December 5, 2015
by Mrs. Hamman's Class

Global Cardboard Challenge 2015

Our class has participated in the Global Cardboard Challenge, sponsored by the Imagination Foundation, every year since 2012. You can read about our first challenge here.

This year, our challenge was even more exciting than usual. This year we were chosen by the Imagination Foundation as one of their Imagination Chapters (see this link for more information about the Imagination Chapters program). This means that our creative activities will get to extend throughout the school year!

We received some gifts from gracious donors as part of our membership in the Imagination Chapters program. First, we received cardboard construction toolkits from Makedo, which enabled us to put our cardboard creations together in creative ways, without just relying on tape. These tools will also really come in handy when we create geodesic structures later in the year! We also received five Ozobots. Ozobots are tiny robots which can be programmed to move in different ways. We’ve had a great time exploring the Ozobots to see how they worked; some have even gone home with our classmates for weekend visits! We’ll be demonstrating them for some other classes during Hour of Code week.

Here is a video showing some of the creations we made during our two-day Global Cardboard Challenge this year. Thank you to Mrs. Moore’s class and Ms. Myers’s class for joining us!

What else could we make with the Makedo construction kit?

What else could we do with the Ozobots?

May 13, 2015
by Mrs. Hamman's Class
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Picture It 2015

Picture It

Our bulletin board for Picture It 2015

Picture It is another great collaborative project from Projects By Jen. With this project, we are matched with 23 other classes to create a work of art. This year the theme was “Quilts”.

We looked at pictures of quilts online and noticed the detail and symmetry in the patterns. You must need to be a good mathematician to be a quilter!

We noticed that some quilt blocks had a circular design. This led to our exploring mandalas. A mandala is a symmetrical, circular design with geometric shapes. These designs are meaningful in many cultures and religions, including Hinduism, Buddhism, and some Native American tribes. We watched this video of Tibetan monks creating a mandala out of sand. Watch it to the end to see what happens to it!

For our quilt block for Picture It, we decided to create our own mandala artwork. Some of us colored designs we found online, while others used stencils to create our own geometric designs. Here are some of the blocks we made to send to other classes.



The image at the top of this post shows the artwork we’ve received from other classes so far. It’s been interesting to see their pictures and read the information they sent with them! We are going to use the information from other classes to answer these math questions. You’ll see the answers in the comments!

Our class is the largest of the classes in our group (so far). What is the range of class sizes?

What is the mean of the class sizes?

Total all the boys and all the girls in all the classes from California. What is the ratio of boys to girls?

What is the ratio of boys to girls in our class?

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?

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? 

October 1, 2014
by Mrs. Hamman

Wonder: Our Favorite Precepts


Our class read aloud for first quarter has been the book Wonder, by R.J. Palacio. It’s the kind of book that makes you think, but it also makes you want to keep reading to find out what happens next. We’ll probably be a little sorry when it ends in a few days!

As we’ve been reading we’ve also been learning a lot about literature. We’ve learned about:

  • Point of view: the book is all written in first person, but there are multiple narrators so we get to hear different points of view.
  • Elements of plot: we’re now reading the resolution of the story.
  • Character development: we’ve seen how characters can change and grow through the course of book, while still keeping their major traits.
  • Theme: we’ve discussed how a book can have more than one theme, and how the message, lesson or moral may be different depending on the reader.

In Wonder, the main character has a teacher named Mr. Browne. Every month Mr. Browne introduces a precept, which he defines as “rules about really important things”, or words that help guide the choices people make.  Some of them are famous quotes and others are written by the characters in the book. It’s been interesting for our class to discuss the precepts as they come up in the book.

R.J. Palacio just released a new book called 365 Days of Wonder: Mr. Browne’s PreceptsWe’ve started exploring the precepts in this new book, choosing our favorites and writing some of our own. Some of us made Haiku Decks to show the ones we like the best.

Andrew – Created with Haiku Deck, presentation software that inspires

Naomi – Created with Haiku Deck, presentation software that inspires

Ciara – Created with Haiku Deck, presentation software that inspires

Aiden – Created with Haiku Deck, presentation software that inspires

Falicity – Created with Haiku Deck, presentation software that inspires

Irlanda – Created with Haiku Deck, presentation software that inspires

Adrien – Created with Haiku Deck, presentation software that inspires

Our next read aloud will be The Fourteenth Goldfish, by Jennifer Holm. We’re looking forward to connecting with others while we’re reading that one, since it’s one of the choices for for Global Read Aloud 2014!

What is your favorite precept?

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