the year we chose to make a difference

Amazing to say that it's time for Labor Day already! As we head into the long weekend, I hope everyone has a chance to recharge and enjoy the last few days of summer. All of us here in room 17 have been extremely busy getting back into the swing of things. Below are a few of the things we've been up to as well as some of what is coming up. I hope you enjoy the interactive features of a Smore flyer. It's a great way to share much more than traditional newsletter and as well as allowing for your feedbackl. Look for one monthly.

Genius Hour

I'm sure by now you have heard the kids talk about Genius Hour or their Passion projects. We have already had our "starter" project that was completed in one day. This Friday we start our long term projects that will be a little more formal. Genius Hour is an opportunity for the kids to explore topics that interest them and maybe even inspire others. They are not graded but still have strong educational value. You see, they are unknowingly taking part in inquiry based research and learning, collaborative work, and communication/presentation practice. Of course, it's also fun and creative. Win - Win!

Below I've included a couple of YouTube videos that I've used with the kids. Hopefully you find it as exciting as I do and perhaps will inspire you to start your own Family Passion Project.

What is Genius Hour? - Introduction to Genius Hour in the Classroom
Genius Hour
Change The World In 5 Minutes - Everyday at School


We are now in SURVIVOR mode. Which tribe has the skills and ability to adapt best? When everything around them starts to change, who will survive? Welcome to Survivor – North America! We have spent this week, as well as the coming week, playing the game! The students need to know and understand their tribe to fully accomplish the tasks from each challenge. Each challenge causes the groups to research different parts of the unit, take notes, and apply to their circumstances in order to win the challenge. In doing so, they are using an inquiry method to read the text and take notes, as well as use some beginning research skills.

Of course, then, they have to present a persuasive argument to the Tribal Council in hopes of gaining their votes. They are given a score of 1-8 for each challenge. Each challenge has a winner, but these totals accumulate. The final Survivor is based on total points at the end of 4 Challenges. We completed our second one this afternoon. I recorded them and today we will do some analysis of what made some presentations stronger than others. This is a great tool for them to see how to achieve growth.

This game is also a great way to brush off those collaborative group skills. I told them it was ironic that the arguments they were making about their fictitious tribes being able to adapt and collaborate with others in order to survive are the same set of skill THEY need to work in collaborative situations…Left them with something to think about!

Challenge 1 Winner: Inuit

Challenge 2 Winner: TO BE ANNOUNCED

More News....

and from our PTO:

Calling all 5th grade parents

I know you don't want to even think about this, but the PTO has requested our help in recruiting parents to be on the 5th Grade Farewell Committee. Last year they had 3 people so that is what they hope to get this year, and obviously more can help out. They need a minimum of 3 to make sure it goes smoothly and multiple ideas are considered.

This is a BIG deal to our kiddos. They love this and is usually an amazing day to cap their time at Noble Crossing. Anyone interested, please contact Meghan Stallings at mstallings@live.com.