Weekly Goals January 11-15

attitude

Last week was an AWESOME start to 2016! I can tell that we are on the way to making huge strides as we work through the end of the 2nd marking period.  I want to say thank you to may students and their families as they adapted so easily to our new homework format.  I had 98% completion of all flipped math lessons on Sophia.org  and 100% completion of all literature circle questions posted on Edmodo.  I found that having time in class to practice applying skills has been very beneficial.  We will continue with this format this week as well.

Makerspaces update:  All supplies have been bought and bins have been put together!

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Each box contains a challenge, puzzle, or creative activity to help students extend upon their learning and think creatively.  Students are SUPER excited to get their hands on these!  I have an even bigger surprise for them this week!  I wrote a  grant for Sphero 2.0’s and the grant was accepted by the Millville Board of Education.  These Spheros will give students the opportunity to try out coding in a real world challenge as they code the robotic balls to complete a maze.

sphero

Weekly Learning Goals:

Reading:

This week we will be reading “Seeing Stars” in class.  Our focus skill will be using graphic sources.

graphic sources

Vocabulary words are:  dim, gas, gigantic, ladle, patterns, shine, and temperature.

We will also be reading a chapter a night in our novels and responding to an open ended question on Edmodo.

Math:

We will be wrapping up topic 8 this week which was our intro into the concept of Division.  Students will have a test on Friday.

division

Science:

We will beginning our unit on systems this week.  Systems exist all around and even within us!  We will start our by exploring different ecosystems this week focusing on identifying producers, consumers.

300px-Ecosystem_matter_energy

Social Studies:

We will be looking at graphic sources in Social Studies as well as Language arts this week.  In addition, we will be wrapping up chapter 2 reviewing types and purposes for communities.

New Year, New Goals!

goals

Happy New Year!  I hope everyone had an amazing time with family and friends over break.  I must say that I really enjoyed the time off that allowed me to slow down and focus on recharging my creative juices.  I love the start of a new year to take a look at goals I have set for myself evaluate the progress made and set goals for new challenges.  Last year I vowed to run a 5K.  I ran 3 of them!  This year my goal is to connect more with other educators to ensure that I am presenting the best opportunities available for my students.   Over break I spent many hours researching a few new ideas that will help re-energize our learning environment.  Starting this week we will be reworking our concept of homework.

edmodo

For language arts, students will be reading pages in a novel at their level.  They will also have a question to respond to on Edmodo each night.  Edmodo is an online educational tool that will help us to have discussions about school work from our homes.  I like to equate it to Facebook only the focus is on education not selfies!  There are rules to using this format, which we will go over in class on Monday. An appropriate use contract will be sent home as well for both parents and students to sign.  If you do not have internet access at home, don’t panic!  All sites that we will be using can be accessed through cell phones as well.  If that is still an issue, I will provide a paper copy of the night’s question for students if necessary.  They will be able to record their answer on paper and then transfer onto the computer in the morning in class.  Since the novel that your child will be reading is based on his or her current reading level, the assigned reading should take no more than 15-20 minutes each night.

Sophia

 

We will also be using an online component for math starting this week.  For math, students will access the website Sophia.org.  They will watch a short tutorial about the math concepts we will be covering the next day.  This is called Flipped Instruction.  In Flipped instruction lessons, the viewing the lesson becomes the homework and applying the skills becomes the classwork.  A typical lesson will include a short 5 minute or less video or presentation that students will view followed by a 3-5 question “quiz” that they will complete.  Based on the results of the “quiz” I will group students in class the next day to accommodate their individual needs.  Students who grasp the concept will have the opportunity to apply it in a variety of ways including paper and pencil, computer based activities, and extension activities. Students who seem to be close to grasping the concept will talk through what is confusing them with me then move on to the application activities.  Students who are truly confused about the concept will still get a traditional lesson with me to ensure they understand.  Since I need to group kids by their comprehension of the skills it is very important that they receive NO HELP on the “quiz”.  Everyone will receive a 100 for homework regardless of the “quiz” results just for viewing the lesson and trying the questions.  Please note that I am able to see how long each student spent on each lesson, so skipping the video and jumping to the questions will be noted.  Again if internet access is an issue, students may complete this during homeroom/morning work time as well.

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Finally the last major change I am going to be implementing this month is the addition of Makerspaces to our classroom.  I am SO EXCITED about this!  What are makerspaces?  They are bins full of challenges, puzzles, supplies, and opportunities for students to create, invent, discover, and tinker.  So much of what we do in class requires everyone to come to the same result.  They may approach it differently, but the end result is the same.  Makerspaces allow for students to tackle a problem or challenge their own way and create their own unique solution.  This will teach students to problem solve in a no risk environment.  They will be required to complete a makerspace form to demonstrate what they have learned, but the end result is all theirs.  Some students are going to love this!  Full creativity!  Woo hoo!  Others may hate it- they, like many adults, want to know how it should look in the end.  This concept teaches all students that failure is a completely ok end result as long as they learned something along the way.  I have a TON of materials ordered for this so as soon as they come in be ready for an amazing update!!!!!