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Showing posts with label grade5. Show all posts
Showing posts with label grade5. Show all posts

Grade 5 Genius Hour

Calgary Science School
Grade 5 Team

Framework for Student Learning Graphic
The Grade 5s are excited to be starting Genius Hour this year! Every day 3 we will be dedicating 80 minutes to Genius Hour work, providing students with a voice in what they want to learn, promoting their passions and encouraging creativity. Students will be expected to be prepared and to use this time effectively.

Genius Hour is tightly linked with objectives outlined by Alberta Education in their document Framework for Student Learning:

Genius Hour will help develop life skills such as planning, teamwork, meeting timelines, and following through on commitments. This experience will inspire self-direction, pride and responsibility in each student.

Grade 5 Classroom Chemistry

Igniting Curiosity through the power of observation.
Jocelyn Monteith ~ Grade 5 Math/Science

Last week students spent time in the science lab testing a variety of materials (salt, sand, oil, and an Alka-Seltzer tablet) to see what happens when they are mixed with water: what dissolves, what reacts and what remains unaffected.

Students hypothesized what they thought would happen based on what they already knew about each of the materials. While conducting each test, students captured their observations in words, images and videos. As you could imagine, the lab was buzzing with excitement, students eagerly calling their teacher over, wanting to share what they had observed, attempting to explain the science behind what happened.

Grade 5 Math Problem

Valerie Barnes and Jocelyn Monteith
Grade 5 Math/Science

Grade 5 students were recently given the following math problem. The assignment, feedback, submission and assessment steps are taking place in Edmodo. It has been great to see the comments on the assignment page where students are offering feedback, asking questions, and assisting with technical support. Assignments are due this week may the force be with them.

CSS Podcasts: Assessing Website Credibility

Grades: 6-9
Subject: All

As part of our Collaboration and Outreach Program, the Calgary Science School is creating and sharing podcasts and PDF handouts of inquiry-based lessons designed by our teachers. We encourage feedback, comments and dialogue on the materials we publish.

This podcast contains one approach to assessing website credibility by introducing three criteria for students to use when conducting internet research projects.

These materials on website credibility were designed by The Critical Thinking Consortium, and are shared here with their permission.

Grade 5 Electricity Collaboration

Kathryn Desrochers ~ Grade 5 Math/Science Student Teacher University of Lethbridge

Just before spring break, our grade 5 students (and teachers) had an opportunity to learn from an expert. Emily Marasco is a University of Calgary student working on her Graduate Degree in Electrical

Engineering. As part of her Master’s research, Emily has gone around to various schools conducting a set of electricity modules for project based learning. This turned out to be a wonderful partnership, in which Emily could conduct her research with 100 willing students and our school community benefited from her expertise, enthusiasm and hands on approach.

 All of the modules were well thought out and aimed at building understanding of concepts related to electricity through hands on exploration. Emily used STEM - Science, Technology, Engineering and Math with a focus on helping students understand what Engineers really do. Students were engaged in various learning experiences with curricular links extending beyond science and into technology, art and social studies and language arts.

Grade 5 Wild Weather Inquiry

Erin Couillard- Grade 5 Math/Science

 Big Question:  Are we seeing a dangerous shift in climate? Or just a natural stretch of bad luck?

This question was inspired through question brainstorming with students at the beginning of the Grade 5 weather unit as well as a National Geographic article I read in the fall.

Supporting Questions (student generated)
A. Has your "event" gotten worse over the years?
B. Why does this "event" happen? (Consider the weather science)
C. Where does this "event" happen? Only in one place in the world or in multiple places?
D. What time of year does your event usually happen? Has this changed over time?
How as this event affected the people/animals that live there?
E. Has your "event" impacted the economy?
F. How have humans adapted to changes in this "event".

Grade 5 Weather Wise With a Storm Chaser

Kathryn Desrochers~ Grade 5 Math and Science Student Teacher 
University of Lethbridge

On Friday February 8, 2013 all four grade 5 classes had the opportunity to Skype with George Kourounis. George is a storm chaser, most well known for his TV Series “Angry Planet” in which he chronicles his adventures chasing storms and exploring the globe. He has also done extensive work with The Weather Network, most recently filming controlled avalanches in the Kootenay Pass.

