World Changers in Action!

It’s only the beginning of the school year and all I can say about this group of 4th graders is…they are AMAZING!  I’m overwhelmed by their kind hearts, love for learning, and immense talent showcased in our classroom.  This Arts Integration thing is really working for them!

Here’s a glimpse at our first writing activity this year, which was inspired by a quote by Martin Luther, “If you want to change the world pick up your pen and write.”  Their masterpieces consisted of watercolor backgrounds and sketches of their hands emphasizing shading techniques.   No words needed.   They are simply amazing.  The sketch you see was drawn by one of my 4th grade students.  Like I said, no words needed.

The Superheroes during the Cold War

It’s the end of the year and time to apply what we learned into a 5th grade favorite- comic books!  The new release of Avengers:  Infinity War, has my students eager to read more.  How can that be a bad thing, right? So, imagine my excitement when I found these treasure boxes full of clearance comic books!  Students compared and contrasted comic books and chapter books, then began creating a plot based on the Cold War.  Students earned infinity stones by including a superhero and supervillain,  vocabulary words from social studies, and elements of art in the design.  The result was 21 fabulous comic books shared by 21 amazing authors!

Dr. Bo Tanist visits 5th Grade!

Dr. Bo Tanist made a surprise visit to our 5th grade class this week!  Perfect timing, since we just happened to be studying vascular and non-vascular plants!  The famous botanist visited our brilliant group of scientists to see if they could determine why there are no insects on an island in the South Pacific.  After lengthy research, students concluded the Dionaea Mascipula (Venus Fly Trap) and the Tagetes (Marigolds) are responsible for the lack of insects on the island. Students collaborated, researched, and wrote opinion essays to reflect their thoughts on carnivorous and smelly plants!

Chefs compete for title in Dialogue Cafe Challenge!

The Dialogue Cafe is back and better than ever!  Students used writing skills to create a recipe that would “WOW” the critics and win the coveted title of Dialogue Cafe Champions!  The four houses competed by submitting their creative recipes to be prepared by the famous “Chef Dia Logue.”  The critics (students from the other 3 houses) carefully tasted the recipes while the chefs wrote the dialogue.  The competition resulted in deliciously created recipes that were worthy of praise by the food critics and well-written essays that were worthy of praise by their teacher!

Fractions and Pizza!

Our first Pizza and Fractions event was a hit!  Parents took time out of their busy schedules to come after school for an enrichment lesson on fractions.  Together, we’re going to make certain our students are successful AND confident in math!  What a great night, but most of all- what a great group of parents!

Amazing Inventors vs. Fierce Sharks

What happens when students work diligently to create inventions that will make the world a better place and then present them to a group of fierce sharks?  They receive multiple offers, of course!  These students went above and beyond creating patents, prototypes, logos and presenting sales pitches for the sharks.  Special thanks to Shark Daves, Shark Trout, Shark Hunter, and Shark Felton for taking a “bite” out of these amazing invention ideas!

Welcome to Matter Land!

Welcome to Matter Land!   It’s the place where students learn that matter has different phases including solids, liquids, and gases.  The first challenge in Matter Land was to get rid of all Mattermites, which are quickly taking over Earth.  Students used their knowledge of physical and chemical changes to produce a gas to rid the Earth of these pests and thank goodness it worked!  The combination of atomic molecular freeze (sherbert) and bug juice (lemon lime soda) created the gas to exterminate mattermites for eternity!

The next challenge was to decide whether cotton candy was a physical or chemical change.  Students observed granulated sugar become strands of floss when heat was applied.  After a tasty experiment and a lengthy debate, students determined that cotton candy is an example of physical change.

The final challenge was to create a lava lamp using oil and water. Students learned that oil and water never mix.  The denser liquid (water) sank to the bottom while the oil remained on top.  Students used Sodium bicarbonate tablets to produce a carbon dioxide which produced gas bubbles that rose through the oil carrying the water to the top.   The results were 21 working lava lamps in Matter Land!

Using vocabulary to explore volcanoes!

After becoming experts on constructive and destructive forces, students had to race against time to prove their expertise in vocabulary-specifically volcano vocabulary!  They were given the task of defining 20 vocabulary words related to volcanoes,  determine the part of speech of each, then use math skills to calculate the decimal value.  This had to be completed before the volcanoes erupted!  (Volcanoes were created using paper-mache′ prior to lesson).

Spaghetti in a Hotdog Bun

This week we have learned and put into practice the leadership traits expected in our class:  empathy, creativity, integrity, endurance, equality, and courage.  We read the book, Spaghetti in a Hotdog Bun by Maria Dismondy and discussed the challenges the main character faced as she showed courage.  We used this story to show how we can have courage as leaders and the importance of believing in ourselves- even if we are not like everyone else.2 5 7