February 5, 2015
by Mrs. Hamman's Class

Global School Play Day

On February 4, we, along with 65,000 other students in 6 continents, participated in the First Annual Global School Play Day. This was a day to celebrate creativity and play in school. We brought in things we wanted to play with, with the only rules that (1) we couldn’t use anything electronic, and, of course, (2) whatever we brought had to be appropriate for school.

It was interesting to see what people chose to do when they weren’t told what to do! Lots of people got together and played card and board games, making up new rules as they played. Some chose to work on creative things, like drawing, making bracelets, or writing stories. Some wanted to read or work on individual projects. A few even wanted to worked on memorizing lines from Shakespeare (that’s for a project we’ll blog about later)!

We’re looking forward to seeing what other classes did on Global School Play Day! You can check out the pictures and stories from other classes by going to the website above or following the #GSPD hashtag on Twitter or Instagram.

Here’s an Animoto video showing some of the things we did:

What did you do on Global School Play Day?

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January 29, 2015
by Mrs. Hamman

Fifth Grade Connections

This morning, we realized that at one time, all three of our fifth grade classes were connecting with other people, using three different methods! Mr. Hendrie’s class was using Zoom to video conference with other classes and a scientist at the Denver Museum of Museum of Nature and Science.  Mr. Maijala’s class was talking about math with Mr. Lockwood’s class, using Skype. Our class was in a Google Hangout with Mrs. Renzulli’s class learning about measurement conversions and how they are used in real life. Yesterday we connected with other classes in a completely different way, a Twitter chat with the #stu2stuchat (Student to Student) hashtag!

Google Hangout

Google Hangout

It’s kind of amazing to think that just a few years ago, students hardly ever had the chance to connect with others outside the classroom. Now we do it all the time!

How do you think connecting with other people helps you learn? 

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January 16, 2015
by Mrs. Hamman's Class

1000 Days of Learning

1000th day bulletin board

Did you know that on the day when other students celebrate their 100th day of school, fifth graders celebrate their 1000th day of school? It’s true: 5 complete school years x 180 days each = 900, plus 100 days this year, equals 1000 days of school!

We are celebrating our 1000th day with some fun math and reading projects. One of the things we did this week was reflect on all that we’ve learned in the past 1000 days. We looked back over our class blog, and the blogs of some of our past teachers, and that helped us realize that we really have learned a whole lot in school over these past 1000 days!

All of the 32 students in our class made a list of 32 things which we have learned in school and wrote them on index cards, and now we have a list of over 1000 (32 x 32 = 1024) things we’ve learned in school. We posted as many as we could fit on our bulletin board, and we’ll continue to post more throughout the rest of the year. Our cards ranged from things we learned in kindergarten to things we learned last week, and covered both the things we’ve learned in the classroom and on the playground. As we’ve been reading over the things our classmates have written it’s a good reminder that we can increase our knowledge every single day.

Here’s a video showing a few of our cards.

What is something you have learned in school?

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January 8, 2015
by Mrs. Hamman's Class


It’s time for the #mathphotoaday challenge! Last year kids from all over participated in a challenge started by the 3B Bees, a class in Thompson, Manitoba, Canada. They challenged us to take pictures of things that illustrate a math concept, and post those pictures to Instagram and Twitter. You can see what others have posted by following the #mathphotoaday hashtag.

This year’s challenge has just begun, and we are excited to begin! Here are the daily topics for January:

Image by @3BBees. Used by permission.

Image by @3BBees. Used by permission.

It’s a fun challenge to think of creative ways to illustrate a math concept! Here’s our picture from yesterday, showing whole-part-part.


You can see the pictures we post daily on the right sidebar of our blog, or on Instagram or Twitter. We’d like to challenge other classes to join us!

Do you have any suggestions for how we can show some of the other math ideas for this month?

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November 6, 2014
by Mrs. Hamman's Class

Fifth Grade Math Challenge

Question mark sign
Photo Credit: Colin Kinner via Compfight

Tomorrow, our fifth grade class is going to have a video conference with Mr. Lockwood’s students, who go to a school a few miles away from ours. We’ve decided to challenge each other to solve some fraction word problems, since that’s what we’re both working on in math. Our questions for Mr. Lockwood’s class are below. (Any of our other readers are welcome to post their solutions, too; we just won’t publish your solution until after we talk to Mr. Lockwood’s class!)

These questions are modified versions of problems in this great math book: 5th Grade Math Journals.


There are two dozen muffins on a plate. 1/6 of the muffins are chocolate. 7/12 of the muffins are banana. The rest are cinnamon. How many muffins are cinnamon?


Jenny collected 2 5/6 of a bin of newspapers to recycle. Sam collected 3 1/2 times as many newspapers as Jenny.

(a) How many bins of newspapers did Sam collect?

(b) What is the difference between the number of bins Sam collected and the number Jenny collected?

EXTRA CHALLENGE: Can you show the answers to these problems using models or manipulatives?


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