Saturday, January 11, 2014

{Saturday Sprinkles #2} A Back-To-School Remix

Welcome to this week's edition of Saturday Sprinkles, where I try to show you how we tried to stay awake and engaged all week.  LOL.  I am fairly certain all teachers who returned to school this week will agree, this was a looooooooong week! Monday was not easy for any of us.  In fact, I had 3 students falling asleep sitting up while I was teaching. Basically, I made sure to to get them up and out of their seats as much as possible, more so than usual in fact. That and I could have sworn I took way more pictures of our week than I actually did.  Perhaps, I was too busy keeping them wrangled in.  Whoops!

Once we got past Monday, I promise you, we actually got quite a bit done and by Friday afternoon, I felt like my students walked away feeling fulfilled and better about their learning.  

Join She and I (yes, we are the only ones enjoying this linky party so far) as we share snippets and quick snapshots of how much fun, engagement, and learning we had in our classrooms. Feel free to join up as well so you can reflect and look back on your week.  You'd be surprised at how it makes you realize you DID get a lot accomplished and your students DID enjoy themselves.  So what are you waiting for?  ;-)  The link-up information is down below.

We worked all week on probability in so many different ways, left and right.  Using the nicely made Probability Practice Packet from TeachersPayTeachers in Kalena Baker's store, I stepped it up a few levels in order to meet my students needs...which would be boredom due to being back after a long break and needing to cover higher-level learning with probability.  The pack from TPT is more for 2nd-4th grades.  One thing we did was use our ActivExpressions to send in class data so we could compare and contrast some of our theoretical and experimental probability with the dice experiment.  I can't believe I didn't take pictures, but we also used the vocabulary posters she includes as our own huge human-sized interactive scale across our back classroom wall.  I used a bag of colored tiles, figuring out the theoretical probability of each color in the bag, and then I asked them the following, "What is the likelihood I pick a __________ from the bag."  From there my students walked to either impossible, unlikely, equally likely, highly likely, and certain.  Not only did this give me a chance to see who was still stuck or confused about the vocabulary, but it also got them out of their seats.  Hallelujah!!

We also carried on with our levers experiments, although we didn't get very far due to an assembly at the end of the day.  My students were none to happy about it either because they had just begun to figure things out before we had to quickly start cleaning up for the end of the day.  

After giving my students room to build some background on levers (see my first blog post here), we began to get some of that juicy scientific vocabulary going in our writing and conversations...and boy is the word "fulcrum" hard to say as a 5th grader...and then it was time to start finally playing!  I gave them a quick 2-minute or so demo on how to use the supplies to build a lever.  We located the fulcrum together (the binder clip) and from there the inquiry-based learning ensued.  

In the very very short 5-8 minutes we had before the bell was going to ring, students' lightbulbs were going off!  I was able to visit with 3 groups who figured out to either move the fulcrum and/or load to level out their lever without any guidance or tips from me. Unfortunately, and any teacher will probably attest to this, we had to cut it short just as everyone was starting to feel like mad scientists.  So, it is another to be continued lesson...again.

If you'd like to link up and share your classroom sprinkles from this week or even last, head over to Sprinkle Teaching Magic and include your blog post link.  See you next Saturday for another sprinkling!