Developing our Big Rocks

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Developing Big Rocks During the next two weeks we will make big steps towards becoming independent planners of our work time. To assist students, we are learning to “Begin with the End in Mind” by mapping out our goals. We call these our “Big Rocks” and they represent the tasks we wish to focus on each week.

The “Big Rocks” will lead students to shelf lessons, activities and research topics that will be part of work plans and learning that goes home on Friday in the WOW folder.

Check out the awesome display Mrs. Hatcher developed to help students visualize this Leader in Me Habit for Success.Photo by Tim Swick


From Me Bags to Memoirs

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From Me Bags to Memoirs Today the class started working on gathering ideas for a memoir writing project as their initial writing unit for the year. We have read a few good examples and began to take a chance at starting our own.

The Me Bags students brought in from home are serving to give the students a physical object to connect to thinking and writing. Today we began to write, share, discuss and write some more about one single item in our bag. We are purposely only looking at one item today, so we can see how a single thought can be developed.

The Me Bags will be used all week, and eventually we will take a look at each item as we gather detail and depth in our ideas prior to drafting.Photo by Tim SwickPhoto by Tim SwickPhoto by Tim SwickPhoto by Tim SwickPhoto by Tim SwickPhoto by Tim SwickPhoto by Tim SwickPhoto by Tim Swick

Windmill Awesomeness

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Windmill AwesomenessWe have enjoyed reading and learning the story behind “The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind” in class this week and been inspired by his interest in science. I encourage you to ask your child about this wonderful story.

We took time today to work on developing our own Windmills and had a blast. This was a great example of creativity and problem solving in action. Most of the projects even actually worked.

Students were given a limited number of materials in their “Junkyard” and asked to create a project that used wind to help irrigate crops just like the story.Photo by Tim SwickPhoto by Tim SwickPhoto by Tim SwickPhoto by Tim SwickPhoto by Tim SwickPhoto by Tim SwickPhoto by Tim Swick

Why History

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Why History?Today we started an activity about looking at how and why we study history. We took some time to look at the importance of thinking like detectives while using primary resources to explain and learn from past events.

We started by looking at a series of photos and documents that all impact the content of 4th and 5th grade.  Step one today was to decide which pictures go with what grade. The rest of this week we will start digging deeper and use clues to discover the story behind each resourcePhoto by Tim SwickPhoto by Tim SwickPhoto by Tim SwickPhoto by Tim Swick

Spaghetti Towers

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Spaghetti Tower Wrap Up On Friday I forgot to post our final towers. The students were excited and did a great job showing  collaborative and creative habits to build these designs. I was impressed. One key item we learned was that failure is often and important  step towards success!

Photo by Tim SwickPhoto by Tim Swick

First Great Lesson in Upper El

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First Great Lesson in Upper ElFirst Great Lesson: The BeginningToday, we continued a long standing Montessori tradition by sharing the story of The Beginning. We looked at how our universe came to be and investigated big questions about science using a story passed down from teacher to teacher that began with Maria many years ago. 


The Recipe for Success

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The Recipe for SuccessToday students focused on how to guarantee success through good habits. We discussed how our positive energy, a solid plan and proper time management create a path for learning. Following this discussion students designed Marshmallow Towers in collaborative groups to demonstrate the power of this concept. We made plans today and will complete the projects tomorrow. 


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