Saturday, November 30, 2013

Got #nerdlution? Just Do It!

#nerdlution - 50 days of doing things you want to do instead of just wishing you were doing them

WHEN:  December 2nd to January 20th

HOW:    (1) Pick something you've been wanting to do                                   (2) Plan to do them!
              (3) Tweet out your results, #nerdlution

WHY:    The urgent gets in the way of the important

Some nerdlutions include: writing, reading, walking, running, walking the dog...what's yours?

Friday, November 29, 2013

Figuring Out Figurative Language: Alliteration

Students having trouble figuring out figurative language?

Try an alliteration song. Music will make brains light up as the memories are stored all over the brain. The repetition needed to master the words will make even stronger memories.

Glory, Glory, How Peculiar (Battle Hymn of the Republic)
(The chorus of this camp song has been adapted by me to reinforce the idea of alliteration.)

When one blue bug bled blue-black blood,
The other blue bug bled black.
When one blue bug bled blue-black blood,
The other blue bug bled black.
When one blue bug bled blue-black blood,
The other blue bug bled black.
When one blue bug bled blue-black blood,
The other blue bug bled black.

This is alliteration.
This is alliteration.
This is alliteration.
It's simply using a single sound several times in a phrase.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Amazing Interactive Brain Map

Open Colleges Presents Your Brain Map: 84 Strategies for Accelerated Learning
An interactive infographic by Open Colleges

Study up for Coach B's Monday night brain facts segment.

Click on the picture above to activate the Brain Map.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Letters to Zork: A WBT Classroom is a Writing Classroom

I made a huge mistake last year: We did not write every day. When I went to the National Conference last June in Pineville, LA, Coach B suggested having students write to Zork -- so now, we do!

This year, my classroom writes to Zork, an alien from another planet who knows nothing about Science. My students write Zork to explain concepts as they learn them. 

At first, I modeled a note so they would understand my expectation. Now, I give them sentence stems to complete. For example:

Dear Zork,

Today, I learned about thermal energy. Thermal energy is ... that is made by...

I learned that thermal energy always travels in one direction. It always moves...

One example of thermal energy traveling in one direction is...

Your friend,

We don't write to Zork every day. Sometimes we write a reflection; sometimes we write concepts on a foldable. Yet, after a few days, I always hear a student ask, "Can we write to Zork today?"

A student asking to write? sigh...Teacher Heaven. Thanks WBT.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Light Energy: Teaching Translucent, Transparent, Opaque

This week we continue our exploration of energy by studying light. Our vocabulary includes Translucent, Transparent, and Opaque. These words are completely new to many of my 5th grade Scientists.  To help remember them, we use these mind links:

Translucent: Many of my scientists know that the Spanish word for light is "luz", so we remember that a trans"luz"ent object lets the light in.

Tranparent:  We remember that parents want to see EVERYTHING. They ALWAYS want to know what is going on. A transPARENT object lets everything be seen!

Opaque: We visualize that if we have a huge cake, one as tall and as wide as our classroom, we would not be able to see anything on the other side of the cake. THE CAKE IS OPAQUE. It doesn't let us see anything through it.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Thursday Be Talk Like a Pirate Day - Do I Be Hearin' a Mighty Yo-Ho-Ho?!

Avast, me Hearties,

Tomorrow be Talk Like a Pirate Day, so hoist yer colors onto ye mighty Scoreboard.

All yer Mates will growl and be cheered as they give themselves Mighty Yo-Ho-Ho's and Mighty Arrrg's.

Yo-Ho, Yo-Ho...the Pirate Life's for me!