BMX Bike Show

Do the teachers look scared?

Do the teachers look scared?

Our school did such an amazing job with our Fall Fundraiser, that the Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) arranged to have a BMX Bike show as a prize. The energy at the event was amazing and our students loved watching all the aerials and tricks. Their favorite trick was when one of the bikers jumped over the teachers. That’s me, Mr. Helpern, on the far right. The things we do for our students!

Jumping Over Teachers

Thanksgiving Break

We are about to go on our Thanksgiving Break. We have been learning about the Pilgrims and the First Thanksgiving. I hope you all have a terrific and restful time with your families.

I am thankful for my family and friends who support me. I am thankful to have such an amazing class and the privilege to work with 5th graders. Lastly, I am thankful that our district is so supportive and gives us such amazing technology.

In the comments section, share how you are spending your Thanksgiving and what you are thankful for.

UCI Physics Assembly

We had an amazing physics assembly today put on by the University of California Irvine. The assembly taught us all about waves. Four new vocabulary terms we learned were Vibration, Frequency, Amplitude, and Resonance.

What do you see happening in the two videos? What do you know about waves?

Philharmonic Fieldtrip

Our class had the amazing opportunity to go see a performance by the Orange County Youth Symphony Orchestra and the Anaheim Ballet at the Rene and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall. The performance focused on the Russian composer Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky. You may recognize him from pieces like The Nutcracker and Swan Lake. The music was beautiful and relaxing. Many students were imagining scenes in their heads as they listened to the music.

What is your favorite instrument in the orchestra? Do you have a favorite composer or piece of classical music?

Outdoor Science School

Outdoor Science School was a huge success. Our class got to experience snow on Monday and then had beautiful weather for the rest of the week. We went on many hikes including geology, ecology, biology, and the very challenging Strawberry Peak (elevation 6000 ft.) New vocabulary was learned like conservation and adaptation. Delicious meals were served and we learned about worm food, liquid waste, and solid waste.

Do you remember the first time you were in the snow?

What can you do to help conserve our natural resources and save the planet?

Global School Play Day #GSPD

On Wednesday our class participated in the first annual Global School Play Day.

Global School Play Day Logo

What is Global School Play Day?

GSPD is an attempt to get kids away from video games, TV, and electronics in order for them to play. It emphasizes the need for students to have a chance to play without instructions or adult intervention. The students used creativity, communication, collaboration, and critical thinking in order to play together as a class. The day is a reminder that students can learn many life skills just by being given the freedom to play and explore.

What did it look like in our class?

Filled with excitement, every student in our class showed up to school talking about what games they had brought and what they thought the day was going to be like. There were only two rules for the day:

  1. You may not play by yourself
  2. You may not tell someone that they are not allowed to play

Students quickly got to work setting up games and figuring out their own rules. There was a heated game of Apples to Apples, and the first decision was, “Should we play serious or silly?” This was decided by a majority vote and of course silly won out.

Other students pulled out scrabble boards. One group had a very competitive game going with advanced vocabulary. Another group did not know the rules, so they decided to just make their own rules as they went along. They still found great vocabulary words.

Some students played with our geometry blocks and were challenging each other with the designs and patterns they created. They wanted to make sure pictures were taken to preserve their works of art.

Many students brought in stuffed animals and these were scattered throughout the classroom as companions or part of the play.

My favorite quote of the day was, “This is the best Wednesday ever! Can we do it again?”

What are your thoughts on play? Please share with our class and spread the word.