Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Art Challenge Entries - Vote Here!

Here are the 15 entries in our optional art challenge. View them using the slideshow below, and then vote for your favorite piece of artwork on the poll. (Voting is limited to students with a school Google account.)
Make your selection Here. Just vote for the one you like the best, regardless of who the artist might be. (You will need to login to your Google account to access the poll.)

Opinion Essay Challenge - Tie Breaker!

The essay challenge was supposed to have ended yesterday. However, after a total of 73 votes, there was a three-way tie in Mr. Salsich's homeroom!

(*See below for the winning essay in Mrs. McGowan's homeroom.)

Therefore, we are going to have another vote, this time with just the three top essays. This time, voting will also be limited to students within our district.

Below are the three final essays, followed by a new poll for selecting your favorite.
Vote for your selection here (limited to students)
In Mrs. McGowan's homeroom, the winning essay was "Help save The Chickens." Congratulations to all of the finalists!


Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Opinion Essay Challenge - Vote For Your Favorite!

(Voting will close Monday, March 13 at 2:00 pm)

Our most recent blog post assignment was to write an opinion essay about a topic that interested us.

We needed to write a clear introduction, include three supporting reasons in separate sentences, use transitional phrases to link ideas together, and end with a concluding paragraph.

Mr. Salsich selected five essays from each homeroom as finalists for a challenge to see which essays would earn the writers a tin of controversial putty!

Does this stuff help people think, or just make them crazy?
Please take a few minutes to read the essays below and then vote for the one you like the best.

These are the finalists from Mrs. McGowan's homeroom:
(If it's easier to read them in a separate tab, click the expand arrow in the right corner.)


Vote for your favorite essay from Mrs. McGowan's class here: (You'll need to be logged in to your Google account to vote.)


And these are the finalists from Mr. Salsich's homeroom: (If it's easier to read them in a separate tab, click the expand arrow in the right corner.)


Vote for your favorite essay from Mr. Salsich's class here: (You'll need to be logged in to your Google account to vote.)

Thanks for your participation!


Monday, February 13, 2017

Art Challenge!

For our first art challenge, it is pretty open - just create a piece of art! You can submit a drawing, a painting, a sculpture, a craft, etc. It can be as big or as small as you'd like. However, the artwork must be physical, not digital.

Entries will be due Thursday, March 9th.

The artwork will be judged on a combination of creativity, style, technique, and overall "wow!" factor. The class will select 3 finalists from all of the submitted works of art.

Then, those 3 finalists will be featured in a blog post with a poll for voting. Voting will be open to students, parents, teachers, and friends. The winning artist will receive a $15 gift certificate to Michael's Arts and Crafts.

Below is a slideshow of a few of the entries from past years.

I can't wait to see your creativity and artistic talent!

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Grammar Scavenger Hunt With QR Codes

A few weeks ago, we did a school-wide scavenger hunt to reinforce the grammar skills we have been learning. Our classmate Caitlyn shares her thoughts about the activity below, followed by a fun video with highlights, but first I'll give an overview of what it entailed.

The students were in teams of four and were given an iPad, a chromebook, and one clue. The clue would lead them to a location in the building where they would find a QR code. Here's an example of one of the clues:
Once the students found the QR code, they had to scan it using an app on the iPad. The code would then give them a message with a passcode to join a Google Classroom group.
A sample QR code. Give it a try!
In the Google Classroom group, the students found a slideshow with certain grammar questions that they had to solve. Once they completed the task, they had to share the slideshow with me on Google Drive and wait for my feedback through a comment on the slideshow.
Here's an example of a slide from the "Compound Sentence" task
If they still needed to make corrections to the slideshow, I would comment back with some tips. Once everything was correct, I'd reply with the clue to the next location.

There were four clues to four different locations and four grammar tasks to complete. The first team to successfully complete all of the tasks got to unlock a small steel box back in the room with a prize inside...

Here is Caitlyn's review of the activity:

We did a grammar scavenger hunt all around the school and it was outstanding! 

We did the activity to help us learn the different grammar details that, we as a class, need to watch out for when we are writing. It is important that we did this, so that we can learn how to write correctly.  

We learned how to: 
  • Use commas in a list 
  • How to use their, there, and they’re in a sentence 
  • How to use commas with introductory words
  • How to make a compound sentence
  • How to change a run-on sentence into a non run-on sentence.  

This activity was super fun and I hope to do something like this again! Maybe for social studies, using what we've learned about the Native Americans and the Pilgrims.

Here is a video with highlights from the scavenger hunt. (Special thanks to Luke, Meg, and Mrs. Slocum for filming!)

What did you think of the activity?
What did you think of the video?

Monday, November 7, 2016

Personalized Spelling Lists

In an effort to make spelling activities meaningful for each student, every student has their own personal spelling words to work on.

We start by having a weekly pretest based on certain spelling patterns and phonics rules. Any words the student gets incorrect goes into their word list of ten words for that week. If students get more than ten words incorrect, they pick the ten words they would like to focus on. If students only get three words incorrect, they fill in the rest of their list with words from their daily writing, daily reading, or from a list of commonly misspelled 5th grade appropriate words.

That way, every student has a list of ten words that fit their needs as readers and writers.

During the week, students work with a clock buddy to practice their words in any way that works for them. They have a menu of options, but can also come up with alternative ways to study. (Partners stay with the same clock buddy for each list, so they can get a sense of which words their partner has down cold, and which ones are a bit of a challenge.)

"Weak hand" spelling is a favorite word work activity. First you spell the words with your dominant hand, and then you spell them with your non-dominant hand. The results can be pretty funny!
After five or so days of word work, the clock buddy partners assess each other to see which words have been mastered and which still need some attention. Any words that are missed go right into the next list of words until they are mastered.

Below is a slideshow of the word work and peer-assessment in action:

So far, this has been a fun, effective way for students to work on words that fit their needs.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

"Yum!" - Optional Cooking Challenge

For the next optional learning challenge, we are focusing on baking and cooking. The challenge is to prepare a tasty dessert following the guidelines listed below:

  • The dessert must be nut-free.
  • It must include at least one piece of fresh fruit.
  • It can include a cookie or cookies, but cannot be just cookies.
  • You only need to bring in one serving.
  • It needs to be made primarily by the student (assistance can be provided, but the majority of the work should be done independently.)
  • Adult supervision is required.
  • It cannot be made from a single box kit.
  • The process must be documented through either photographs or videos shared to Mr. Salsich through Google Drive. (Here are some tutorials on how to upload and share media on Google Drive.)
  • It must be delicious!
  • Entries are due Monday, November 14th
The entries will be judged (anonymously) by Mr. Keith, Mrs. Hine, and/or Ms. Selinger. They will determine the winning desserts (gold medal, silver medal, and bronze medal) based on presentation and taste.

The gold medal winner will get to pick one of these boxes of "food" from Japan (The silver medal winner will receive the other box)

Sushi in a box? Hamburgers in a box? What in the world...

Bon appetit!