March 2, 2017
by Mrs. Hamman

Read Across America Day

March 2 is Dr. Seuss’s birthday, and our school joined others in celebrating it as Read Across America Day. We read in class every day, but today we got comfortable and had an extra long read-a-thon. Then we had a Google Hangout and read a Dr. Seuss book aloud to students at Accel. Here are some pictures of our day!

November 22, 2016
by Mrs. Hamman's Class

Natural Disasters

For the past few weeks our class has been learning about natural disasters and their effect on the environment. After we read about some disasters like hurricanes and forest fires as a class, we each chose another type of disaster to research. We wrote five-paragraph essays about what we learned.

After we finished our essays, we made a video to show what these dramatic natural disasters look like. We used the FxGuru iPhone app to create the special effects.

Here are some of the interesting facts we learned about the natural disasters we studied:

  • Most people know about how Mount Vesuvius erupted in the year 79 A.D. and covered Pompeii, but it has also erupted at least 50 more times.
  • The Tri-State Tornado on March 18, 1925, was the most destructive in history. It went through Missouri, Illinois and Indiana, and its path was over 200 miles long. It killed 695 people and injured over 2,000.
  • The longest lightning bolt was almost 200 miles long. It happened during a thunderstorm in Oklahoma on June 20, 2007.
  • Avalanches are a danger on mountains after 12 or more inches of snow have fallen. If an avalanche is triggered, the snow can pour down the mountain at a rate of over 80 miles per hour.
  • Floods can be deadly, but they also can help the environment. The sediment in flood waters may cause the soil to be more fertile.

October 27, 2016
by Mrs. Hamman's Class

October in Our Classroom

October in our classroom from S Hamman on Vimeo.

This video shows the highlights of our past month. Here are our descriptions of some of the activities you can see in the video.

  • The Oreo Challenge is done by students all over the world. You get into groups and stack regular Oreos as high as they can go. The winners from each group stacked against each other. Christilyn was the champion of our class. We kept records of our stacks and reported our data to the Projects by Jen website. You can see the final results here. We’ll be using our data to write real-world math problems with fractions next week.
  • Breakout is an exciting and challenging game! The object of the game is to unlock a group of locks before the time runs out. The teacher gives you one clue, then the other information you search for helps you to unlock all the others. It really makes you think! Last month we played one Breakout with a Minecraft theme, and one based on our current read aloud, Pax.
  • In math we used tiles, cubes, fraction strips and big whiteboards to practicing adding and subtracting with fractions.
  • Walking Classroom is an activity that is fun but also makes you learn. We each have a podcast player loaded with educational podcasts. It also gives you some exercise on the days when you don’t have P.E. Walking Classroom is a great tool for learning. We learned that we can concentrate on lessons better when we are moving around.
  • In the makerspace, we played Breakout, made a model of a biomechanical hand, built circuits with Makey Makey, and participated in the Marshmallow Challenge.
  • Doing the Marshmallow Challenge helps you learn to work together as a team. The original idea for the challenge came from this website. The teams whose towers stayed up concentrated on building a strong base instead of a taller tower. On the day we did the challenge, we did a Google Hangout with a group of teachers in California who also were doing the challenge to talk about what we learned.
  • We have also connected with other people outside our classroom this month. We did a Mystery Skype with a class of fifth graders in San Diego. We spoke with an archaeologist and a Zuni tribal elder who were working on some Mogollon ruins in New Mexico; we learned how these people lived hundreds of years ago, and how they recorded their stories. A few days ago we spoke to Dan Hampton, a former Chicago Bears player who is in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He talked to us about how playing sports and persevering through hard times helped build his character.

Look for our next post some time in the next few weeks. Some of our classmates have set goals to earn their own personal blogs, so we’ll probably have some new student bloggers by then!

This post was written collaboratively by Mrs. Hamman’s students, using Google Classroom.

September 17, 2016
by Mrs. Hamman's Class

Our First Month of School

We have been in school for over a month now and we wanted to share some of the things we have been doing with you. We made a Google Slides presentation with photos of our activities and collaborated to write descriptions of each picture.

September 17, 2016
by Mrs. Hamman
1 Comment

New School Year, New Blogging Goals!

From Mrs. Hamman:

Welcome to the first blog post of our 2016-2017 school year!

This blog started in the fall of 2011, so this is now my sixth school year of blogging with my students. We’ve made so many connections with the people who read and comment on our blog and it’s taught my students much about reading, writing, and digital citizenship!

I wanted to make a shift in the way we use our blog for this year. In the past, students and I brainstormed ideas for posts based on the activities we do in class, then I put the ideas together and wrote the bulk of the blog posts. Although sometimes students wrote guest posts, most of the students’ own writing came in the form of comments. This year, most of my students were introduced to blogging early in their school careers by the fabulous K-4 teachers at our school, so they have some experience with the way blogs are written. I’ve decided I want to make a shift and have students do most of the content creation on the blog. Our goal is to have the students collaboratively write at least one post per month, and have individual student contributors write posts later in the year.  I’m looking forward to seeing what the students produce!

If you’d like to see more of the day-to-day activities from our classroom, you can follow our classroom Twitter and Instagram accounts, both with the username @hammanclass.

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