First Week Of School- The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly- Plus A Little Graphing

Saturday, August 29, 2015 No comments

The end of the first week of school is such a triumph! I have a wonderful set of fifth graders this year and they all seem eager and excited to work.  Of course there is a sprinkle of nuts here and there but life without nuts is boring.

THE GOOD- I used Kahoot as a way for my students to get to know me.  They loved it (they always do love Kahoot) If you have never used Kahoot go HERE and sign up for free!

One of my lessons this week was about Stem and Leaf Plots.  I always like to find a fun way to collect data in order to teach the parts of a stem and leaf plot.  I found a VERY FUN game called SKUNK.  The kids asked everyday if we can play it again.  The game is teacher led and involves the whole class.  The teacher rolls two dice and the students win and accumulate points by standing or sitting when the dice are being rolled.  Rolling a 7 or 11 will cause every standing student to lose all their points. I know this sounds confusing but here is the free game I found online. The link contains more detailed instructions. GET THE SKUNK GAME HERE!

Another GOOD lesson was a lesson about Dot Plots (sometimes they are called Line Plots).  We first collected shoe sizes in a frequency table and then turned the data into a Dot Plot.  Then in order to collect more data, we measured hand spans.  Students traced one hand into their journal and then used a ruler to measure from the tip of the pinky finger to the tip of the thumb.  We collected the data in a frequency table and then we turned it into a Dot Plot.  

Our last lesson of the week was using Edmodo to collect data on "favorites".  For example Favorite Avenger, Favorite Ice Cream Flavor, Favorite Color.  Using Edmodo to collect this information, allows the students to see the data in a horizontal bar graph.  We then turned the horizontal bar graph into a vertical bar graph.  Afterwards I revealed "last year's data" (these numbers I purely made up for this lesson).  Using this year's data and last year's data students created double bar graphs in their journals.  

If you have never used Edmodo, it is AMAZING!!! Visit the Edmodo website and join today! It is a great way to communicate with students and parents in a safe and secure environment.  You can send assignments and notes as well.

THE BAD- I did not have time for everything I wanted to accomplish this week :( I already have roll-over lessons! Oh well, the hare never wins, but the tortoise does. 

THE UGLY- The bags under my eyes... I am exhausted.  

Next Week- I will be assessing my students on the three types of graphs featured here today, in order to see who needs reteaching.  I will also be starting, and hopefully reviewing whole number multiplication from fourth grade.  I love to use literature to help teach multiplication, so stay tuned! 

I would love to here about your first week or if you use any of the ideas I have shared with you today.  Please comment!  

Peace, Love, Math-

Back To School 2015- Ramblings of a Tired Teacher

Friday, August 21, 2015 No comments
Teacher prep week is NO JOKE! There are so many meetings and things to do in order to get your classroom prepared for students.  I spent all week preparing my room and then only about half a day on lesson plans! Don't get me wrong, I have been mentally preparing my lessons and storing ideas in my head but putting them into words and gathering materials is another story.  While I am so excited to actually chew and savor my food at lunch, I think I have gained 5-10 pounds, because I have enjoyed lunch just a little too much.
Our faculty had a wonderful back to school photo scavenger hunt in order to get to know our new teams better.  At my school every grade level has new members except for second and fifth.  Our scavenger hunt was a blast and it allowed the teams to bond on a more personal level.  I cannot express enough how important a good team is to ensure a successful year.  I am blessed to be on the best team in the world! We have each others backs and we collaborate all the time! A good team can make even the most stressful day or week instantly better. I thank god for my team everyday!


This is one of the pictures from our scavenger hunt.  We had to find a statue of an animal.

We also had to take a picture of the team in shopping carts. We had such a great time with each other!

For the first time in 3 years, I have changed my classroom. I absolutely love Star Wars, so I wanted to bring my love into my classroom.  I started collecting years ago but that was for personal reasons.  I also got a few things for Christmas.  I was also very excited that I got to paint my room! Here are some photos of my new room.... (the bags on the desks are student supplies left at Sneak-a-Peak)

It just so happened to be at Disney during Star Wars Weekend so I meet some of my favorites and took pictures with them!

 The "Learn It You Will, Teach It I Shall" wall decal was made by Sara Patten on Etsy.  You can visit her store by clicking HERE

These cute little Math Jedi Posters can be snagged for free at this SITE


I bought the "Truly Wonderful is the Mind of a Child' decal from another seller on Etsy.  You can access this decal HERE

I am excited to start the new year.  The new year brings new beginnings and new challenges.  I am always up for a challenge and I look forward to trying new lessons and new technology tools so STAY TUNED!

Next Week- My blog will focus on using data and graphs to solve one-or-two step problems!

Have a great first week!

Jennifer :)