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Showing posts from January, 2014

Silent Lunch

Now hang on, if you are thinking this is going to be a post to support the silencing of all students while eating lunch in the cafeteria, you are wrong.  Well, maybe.  In my 7 years as an educator, I've never been a proponent of taking away recess time and/or asking students to not talk during lunch.  I've always felt those times are their times.  Times during the day when they don't have to deal with us teachers.  When they can freely interact with their peers, build social relationships, chew the cud if you will.

I don't think we need to turn our cafeterias into this...


Perhaps I've had a slight change of heart the past few days.  You see, my fifth graders decided not to make the best choices in their short jaunt to the cafeteria.  They sounded like a high school marching band marching down the hallway.  I decided to bring down the hammer.  Silent lunch for the first 15 minutes. It was wonderful.  The students finished their lunches before the time was up.  My st…

Teaching Energy through Rube Goldberg Machines

Rube Goldberg- A Pulitzer Prize winning cartoonist, sculptor and author.  Perhaps most famous for his political cartoons but when it comes to my students, he is known for his extremely complex machines used to complete an extremely simple job or task.  What in the world does this have to do with my classroom?  Good question...

So, as a 5th grade teacher in the wonderful state of Texas, I am required to help my students discover some concepts of force, motion and energy.  More specifically, after my students have had ample time to discover, they should be able to explore the uses of energy, including mechanical, light, thermal, electrical, and sound energy.  What better way to do that than allow the students to learn about Rube Goldberg machines than make their own using the principles of the transfer of energy discussed and discovered in class?  Below you will see how I do that.

I usually start my students off with this video from CBS Sunday Morning.

I ask my students to watch the vid…