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! 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!
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).
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.
The Clotfelter’s new puppy, Daisy, is a big hit in the classroom so we decided to take our knowledge of inherited traits and create our own puppy using DNA! Students selected DNA strips to determine fur color and texture, size of legs, ears, body, and shape of face. The next step was to sketch the puppy to see how it looked. Finally, students created puppy portraits focusing on the positive and negative use of space. We will have these portraits on display at our upcoming Arts Integrated Night!
We’ve had a great week planning, designing, sketching, researching and finally constructing our roller coasters! The end result was four award-winning roller coasters created by a group of 5th graders who collaborated and working diligently! The awards included tallest, longest in length, coolest design, and longest run in seconds!
What happens after students learn how to complete simple, series, and parallel circuits? They perform an operation to remove candy hearts, of course! Students spent several weeks learning the components of a circuit, then as a culminating project created a working circuit that is similar to the game of Operation! The end result was 5 working circuits and 24 excited students!
A few months ago my class collected cans for the 11alive Canathon, then created a “Cantastic Creation.” During this time, I overheard students discussing ways they could help others in need. What?!!! Yes, 5th graders looking for ways to make a difference! I quickly reached out to an organization in Atlanta called Restoration Atlanta, which provides shelter for hundreds of women and children. They invited us to come down to The City of Refuge and participate in a service project. What an amazing experience this was for my 5th graders! They decorated bags with inspirational quotes then made sandwiches for the after-school children. Afterwards, we toured the facility to see just how this organization operates. Thanks to The City of Refuge and Restoration Atlanta for making this a day my students will never forget!
This week we took time to learn a few table manners and the basic rules of writing dialogue! Students were given the following task:
- Create a guest list for dinner to include 4 people from history.
- Create the dialogue spoken between the guests (script).
- Use correct table manners at the dinner table.
During the various scenes, students were given surprise scenarios (need to sneeze, food stuck in tooth, drop a fork) and each had to figure out how to handle them according to proper etiquette rules! The outcome was hilarious and I’m extremely proud of them! I would be honored to dine with each of them!