Thursday, March 31, 2016

March Madness Champ

Going into our championship rounds, students presented booktalks on the final four bracket winners. Booktalks are simple, informal presentations. When a good book is read, it’s only natural to want to talk about it. 

Which book came out on top?

The 2016 March Madness Book Winner is . . .

Students love the exaggerations that mark tall tales. 
Pecos Bill was a tough competitor. 

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Testing Season!

Testing season has begun. During March Madness, fifth graders clicked hundreds of bubbles as they completed the MAP tests - Measure of Academic Progress. 
Students set  goals and finished the MAP testing with high marks. We now move into the NeSA tests which include reading, math, and science.
To get excited or help others get jazzed about the next set of tests, students were reminded of their hard work and encouraged, 
"You Rock!"  

The class had fun with edible rocks!

NeSA Test Dates:
Math is March 31 and April 5 
Reading is April 7, 12, and 14 

Science is April 18 and 19

Are some rocks really edible?

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Celebrating 100 Lessons

Today's 100th lesson in Saxon math was center stage. There was plenty of sillliness as students entered the classroom through our decorated door. We started the morning with a trail mix recipe. Each student brought 100 food items. We mixed all the "ingredients" together and this bowl of goodies was a fun treat for a morning of munching.  Thanks, parents, for contributing.
Our project for the day combined math and art. Students created mosaics.  A mosaic is an art form made with small pieces of colored glass, stone, or other materials. Individual pieces are called tesserae. The pieces fit together to form a design.  To celebrate our 100th math lesson, the students were given 1-inch paper tiles and the task of creating a mosaic person. 
Click through the slideshow and meet our Fraction People.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Service Learning

Mercy Meals of Nebraska is a non-profit organization that packages and sends nourishing food to children in need throughout the world.  Orphanages, refugee camps, feeding centers, disaster relief centers, and local food pantries are recipients of the food.
In addition to the academic curriculum, Norfolk middle school students participate in a service-learning project and get involved in the community.  This year Team 1 students volunteered at Mercy Meals.
The morning started with a short update on world hunger facts and recent shipments reports, followed by packaging of the food for about one hour and fifteen minutes.  The session ended with a short clean up time.
Through this program we hope to instill in students a civic duty and world awareness. We want students to know that they can make a difference in other people’s lives by donating their time.
Click the video for a snapshot of our morning.

Monday, March 14, 2016

March Madness

March is known as the month of brackets. In recent years, tournament style book battles have been adopted by libraries and classrooms across the country. It is a fun way to generate excitement for books and reading. 
Room 100 is hosting a literary tournament in our classroom. The books selected to compete are 16 leveled reader books in our Wonders Reading series. These titles are paired off head-to-head in a bracket battle. 

Two divisions  are represented - Nonfiction and Fiction.

Before the reading began, each student filled out a bracket using only the obvious book stats; e.g. title, genre, and book cover. Students who pick the most match-ups correctly on their bracket will win a prize.
Students are required to read each book before the scheduled vote. Student votes advance a book to the next round. 
Our bracket is creating a tremendous amount of buzz in the classroom about books. Students get very excited about seeing which book moves on to the next round.
 Which title will triumph?

Update:  The winner is . . . click here
A big thanks to Brown Bag Teacher for the fantastic post about how to pull together a tournament bracket wall display - - with freebies!

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Water Daze

Students celebrated Water Daze at Northeast's Lifelong Learning Center. Students wrestled with the content, a raft of skills, and some pretty compelling experiments. It was fabulous! Water Daze consists of four 30-minute classroom sessions featuring hands-on learning. Natural Resources District is the festival sponsor. 

One core session that is always among the students' favorite is the water rocket launch. Water rockets are used to help students understand the principles of aeronautics. Two-liter pop bottle rockets may well be the greatest physical science teaching tool ever created! Middle grade students can manipulate and control variables and see hypotheses verified or refuted.
And there’s the icky “Garbage-ology” activity that has students sort through garbage and make garbage pizza discs. “Kids tend to like this trash talk,” Mrs. Miller, Keep Norfolk Beautiful, said with a laugh. “It’s very educational and a fun way to show kids what a landfill is.” Play My Garbology at home to learn how to reduce the amount you and your family throw away each and every day.

 click to enter

In the Edible Aquifer session, students constructed model aquifers with cereal, ice cream, and pop. This activity was a fun and easy way to understand the geology of an aquifer.

Students participated in a Jeopardy game which proved the Water Days festival greatly improved participants’ water knowledge. Any session that gets children moving is popular and provides an opportunity to incorporate education. After all, education is the NRD's mission.

A big thanks to the middle school science teachers who registered and organized our field trip!  The sunny day was an added bonus! 

Friday, March 4, 2016

National Grammar Day

How does one honor the spirit of National Grammar Day?   
The official website puts it this way:

“Language is something to celebrate, and March 4 is the perfect day to do it.
It’s not only a date, it’s an imperative: March forth on March fourth to speak well, write well, and help others do the same!”

How did Room 100 celebrate National Grammar Day? Kahoot!
"Like a Playstation for education, Kahoot is a game-based educational platform.  Kahoot ensures 100% engagement by turning the classroom into a gameshow. Students love it! Teachers love the review!" 

Grammar Guy was a big hit when he arrived with prizes!
 Happy Grammar Day!