The last week of the school year included a lot of academics, our Field Day, and some celebrating. It was a terrific year and one of my favorites professionally. The end was paradoxical in which I certainly looked forward to a break but I didn’t look forward to saying goodbye to 22 terrific students.
With five days left in the year, we participated in a discussion strategy we really like, a Pro Se Court. Over the last two weeks, we read and annotated four articles about zoos, their benefits and their challenges. Students were then divided into three groups. A third were the plaintiffs, a third as defendants, and a third as our judges.
Students didn’t know which role they would be assigned which is important insofar as understanding perspective taking. That said, our seven judges ruled 6-1 in favor of our plaintiffs who argued zoos are bad.
The rain certainly changed our plans a bit but I’m so glad we made the trip. Thanks to all the parents for the help and ensuring that Roy Gomm’s inaugural field trip to the zoo went so smoothly.
Over and over again the 3rd grader teachers were told the following from the O’Gara staff, “These are great kids!” It’s true, they are.
Today we started our newest engineering design challenge. This was the introduction and we worked with different materials to determine what would best protect a fragile package (farfalle pasta). We’ll experiment with different strategies based on a scenario in which students have to engineer “air drop packages” that can be dropped from an aircraft that protects contents and be easy to find, once they hit the ground.
The engineering kit we are working with came from a DonorsChoose project.
This class is amazing and the fact that I could successfully teach about multiplying a one-digit number by a multi-digit number, while outside, proves it. No doubt, we’ll be doing more lessons outside before the school year ends. (I’ll miss these kids!)
As a way of sharing the history of Earth Day, students completed a Digital Breakout. In this case, students solved a series of puzzles and got digital clues. Using those clues, students tried to “break out.”
This was a our first breakout and it proved a fun way of working through new content.