## Monday, January 27, 2014

My class has been learning about heat, and last week we used eggs to look at multiple different heat concepts.

First, we looked at conduction, convection and radiation by cooking three eggs in three different ways.  The first egg was fried, which represented conduction – as the egg directly touched the pan, which directly touched the fire.  The second egg was baked in the oven, which represented convection – as neither the egg or the pan ever touched the fire, but the egg was cooked by hot air moving around the oven.  The third egg was scrambled and cooked quickly in the microwave, which represented radiation.

Next, we looked at convection through water and boiled eggs.  We also looked at the fact that the longer something comes in contact with heat, the more it changes.  We put five eggs into lightly boiling water and took out one egg each minute for five minutes.  If I were to repeat this, I would have waited until the water was at a rolling boil or put the eggs into the water from the beginning, as the eggs did not cook as quickly as I would have liked, or I would have left the eggs in longer.  However, we were able to see marked differences between the first and last egg.

Finally, I asked each of my kids to go home and find an egg recipe – from a cookbook or their parents.  On Friday, we took each of the recipes and cooked them.  We made scrambled eggs, deviled eggs, boiled eggs with salt and cumin, an omelet, egg crepes, sunny side up eggs and a tortilla.  We even made a cookbook of all of our recipes.

Eggs are such a universal food, that this lesson combined cultures, with science, math, reading and writing.

## Sunday, January 26, 2014

### Multi-Age Lesson Plans – Week of January 27th

Last week, I posted my lesson plans showing how much of my resources I actually use in my classroom.  I received such a wonderful response that I decided to share my plans each week for the rest of the school year.

Every morning, my students come in and work on their nursery rhyme – this week is Peter Piper.  Then they work on their differentiated vocabulary packets.  I have 2 Level 1 ESL students, who will work on Family this week.  Meanwhile, my native English speakers are working on  L endings, like el, al and il.  After they finish their vocabulary, my students work on their math textbook pages or their writing assignments.

Meanwhile, I pull reading groups.  Many of my students are still working on Reading A-Z books, but my Mister and Me group is getting ready to read Chapter 6, which is one of the most exciting chapters.  My teammate teaches the older students reading.  She has a group working on Charlotte’s Web and one working on Bridge to Terabithia.

After snack and recess, my students each take a one minute math quiz – differentiated among 7 levels.  Next, my students work on their calendar books and their daily math.

This week, all of my students will be adding the Coordinate Graphing reference page to their Interactive Math Notebooks.  We will also be doing a Coordinate Graphing scavenger hunt and using the bus schedule to plan a trip.  On Monday, we will also add our Math Idiom:  A Bad Penny.  All of our math lessons are quickies this week, so I hope students will get a chance to work on their Math Videos, because they are starting to really shape up.  Here is one that that one of my Year 4 (3rd grade) students made using Powtoon:

Wednesday and Thursday are science days.  On Wednesday, we will be working on how color absorbs heat by melting ice cubes under colored pieces of paper.  On Thursday, the students will begin to design their own insulation device.  I have a planning sheet for them that you can download for FREE from Google Docs

In the afternoons, my partner teacher works on Writing and Social Studies.  This week students are continuing to work poetry using pieces of my Poetry Writing Journal.  They are writing poems about Springtime.  In Social Studies, the students are learning about money and beginning to plan a weekend trip to a location of their choice, with the condition that they can only spend 100 Euros.  During this time, I work with a small group of first year ESL students, to give them extra support.

Homework in my class is all assigned via Edmodo.  Monday and Tuesday’s math video links can be found on my collaborative math video Google Doc, which is always available to my students if they need to re-watch a video they have already seen.

I hope you enjoyed this sneak peek into my plans for the week.  What’s on your plans this week?

## Thursday, January 23, 2014

### Tea Time – An Experiment in Heat

My class is learning about the scientific method and about heat.  So last week, we took time to answer the question:

Why do we heat up water before making tea?

We did this with the following experiment:

Control:  1 cup of water – 3 glasses; 1 tsp of loose leaf tea per glass

Variable:  the temperature of the water

1.)  Place one cup of water in the refrigerator for 10 minutes.

2.)  Place the second cup of water in a pan and bring it to a boil.

3.)  Leave the third cup of water to sit at room temperature.

4.)  Add 1 teaspoon of loose leaf tea to each glass.

