Monday, October 21, 2013

Mapping Out an Exploration

Social studies is one of my favorite subjects to teach. Now wait, that's a bold statement! Science is equally spectacular and I love seeing students creativity come to life through their writing.... Okay, I retract my previous statement: I love it all. 

Last year, I blogged about the Explorer Trading Cards my students created. In 5th grade, we have very few standards addressing early exploration and the explorers of the new world(s). In my opinion, in order for students to understand the Revolutionary War, Westward Expansion, and the Civil War there has to be some background knowledge there. So - we still cover it, even if it is brief!

This year I decided to tweak our project and focus on map making AND exploration. In small groups, students researched one early explorer and focused on recreating a map of their journey. Some groups struggled to identify where on a map these explorers visited. It brought up great discussions of resources and geography of our Earth. 

Next week, we will briefly discuss the 13 colonies and then hop right on into the Revolutionary War. Fellow 5th grade teachers, what are YOU studying in Social Studies?

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

What I'm Reading Wednesday

Do you ever get so swept up in everything you aren't doing and can't quite find time to do that your brain starts to play ping pong? That's what is happening to me right now. So instead of dwelling on all the stress, I'm watching Full house in my cozy socks and catching up with you, readers. 

In Book Club:
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time. This was highly recommended by two friends so I suggested my book club read it as well. I'm listening to the audio version this month (it still counts!!) and I really think it's adding to the story.

In my classroom:
Out of My Mind. Once I got my students past the idea that Melody was not the fish pictured on the cover, the questions and compassion started rolling out. Haven't read it? YOU MUST.

 I'm participating in a district-wide book study on Text Complexity. We are reading the book titled, "Text Complexity". I believe, based on the title, you have figured out what this one is about. Well you're wrong! It's about a group of teachers working to solve a mystery about who stole the cookies from the cookie jar. Okay, okay... I'm kidding. It's about raising rigor in reading and the common core. I had you there for a minute though!

The Energy Bus. Talk about a real booster of energy! This book is filled with ways to encourage positivity with those around you whether its professionally or in your personal life. I've posted the "10 Rules", but it will really make sense if you read the book. Go for it, I dare you!

Have a great Thursday!
Linking up with Juice Boxes & Crayolas

Monday, October 7, 2013

6-Second Matter

What story can you tell in six seconds? I gave my students the challenge of creating a six-second Vine video filled with examples of solids, liquids, and gases. I got many shocked expressions and several "huh??" replies. Once they started brainstorming, I was very impressed with their thinking and creativity.

Have you used Vine in the classroom? Follow our classroom fun at "Miss Furnell".

Share your ideas below!

A Little Motivation

A little motivation for your Monday evening. 

I hope it lifted your spirits just like it did mine. 

Here's to Tuesday!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Crayons + Pumpkins

Fall has arrived in Missouri and I can officially not feel weird about wearing sweatpants and scarves throughout the day. Today, I had ample time to get my creative juices flowing after much neglected DIY time. 

My carving skills are inadequate, so I've jumped on the painting pumpkins bandwagon. My pinterest was filled with images of chevron and polka-dotted pumpkins and melted crayon pumpkins. I decided to give it a whirl this afternoon. 

The Finished Product

Fancy, huh? It definitely brings more color and creativity to my living room. 

Earlier this week, Chip and I decorated the front porch and took a few glamour shots. He's such a photogenic pup!

Have a great week!

P.S. Have you heard the news? The Missouri Tigers AND Kansas City Chiefs are 5-0!! Great start to the football season. MIZ!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Pop Rockin' in Science

What happens when you dump pop rocks into a bottle of soda pop? Ask one of my 5th graders and they should be able able to tell you what happens and why! Thanks to a little Pop Rocks Expander experiment from Steve Spangler (click here for more information). 

This experiment was the perfect addition to our Matter unit and after our inquiry, it left students asking questions about why different flavors had different effects on the pop. Today we are continuing our thinking on physical changes and melting ice cubes with blow dryers. Cross your fingers I don't blow a breaker! No, really... cross your fingers. 

Sacrificed in the name of SCIENCE

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