- Thank you (4/9/2018)
DAYS WITH THE RAYS
Hello Rays Family,
OUR PLAYGROUND IS COMPLETE!!!!!!!!!! I just want to thank you all for your amazing efforts with the planning and implementation of our brand new playground. The persistence, resilience and work ethic of our community members was a truly amazing experience to be a part of. We can honestly say that we put our blood, sweat and tears into this process and it just shows what amazing things our community can do. After this weekend, I couldn’t be more proud of our community members. We have completely transformed our backyard into a place where our community can finally experience PLAY! The looks on our kids’ faces was truly priceless and made everything worth it. In our morning meeting, I asked them: What does this playground mean to you? and Who would you like to thank for our playground? If you want to hear their responses, click below!
- SLOUGH SLOGGING (3/26/2018)
Many of you, including myself, were wondering… WHAT IS SLOUGH SLOGGING?! Friday, April 23rd, I was able to participate in this amazing experience. My explanation of slough slogging could not even begin to describe what this is, but it is basically wading through the everglades! If you would like to learn more, click here! As we are provided the slough slog stick, I think to myself: “This won’t be necessary…” Boy, was I wrong. Close toed shoes and long pants doesn’t begin to express what is needed in order to be prepared for this! I was thigh deep in MUCK-squishy, soft, wet and thick- MUCK! Left, right, stumble, left, stumble, right….I waded through this muck. You probably would have laughed watching me! So you can only imagine how the kiddos were walking. I laughed so hard watching our Rays fall, sink and struggle through the Everglades. As the students wading through, they were taught different characteristics of the Everglades such as periphyton, different plants and animals that help with the overall preservation of the Everglades. We even saw an alligator! This interactive field lab not only built upon prior knowledge and connected to science standards but it was a unique experience that MOST wouldn’t be able to do in their lifetime! If you want to know how the Rays 4th graders felt about the experience, click here!
BEFORE SLOUGH SLOG AFTER SLOUGH SLOG
Thanks for swimming by,
- Civil War Days (2/5/2018)
Welcome back to Days with the Rays!
As some of you may know, the fourth and fifth graders went to the Civil War Festival in Key West on Friday. In order to prep the students for this event, we made sure to plan social studies curriculum for the week of. We went over all the main topics of the civil war before so that students could have some conceptual background knowledge to build upon. We discussed the differences between the North and South and some of the causes and effects of the civil war. I wasn’t able to see the positive effects of this front loading until we got to the actual event. As a teacher, it is the craziest feeling to see our students so engaged in a conversation with adults about something they have never experienced. ALL of my fourth graders were not only participating but answering the questions correctly! “Wow, we have a smart bunch!” “I’m surprised you know that!” Hearing these statements from the civil war volunteers made my heart scream! At one point I said “I’m their teacher, I’m their teacher!” I was so proud! It just goes to show how beneficial authentic learning can be. These students were able to learn about a concept and then to make connections with a real life experience.
Just a couple reminders!
Fudge sales are due!
Roses and Chocolates are on sale through the 13th and delivered on the 14th! Order forms and money can me turned into me!
Valentines’ Day Dance is Saturday, February 10th!
President’s Day is Monday, February 19th: No School!
- THE CLUB YOU HAVE ALL BEEN WAITING FOR! (2/3/2018)
It’s time….kickball time.
Ms. Chandler, with the help from someone (anyone?!) will be the PRESIDENTE of our first OSCS kickball club. Now if that doesn’t sound exciting, let me explain. Yours truly, if you haven’t heard yet, travels around the U.S to play kickball with other enthusiastic adults! This is why I am so excited to bring my love for kickball to you! Join us starting February 8th, on Thursdays from 3:45 to 4:45 at Key Largo Park. Parents will need to transport students to the park. I recommend some parents carpooling and off switching days but please provide a note letting the office know it’s O.K for so and so to transport your child to and from kickball. Students will need to be picked up at Key Largo Park at 4:45. If you have any questions, please feel free to come see me!
In addition to our Cool Kickball Club with Ms. Chandler (we should definitely get shirts made…), the 4th & 5th graders are doing a fundraiser to raise money for our upcoming trips in April. There are flyers being sent out with to pre-order forms (on the back). Roses and chocolate will be delivered on February 14th. Please specify whether you want a rose or chocolate, how many, and who you are sending them to. Roses were donated from a parent and will be limited. First come, first serve. Money will need to be provided along with the pre-order form to Ms. Chandler.
Speaking of Valentines’ Day, on the 14th, the Rays room will continue a normal day of structure. At the last hour of the day, we will have time for students to pass out their treats. We would never want anyone to feel left out so if you are bringing treats/valentines, please make sure there is enough for 28 students. We will provide a class list including the first names of all the students in the class.
Just a reminder, parent conference sign up sheets are located where you sign your child in and out. Parent conferences are February 20- February 28th (excluding Thursdays for kickball, of course). If you have any concerns with the time slots provided, please let us know!
That’s all in this week’s…Days with the Rays.
- Two Thousand Eighteen (1/10/2018)
Happy New Year!
