Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Florida Fall Leaves

One of my schools traditions is the annual Thanksgiving Feast. The entire school sits down at once to eat a turkey dinner. As in everyone. They close the office and all.

The idea is wonderful. In practice, it sometimes leaves a bit to be desired. Thankfully due to some…errr…issues with our cafeteria staff this year’s feast was catered by Boston Market. Yum!

I had my Synonym Turkeys hanging in the hallway, but I wanted to make name cards with my class. We have just finished states of matter, so I channeled my inner Girl Scout and came up with these:


We started with a solid (crayon shavings), sandwiched it between layers of wax paper, and added heat until it melted and became a liquid.


There *might* have been a bit of a boogie involved as we acted out how the particles were moving once heat was added.


I’d planned to make one big one and then cut out smaller ones. It didn’t work that way. I also played with the thickness of the cloth on top and the setting of the iron. I ended up using an old men’s shirt and a medium heat to get the desired effect.


In the end I gave each student a piece of wax paper. They sprinkled a little crayon shavings onto their paper and put a matching square of wax paper on top. They watched as I ironed each side quickly. Once they were done “ooh-ing” and “ahh-ing” I let them use a Sharpie to draw the outline of the leaf and write their name.


I am thrilled with how they came out. This is as close as we come to fall leaves here in our part of Florida!  Better yet I have enough left overs to take it home to repeat the project with my favorite three-year-old.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Multiplication Array Chart

I have more things I *should* be doing than I care to admit. I taped a lesson as part of a case study last week and tomorrow I have to watch it with a coach. I created a Nearpod presentation for the lesson and took a bit of a risk. My students’ behavior left a bit to be desired. I am not looking forward to watching the video tomorrow.

I also need to write sub plans and figure out what to wear on camera.

Oh, well!

We are in the midst of our multiplication study now.  I saw this idea on Pinterest and knew I had to try it. I have the best parent volunteers ever, so I recruited help to tape together the squares of construction paper.


I wanted to color code the boxes for demonstration purposes. To fill it in I gave each student flashcards and centimeter grid paper.


The students drew the array that matched the the card and then came over to show me where on the chart it belongs.


The completed chart is posted in the hallway for all to see. I’ve heard more than one 4th/5th grade student comment about our arrays. Mostly things like, “Why didn’t WE do that last year?” and “Oh! I remember arrays!” 

I’ll take that as a good sign!