Friday, April 29, 2016

Friday, 29 April 2016

1) I love Fridays because Which One Doesn't Belong is my favorite number talk of the week.

2) Many students have returned the forms they were given for Energy and Tobacco education.
3) Students worked well together to understand how carbon affects the environment.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Thursday, 28 April 2016

1) Visual Pattern 30 was a highlight. I enjoy students who are willing to give an explanation in front of the group and my students are up for the challenge.

2) Students worked quietly to complete their online test.


3) Creative Problem Solvers came in to class and got right to work. They have a commentary to complete regarding a Genius Time Video and then they worked with origami.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

1) The principal visited and left a flattering note for me!
2) Students worked studiously on their math test today after the few minutes of Visual Pattern that I always enjoy.
3) We had a visitor today for MSPP and she was impressed by the students working together, brainstorming, sharing ideas, and enjoying the program.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Tuesday, 26 April 2016 Global Day of Design

Today we participated in the Global Day of Design which was started by A. J. Juliani to get students making, building, and tinkering around the world. Design Thinking is a 21st century concept that the authors of this movement would like to see in classrooms around the world. I have included a list of objectives that were seen during today's project. By clicking the link below, you can find out more about the Global Day of Design. You can also see projects from many schools by checking the twitter hashtag #GDD16.

1) Lily Lopez contributed to a successful Global Day of Design and the students really had fun with the challenges.

2) It is always heartwarming to see students engaged in a book!

3) The variety of tasks was interesting. One group designed a game. Several groups made spaghetti or toothpick towers. A few students designed vibrobots out of dollar store electric toothbrushes. Several students designed Rube Goldberg tasks. I enjoyed listening to the conversations, questioning, and constructive frustration when something didn't work and the unmitigated joy when it finally worked out the way they had planned.

Standards and educational objectives addressed during this day are as follows:

2. Cause and effect: Mechanism and explanation. Events have causes, sometimes simple, sometimes multifaceted. A major activity of science is investigating and explaining causal relationships and the mechanisms by which they are mediated. Such mechanisms can then be tested across given contexts and used to predict and explain events in new contexts.

4. Systems and system models. Defining the system under study—specifying its boundaries and making explicit a model of that system—provides tools for understanding and testing ideas that are applicable throughout science and engineering.

6. Structure and function. The way in which an object or living thing is shaped and its substructure determine many of its properties and functions.

The NGSS addresses engineering which students definitely used during the Design Challenge.
"A. Defining and delimiting engineering problems involves stating the problem to be solved as clearly as possible in terms of criteria for success, and constraints or limits. 
B. Designing solutions to engineering problems begins with generating a number of different possible solutions, then evaluating potential solutions to see which ones best meet the criteria and constraints of the problem. 
C. Optimizing the design solution involves a process in which solutions are systematically tested and refined and the final design is improved by trading off less important features for those that are more important. "

Mathematical Practices were also addressed.

1. Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them. 
2. Reason abstractly and quantitatively. 
3. Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others. 
4. Model with mathematics. 
5. Use appropriate tools strategically. 
6. Attend to precision. 
7. Look for and make use of structure. 
8. Look for and express regularity in repeated reasoning.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Monday, 25 April 2016

What a crazy, windy day!

1) A student who seldom helps out with extras in class, took over a weekly task and did a very good job at it.
2) Students were good listeners while I read aloud from Phantom Tollbooth.
3) Students were quick to respond during transitions.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Friday, 22 April 2016

1) I thought this week's Which One Doesn't Belong would really challenge the students, but they came through again with great observations.

2) Students participated in a Digital Literacy activity and produced a collage of their websearch.

3) One of my students earned a Trophy as top of the class for Math Olympiad and I delivered it to Aswell Trophy to have her name placed on it.

