Announcements 2017-2018

Virtual Field Trip to the Borneo Rainforest

posted Jun 5, 2018, 11:59 AM by Patrick Johnson   [ updated Jun 6, 2018, 12:08 PM ]

This week, students took a virtual science field trip to the Borneo Rainforest in order to learn about plant adaptations. 

We tested out a new app called Google Expeditions. Google Expeditions allow teachers to take their students on virtual field trips. The teacher has an iPad and starts in Guide Mode. Students load the app on their iPads and then join the teacher. Students are then immersed in a 360 degree photo. The teacher can direct students to areas of the photo they want to focus on (it appears as an arrow on the student screen). It is also compatible with the Google Cardboard VR headset.

Below: Arrows point to items the teacher wants the students to look at. The happy face on the teacher screen shows where the students are looking with their iPads.

We learned that the Avicenna Tree's roots fan out in this harsh salty environment where there is little top soil. We also learned that Mangrove leaves look like normal leaves but excrete excess salt (this area is flooded by the ocean twice a day).

Student's learned that the picture plant below has adapted to this area of shallow soil where their is a lack of nutrients. These picture plants catch and digest flies and leaves in order to adapt to this harsh environment.

Students learned that the Johannesteijsmania Palm has waxy leaves that help keep moisture in during the dry season.

The Strangling Fig is a strange structure. Vines grow up a the tree, trying to reach light at the top of the canopy (very little light reaches the forest floor). In this case, the tree the vines enveloped has died and rotten away leaving a hollow center. 

Making Fourths

posted May 28, 2018, 11:53 AM by Patrick Johnson

In the lesson below, students used geoboards to show different ways of making fourths (there were some very creative ways). Some students also took it a step further and found different ways of making eighths. 

(examples are at the end of the slideshow)

Creating Comics to Explain Photosynthesis

posted May 4, 2018, 11:29 AM by Patrick Johnson

This week students learned about photosynthesis. 

First, students watched a video posted in Google Classroom about photosynthesis as well as a poster and listened to a song. Then students used the comic making program Pixton to create a comic that explains the process of photosynthesis.

In their 6-8 panel comic, students must answer the following questions:

What 'ingredients' are needed for Lydia (the leaf) to perform photosynthesis (there are 3)?
Where does each ingredient come from?
Where are the ingredients combined?
What products are created (2 products are created)?
What happens to these products?

Student sample from our class:

The 20 Things We Should Say More Often

posted Apr 26, 2018, 11:11 AM by Patrick Johnson

Our writer's notebook topic today was inspired by a Kid President video. First we watched the video 20 Things We Should Say More Often. Afterwards students created their own lists on this topic. Finally, students got to compare and share their lists with one another.

Division Problem- Multiple Strategies

posted Apr 25, 2018, 12:47 PM by Patrick Johnson

Students are working on division. Students were told to complete one of the following problems with a partner and to show what strategy they used to solve the problem.

Mr. Norris is giving children lollipops. There are 18 lollipops and 3 children. How many lollipops does each child get?


Mr. Norris is giving children lollipops. There are 32 lollipops and 4 children. How many lollipops does each child get?


Mr. Norris is giving children lollipops. There are 37 lollipops and 7 children. How many lollipops does each child get?

Afterwards, we posted student work on our math Bansho Math Wall. Students posted their work according to the strategy they used.

Finally, we used student work to create an division anchor chart for the class.

Bahamas Math!

posted Apr 19, 2018, 12:14 PM by Patrick Johnson

Over the March Break, I visited the Bahamas with my family. My visit inspired the below math lesson. In particular, the system at the grocery store where you earn discounts based on the amount of money you spent.

First I showed students the slide show which included some interesting math facts from the Bahamas. Then I introduced the problem (see slide show). The problem required students to work through 2 steps. Students needed to figure out how many stamps I would earn for spending $240 and then how many discount cards the stamps would fill (12 stamps fit on each card).

Student work:

-Using a chart to figure out how many stamps are earned for spending $240 (1 stamp is earned for every $10)

-Students figured out that for every $50 spent, you received 5 stamps.

-These students used place value information to figure out how many groups of 10 are in 240.

-Students used an array to figure out how may stamps would fill up a card (each card holds 12 stamps).

Guest Speaker- Tracy Schmitt

posted Apr 12, 2018, 12:07 PM by Patrick Johnson

Image result for tracy schmitt

Today students listened to motivational speaker Tracy Schmitt.  She delivered her message of inclusion and her amazing story of determination. Students learned that Tracy could tie her shoes before any other students in her Kindergarten class. She also was a competitive sailor as well as skis, scuba dives and even bobsleds!

7 Blind Mice- Making Inferences

posted Apr 3, 2018, 11:52 AM by Patrick Johnson

In reading, students have been working on making inferences (The Power to Inference). Today, students listened to the story 7 Blind Mice. Students listened for clues to help them determine what animal the mice were describing. The clues were that the animal was:
-as sturdy as a pillar
-supple as a snake
-wide as acliff
-sharp as a spear
-breezy as a fan
-stringy as a rope

Students guessed a variety of creatures:
-large rat
-giant fish
-other mice

Finally, students heard the story with the pictures and it was revealed that the animal was an elephant!

Looking for Signs of Spring

posted Apr 3, 2018, 11:41 AM by Patrick Johnson

As part of our Science unit on plants and soils, we took a walk around the school yard to find signs of Spring!

Yo! Yes! -Making Inferences from Texts with Few Words

posted Mar 29, 2018, 11:28 AM by Patrick Johnson

This week we read the award winning book Yo! Yes! by Chris Raschka. Our learning goal was to make inferences about the story by using the picture clues as well as clues provided by the small amount of diaglogue (the large amount of inferences from the small amount of dialogue was the reason I chose this book).

After we read the story, students created thought bubble comics using Google Slides. 

Here are a few samples:

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