Unfortunately we experienced some technical difficulties with the call, but George quickly shifted gears from his planned presentation to an interactive, engaging question and answer session. The students were brimming with questions and asked things such as “What is the most severe weather you have ever been caught in?”, “Were you on the East Coast for Hurricane Sandy?”, “Have you ever experienced a tsunami?” and many, many more. 

Exemplary Learning Formula

Margaret Leland-  Grade 5 Humanities

In a recent Learning Strategies class we had been discussing the interconnected nature of the pillars of our Exemplary Learning framework. The students were tasked with talking about two questions: How does relationships and communication relate to the other pillars? and, Do the pillars all connect to student success?

After about 10 minutes discussion one of the groups looked like they had found a 'big' answer. When I approached their group they stated that the only way they could really do it was to develop a mathematical formula to represent their thinking.

Spelling with Substance

Mike Neufeld

As a teacher in an inquiry based school, I thoroughly enjoy approaching the curriculum with students in a manner that accommodates flexibility and open-ended exploration. This manifests itself easily in larger, inquiry-based projects, yet I always find that I ask myself, “What does Inquiry look like for smaller, day to day lessons?” With this in mind, I was curious as to how I might take spelling beyond rote memorization of lists and paragraphs and into something that was more individualized for the diverse students in my classroom.

Math & Science Inquiry Projects

CSS Math & Science Inquiry Projects Database

Our Math and Science Team has created a Google Doc to house a database of inquiry projects that they will use throughout the year. The goal of this database is to provide a place where teachers within the school and ultimately, teachers from outside the school, can see how we foster inquiry within our own classrooms.

If you would like to learn more about one of the projects or have a question please add a comment below.

Click here to visit the Project Database:
CSS Math and Science Inquiry Project Database

The Cat Food Problem

-by Val Barnes (Grade 5 Math Teacher) and Kevin Sonico (Math Learning Coach)

The Grade 5 students were posed with the task of determining which store, Petland or PetSmart, gave a better deal on the same brand and same size of cat food (Figure 1). Before proceeding with their solutions, students must hypothesize through estimation and rounding which of the two would be the better deal. Students then worked in groups to solve this problem. Each group was also assigned a Grade 8 student who facilitated the discussion. The facilitators’ responsibilities did not include providing hints or strategies, rather to ask questions such as “How do you know this is true?” or “How do we prove this?” and make statements such as “Let’s show proof of this.”

Learning Off the Grid! The beginning...

-by Greg Neil, Grade 5 Math/Science

Editors note: Greg's classroom was just featured on Canadian Geographic's the Energy Diet Challenge. One of Greg's students recently wrote a letter to the editor of the Calgary Herald. To read that letter, click here.

As a science teacher at the Calgary Science School, I am always looking for ways to engage my students in rich, authentic learning experiences. When planning for the Grade 5 Electricity Unit, I was looking for ways to move beyond the basic outcomes associated with this unit and to tie our learning to a more meaningful project that promotes ethical citizenship and environmental stewardship.

Introduction to Inquiry Based Learning

At the Connect Charter School we focus on inquiry-based learning, technology-intergration,
Collaboration, Education Research, Authentic Learning Experiences and outdoor/environmental education . We believe these pillars come together to provide students with opportunities for authentic, meaningful and relevant learning.

At the core of our program is inquiry - an approach to learning and teaching (including teacher learning) that is the foundation of all we do. Our thinking around inquiry is that it is more than just 'doing projects' but is rather nurturing a dispostion toward critical thinking, reflection and idea improvement in all learners in our building. In creating and sharing these projects, we are thankful to the Galileo Educational Network for their role in shaping much of our thinking about inquiry.

On this blog you'll find a growing collection of inquiry-based projects. You can use the tag list on the right side of the blog to find ideas on specific topics, grades or subjects.

Building Personal Connection to History

At the end of last school year, one of our grade 5 humanities teachers, Tanya Stogre, engaged her students in a lengthy study of Canadian history designed to nurture personal connection with figures from our countries past.

Over the course of a few months, students selected and researched a figure from Canadian history who they personally identified with based on their characteristics, struggles, accomplishments, and life story.

