Students come in to see what is projected on the screen. It’s always an image. I ask them to come up with 3 details they notice, 2 questions, and draw a conclusion about what they think is going on. They usually do this in their spiral notebooks. About once every 15 days, I will have them type this into a Google form so that I can assess their sentence construction. I have now added a grammar component in as well. Students share sentences with each other, and I walk around to provide feedback.
Most of the time, I deliver direct instruction and have students explore math content on whiteboards. Sometimes, students will work with McGraw Hill’s online component for our program, My Math.
On this day, I had students construct a number line in Google Draw so they would understand the concept of rounding a decimal to the nearest whole number. After the number line construction, students worked a few problems in their math book, whole class. I’ll come back to this concept on another day.
Math continues with differentiation
I pull a small group to the carpet who still need help with place value and decimals, while the rest of the class works on Front Row assignments and then Prodigy. Front Row is a subscription we pay for where I can assign students individualized content. Prodigy is a free program where I can also assign students content. I can check in on reports of their progress and monitor how much time they are spending on each domain.
Wonder Report Research
Students have time to work on a topic of their choice. They need to come up with a question that is more than just Googleable, pull from 2-3 sources (for now), take notes, write either an informational, narrative, or opinion paper (their choice) using their source information, and present it to the class. Some students are currently researching the mystique of the Illuminati, how many emotions we go through in a day, why humans exist, and why people are so interested in sports. This is all done on Chromebooks.
Wonder Report Presentation
When they are ready to present, I pull up their work on my computer and project it. (Students do all of their work in a 5th grade folder that they share with me so I can access all of their projects at any time.) They present their information while the rest of the class is responsible for recording on a sticky three things they learned from each report for a Speaking and Listening grade. There is no due date, and when they complete one presentation, they start researching their next Wonder.
About 7 students typically head out to the ramp to have a snack break. The others use these 10 minutes to play each other in Prodigy, code on Scratch, or play Little Alchemy.
We circle up for Morning Meeting every day so that students can engage in the rituals of greeting each other, sharing an idea with the class, participating in an activity, and reading a morning message. When I recently asked students for feedback on our first trimester, 27/28 of them ranked Morning Meeting highly. No tech involved.
Right now we are participating in The Global Read Aloud and are reading Pax, by Sarah Pennypacker. When I read to them, I project the book through my Kindle app so they can follow along if they want. This way, I can highlight sentences to analyze, or point out vocabulary that is worthy of stopping for. One of the main areas of study in the book is character analysis. We are working up to a major essay comparing the two main characters. Students are working out the scenes with Play-Doh while I am reading, and will share them when our session is complete.
Students check in on the Padlet where Chapter 11 Twitter Slowchat questions are being answered. They work in a group of 4 to discuss the questions, type their group’s response on a Google Doc, and then paste it onto the Padlet. Classes from Ohio, Wisconson, Canada, New York, Texas, Illinois, N. Dakota, and Connecticut have also posted here, so the engagement factor is high.
Recess and lunch
Students are working on their choice of reading goal: AR points (totally optional), 1,000,000 words by the end of the year, and/or 40 books by the end of the year. They track their books when complete on a quick Google Form. They have access to their data anytime. My goal is to conference with them once a week to check in, help them choose books, and push them to expand into new genres. I like that they are able to access their own data whenever they want because it has kept them personally motivated to read, and has allowed them to give recommendations to others as well. The log is located on my class website.
We are currently exploring the changing states of matter. Students are mixing different substances, and weighing them before and after the mixing to determine whether or not matter increases, decreases, or stays the same. They are logging their data on a Google Doc.
All four of our 5th grade classes mix up on Fridays to practice spelling sorts through Words Their Way. They get time to practice in class. Each teacher made a Google Classroom for their spelling group, so students can access their words in their home class. There are directions for practice and word lists to use online. Students work together to sort and spell their words.
Our Spanish teacher comes in, and I have a prep period. She has a Google Classrom set up as well, and the students spend some of their time accessing vocab lists, or instructions for assignments there. She also has them practicing on Duolingo for part of the class on certain days.
Prep for Virtual Field Trip with Learn Around the World #geoshow
We are taking a Virtual Field Trip to Komodo National Park in Indonesia tomorrow, so students have some exploring to do. They use the iPads we have checked out from the communal cart to scan QR codes on a Google Doc. Each QR code will take them to a different source to explore. Their goal is to find out what makes the Komodo Dragon such a unique and amazing creature so that they will be prepared to share facts and ask questions tomorrow. The sources are a combination of images, reading and a video.