Mr. Bedley's Class News

January 2016

1/2 Way to 6th Grade

It's hard to believe the school year is going by at such a fast rate. We have a busy rest of the year filled with such things as Walk Through the Revolution, Jog-A-Thon, PV 5th Grade Olympics, Optional Spring Parent Conferences, American Heritage Day Student Conference and Evening Performance and so much more. I hope this year has been a great one for you and your child.

A academic quick note: Students have shown tremendous progress in our core subjects. In a recent reading comprehension assessment, students in our class showed as much progress as improving by four full grade levels for reading in just 1/2 of a school year. Please encourage your child to read at home by providing high interest novels and non-fiction books.

Upcoming Major Units Of Study

Math - Fractions

Reading - Recognizing Literacy Elements

Writing - Research Reports and Opinion Writing

Science - Elements and Matter

Social Students - Making of a Nation; Early US History

PE - State Fitness Test including the mile run, push-ups and more

January 2016 Highlights

Design Thinking Challenge

At the beginning of each quarter, students start off with a different team challenge. This last quarter students were taught the method of Design Thinking. In this case, they identified the problems happening on the playground, worked to research why those problems may be occurring, created ideas for solution, developed varied prototypes for their solutions and finally presented their solutions to Mr. Parker.

I'm confident that these kids are on their way to solving the complex S.T.E.A.M. based problems of our world!

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Walk To School Reward

Concrete to Abstract

Although the Common Core has received a mixed reviews, one great thing in the common core is that the learning process being developed in students takes advantage of their nature path to learning. For example in Math, we revisited "finding the area of a 2 dimensional space" to build on prior knowledge from 4th grade. We then built concrete models to better visualize the 3 dimensions needed for calculating volume. Next, we created an abstract pictures of a three dimensional object. Then we developed an understanding of the algorithm needed to solve for volume. Although this process takes a greater amount of time, the payoff is the depth of knowledge conceptually for children who now have an increased ability to apply the algorithm accurately in varied problems.

I'm very proud of the effort the kids put into math each and every day!

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Music and the Art Are Supported Here at P.V. - Thank You PTA!

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Collaboration, Research and Critical Thinking in History and Science

We Are Prepared.

Our administration team of Mr. Parker and Mr. Blazer take student safety as their top priority. We regularly have drills to be ready for a variety of situation we hope we never face. Should we face any emergency situation, please know the staff will do everything possible to ensure the safety of all children. Below is a photo from our recent emergency drill.
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Breakout EDU

During this learning activity, students work in teams to solve a series of clues tied to our curriculum in some way. This was our first shot at breaking the code and solving the Mystery Boxes! The kids didn't want to leave for lunch until they had solved the clues.
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Parent Corner

Along with teaching, I work as a community facilitator to help support teachers around the world through an online publication called Edutopia. It’s a great opportunity share to the world what we are doing here at Plaza Vista, as well as learn the most up-to-date strategies being used globally to improve student learning. I recently shared an article with a few other teachers that discussed questions parents should be asking their teachers. This is the continuation through the 19 most important questions parents should ask their child’s teacher.

What kinds of questions do you suggest that I ask my children on a daily basis about your class?

Here are three good questions/conversation starters to ask your child about class.

1. What goals did you set for yourself in Daily Five today and how did you do on those goals?

2. Tell me about how you used technology in class today.

3. Share with me about how you're learning math, because it's different then the way I learned math.

I hope these three help keep the lines of communication growing with you and your child.

How exactly is learning personalized in your classroom?

Great efforts are made to make learning personal for my students. The effort starts through the use of regular informal assessments to better understand each child's needs. Through structures in place, like the Daily 5 in language arts and math, I am able to allow for student choice and voice, which are a foundations in personalized learning. We set individual goals for improvement daily. I also use technology to help personalize learning for our students. I use opportunities for students to create projects during 80/20 time that follow their personal passions or interests. I focus on the learning process rather than the score or grade as my hopes are to have students leave here loving learning. Finally, the learning experiences I work to create are meant to be highly engaging for the kids. This is a glimpse into how I make learning personal for my class.