Saturday, October 24, 2009

More "So Much Depends Upon..." Poems (Part 3)

With 27 students in my fifth grade class, there are bound to be lots of poems!

"So Much Depends Upon..." Poetry Part 2

Here are some more of the my student's Animoto poems based on "The Red Wheelbarrow" by William Carlos Williams.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

"So Much Depends Upon..." Writing a Simple Poem

This week we have again used a poem by William Carlos Williams as inspiration for writing our own poetry. Here is a summary and background information on how I used the poem "The Red Wheelbarrow" last year with my class to produce "digital poetry" using the Animoto website. Here is the first batch of poems written by my students this year. It is interesting to observe as my students start moving away from the familiarity of completing schoolwork with "right answers" to being willing to undertake the challenge of letting themselves be creative with schoolwork that doesn't have "right answers" but instead allows for a more creative expression with words. I do wish that the Animoto website had a better selection of songs to choose from, but some of these song choices match the poems pretty well.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Nashua PAL Elementary School Cross-Country Championships

Here is an Animoto video of the Nashua PAL Elementary School Cross-Country Championships held on October 17. There are runners from Main Dunstable School (my daughter's school), Mount Pleasant School(former students), and New Searles School. All runners did a great job running on a crisp Fall morning. (Results: boys 3k, girls 3k, boys 3k team, and girls 3k team.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Everyday Math Algorithims Online

The Everyday Math company has put the algorithims used in its program online. The annimated directions take you through a problem step-by-step so students can refresh their memories or parents can learn the new algorithims. We are working on mutiplication using the lattice and partial products algorithims. You will also find examples of the traditional multiplication algorithims and the algorithims used in the other operations. These are great refreshers, models, and argument breakers!

Here is the link to take you to the algorithms. Just click on the button for "Algorithims in Everyday Math", then click on grade 5, select an operation, an algorithim, and then an animation. I can't link directly but it takes just seconds to get to the examples.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Our First Voicethread

Some of my students are making a simple Voicethread presentation on a few of the famous Negro League baseball players. This goes along with a story we read last week called "Meeting Mr. Henry."

Sunday, October 4, 2009

More Tree Poems: Cameron, Deborah, and Parker

Here are three more Animoto tree poems.




Tree Poems: Ashley, Matt, Katie, Kaelyn, Darcy, James, and Kelsi

Check out this fresh batch of Animoto tree poems. These were written and photographed on the first two days of the school year. They were introduced here and are based on William Carlos Williams poem, "The Locust Tree in Flower".








Friday, October 2, 2009

Everyday Math Test: Chapter 1

The Chapter 1 Everyday Math tests are being sent home today. The grading looks like a mess and could be hard to figure out so I will explain it here. There are two parts to the test: Part A of the test is used for grading purposes. It is intended to recognize student achievement towards grade 5 goals. Problems #1-5 had to do with factoring numbers and #6-7 had to do with writing whole numbers and identifying the value of digits. The class has had multiple exposures to the content of the problems. Part B is a formative part of the test, meant to inform future instruction. The class had been introduced to these concepts; however the questions are not used for grading purposes. Questions had to do with writing the prime factorization of a number, using exponents to write prime factorization, renaming numbers in exponential and standard notations, and to identify divisibility.

There were seven questions in part A. Each question then was worth about 14 points and I gave partial credit for many answers that were incomplete or partially correct. However I did give credit for correctly getting a question correct on Part B of the test. No one lost points for incorrect answers on this part but if they got one question correct. I then averaged their test as having 8 questions (each question now worth about 12 points. If they got two problems correct, I averaged the test as having 9 questions (so each question being worth about 11 points), and so forth. If someone would have aced all of part B (no one did) then each question on the test would have been worth 8 points each. If someone had a 100% on part A (two students did!) then they still had a 100% on the test even if they did not get all of part B correct. I hope I am clear on how points were scored because I have placed a lot of marks on the tests as I graded them. I wanted you to know what all the marks meant. At the top of each test I placed a mark like “out of /12” and this signifies how many questions were included when figuring out the percent score for the test.

Here are some reminders about tests that you can emphasize at home:

The test reflects how well you prepare throughout the unit by participating in class, completing homework thoughtfully, asking questions when you don’t understand, and paying attention during lessons. It is also important to use test strategies when taking a test and not to race throuugh a test just to finish. Make sure you complete all parts of the test and answer all questions. I also reviewed similar questions to each question on each part of the test the day prior to giving the test. Test review time is not the time to “tune out” during class. About 1/3 of the class received a B+ or better on this test. Congratulations to these students.