We are a curious group of fifth graders living in south-central WI. We enjoy hands-on projects and finding things out for ourselves. At present we see each of our fifth grade teachers for 90 minutes a day. Mrs. Steven teaches science, writing, grammar, and orthography (structured word inquiry). Most of the posts in this blog are about the orthography we learn, but there are also posts about other subjects too. If you have any questions or would like to learn more about us, please contact Mrs. Steven at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I have 26 years of experience in a fifth grade classroom (24 if you count the one year I was actually a fifth grader). I prefer the kinds of projects that incorporate skills from several academic areas, and when possible topics that are in the everyday lives and environments of the students. I also believe that students need practice throughout their K-12 education with thinking on their feet and presenting their work to an audience. While I often have students present things to their classmates, I also have them present to the whole school (Science Fair and Photosynthesis Follies). They also work with younger students, teaching them about English spelling.
Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences has long been my guide in choosing classwork choices and study options. Having students aware of this theory and then having them identify their own strengths among the seven Intelligences that Howard Gardner names, allows each student to be less inclined to compare him/herself to his/her peers. It also explains why each student needs to develop a unique list of effective study techniques.
Another area of specific interest to me over the last ten years has been how the brain learns. I have taken several courses and attended workshops dealing with this topic. My plan is to demonstrate to students that things like repetition, use of rhythm, use of color, and amount of information all affect the likelihood of being able to store the information in their long term memory.