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Friday, August 29, 2014

Five for Friday, August 29, 2014

What?! It's Friday? And it's almost over and I haven't gotten to write my Five things from my week yet. To be honest, just about every day this week was eventful and worthy of it's own blog. But I know I won't be able to blog daily. I plan to get a little better/more frequent, but by that I mean.... twice a week instead of one time a week. So... brilliance and great ideas will have to happen less frequently than they are currently.... what?! Wait a minute! I was just kidding. Bring on the brilliance. And I have to pause and brag a little... this is a GREAT class of kids. Brilliance galore. *sigh* love it.

Okay.... Five "random" things from my day or my week. From school or from home. Those are the rules.

1. We read some great books this week. They were not grade level for every grade. That is true. But I felt really good about the learning that happened on ALL grade levels. Have you read this book? I love Louise Mathews. The other book of hers that I am a fan of is a book about fractions called Gator Pie. This week we read Bunches and Bunches of Bunnies. It is a book about multiplication.  It also includes counting, grouping, doubles, addition..... So many concepts that are so important! Oh.... since we were talking about doubles and grouping anyway, we added skip counting by 2's, 5's and 10's as well. I love it when learning works out like this!

2. What is MMS? Mental Math Strategies. That is what we are calling these strategies we are putting into place to use over and over again as we continue to learn. Of course, we all know this. I think that students like it when they know the why. Why are they learning this? Because it will help them become better at math for a long, long time. And they love answering me when I ask them, "What is MMS?"

These girls are practicing counting with a number line. They rolled the dice, and hopped up the number line and then did it again and made sure to count up from where they started.  Counting up from a given number, that is a Kindergarten skill. Learning to use a number line.... priceless. lol. There are many levels to this! Using a number line is a skill that is listed in the standards as a 2nd grade standard. The better acquainted I get with the standards at all the grade levels that I teach, the less scary this whole multi-age thing is.

3. We also read this book: Peanut Butter and Jelly: a Play Rhyme. We had SO MUCH FUN with this book. I asked the students questions about the book. And it came around to this: "Can people make homemade peanut butter?" Then it came around to "Can WE make peanut butter?" "How do we make peanut butter?" And many other questions.... about homemade vs. store bought peanut butter, about selling our peanut butter, which brought up other questions, like.... how do you make peanut butter stable for the life it lives on the shelf (shelf life). Guess what we are doing this week?
Yep. We are researching peanut butter, we are learning how to make peanut butter, we are learning what is healthy and what is not. I see so much potential. I got so excited when the students were talking about it I could hardly teach. Whoot! Now THAT'S what this Project based learning thing is all about!! We are just beginning.
Here are our notes. 
Then we thought of more..... what about shelf life? Will we need preservatives?

4. We just had to get our "HAPPY" on! Our internet capabilities were hit and miss for part of the week, which makes it hard to play wiggle songs and hard to research and hard to practice math skills on the computer. But somehow, for some reason, I could access my playlist on youtube. So we danced to "Happy" by Pharrell Williams to get our wiggles out. You can tell the girls are really getting into it!

5. There's so much more to talk about this week! From the upcoming marshmallow project, thought up by one of my awesome students, to the story about Dragons we wrote as a class, there is so much more to tell. BUT.... I leave you with these pictures of my daughter, the college student.
 We are putting together her desk in her dorm room and laughing and joking about how we don't need anyone to help us, we are strong women!

And here she is smiling at me when we went to pick her up today so she can spend the weekend with us this Labor Day weekend.

I can't wait to see what happens next week! I promised myself I would NOT do anything school related until Monday, but I have had stop myself from writing plans about this peanut butter project more than once. I love it that I love my job. I love it that I can't wait to see my students, that I love to develop plans and let the students carry them out in their own unique ways.

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