Monday, November 17, 2014

Say It Ain't Snow!

Oh my, a snow day before Thanksgiving?!?! I hope this isn't a sign of things to come. We will hope for the best and that this year does not end up anything like last year! We have too many fun things to do and learn; nobody has time for snow days!

When we are in school, we will continue to work on computation with exponents and order of operations in math. We will soon be getting into algebra where students will be evaluating and writing algebraic expressions.

In science, we are continuing to learn about forces and motion. Students have had the chance to do some hands-on learning with our science kits. We are using roller coasters to model and explain potential and kinetic energy. We will soon be discussing Galileo, Newton and the laws of motion and how they affect our lives on Earth.

We have also started doing some social studies lessons during our enrichment period. Students are learning some map skills right now, including latitude, longitude and world geography (oceans, continents, etc.). In the coming weeks, we will begin a project on important events and people in European history. I hope to get students excited about social studies and make them aware of how important our past and history is and how exciting it can be to learn more about!

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Class Dojo

I recently signed my students up for Class Dojo. This is a very engaging, hands-on, behavior management system that gives students immediate feedback on how they are doing in class. I have also sent letters home to parents that gives them an access code to sign in and link their account with their student's account. This allows parents to see the progress of their student at anytime in real-time. It also has a messaging feature in the app that allows you to communicate with me directly. My goal for Class Dojo is to highlight all of the positive behaviors that are happening in class and immediately reward those students that are doing the right thing. The hope is then, that other students will follow their lead and try to earn positive points. I'm always looking to hand out at least four positive points for each negative point. This next week, we will be discussing as a class what appropriate rewards might be for positive points. I want this to be something meaningful for the students so it is important to come up with a reward that students are truly interested in earning. To learn more about Class Dojo, please visit the Class Dojo website.
In math, students have been introduced to negative numbers. This is a challenging concept for them. We are working on real-world problems that involve positive and negative integers such as temperature, credits and debits, and elevation. We will soon be learning about rational numbers, where they fit on the number line, and using them in real-world contexts.
In science, we have started a new unit on forces and motion. After learning about some of the basics of potential and kinetic energy and different forms of energy, students are now working in hands-on science stations. In these stations, students are able to do hands-on activities and experiments that demonstrate how these forces and motion exist in the real world.