Monday, October 13, 2014

The 2nd Quarter Begins

Well here it is, the first day of the 2nd quarter.  Parent/Teacher conferences are finished, student grades are finalized and report cards handed out.  I cannot believe how fast this first 8 weeks of school went by.  To finish off the quarter my students were kept pretty busy with projects.

In Math I gave them a real life project which involved integers, as well as use of division and decimals.  Basically a culmination of everything they had learned this past quarter.  Their assignment you ask?  They, with an assigned partner, had to budget a cross country trip, starting on the West Coast then going to the East Coast & back.  They had to plan for a family of 5,6, or 7 people.  Included in their cost for the trip was renting a vehicle to fit their required travellers, figuring out the mileage, how much mileage was available for each full tank of gas, the cost to fill the gas tank, hotel stays, entertainment/attraction fees for the travellers, food costs, and planning a route.  They had to visit three different attractions in 3 different regions of the United States (like the cross-curricular involvement with Social Studies?), plan the route, and include the cost for souvenirs.  They were given $1000 for each traveller in their party to use for their overall totals.  It was really interesting to see the things they came up with to complete the assignment, and it gave them a real life scenario of what their parents have to do before hitting the road for any family trip/vacation.

Then in Science I gave them two projects to accomplish.  First is they had to create a 3D Plant and/or Animal Cell.  I gave them a copy of the following pictures to use as a reference.

They colored and labeled one picture to put in their interactive notebook.  Then to accompany the diagram they were assigned to create their 3D masterpieces.  Here a few examples of what some of the students turned in.  I will post more as I get the pictures taken.

Along with the 3D models I had the students research different Scientists who have had an impact on our lives.  I found a list of 340+ scientists, then had the students select one scientist and do some research on these great minds.  Then once they had gathered the information they were to create a "Wanted" poster about these intellectuals.  They put how their Scientist influenced the way we live and put it in a creative outlet.  So, in the upcoming week I am going to select the best of the best to present their Scientist information to our 1st grade classes.  So, not only did they learn about different great minds, they get the opportunity to introduce even younger kiddos about these outstanding people and share what they know.  I know they will do an amazing job.

After the 1st quarter had commenced, we were given our Fall Break.  This week off I was able to attend my 20th Year Class Reunion, and make even more memories than I had in high school.  Our school football team unfortunately lost their game.  The next evening was dinner & drinks.  Lets just say that by the end of the night there was a Bar Crawl involved.  I am so happy I have a great husband who will let me cut loose & keep a close safe eye on me to ensure I don't get hurt or do anything I would regret through photo evidence in the future.

Well onward and upward.  There are a couple of great celebrations which came from this past 1st quarter.  I had one student who went from Fall Far Below (we use the FAME grading scale) to a Meets ...which is essentially like going from a D to a B.  She had never in all the time she has been going to our school seen a grade of a Meets in Math for benchmark testing.  I was so stoked to share the information & celebrate with her & her mother about her great accomplishment.  The second is after benchmark testing it turns out 1/5th of the 6th Grade is in the Exceeds range and an additional 2/5ths Meeting.  So in total 3/5ths of the 6th Grade are working at a B or higher range in the content expected to learn for the 1st quarter.  I believe it has been quite a long time this has happened at our school for the 6th Grade class.  I don't mean to toot my own horn but, TOOT TOOT!!!  I hope this continues for the next quarter and the culmination of the 2014-2015 school year.