Using iMovie for Scientific Thinking

As a 1:1 school, one of our continual goals is to leverage the power of technology to support deep and intellectually rigorous work. Like many others, we believe that teaching and learning should not be about the tools, however emerging technologies, when embedded in well designed projects, can assist students in deep understanding and meaningful assessment.

The research report from our school confirms that technology becomes a powerful tool for engagement, when partnered with effective teaching practices.

One of the ways that we have seen technology have a significant impact on student learning is around assessment. Here at CSS we have seen many examples where technology has empowered students to demonstrate their understanding in different ways - enabling students to show what they know in better ways than traditional pencil and paper formats.

The challenge becomes determining what the key or essential understanding for a particular topic are, and then determine how technology might improve or deep students understanding of those skills, outcomes or ways of thinking.

A recent grade 5 science project by Candice Shaw and Greg Neil demonstrates the connection between clear content-based outcomes and technology usage. In grade 5 in Alberta one of the science topics is Building Electrical Devices. The purpose of this unit is to have students create a device using simple concepts from the electricity unit. The challenge becomes how teachers might assess the understanding of the students by looking at a final device.

At the same time, some of the general science outcomes involve scientific thinking and rigour. Through the year students should be demonstrating their understanding of the scientific method, how to design measurements to collect data, how to test and improve a design and then document scientific thinking.

Also, across our program, in all subjects and grades levels, we strive to create learning environments where students are producing their own solutions to engaging problems and can be creative while address core competencies.

The way Candice and Greg addressed both the specific and general learner outcomes was to have their students create a podcast documenting their process. As students went through the building and testing phase of building their electrical device, they took pictures and then created a video explanation of their device and the accompanying scientific concepts.

This video captures teacher Greg Neil talk about the role technology played in demonstrating students understanding about the electricity concepts:

This video podcast shares a grade 5 student discussing their electrical device:

The rubric used by the teachers to assess the podcasts:

Drawing Fractions: Fine Arts Integration

Written by Candice Shaw, Grade 5 Math/Science Specialist

One of our new initiatives this year is a Fine Arts Integration Program with our grades 4, 5 and 6students. The purpose of this initiative is to deepen the collaboration between our Fine Arts program and the core subject areas.

As part of this new initiative, a Fraction Art project was created in collaboration between a visual arts specialist and a math/science specialist. In math, Grade 5 students had completed most of the fraction unit when this project was introduced.

The project is based on the artwork of Piet Mondrian, who often used a grid of horizontal and vertical lines, filled in with primary colors.

In order to create their own "Mondrian" type pieces of art, students followed a general set of instructions, which were written in fractional terms for the whole area of one piece of paper. All students followed the same set of directions and then compared their creations with peers. An exemplar of the project was shown to students prior to beginning their own artwork.
This activity reinforced fraction concepts taught in class, as well as some concepts that were not directly taught at a Grade 5 level. Concepts covered:
  • Representing, identifying, naming and creating fractions using a region model.
  • Visually creating equivalent fractions: Students were challenged to find interesting ways to represent the fractions. For example, some students used long skinny rectangles, instead of one folded square to represent one twelfth.
  • Division with fractions: Papers were folded into 12 equal sections, which then had to be changed into smaller equal pieces for more complex directions. For example, to break the paper into twenty-fourths, students decided they could split each section (twelfth) into 2 equal sections, creating twenty-fourths.
The initial folding of the paper into twelfths was chosen because it allowed a variety of fractions to be represented within the folds of the paper (e.g. thirds, fourths, sixths, etc.). The directions can also be easily adapted to allow for different types of folds.

As an extension to the project, students were asked to create their own artwork, which they then had to write fractional directions for (similar to the original project).

Here's some of the sample pieces of student work:

Google Earth for Mapping Math

Our grade 5's have just finished using Google Earth to solve a math problem designed to build large number sense.

The students were challenged to find a route across Canada, starting in Calgary, that would take them to each of the capital cities. The trip could go in any order after leaving Calgary, but the students needed to complete their trip using at least 20,000 km and not going over 25,000 km.

In order to complete the trip, the students first needed to know the names and locations of all 14 capital cities, including territories and the capital of Canada, and how to add digits with decimals. Interestingly, many student used print altases to gain remind themselves of the names and locations of the cities. (It was also a great review of the capital cities of Canada - also part of the grade 5 curriculum!)

