Word Study and a Game of Eye Spy

We are quickly establishing our Word Study routine and students know how to complete a closed sort, an open sort and how to integrate their understanding into a game of Eye Spy. We will briefly discuss Word Study at our Brown Bag Lunch in September. Until then, please consider playing a game of Eye Spy, using the words from school, over the next few weeks.

Learning through Inquiry with Saving Sam

In a scenario titled Saving Sam, students worked individually and with partners to develop strategies and solutions to a problem. In this case, Sam (the candy worm) was drowning and his only chance of survival involved placing a life preserver (Life Saver) over his body with nothing but two paper clips. Working individually, two students developed answers. Working with partners, 16 students were able to save Sam. Apart from learning through inquiry, there was likely another lesson buried in there.

Thank you Jolene Hamilton, 5th grade teacher at Verdi Elementary, for first sharing this lesson with me.

Learning to Annotate Text

Students are learning to annotate text and identify claims, evidence and reasoning. Despite this being our first attempt, the children have proven quite adept at the process and were able to find all the relevant information in the passage.

This is a strategy we will continue refine and apply throughout the year. This will prove especially important as we start Document Based Questions and We The People.

Highlights from the First 2 Days of School—2 Great Days of School!

The first two days of school focused on establishing our classroom rules and procedures. We described “expected” and “unexpected” behavior for group work and applied this to a several icebreakers, content from Youcubed.org, and the introduction of Confidence Buddies. Student completed job applications and signed their rental agreements.

We did our first Number Talks, Juicy Sentences and learned the basic of annotating complex text. In short, it has been a great two days!

Ready for Day 1!

It was a whirlwind of activity beginning Tuesday when we finally got into our classrooms. All told, 55 boxes were unpacked, 29 student desks built, a bean table and rectangular table constructed, and a whole lot of Activboard troubleshooting completed.

Those brown walls should soon be covered with student work and artifacts of their learning. That work begins day one!


Donations to the Classroom Economy

Throughout the school year students will have opportunities to spend their money on items donated to the class. The number of things donated continues to grow and I cannot overstate how impressed I am when a company is willing to contribute to the culture of the classroom.

Our first auction will likely be in October after students have paid rent for use of their desks in September.


IMG_3294 (1)