Thursday, March 28, 2013

It's a Math Party!

Who knew math was so much fun! 
As part of a math enrichment project, our Rocketeers planned their own math party! Students were able to select a theme (that was not related to a holiday) and create an itemized list to cover food/snacks, plates, cups, other utensils as well as items for goody bags. Students were given a budget of $100 and carefully selected items that would be appropriate for their themed party. Some examples of themes that groups selected included: A Disco Party, a picnic, and a Paris Sweet Shoppe. Students found items for their goody bags from Oriental Trading Company, while food items were purchased at a local grocery store.  Since we did not have exact prices from our local grocery store, students had to provide their best estimation for the items that they needed. Overall, the group that collaborated as a team (i.e. distributed tasks evenly and were actively engaged throughout the planning) and that created the most detailed itemized list (with the closest estimations) was selected. Our winner for the party was the Paris Sweet Shoppe.

Our goody bags are ready to go. 
Thanks to the PTA, our project was funded, which put our plans into action! Our project was successful in that it challenged students to apply estimation and addition skills in a real world setting. It was even more authentic when they discovered that their efforts transformed into an actual party that they have planned for! One suggestion to improve this project was to assign homework that involved researching prices for items purchased from the grocery store. This would have given our students a more accurate look at the actual amounts that they had to spend versus an estimation. 
Look at all these goodies we bought with our PTA Grant!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Working Hard and Getting Smart!


The 5th Grade REACH Class has been working hard and getting smart! We have been drawing pictures on Ms.Carter and Ms. Deyamport's windows to boost school spirit! Personally I have been drawing on Ms. Carter's windows because I think since they are closer to the other classrooms, people will see them more.
 Our motto is "Work Hard, Get Smart!" and sometimes Ms.Hornsby, our principal, is encouraging us with the phrase, "Catch the eye of the tiger!" (Our school mascot is a tiger.)  In all, our total number of windows done is 7! Hip Hip Hooray for Thames Elementary School!
                                                                                                                                      By: Kameron

Poet's Corner

Last semester our REACH Rocketeers were hard at work composing different types of poems. Have a look at our Poetry Showcase below.

1. Animal and Name Acrostics 

To get to know each other, students created name acrostic poems to describe themselves, their interests, and talents. Students also added illustrations to their poems. Next, students chose an animal that they wanted to learn more about. They were encouraged to choose uncommon animals and construct an acrostic poem to show what they learned. Here are some samples from 3-6 grades.

2. Self-Portrait Poems
Students also explored similes and metaphors to improve their poetry by creating self-potrait poems to describe themselves. To accompany their poems, students also made self portraits out of torn paper. The biggest challenge was to design these portraits without using rulers, scissors, or pencils! Have a look at these masterpieces made by our 4th graders.

3. Sharing Our Work 
As a culminating activity, our 3rd graders shared their animal acrostic poems with Mrs. Musone's class on Skype.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Tornado Relief Package

Last month an F4 tornado went through our city, affecting our community and schools. We were lucky enough not to have any major damages to our school's campus, however, several families in our school were displaced due to damages caused to homes and several other residential areas. When we mentioned this experience, our friends in Mrs. Musone's 3rd grade class were very generous to send us a care package to assist those families affected by the tornado. They even sent us personal notes to let us know that they were thinking of us during this time. We want to extend a huge thanks to Mrs. Musone and her 3rd graders for making our day!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

I Spy: Our First iBook of Poems

As part of our Poetry Unit, our REACH Rocketeers composed a variety of poems to tap into their creative sides. We also explored the role of voice and took it a step further by giving voice to things we observed in nature by writing I Am and If I Were Poems. Originally, we were going to publish our poems to display in our classroom and school, until one of our students suggested that we take pictures to go along with our work. The end result- our first iBook of Poems!

We are very proud to share our iBook, I Spy
(Please click on the title to download a PDF version.)

We hope that you enjoy our book as much as we enjoyed putting it together!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Global Shout Outs

Recently, our Rocketeers have been busy with several Mystery Skype calls to sharpen our geography and deductive reasoning skills.  With these calls we have also chatted with several classes around the United States and thought it was time for a little change.  To make things a little more challenging and not to mention interesting, we have arranged a few Global Mystery Skype calls. These have expanded our knowledge of our world, however, we have to admit our need to explore more geographical terms and features to help us during our calls. Overall, we have enjoyed all our calls, learning about new places, but especially getting shout outs from all over the world!

Talking with the Future? 

Did you know that we talked to a class that was in the future? Yes, you heard right. While we chatted with our friends at Crossmaglen Public School in Coffs Harbour, Australia it was around 2:00pm on a Wednesday for us and around 7:00am on Thursday for them!

Check out the blog post they wrote about our Skype call here


We also chatted with 5th grade students in St. Mary's School in Southern Alberta, Canada. They introduced us to fun job called, entertainers. These entertainers sang a cool song and told us some funny jokes while we waited on questions. Watch a clip from our call below. 

Our Logical Reasoners had to piece the clues together. 
Our techy Map Keepers using Google Maps & Google Earth. 
They are so close!