The W.I.T.T.Y.

Today, we completed and printed the first edition of our classroom newspaper, The Witty. “Witty” is an acronym for all the section titles within the newspaper combined; Wars, Innovative, Titanic, Tragic, and Yesterday.

Students worked really hard on this. They revised each article multiple times and meticulously worked through errors they discovered. The students and I are  extremely pleased with how it turned out! Read it yourself by clicking on the PDF file below.

Click here to read the WITTY!

Paper Go-cart Challenge

Recently we wrapped up our Models and Designs unit with our annual Paper Go-Cart Challenge. Students are required to use their knowledge of the many properties simple machines possess in order to complete this challenge. Simple machines used in this challenge include wheel and axle, inclined plane, screw, and even levers.

The objective of this challenge was for each student to  make their paper go-cart stand in place and travel a total of five feet or more. In order to complete this objective, students meticulously checked wheel balance, tweaked their propeller aerodynamics, and most importantly, reduced the amount of friction between all moving parts.

Our winner was Nathan C., with a total distance of 27′ 3″. Shubham T. took second with a distance of 24′ 5′. Many students, including Nathan and Shubham, could have went farther if it wasn’t for the pesky walls of our hallway.

All students worked really hard on this. I am very proud of their perseverance through the frustrations that came with this challenge. Nice work 5A!

Nathan is pictured below on the top left, Shubham is on the top right.

Catapult Fun

In science, we are learning about simple machines such as levers, inclined planes, pulleys, and others. Last Friday, to demonstrate our understanding of levers, we constructed catapults. Students were given an allotted amount of time to complete their slinging device. After which, we had a distance contest with each group pitted against each other and myself.

I regret to inform you that my catapult did not win this contest. Nathan and Jackson W. ended up beating my distance on their final attempt.  Way to go Nate and Jackson!

This week we continue to demonstrate our understanding of simple machines by constructing go-carts. What fun!

Nate and Jackson are on the front right of the picture below.


Explorers Project Due Jan. 27th

Yesterday,  students were assigned an Explorers Project that will be due January 27th. Students were given the choice of writing a report, creating an electronic presentation, or creating a poster about any pre-colonial explorer of their choice.

The rubrics that will be used to grade our final products are attached below. I also included other organizers that may be beneficial to students when recording notes or brainstorming their final product. Leave a comment with any questions.

Explorers Research Project choices

1Explorers Written Report Rubric

1Explorers Electronic Presentatin Rubric

1Explorer Poster Rubric

Explorers Report outline for actual report

Explorers graphic organizer

Explorer Research Project Questions

Explorers Project

Electrical Circuit Unit Comes to a Close

Today, 5A celebrated the end of our Electrical Circuit Unit by presenting our Electrical Circuit Projects to other classes around the school. Overall, students did a fantastic job with these. Parents and students alike worked really hard to complete these projects with creativity and neatness in mind. Great work 5A families!

I want to send out a HUGE thank you to all the parents and families for your assistance in helping  your 5A loved one in completing this project over the past few weeks. Without you, this project would have not been possible.

The pictures below were taken throughout the entirety of our Electrical Circuit Unit. However, the majority of them are from today’s presentations. Click on the image to see a larger view. Enjoy!

Supplies and How to Construct a Simple Circuit

I understand this electrical Circuit Project is sort of scary. However, parents are not required to purchase anything. If you do, see the web links below for great sites to purchase electrical circuit materials. I also included some great ideas of  what  materials you may use and already have.

If no items are purchased by you, students will only recieve one battery, a battery holder, two battery clips, four wires, a light bulb and a light bulb holder. To help you understand how to use these materials to construct a simple electrical circuit, I made two “How To” videos below. The first video shows you how to construct a simple series circuit. The second video shows you how to install a switch in order to have the ability to turn the circuit on and off.

After watching the videos and perusing the websites and ideas below, feel free to ask any questions by commenting on this post. Have fun!

  • In the past, students have cut holiday lights apart, used the wire from it, and rewired the lights to make it work with batteries. Take note: One holiday lightbulb must have two D batteries to power it fully. Any more  batteries than that could cause  the light to burn out.
  • If you prefer to purchase these items from a store, Radioshack has all the items necessary to construct a circuit. However, they have limited supplies, and they go fast.
  • Websites that have some of these materials are listed here. Click on them to visit the sites. Lights, Light Holders, Wire, Battieries and Holders, a Switch

Below are the movies that show you how to construct a simple circuit with the materials I may provide. I hope you find them helpful. 

