It is absolutely amazing what the students accomplished during distance learning and it culminated with a Toastmasters experience Thursday night. During the week the students practiced their speeches but also had time for work on biodiversity and adaptations, a virtual field day, and a baby picture quiz. (Thanks parents for sharing the photos.) The Toastmasters event was especially impressive and through Zoom, over 50 people were able to attend.
Ten weeks of distance learning was challenging but the students were great with it; and I am thankful that I got to experience it with this specific group of children and families.
The refrain of the classroom continues to be: learning, despite the distance. It is amazing what the kids continue to get done. We annotated for text evidence, divided with remainders, converted with different metric units, and we finished our animal reports. (We even did a peer edit via the Breakout Rooms in Zoom.) We also got to be part of a Greg Tang experience and participated in the live Mystery Science event.
This week we began our investigation into motion and matter. During the launch we explored two forces, magnetism and gravity, with a specific emphasis on the terms attract and repel.
Among the investigations was understanding how a magnetic field works. Students manipulated this phenomena with studies around magnets and paperclips. In the coming days, we will participate in an engineer design challenge.
Students brought in favorite wrapped board games for our holiday gift exchange. There were two twists. The first was that we incorporated the White Elephant idea in which games could be “stolen.” The second was that at the end of the exchange, students taught each other how to play the game they had shared for the exchange.
At the beginning of the week, I reminded the students that we would maximize our instructional time until our Holiday Celebration on Wednesday, at 2:30. That is exactly what they did. We covered a lot with explorations of unit fractions, adaptations, work on syntax, and fluency practice via Readers Theater. We gamified content with Quizizz and built background knowledge with Edpuzzle. We were productive and the kids covered important content. Oh yeah, we were also filmed.
We completed our Enchanted Lands project this week and the final pieces are terrific. We first explored the idea of background, midground, and foreground through classic pieces of art. Then we played a game in which students drew images matched to magical elements, they identified.
Their understanding was then leveraged to create art that included painting a setting and collaging. (Incidentally, thanks for all of the magazines!)
Students shared five pieces of candy, from their Halloween trick-or-treating, and created scaled bar graphs with it. In this case students identified categories for their x-axis and an interval of 2 to 5 for their y-axis. Lots of learning and lots of fun.
We completed our first Pro Se Court of the school year. Our judges had to adjudicate whether gum should or should not be allowed in schools. My favorite part is the terrific writing student produce, having rehearsed with the evidence.