it being St. Patrick's Day, I must share some of our special projects for the holiday.  First of all I didn't go overboard this year.  I kept things simple, and it still was a super fun day and week of work.  I got a big box of Lucky Charms, and each student started the day with some luck on their desks.  Since the box was so big, through the whole day when I saw someone making a '4th' grade choice or acting like a '4th' grader, I filled their cup back up.  It was amazing.. you could hear pins drop.  Now I can totally say, "Hmmmm I know that you can act like 4th graders, because you showed me on St. Patrick's Day!!!"

We have started rocket math to work on our multiplication fluency. I feel that this week the kids got the routine down perfectly and it is not a part of our usual math routine!!!  They're loving the challenge too, which always makes it fun! 

This is the chart we use to have students keep track of their progress on timed tests.

We're building background knowledge this week to get ready for our Pioneer Simulation to start next week.  One way we started that this year was to start on a very small scale, which at first I was a bit apprehensive about but now looking back on this week am thrilled.  As a third grade team we watched the movie 'The American Tale' with Fievel.  We focused on a few big themes to bring through to pioneers.  The themes were: People being treated poorly in their country, people moving from one country to another, or immigrating, hardships or things that happened while traveling to a new country, what people did to stay positive, how people worked together, how people were hurt or taken advantage of, and misunderstandings when arriving in a new country.  

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I've told you all before that I work very closely with our ESL teacher for writing time at the end of the day. She has been such a great help, and really has taken the lead in terms of helping to build background for students with pioneers in ways of writing.  It's great to have a different perspective on something that I've done for several years. I feel so refreshed and excited about this upcoming unit and it's all because of her! She put together two different organizers that we worked on this week that helped us use movie to build some background as to why people, like the pioneers traveled West leaving behind everything that they knew and had.  The conversations that we have had with students has been very eye opening and so valuable!  She really helped me scale down the start of this unit to make it much more useful to students. I'm excited to keep you updated, and the students are beyond excited too!

Lastly, with March Madness going on, we've had some exciting games to keep track of.  Our school does a college theme where each classroom adopts a college and does various things with that college through the year.  It's to promote college to everyone, even those is 5K and that college can be for everyone. In grade school we focus on 4 year colleges/universities, in the middle school they focus on 2 year colleges along with 4 year colleges/universities, and in high school they talk about all choices after high-school including trade schools.  It comes from the idea created by Damen Lopez called "No Excuses University." We've seen him speak several times as a district, and although we have not decided to become an actual No Excuses U, we've taken some of his spirit and ideas to do our own thing.

“College readiness is not the belief that every student will go to college. College readiness is the idea that every student deserves the opportunity to be educated in a way that prepares him or her for college if he or she chooses to attend.” (Source: No Excuses University by Damen Lopez)

I am The University of Arizona.  My room is decorated in AZ gear, students learn where AZ is, and what the college has to offer.  We talk about majors and minors, and what the college is known for. We talk about college through the school year randomly when the opportunity presents itself and I incorporate vocabulary about college into their daily school routine.  I have bulletin boards dedicated to the University, I get mailings from them to send home with the kids (brochures and course catalogs) and we have the attitude that we can go to college no matter what!  They were on TV today for the big games, and are currently ranked number 1!!!! I got permission to stream about 10 minutes of the game for them to watch and they were mesmerized!  It was so neat, and we had some really cool discussions about college sports today!  I hope I have some future Wildcats in my room! :) 

Whew! That sure was a lot!  If you're still reading: THANK YOU!  One more week until break!  Hope everyone has a great weekend!

1 comment:

  1. I want a giant size box of Lucky Charms!!! I don't think I've had Lucky Charms in at least fifteen years! What a great idea about the adoption of colleges/universities at your school. That is really neat. There would be some major arguments going on at my school. We all get pretty heated about college football and there is a very wide variety of teams that people it would be interesting to see if anyone could handle "adopting" another school. I am going to bring it up to my Admin though! Happy weekend!
    Rockin' and Lovin' Learnin'


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