Construct a Circuit (Simple)

Install a switch

Electrical Circuit Project

Today, 5A was assigned the task of creating an electrical circuit project. Students are required to either design and build a model using electrical circuits, or write a report about anything that has to do with electricity. Specific requirements for this project and when it will be due, has be sent home with students today. Otherwise, see the attached document bellow for these details.

Also, I included several pictures of past completed projects. Feel free to comment on this post with any questions you may have.

To view the Electrical Circuit Project requirements document, click Here

Our Character’s Character

For the past week, the students 5A have been working hard, creating a web of good and bad character traits that each character within their books display. When the students  finish, they will sift through what traits they found and discuss the choices every character made. Together, we will come up with what the characters  of each book could have done differently to change our view of them; both good and bad.

To create this web, students are using a program called “Kidspiration”. To see some of these webs, check out the pictures below. 


A Break From ITBS

Today during ITBS, we took a small break to learn about geometric shapes and which would be best used to construct structures. Through our experiments, we found the triangle to be the strongest. Check out the structures we built using the concept of “Triangle Strength”. Can you see any triangles in the structures below:

5A ITBS Schedule

Dear Families,

                I know many of our students are anxious, worried, and/or excited about the Iowa Test of Basic Skills that they will be taking next week.  I am providing the ITBS test schedule to you so, if possible, you can make sure your child is in class at these times.

                Students will be provided a snack and drink during ITBS testing. However, please make sure that your child receives a balanced breakfast every morning and gets plenty of sleep at night.  In addition, there will not be any spelling next week due to testing.  If you have any questions, please let me know.  Thanks for all your support!

Mon. Nov. 1st            

  •  8:25-8:55              PE
  • 8:55-9:25              Spelling (12 mins)
  • 9:25 -9:55             Vocabulary (15 mins)
  • 9:55-10:55            Reading Activity (No ITBS)
  • 10:55-11:55         Social Studies Activity (No ITBS)
  • 12:00-12:50         Lunch
  • 1:00-1:20              Punctuation (12 mins.)
  • 1:20-145               Usage & Expression (30 mins)
  • 1:50-300               Writing/Reading Activity – (No ITBS testing)           

Tues. Nov. 2nd       

  •  8:25-8:55              Music
  • 8:55-9:25              PE
  • 9:25 -9:55             Science Activity (No ITBS)
  •  9:55-10:55           Reading Activity (No ITBS testing)
  • 11:00-12:00         Math Concepts and Estimation (25 mins. + 5 mins.)                                
  • 12:00-12:50         Lunch
  • 1:00-1:20              Math Computation (15 mins.)
  • 1:20-2:00             Math Problem Solving and Data Interpretation (30 mins)
  • 2:00-300             Social Studies Activity (No ITBS)

Wed. Nov. 3rd          

  • 8:25-8:55              Music
  • 9:00 -9:45             Reading Comprehension I (25 mins.)
  •   9:55-10:55            Science Activity (No ITBS)
  • 10:55-11:55         Reading Comp. II (30 mins.)                                         
  • 12:00-12:50         Lunch
  • 1:00-2:00              Reading Activity
  • 2:00-2:15              Science Activity – (no ITBS testing)
  • 2:25                        Dismiss

Thurs. Nov. 4th        

  • 8:25-8:55              PE
  • 8:55-9:25              Spanish
  • 9:25 -10:00           Science (30 mins.)
  • 10:00-10:25         Reading Activity (No ITBS)             
  • 10:25-11:25         Art
  • 11:25-12:00         Science Activity (No ITBS)              
  • 12:00-12:50         Lunch
  • 1:00-1:20              Capitalization (12 mins.)                                 
  • 1:20-300               Social Studies/Science Activity (No ITBS)

Fri. Nov. 5th             

  •  8:25-8:55              Guidance
  •  8:55-9:25              Music
  • 9:25 -9:55             Spanish
  • 9:55-10:25            Maps and Diagrams (30 Mins)
  • 10:25-10:55         Reading Activity (No ITBS testing)
  • 11:00-11:20         Science Activity (No ITBS)
  • 11:20-12:00         Social Studies Activity (No ITBS)   
  • 12:00- 12:50        Lunch
  • 1:00-1:30              Reference Materials (25 mins.)
  • 1:30-300               Science Activity– (No ITBS testing)