5.)  Observe

Students should observe that molecules are moving much faster in the hotter cup, a little bit in the room temperature cup and almost not at all in the cold cup.  The tea leaves in the hot water move around the cup quickly and then settle on the bottom of the cup.  The majority of the tea leaves in the cold water stay at the top of the cup.  If you can, leave the cups to sit overnight and watch how much darker the hotter cup becomes.

What experiments do you use to teach heat?

## Wednesday, January 22, 2014

### Competitions for Kids

Today, as I was perusing the Edmodo Teacher Forums, I came across a post about the Digital Storytelling Contest.  Students are asked to create a narrated photostory on just about any topic and submit it to the contest.  Elementary students can win \$25 or an iPad mini.  High School students can be elligible for scholarships.  Now I am not huge on competition, but this seems like a great way to inspire and motivate students.

After looking into the project, I started wondering if there are any other competitions out there.  So, I turned to everyone’s best friend – Google Search, and of course, there are plenty of contests available for K-5 students.  Here are five more that look worth looking into:

1.)  International Cyber Fair:  In this contest, students research their different components of their local community and use the information to create a website or photo story of what they learned.

2.)  Ranger Rick Photography Contest:  This is an ongoing photography contest.  Students under the age of 13 can enter nature photographs they have taken into this monthly contest.  Winning photographs will be featured on the Ranger Rick website.

3.)  Kid’s Philosophy Slam:  Students in this contest respond to a philosophical question in an age appropriate manner.  This year’s question is: Truth or Beauty, which has a greater impact on society?  K-2 students use paintings, drawings or a combination of pictures and words.  3-5 students create art, paintings or write an essay.

4.)  Kids are Authors Book Contest:  Students work in groups of 3 or more to write and illustrate a storybook in this contest.  Entries must be submitted by mid-March, and winners can receive up to \$5,000 worth of Scholastic’s materials.

5.)   Doodle for Google:  This art contest is hosted each year by Google.  Students must design a piece of art that incorporates the Google name and logo.  Each year the contest focuses on a different theme, this year’s theme will be announced on February 4th.  Winners receive scholarships and other prizes.

Which of these contests would you consider using with your children?

## Sunday, January 19, 2014

### Lesson Plans – Week of January 20th

Recently, I was asked how much of my resources I actually use in my classroom.  Honestly, everything I have designed has been designed specifically for my students.  I use my own resources with my students on a daily basis.  In order to show you guys this, I decided to give you guys a good look at what my week looks like.  So, here are my lesson plans:

In the morning, my students work on their nursery rhymes and vocabulary.  This week, my ESL students are working on Dairy and Egg Foods and my native English speakers are working on Silent Letter Spelling Patterns.  After they finish their vocabulary, my students work on their math textbook pages or their writing assignments.

Meanwhile, I pull reading groups.  Many of my students are still working on Reading A-Z books, but I also have a group reading Mister and Me, and we are doing a full novel study with vocabulary and comprehension activities.  My teammate teaches the older students reading.  She has a group working on Charlotte’s Web and one working on Bridge to Terabithia.

After snack and recess, my students each take a one minute math quiz – differentiated among 7 levels.  Then, they work on their calendar books and their daily math.  On Friday, we will work on creating our math videos using our math video planning sheets.

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One of my students’ biggest resources is their Interactive Math Notebooks, which we add to each week.  On Monday, we will add our weekly resource sheets to our notebooks during our mini lessons.  Year 3 will add the Metric Capacity Resource sheet.  Year 4 and Year 5 will add the Area and Perimeter Resource Sheet.  Year 6 will add both the Area of a Triangle Resource sheet and the Surface Area Resource Sheet.  On Tuesday, we will add our Math Idiom:  To Know All of the Angles to our notebook.  Wednesday and Thursday are science days – this week we will be cooking eggs to look at conduction, convection and radiation.

In the afternoons, my partner teacher works on Writing and Social Studies.  This week she is working on poetry using pieces of my Poetry Writing Journal.  During this time, I work with a small group of ESL students, to give them extra support.

Homework in my class is all assigned via Edmodo.  Monday and Tuesday’s math video links can be found on my collaborative math video Google Doc, which is always available to my students if they need to re-watch a video they have already seen.

I hope this gives you a sneak peek into how I use my resources in my classroom.  Have you been able to use any of my resources in your lesson plans?  I’d love to hear how they have been helpful to you, or what I could do to make them more useful to you.

