Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Week Eight - Oct 22-26, 2012

This week was interesting....

We did a really neat lesson with cheese balls.  I bought three HUGE containers of cheese balls (one for each class), and we split the cheese balls up between the students.  They then had to count their cheese balls and identify wether or not their amount was prime or composite.  If they got it right they got to eat 6.  If they got it wrong, they ate none.  And we continued doing this over and over with different rules and trading plates of cheese balls and things until all the cheese balls were gone.  The kids had a blast and it was a neat way to teach math!

This week we also played a review game with buzzers.  I got this new set of four buzzers where each buzzer makes a different noise.  So we played a review game where I split the class into four groups and asked them review questions over Prime/Composite and Patterning.  Groups buzzed in when they had the right answer or buzzed in to steal from a group with the wrong answer.  I think the kids may have had the most fun they did all year.  They were REALLY getting into it.  They LOVED hitting the buzzers.  The next morning I opened my classroom at 7:30 (we normally open our rooms at 8:10) for any kids who wanted to come play the game again, and 24 of 76 students showed up!  That to me proves it was awesome.

We took our CBA on Thursday and the kids didn't do as great as I would have liked, but I did see the problem.  I'm not requiring them to show ALL their work, and that is hurting them.  So I will def be adjusting that.

Friday we had a Track Meet, so we didn't do anything "math" haha.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Week Seven - Oct 15 - 19, 2012

This week was awesome!!  On Monday we completed the prime/composite project we had begun from the week before.

Then I had forgotten that I had to be out of town for two different trainings on Wednesday and Thursday, so I left a pre-recorded lesson with my sub, so it was like I wasn't even absent!  The kids worked in groups on different activities over the video.

BUT, my FAVORITE part, was that during breaks from my trainings I was attending I was able to Skype in to my classroom and check on them, answer any questions, and ask my own review questions over that days lesson.  It was soooo cool to interact with my kids even though I wasn't there in class with them.  And it also made me feel much better about missing school because it was like I wasn't even missing!

I also was able to convince a few educators I was with to Skype in to my class during that day too and ask my kids some "challenge" questions.  That was fun for them to get to see some of the people I was with, but to also meet some new teachers.

This year, having a Flipped Class model, as really allowed me to interact with and instruct my students in a whole new and exciting way.  My students are engaged, learning, and having fun!  What more could I honestly ask for?  It is a little extra work sometimes?  SURE, but in the end the rewards are totally worth it!  I am challenging my students more than I ever have, and it's taking time, but slowly and surely they are beginning to rise to my challenges!!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Week Six - Oct 8 - 12, 2012

I've officially made it through Six Weeks of Flipping!  Woo Hoo!


Today we took our state's MSTAR test to test algebra readiness.  We'll take it again in May, but we took the test and I had all the students input their answers into their project share accounts.


Today we practiced patterning.  I showed patterns and then the kids worked in groups to create and share patterns with other groups to figure out.  After we did that we went to the computer lab and worked on ScootPad for about 30 minutes.


Kids came back ready to learn something new!  I made a mistake though, since YouTube is blocked at our school again :(, I wasn't able to upload my new video from school, and forgot when I got home.  So, I had a few students who didn't watch their video because those students normally access them on YouTube.  So I see that as my fault, so I didn't "punish" them for not coming to class prepared.

We're learning about Prime/Composite numbers, so I did wanted the kids to work with Arrays and use arrays to help them determine whether a number was prime or composite.  I let them use building blocks and let them actually build all the arrays they could for six different numbers and then determine if those numbers were prime or composite.  The kids had a great time, mainly because I was letting them play with blocks, haha.


These two days we started a new "project".  I got this idea from my principal who used to teach 5th grade math!  The kids love it.  I don't give any directions for this group project.  All of their directions are written out step-by-step on a piece of paper and all I do is hand that paper to each group, and have them begin.

I've learned that fifth graders are used to having a teacher do all the thinking for them, so this project really forces them to think on their own and follow a set of directions, because I also only allow each group THREE questions to ask me.  So they really have to decide if their question is important enough to use up one of their three....and yes, asking to use the restroom DOES count as a question.

What the students have to do is take a giant sheet of chart paper (that I got from the work room) and split it into 20 equal sections.  Then they have to create all the arrays for the numbers one through twenty and label each array and label whether that number is prime or composite.  It is a huge project that takes three days, but the kids really enjoy it!  We're finishing it up on Monday.

The other amazing thing this week that my homeroom got to do was Skype!  We were able to skype with @DeliaBush and @johnfritzky classes in Michigan and New Jersey.  That was the coolest experience for my kids to meet kids from another state and talk to them and ask questions.  We have since created an Edmodo group that all our students are joining so they can communicate in that setting as well.  We are also doing a Blog between the classes to talk about what we're doing in class and have the kids leave comments on the blogs.  It is a very exciting time and my kids can't stop talking about it!

You can check out @JohnFritzky's view of our skyping adventure here..

You can check out @DeliaBush's view of our skyping adventure here..

Were it not for Flipped Class and Twitter, I would never have been able to do some of the amazing things that we did this week!!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Week Five - October 1-5, 2012

This week was a little frustrating...

So I got this idea from another teacher in my district to have the students work in groups to create their own board games.  They would write about 20 questions per group for their games.  But me, being the technology minded person I am, had another idea!  I figured I'd have them create their own Jeopardy game using this online template I found (  Students worked all class creating problems to fit into the five categories I gave them (Place Value, Decimals (add/subtract), Rounding, Multiplication  Division).  I also gave them examples of what I wanted their word problems to look like from each category.

The writing of problems was taking longer than I expected, so I decided instead of having each group create a Jeopardy Game, I would instead have each CLASS create a jeopardy game together from the questions they've been writing.  A best-of-the-best questions game.  So I picked the top questions and had each group get on a different computer and type in their questions into the Jeopardy Template.

WELL, what I didn't realize (until the end of that day) was that when one group would hit save for their questions, it would overwrite what the other groups were doing on the other computers.  So at the end of the day, we had some jacked up Jeopardy games.

I was so frustrated by my mistake, that I created a Jeopardy game and each class played my jeopardy game during their class (in teams) to review for our CBA.  It went well.  Instead of having them show their work on paper I gave them dry-erase markers and let them do the work on their tables!  It was way more fun to them instead of paper work.

Today we took the CBA over Multiplication/Division.  It did not go as well I had hoped, and I have my work cut out for me next week!!

School Holiday!