A Google Earth demonstration was given before the challenge. The class was shown how to fly between locations using addresses as well as the names of locations.

Other tools that shown included: how to measure between two locations using the “line” and “path” function, how to move within the screen, how to zoom in and out of locations and how to mark locations that they had visited.

The class first explored these tools by locating their homes, the Calgary Science School and the Calgary International Airport. Once all the locations had been found, they were asked to find the distance between their home and the school, the school and the airport and the distance around the school yard.

Armed with these basic measurement skills in Google Earth, the students were let loose to solve the problem:

Here's one of the student's final calculations (you can see the three attempts made):

As with all our projects - we welcome feedback, comments, and suggestions in the comment box below.

Illustrative Examples of Inquiry-Based Learning

Here at the Calgary Science School we build our understanding of inquiry-based learning around the Inquiry Rubric developed in conjunction with the Galileo Educational Network.

To help unpack how the Galileo Inquiry Rubric is lived out in specific projects from our school, we've compiled the following list of projects tied to particular elements of the Inquiry Rubric:

Academic Rigour
Active Exploration
Assessment for Learning
Connecting with Experts
Elaborated Communication
If you're familiar with the rubric, you'll notice that Appropriate Use of Technology is absent from the list. This is because technology integration is embedded in each of these illustrative examples.

Inquiry, Assessment and Technology in Phys Ed

One of our Physical Educadtion teachers (Tammy Berry) is delivering a presentation this weekend at the Annual Conference for the Health and Physical Education Council of Alberta.

Tammy is delivering a one-hour session on her grade 4-6 football unit, in which she strives to incorporate both inquiry-based learning and technology.

In the past, when Tammy taught this unit, she was often frustrated because playing traditional games of football with this age group (grades 4-6) often left out a sizable chunk of students, due to either athletic ability or interest in the sport. Tammy was looking for a way to teach the foundational skills of football in a way that would invite participation from all students, as well as allow for creativity and technology.

The unit she designed is built around 'football routines.' Over the course of a few weeks, students are introduced to a number of foundational skills (throwing a spiral, kicking, catching, running plays, etc) and are asked to build a one-minute routine that incorporates all the skills. Tammy introduces a rubric of the skills at the beginning of the unit, and throughout, students have the opportunity to self-assess their own skills, as well as performing their routines for their peers to receive feedback on how to improve the skills and routine.

Throughout the unit, Tammy finds that all students are now fully engaged in the sport. Students have the opportunity to build the skills in an environment that is both safe and creative for all students. As students are building and practice the routines, they are constantly receiving advice from teacher and peers.

At the end of the unit, after receiving feedback and improving their ideas, students perform and record their final routines. Students then upload their final routine to their digital portfolios, and are asked to self-assess their improvement over the course of the unit. Students can capture this self-assessment either in written form, or by creating a voice-over on top of their video file.

In this way, Tammy is attempting to bring technology into the P.E. class by mirroring the use of video recording in professional sports. Students are able to watch themselves performing the skills, and can point out areas for improvement. Through the entire unit, the self-identification and improvement of skills is the goal.

Here's one of the grade 6 student written self-reflections:

This year I learned a lot of things in football. What I learned was some techniques like run moves when my teammates yelled hut. In this video I did the buttonhook . I have improved on my punting the ball. I can punt the footballs farther and more accurate and can sort of get a spiral on it, but in this video the punt at the end did not have a spiral. I was a good teammate because I gave out suggestions for what to do in this video and told the rest on my teammates what they could improve on. My favourite part of the football was making a routine with a group and watching my video. I know that next year I need to improve on remembering to throw with my left foot forward.

Below are some of the materials used by Tammy during her presentation:

This is the presentation given by Tammy:
This is the video of students working on their routines. You can see the involvement by all students in the class:

This is the video of one group performing their routine to receive feedback from their peers:

This is one of the final videos, with student voice-over:

Finally, here is Tammy's football unit plan, complete with the rubric for the football routines:

Grade 5: Science in the Wetlands

One of the luxuries we have at the Science School is being within walking distance of a protected wetlands area called the Weaselhead Natural Environment Park. Being so close allows our teachers and students to make us of the park for recreation, as well as scientific and environmental education.

One of our grade 5 teachers has planned a project for his students to study the quality of water in various places around the Weaselhead.