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Saturday, September 20, 2014

Five for why-oh-why-do-fridays-disappear-so-quickly Saturday....

Linking up for Five for Friday! (Yes, I know, it is Saturday). I am that teacher, the one that stays at the school all hours of the day and night. We got home late, I will leave it at that. Punky was asleep before we had driven 5 miles. Here are five random not-so-random things from our week!
 1. Staying true to PBL. Okay, let's be honest, I an NEW to PBL, so "staying true" might be a stretch, but I am learning and one important component is once you reflect on what to do differently, students should get the chance to put their theories to work and make changes. Well folks, I was ready to move on from the marshmallow math, but I decided to give them the chance to make the changes we discussed. To be honest, my motives were not pure. I had some students that felt like they didn't need to participate in learning time. So I needed to figure out a way to reward my hard workers. So, if students needed to work on the peanut butter project, they did that, and those who worked hard on that project got to revisit the marshmallow project.

One thing they suggested was making the marshmallows bigger on the bottom level to make it more stable.
2. A couple weeks ago, we read a book about Peanut Butter and Jelly. I mentioned it here: Students wanted to know more about peanut butter. Some even wanted to know if we could make it to market and sell. We have been working on this part of the project for what seems like an eternity now. But we are reaching the end. We have a few loose ends to wrap up, but we got to the good part: actually making the peanut butter and tasting our own peanut butter and jelly (or honey, or banana) sandwiches. 
Starting out, I know it's hard to see, but see how full the processor is here?
Now a change has started to happen, but keep watching.... 

Here is where we starting to have our mouths gaping open in wonder as the dry chunks started to change
to a creamy, smoother texture.

Making our sandwiches.

 3.  We started studying apples and poetry. What a great combination. :) We started with acrostic poems this week. One day we split into four groups and wrote acrostics that I downloaded from this unit: apple-language-pack which was a free download at So far I have LOVED what I have downloaded from them. I printed and laminated 4 acrostics: APPLE, APPLE PIE, LADDER, and BASKET. Students brainstormed their descriptives and practiced their speaking and listening skills presenting their poem to the rest of the class.

We also did apple fractions this week and tasted apples. We divided the apple first into 2 equal pieces, then divided those pieces into halves. Then divided those pieces into halves. We kept going until we had 16 equal portions of 4 different kinds of apples. Somehow I don't those pictures on my phone so we are photo-less here. Think on this for a moment: we concluded our peanut butter project (okay, not completely finished here, but we reached the culmination, the making of the peanut butter), we ate peanut butter sandwiches as a reward for all that math, figuring costs of sandwiches, we revisited our sweet treat-- the marshmallow project-- and you can't really build with them without eating a few, and we introduced apple fractions by tasting our fractions! What other logical conclusion is there than that Math is delicious?! Well, the other conclusion is this: talking about math makes me hungry! 
 4. Our next project is the Coffee House project. We chose four leaders from the upper grades and the rest of the students had to apply for a job on one of the four committees: hospitality, tech, public relations, and decor. We will be having a Coffee House to showcase our school to the community and family members on October 2nd. Whew. We have a lot to accomplish and not that much time!! My partner created applications for jobs while attending a PBL professional development this week, and K-1 had forms where they circled what their interests/strengths are, and then drew a picture of themselves performing those tasks.  2-4 completed a paper application/resume that they filled out.  And the upper grades created a resume on their computer.
Ms. Ronni helps students fill out the 2nd through 4th grade application

K-1 students working hard to draw their pictures

The interview process: Allison (in blue) is in the "hot seat" being interviewed.

Here a 1st grader tells why he would be the best choice for the job
5. Have y'all discovered JustDance on youtube? Nothing wakes up your brain faster than a little movement! We are trying to do the moves to: Just Dance 4: One Direction: What Makes You Beautiful. Not participating is not an option. Why? Because.... movement and exercise are proven to make your brain more alert. Students who take tests after 10 minutes of exercise score better. Not to mention all the added benefits: elevating your mood, being a part of our class family, and so on. 

That is a snapshot of our week.
I leave you with this: this small town has a delightful little pizza place that we love to frequent. It is called LMNO Pizza. And here is the little slice (slices actually) of heaven that I called supper last night as I stayed WAY TOO LATE at the school trying to organize my chaos.
my mouth just watered.... again. Deliciousness.

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