¡Feliz Año Nuevo!

¡Feliz Año Nuevo! = Happy New Year! 

Check out my dog!  I am NOT a fan of dog apparel, however, Hannah kept getting salt stuck in her paws, which I suppose, is rather uncomfortable.
Check out my dog! I am generally NOT a fan of dog apparel, however, Hannah kept getting salt stuck in her paws, which I suppose, is rather uncomfortable.

Hello?  Do you remember me?  It’s been awhile, huh?  But – I’m back!  And . . . it’s great to be back!

Here is your weekly blog post about the most recent events in our fifth grade classroom.  After being snowed in on Sunday, having no water on Monday, and discovering a dead car battery on Tuesday, I was more than ready to return to school.  (Yeesh!  Talk about a domino effect!)  So . . .  here you go!  Read below to find out what has been happening in the life of your child recently . . . and an exciting event coming in the near future!

  • Conversation Starters
  • Learning Buddies
  • Snowball Fight!
  • Converting Measurement Units
  • Upcoming Student-Led Conferences
  • A Smile for You!

Conversation Starters:

  • What have you enjoyed doing most during this SHORT week of fifth grade?
  • Tell me about the conversation prompt your class has been working on that starts with, “The reason I believe this is ________.”  Why is it best to use facts  from a text to support your thinking when talking about a book?
  • What were some of the questions you read during your “snowball fight?”
  • Your class started a new chapter book this week.  What is the book called and what has happened so far in the book?
  • Tell me some real-life examples of a meter, liter, and gram.

Learning Buddies: It is always fun to spend time with our Second Grade Learning Buddies.  We had the privilege to hang out with our friends the day before Winter Break.  Mrs. Morgan Holland and I thought that the children would enjoy doing a craft together and then reading holiday books.  It was such a fun time to hang out with one another and create.  Check out the photos below.

Jordyn and her buddy were making adorable snowmen!
Jordyn and her buddy were making adorable snowmen!
Some more crafty friends!
Some more crafty friends!
Look at this proud second grader!
Look at this proud second grader!
And finally, a snowman party, "hanging out" in the classroom. :)
And finally, a snowman party, “hanging out” in the classroom. 🙂

Snowball Fight!  What?!?!  A FIGHT in school?  I’m not so sure Mrs. Sisul would be ok with that, but our kind of snowball fight was a great team building activity on Wednesday.  I am a strong believer in team building activities because they allow children to build positive community with one another.  In order to have the “fight” in our classroom, each student writes a question down on a piece of paper, crumples it up and throws it at another student.  When you pick up a “snowball,” you read and answer the question in front of the group.  What a simple – yet beneficial – activity, huh?  While I don’t have photos of the actual “fight” in progress (because it was so quick), you can see some before and after photos of what we did.

Here are Malakai and Zoe writing down their questions to prepare for the fight.
Here are Malakai and Zoe writing down their questions to prepare for the fight.
Dawn is coming up with a great question to learn more about another fifth grader.
Dawn is coming up with a great question to learn more about another fifth grader.
After the "fight," children were reading their question and telling us information about them.
After the “fight,” children were reading their question and telling us information about them.  Look at those wrinkly papers!  I LOVE it!
Another shot after the "fight" and while children are listening in order to learn more about their classmates.
Another shot after the “fight” and while children are listening in order to learn more about their classmates.

Converting Measurement Units: “If everyone else uses the metric system, how come the United States doesn’t use it too?”  This was a great wondering posed this week as we began our study of the metric system.  One of the expectations in fifth grade is for children to convert different sized units within a given measurement system (e.g., convert 5 cm to 0.05 m), and use these conversions in solving multi-step, real world problems.  This means that we are exploring both the the Metric and the U.S. Customary System of measurement to convert measurement units.  This week, we began with the Metric System and next week, will begin exploring the U.S. Customary System.  Look below at some of the ways we remember how to convert the units and ways that we ordered the prefixes during our first days.

This mnemonic device has been particularly helpful for remembering the order of the prefixes in the metric system.
This mnemonic device has been particularly helpful for remembering the order of the prefixes in the metric system.
Here is another helpful way to remember whether to multiply by 10 or divide by 10 when converting measurement units.
Here is another helpful way to remember whether to multiply by 10 or divide by 10 when converting measurement units.
We explored the prefixes for the metric system and discussed ways to order them.
We explored the prefixes for the metric system and discussed ways to order them.
Here are some more mathematicians ordering the prefixes for the metric system.
Here are some more mathematicians ordering the prefixes for the metric system.
And . . . a few more!
And . . . a few more mathematicians!
This chart has also been helpful with our discussions and will be a part of our learning tomorrow - and in the weeks to come.
This chart has also been helpful with our discussions and will be a part of our learning tomorrow – and in the weeks to come.

Upcoming Student-Led Conferences: In about two weeks, we begin our first (and only) student-led conferences for the year.  I am really excited about this.  While this is the first time I will have student-led conferences in my classroom, the reason I believe this is a positive experience is because it allows the student to reflect on his/her learning and discover opportunities for growth.  During the next few days, we will begin working on our side of the preparation for the conferences.  (Check out the template we are using below.) Next, we will practice conferences in class (to settle the jitters some students are experiencing) and then put the finishing touches on the plan for the conference.   I imagine the student-led conference is going to be an extremely powerful experience for everyone involved.

The children use this guide to help them prepare for the conferences.  I must send out a special THANK YOU to Mrs. Bearden for sharing this with me. :)
The children use this guide to help them prepare for the conferences.  I must send out a special THANK YOU to Mrs. Bearden for sharing this with me. 🙂

A Smile for You! I usually like to find a fun picture to make you (and me!) smile at the end of the post.  But, before you look at the photo below, I need to explain it a little bit.

I love Diet Coke.

I try not to drink caffeine.

But . . . I love Diet Coke.

I go back and forth from drinking soda with caffeine to drinking soda without caffeine and back again.  When I started thinking about a real-life example of a liter to show the children as we began exploring the metric system, I knew a liter bottle of soda would be a perfect representation for the children to see and remember.  As I visited 7-11, they “unfortunately” only had Diet Coke with caffeine in liter bottles, so I HAD to get it.  Oh – one more thing . . . when you see the bottle below, you’ll notice the cup on top that I used to drink.  That is something Ecuadorians do when they buy drinks at the store – what a smart idea, huh?  That way, there’s always a cup there when you need it . . . even if EVERYONE often used the same cup.  Seriously.  Ok . . . now you can check out the photo!  And . . . have a great weekend! 🙂  See you next time!

The "sacrifice" I made in the name of education. Hee, hee . . .
The “sacrifice” I made for education. Hee, hee . . .
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2 thoughts on “¡Feliz Año Nuevo!

  1. This is so great, Ms. Turken! I am always impressed with the way you succinctly and creatively share your classroom life with your families! I love Hannah’s socks (or are they books?), I also love Diet Coke (why didn’t you share?) and thank you for the shout out! Continue doing the great things you do with your kiddos! They are lucky to have you. 🙂

    1. Hello Mrs. Bearden! Thank you so much for your kind words about my classroom blog. It’s always helpful reflecting on the week. I’m also glad you enjoyed Hannah’s socks . . . poor thing – they kept falling off on the snowy pavement. What a sight! Talk to you soon my friend!

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