I’m sorry to say an entire week has gone by since my last post. It’s been a busy one, but my intention is to post two to three times a week, not once. The day-to-day crunch has been extra crunchy.
Here’s a recap of what we’ve done so far, with all the juicy details.
In science we talked a lot about the importance of observations in science and that we can’t simply make assumptions based on our own inferences, and I proved this by eating a candle. At least, I ate what the kiddos thought was one, as it looked (and lit) like a candle. It was actually a cored piece of jicama, with a slivered almond as the wick that actually lit and burned for a few seconds because of the fat in the nut. I had them write all that they could about what they were observing Mr. S do, including showing it, holding it, lighting it, and eventually chomping right into it. The idea was to show them how inferences and especially assumptions didn’t work for science experiments, where objectivity is the key.
We also had them try to observe and figure out why a green ice cube would float in one covered beaker and not a matching one right next to it. Ideas included temperature, make-up of the cube itself, something having to do with the beaker, the lid, and the color of the subjects in question. It turned out that one cube was floating in water, while the other was sinking because it was in alcohol.
As a final little “I got you” in science, because after all we become teachers to play little tricks on our students (wink), I played this video, pausing at about 0:11 (without sound, so the word Octopus is never heard) and had them make as many observations as they could. Their little eyes went wide as can be in the seconds that followed, and they showed it a second time so they could anticipate the surprise.
Also in full swing this week were Language Arts groups, and the topic of discussion was what good readers and writers do in order to be as successful as possible. Discussion has been rigorous as are many happy readers in the fifth grade, thankfully, and they look forward to improving their skills as writers as well. The ongoing assignment this week were the beautiful skits the students produced and even got to share in class for their peers. Their work was even greater than my own expectation, and once again Mr. S was impressed with the effort, wit and creativity of his class.
I always like to end the week in math with a game that is on topic with what we’ve been learning, so today was a friendly and lighthearted teamwork competition after the primary instruction. I have focused a lot on teaching citizenship as a means of making sure everyone is involved and getting help from one another, and I see it manifested in the way students interact with one another every day. It’s good to see the great things going well.
As always, Monday will be another great day.