Thursday, 21 April 2016

1) Students were on task and enjoyed the Tobacco Education program lead by their peers.
2) Students came up with interesting insights on the Visual Pattern.
3) Learning Thursday was at Rio Vista and my colleagues there helped me make sense of a confusing topic on Redbird.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

1) One of my less motivated students was called on at random to solve a problem. SS jumped right into it and explained what he was doing and why he was doing it that way.

2) Creative Problem Solvers came up with questions to go with answers yesterday and gave me a demo today.

3) As part of a 30 Day Happy Teacher Challenge, I had students add on to the sentence, "I wish Ms. Townsley knew this about me." Today, one of my students handed it in with, "I wish Ms. Townsley knew my favorite class is her math class."

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

UCSB Mathematics Project

1) I challenged myself by working with something unfamiliar to me that will not be used with students. The idea is that as adults/teachers, it is necessary to be in the position of a learner, so that we can better understand how our students feel as they encounter topics that are new and challenging for them. We discussed Group Theory with something we looked at earlier this school year. You can see it at this link in a slightly different format than we used.  Symmetry Group of a Square

2) There were several thought-provoking discussions about problem solving. We revisited the 5 Practices for Orchestrating Productive Mathematics Discussions. One point, made by Fawn, was that by choosing an unsolved or incorrect example first every time, the students pick up on it and then know that the first one will always be that way. By randomly choosing a sample, the discussions can remain productive, but the students don't feel diminished when chosen first.  (i.e. "Oh, she picked us first, What did we do wrong?")

3) I am always talking about the best ways to assess students and my difficulty with giving grades. Apparently my colleagues listen! I was given a Math Solutions book about Assessment.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Monday, 18 April 2016

1) Every student had a book during Silent Reading.
2) All students attempted the test on Probability.
3) Today I began working with my after school Math Competition team. I really enjoyed the students and they seemed to enjoy the activities. I'm looking forward to this challenge.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Friday, 15 April 2016

Happy Friday! My first positive was seeing the reaction on the custodian's face when I shared a photo from my Signposts Page-A-Day calendar. The second positive was when CB helping hide something that was annoying me on my google calendar. The third positive was how quietly students worked on a couple of projects. They were very intent on getting them done and so into what they were doing that the room was largely silent for a huge portion of the day. REALLY, the students were working hard!

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Thursday, 14 April 2016

1) Students were good listeners.

2) As usual, the Visual Pattern...

3) Peer Leader Training for MSPP went well. The students were attentive, participated, and seemed to enjoy themselves.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

1) I helped BC with some Interactive T.V. issues and she said, "You made my day!" That was very positive.
2) As usual, I enjoyed the student explanations for the weekly Visual Pattern.

3) Students from my peers classrooms joined me today for Peer Leader Training for Minnesota Smoking Prevention Program. They were excellent! I hope they enjoyed it as much as I did.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

1) Students worked well in their groups to share information about math problems.
2) Rio del Valle recently started a Silent Reading time built in to first period. The students read for the entire time and look very engaged. Since I have to be a role model, I get to read too! I love it. I'm almost finished reading Explore Like A Pirate by Michael Matera.
3) Students are planning to make a video explaining how meteorologists predict weather. Their target audience is grade 4.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Monday, 11 April 2016

After an incredible 2 week break in which I met a personal goal I thought would take me until 2020 to meet, I'm back with my incredible 6th graders. Here is the photo of my California map showing the number of species of birds I've identified in each county. The goal was to identify 100 birds in all 58 counties. According to John Sterling, the biologist in charge, only 52 people have accomplished this goal!

1) Students wished me Happy Birthday.
2) Students jumped right back into the routines of our classroom.
3) CPS students worked on understanding and figuring out the rules of various games they have never played. It was interesting to walk around and see how games were being played. I had to point out that some were not following the rules. I would ask for a sentence from the rules to be read aloud, and there would be a big, "OH!" Following that, the students played the games as designed.

I was particularly impressed by the puzzle group. They had 9 cards with photos that have to be connected in a specific way. You can see the puzzle here.