Search This Blog

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Research, Writing, and Engineering

The 4th grade students were asked to choose a structure and conduct research about it.  They wrote about their selected structure and were grouped together based on their selections.  Then began the fun.  Replicating the structure together.

I wish I had thought of this but the credit goes to classroom teachers at New Century International Elementary.  Check out the final products.

Saturday, October 25, 2014


This school year has not gone as planned.  Nowhere in my plan did I leave room for thoughts of doing anything other than moving up to 5th grade with the most wonderful group of 4th grade students I had the privilege of teaching last year.  Thing is, my plan wasn't entirely within my power to control.  Sparing everyone the details, let me just say that after 6 wonderful weeks with my students I found myself moving into a new position.  We were having a great year!  The students had matured and we had fallen into step together as 5th graders.  The quality of their work was greatly improved and everything about our year was going great (in our classroom world).  Suddenly, I was faced with a decision that may not make sense based on what I have said about my students. Unfortunately, this decision couldn't be made solely on the basis of how perfect things were going with my classroom.  

The dilemna: to accept or not to accept a position working as the Academically/Intellectually Gifted Teacher at another elementary school in the district - full time.

My decision: I accepted it for a variety of reasons that I won't bore you with.

The result: I miss my students terribly.  They hold a very special place in my heart and always will.  I hope that we will maintain contact from time to time some way, some how.  That said... I absolutely love my new role! This position has renewed my teaching spirit and I am feeling very creative again.  The liberty that I am able to take integrating enrichment opportunities for students beyond the core curriculum is absolutely invigorating.  I have so many ideas that I cannot wait to share.

In the first two weeks, I have already been able to jump in and wrap up an on-going unit with the 4th grade students.  They were studying archeology and had done a number of research mini projects along with some grid work and imaginary archeological finds.  I stretched it a bit and tied it to paleontology (because I happened to have a T-Rex model fossil simulation) using some empty raised beds behind the school.  The pictures convey better than my words, so I will leave you with some photos.