## Friday, January 17, 2014

### ISM Spotlight – Economic Videos

T his year I am the luckiest teacher in the world. I get to teach at the best school ever – International School of Morocco, with some of the best, most creative, teachers ever. Each time I walk into someone else’s classroom, I get inspired and we just seem to spiral great teaching ideas off of each other. It’s a wonderful place to teach, and since we are all collaborating, it’s a wonderful place for our kids to learn – a teacher’s dream, right? I have tried and tried to convince the other teachers to create blogs of their own to spotlight and share some of their amazing ideas, but everyone is super busy. Instead, they have each agreed to let me spotlight some of their ideas right here on Raki’s Rad Resources. So, each Friday night, I will be posting an ISM Spotlight.

Ms. Johnson is my teammate and our Writing and Social Studies teacher for Year 3 – Year 6 (2nd – 5th grade).  For this unit, she is teaching the students about economic concepts.  One of the ways she has made these concepts come alive for the students is through videos.  For each video students watch, they have their Social Studies notebooks out and they record key concepts and key vocabulary.  In addition to building note taking skills, this also gives her a chance to stop the video and explain the important pieces to the students.  This is especially important for the ESL students who may not catch every word in a video.  After showing a video in class, Ms. Johnson also shares the videos with the students on Edmodo, so that they can re-watch the videos and share them with their parents.

Here are some of the videos that Ms. Johnson has shared with the students so far:

The Kingdom of Mocha

The Story of Stuff

Gasland Preview

Shipping TED Talk

Through these videos, Ms. Johnson has introduced the concepts of markets, supply and demand, government involvement, technology’s impact on an economy, sustainability, interdependence, environmental impacts, renewable and non-renewable resources, the power of the media, raw materials, processing, and word economies to students aged 7 – 11 years old.

How do you use videos to bring concepts to your students?

## Monday, January 13, 2014

### Real Life Math Learning

In the last few days before winter break, my students worked on math projects that encouraged a review of their math skills with real life applications.  Then, they finished their math projects over winter break.

My Year 3 and Year 4 students (2nd and 3rd grade) completed my Holiday Shopping Project.  They used websites like www.amazon.com to do mock holiday shopping.  Each student was assigned \$100 and chose 3 different presents to purchase.  They then practiced rounding, addition and subtraction while putting together their project sheet.

One of my students decided to spend half of his money on a video game for his brother because “he’ll share it  with me!”  It was fun to watch him figure out how to get presents for the rest of his family with the money he had left!

My Year 5 and Year 6 students (4th and 5th grade) completed my Balanced Checkbook Project.  The students were randomly assigned to a job card, which dictated their salary and bills.  Students had to take their annual salary and figure out how much money they would have to work with each month.  Then, they had to balance their checkbook by paying their bills and making a grocery list and estimating a grocery budget.  Students also had the option of buying luxury items and even had a “surprise” – some good and some bad.

About half of my students had completed this project with me last year, but were able to re-do the project with a new job, making for some interesting observations from my students.  One of my students had received a low paying salary card last year, but received a high paying salary this year.  In his final reflection, he told me “I learned that with a good salary you can have money left.  Last year, I had a horrible salary.  This year I had more money so I got every luxury item.”  Another student decided to buy \$200 worth of pork roast and ran out of money, so he went back and changed his groceries to include bacon because it was cheap, but still pork.

Real life math projects give students a chance to see that what we learn in school has an application outside of the classroom.  Later this year, my students will also be creating their own school with my Be an Architect project, planning a Valentine’s party with my Party Planning project and going out for ice cream with friends with my Ice Cream Shop project.

How do you use math projects in your classroom?

## Saturday, January 4, 2014

### Happy New Year!

It’s officially 2014!  How long do you it will be before we remember to write that down correctly?  As we bring in the new year, this is a great time to talk with our students about new beginnings, celebrations and resolutions.  I have done all of those things with my New Year’s Center Packet.  It includes looking back at the previous year, looking forward to what will come and of course some time to look at the celebration itself.  The best part is that you don’t have to cut or glue, so if you’re “not quite” ready for the first day pack, you can simply copy and staple this packet and fill a whole day with New Years centered learning.  Download a copy from my Teachers Pay Teachers store.

This year, I teach mainly math, so we will spend some time looking at years and how to compute a person’s age by knowing the year they were born and the current year.  We will also talk about the fact that there are different calendars used around the world, and how the New Year is celebrated in China, India and Islamic countries which do not use the Gregorian Calendar.

What will you do with your students to celebrate the New Year?