I hope that everyone had a wonderful break with your family! I bet you’re happy to have them back in school! I most definitely am! I love Netflix, the extra sleep, and the chance to forget my name for a little! HA! However, 2018 is going to bring a lot of new and exciting things for our class. Yesterday was our first day back and we started our day with a discussion about new year resolutions/goals. My 2018 resolution is to appreciate all that I have in my life. I gave the students a couple reflection minutes to think of one for themselves. I was surprised with some of the responses. Ask your child what their new years goal is and hopefully they can tell you. If not, help them develop one. It doesn’t have to be related to school, although, I had a few that would like to practice developing their school work ethic (I didn’t hint at this!). We have some that want to become a better friend, and others who were still thinking. Majority of students would like to practice their skills in a certain skill, hobby or sport. If you haven’t noticed yet, our class is a very active group which is why I want to start up my Kickball club. I play kickball all over the United States and I would love to find time to practice and instill my sweet skills and love for kickball to your kiddos :). Before I can get the ball rolling (HAHA get it?!), I need to figure out the park availability and transportation. I was thinking Key Largo Park on Thursdays. This is just an idea and I will make sure to get you actual details when I finalize them!
Next, starting this week we began using Class Dojo as a way to track positive behavior in the classroom. For some of you that do not know, we have a system in place that requires students to earn a certain amount of points in order to receive Community Building. Community Building is a time where students participate in group- oriented games and activities with the intent of practicing life skills such as taking turns, initiating play and getting along with others. Each student needs to earn at least five points a day to receive 20 for the week, in order to go. If they do not earn, they sit with me while we discuss why community building was not earned and how we can work to earn for next week. So far, we have a lot of buy in from the students using this system. I favor the Positive Behavior System because it focuses on the positive behavior. Have you ever heard of the red button phenomenon? I was THAT kid (I know some of your were too!). Teacher- “Don’t push the red button.” Me- “Red button!? Where?!” Instead of telling what NOT to do, focus on what you want to see. Class Dojo is a great way promote positive behavior and you can access it! In your child’s mailbox are the directions on request access. This can be done on the computer or you can download an app on your phone (TECHNOLOGY IS CRAZY!). I believe you can also communicate with me on their if you have any questions concerning your child’s behavior.
Fourth grade parents, we are still trying to think of ways to fund raise for St. Augustine. We still need to think of a way of transportation. If you have any ideas, or know anyone willing to help, let me or Mrs. Sabrah know! A non-refundable deposit of $100 is due to me or Mrs. Sabrah by January 19th. This is required so we can start determining who is going and create a budget. We will have another parent meeting towards the end of January. Let me know if you have any other questions!
Here are some other important dates/things to remember:
Friday, January 12th- Dry Field Lab to Florida Keys Electric
Monday, January 15th- No School (MLK Day)
Friday, January 16th & 19th– Field Lab to the Marathon Airport and leaving at 10:30
Thursday, January 18th- Report cards go home!
Thanks for stopping by!
Ta-ta for now,
- HELP PARENTS! (12/11/2017)
Hope everyone is staying warm!
Now, if you read the following post, we are participating in Genius Hour. We are currently in the process of finding experts on our topics so that we can interview them and learn more! This step in the process is important for the authenticity of the experience! There are many life skills being practiced in order to prep for the interview. Students are creating questions, and drafting emails to send out to their experts. Here’s where we need your help! We are having trouble finding experts for our students! If you know anyone that knows information about the following topics comment on our Padlet. Find the topic that you can help with and comment on the actual topic with your contact information! Thank you for contributing to our child’s learning!
See ya later,
- Beginning Stages of Genius Hour (12/8/2017)
DAYS WITH THE RAYS
It’s been a one crazy year and I apologize for not always having you in the loop but that’s about to change! Thank you Mr. Vince for helping us with these cool blogs! Hopefully this isn’t the case but I can imagine you guys asking your children, “What happened in school today?” and receiving the typical student response “Oh, nothing.” You can now smirk and ask them specific questions based on what you’ve read! There has been a lot of pressure deciding on what to write for MY very first blog! I’ve decided on Genius Hour because it has been one of the coolest experiences for me as a teacher, and I can only imagine how our students feel about it. The following are interviews from a 3rd grader (Manolo) and 4th grader (Lily).
Why do you like Genius Hour?
“Because I get to research my interests.”
What are you doing for your project?
“Falcons vs. Hawks”
What have you learned so far?
“Hawks are mostly larger. None of them eat each other and they both belong to a different genera.”
What do you like about the genius hour process?
“I like how long it is because I feel like I’m not rushed and I feel accomplished. I also like that people all over the world do it.”
Why do you like Genius hour?
“I feel like I can expose my brain to anything I want.”
What are you doing yours on?
“Starting a small business.”
What have you learned so far?
“There are eleven steps on how to start a small business.”
What is your favorite part so far?
“Using Padlet to reach out to experts to interview.”
Genius Hour is a process of allowing students to identify their passions and learning more about those passions without the pressure. The process is simple. Students choose a topic, passion or interest then plan out how they want to learn and share it with the world. Yes, the world. Students spend their time planning, researching, collaborating with experts and designing a project that can be shared with an authentic audience.
As teachers, we started process to add another engagement piece to the week. Little did we know the positive impact it would have on our students. Our expectations going into this were that students were going to want to do the same projects with their friends, with little effort and research would consist of looking up google images. What came from this has been truly inspiring. Students are writing paragraphs of research and are coming up with innovative ways to present this information. Topics range from: How video games effect the body to information about Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
Throughout this process, there are 6 Ps: Passion, Plan, Pitch, Project, Product and Presentation. So far we have identified our passions and are currently planning our next steps. During this process, students have realized that planning is one of the most important parts of genius hour. When planning, students are learning that not everything goes as planned and we should identify possible problems we might face and how we can solve those problems before they happen. This minor detail in the planning process is preparing them for situations in the real world. So far, I have truly been amazed with what our kiddos have come up with and I am excited to see where the process takes us!
Until next time,