Post written by Abby
About a couple weeks ago we read a book called Encounter By Jane Yolen.
It is told in first person point of view, by a young boy. The story kind of has the same plot as when Columbus traveled to America but told in the point of view of a Native American boy.
Once we read the book, we got paired up in groups of three and four. Each group got assigned two to three pages of the book to reenact in front of the class to make a short, free play. The challenge was that we only had minimum time to do it.
Check out our skits in the videos below.
Post written by Sarah & Sophie
Sarah - In class a few days ago we did a thing called Quizlet Live. It is an online game where you join and compete against other classmates. You are assigned into teams randomly and answer questions about reading genres. The team names are also animals, so it makes it funny. When you answer a question right, your team moves up one on the leaderboard. If you get a question wrong, you go all the way back to start. When you get a question only one person on the team has the right answer on their screen. You and your team have to work together and find out the right one. It takes 12 questions to win. It’s really fun and gives us some mild stress that’s healthy for our brain. We really enjoyed doing this.
Sophie - Yesterday we played Quizlet Live. Quizlet Live is a game that gives you questions and you give answers. It’s different than most games. The questions we get are about reading genres because that is what we’re learning about. What you do is you get partnered up with teams randomly and get put in teams named after different animals. Each person has their own screen. There are 12 questions and only one person of the team has the correct answer for every question. If you get one wrong you go back to zero no matter where you are. You win if you get 12 in a row first. It’s really fun and a cool way to learn about reading genres!
What do you think of Quizlet Live?
Post written by Ella
Today in class we will be doing the 52 pick-up card game. This game is where you have a set of special 52 pick-up cards that have directions that you have to follow. When the game starts you pick up one card and follow the directions on the card. For example, you might get a card that says “roll on the floor one time, but do not look obvious.”
Here are some other examples:
You do what it says on the card, then hold onto it and pick up another card until there are no more cards. You count how many you have and share out loud. It is really fun and you can play it at home too. All you need to do is buy or make a set of 52 cards with funny directions and then test it out. (Mr. Salsich bought his set here.)
We play this game to have fun and get our creative juices flowing. We love this game and we encourage you to try it!
Post written by Finn M
Photographs by Hayden, Avery, Maya, and Gwendolyn
Today in class we are presenting more of last week’s Iron Chef activity, which is researching a Native American tribe and making a slide about the tribe. We worked in groups on Friday to make the slides, but we couldn’t present all of them on time. The groups are groups of 4-5 people, and they all share a slide deck, but each person only does one slide of a different topic. The tribes we are presenting are; the Iroquois, the Wampanoag, and the Powhatan. The topics we researched are; housing, farming and gathering, hunting and fishing, a child's life, leadership and decision making, and spiritual beliefs.
One of the things we have been focusing on since the first day of the year is how to have good group discussions. Being able to share your opinion in a group and listen and respond to different people's ideas is an essential skill in life.
These are the main guidelines that we've been practicing in our discussions:
The other day, we did an activity in class called "Iron Chef." The idea is, like the cooking show by the same name, we had a limited number of "ingredients" and a limited amount of time to complete a specific task and then present our project to the class. Unlike the TV show where the chefs work on their own, we worked in groups of 3-5.
Our First "Iron Chef" challenge was to research and present information about different reading genres. Each group had a different genre to research using a Google Slide, and each group member had a different slide to complete. The genres we focused on were; realistic fiction, fantasy, informational, biography, and historical fiction.
We could only use the resources ("ingredients") provided, and we only had 12 minutes to complete the slides. Each slide had a "special ingredient" to add if we had time. Then, to make it even more challenging, we only had 2 minutes to prepare our presentation and exactly 20 seconds to spend on each slide!
Coming to a group agreement isn’t always easy, but it’s an important skill to have when collaborating with others. These groups used voting, debate, and rock-paper-scissors to make the difficult decisions of which drawing of a “dream pet” was the best.
Often, not everyone agrees with the final decision, but that's just what happens when different opinions are shared. As long as the group tries its best to come up with a fair way for everyone to come to a consensus (a "group decision"), than that's the best you can do. When working with others, there's no guarantee that everyone will like the final decision.
Making tough decisions can still be fun though! Like this game of rock-paper-scissors to see who gets to read their paragraph to the class:
We had to work in groups and use the "habits of mind" (adaptability, persistence, creativity, cooperation, reflection, courage, and self-awareness) to build the tallest balloon towers we could. We had 15 balloons, one roll of masking tape, and we could only tape one balloon to the ground. Oh yeah, and we couldn't talk to each other!
Here are our final results:
More team building during the second week. Groups had to move a tennis ball from one beaker We have been focusing on techniques and guidelines for effective discussions. We have also been talking a lot about using reflection (thinking about what happened and why it happened that way) to improve on something we are trying to do. During our "Balloon Tower Challenge" we combined reflection with discussion to figure out how to make our next attempt at a balloon tower even better!
We are a 5th grade ELA and social studies class in coastal Connecticut. We post about our learning, our activities, our ideas, and our creativity.