Thursday, September 29, 2011

Geography Vocabulary Foldable Assignment and Rubric


What are "foldables"? "Foldables" are interactive graphic organizers. I have been using them with my students for years because they are colorful, help students manipulate new information, and provide a very useful tool for learning. They can be used in many different ways and students always enjoy making and using these learning tools. One website that explains "foldables" in more detail is Dinah Zike's site, Dina-Might Adventures. Students will be making foldables in math and social studies throughout their fifth grade year.

Today students were given a vocabulary foldable assignment to work on over the next few days. Earlier this week they worked to develop a rubric for scoring their work when it is completed, and today we prepared the paper and went over the expectations for completing the assignment. I was VERY proud of the rubric the students developed. You will notice that it is in "kid friendly" language. This should help them better understand the expectation for each category of the rubric. Here is a link to a copy of the scoring rubric, Geography Foldable Rubric.

In case students lose the required vocabulary, the words are: geography, globe, latitude, longitude, geographic terms, physical features.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Multiplication Process

Some of you asked me to post a video of the multiplication process. I know that sometimes, over the summer, you can forget the process of multiplying by several digits. Sometimes, too, students have misunderstood the process, or simply "mis-remember" it. So, for your assistance while doing homework, here it is! I hope that you find it helpful.

BTW: I used the calligraphy pen!
video

Monday, September 19, 2011

Spelling City

Let me introduce you to one of my favorite websites, Spelling City! Why do I love this site so much? Here are just some of the things I like about this web 2.0 app.

First, I have entered every spelling list that we study this year. If you click on the link above, or the link on the sidebar of this blog, you will be taken to my "home page" on Spelling City. Here are each of the spelling lists we use in the fifth grade. You will need to scroll down toward the bottom half of the list as I have also included a modified list used by some of my students. All students this year are using the regular list. Just look for the lesson of the week we are using. For example, this week you will look for "Lesson 2".

Once you have selected the appropriate list you have tons of options. You can print out the list, you can print out handwriting models (cursive practice!), or you can choose to have it teach you the spelling word by word. You can take a vocab test and learn the tricky words, and you can print out flash cards or view flash cards online.

As if this weren't enough we have a "Play a Game" option which provides activities that will be an engaging way to practice your words each week. Students really enjoy Hang Mouse, Unscramble, Word-O-Rama, and Letter Fall among others!

In class students are each given a username and password to use when signing on to this site. Students can use the site without signing in, but more options are available if they do sign in. Not only that, but I am able to see what activities students are using and their success rate. I can follow how much (or how little) time students have spent using this wonderful resource to help improve their spelling.

Please visit this site and let me know what you like best!

Monday, September 05, 2011

First Week of School!

Wow! What a wonderful and exhausting first
"week" of school! Most students were able to get to school for the first day, even some students who live in places rendered inaccessible by all of the flooding and devastation. We collected emergency supplies, food, and water and these items were collected by the Chittenden Fire Department to be delivered to those who live on the other side of all the road breaks on the mountain.

On Thursday evening the NPR national news program, All Things Considered, broadcast an uplifting story about some of our students, the "hikers" who have been hiking out to get to school each day. If you missed the story it is archived here, Amid Flooding, Vermont Kids Hike to School. As my daughter said, "Real Vermonters hike to school!".

Last week we were only in session for three days, but we put our time to good use. We learned a bit more about each other. We learned many new routines and procedures that will help make our class run smoothly. We began setting up our notebooks, planners, and journals. We all took turns using the SmartBoard. We made windsocks that will decorate our room but also helped us learn a few new things about our classmates. We spent some time reviewing place value and its importance in our number system. Our "Magic Digit" activity was fun, and we also learned how a decahedron got its name. We began discussing maps, globes, and geography. We spent a bit of time looking at Google Earth and Google Maps.

We're looking forward to a new week when the rest of our friends will be able to join us and we will finally feel like a complete class.

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