During the year, students will have STEM challenges that require them to plan, create and reflect on projects that are hands-on. A lot of times, students will need or want to do some of the work at home. Parents often love to get involved with these projects and I definitely encourage that.
I am very proud of my classroom library! I have a lot of really great books that are student-tested and approved. We have a check-out system in our class and I encourage every student to use it so that they can keep reading the books at home that they start here.
500 Book Challenge - Our class will be challenged to read a total of 500 books this year. This is about 20 chapter books per student, which ends up being about one book every two weeks. However, if the book is over 250 pages, it counts as two. Woohoo! I also challenge each student to read a book from each genre. There’s a lot of value in reading outside of our normal comfort zone.
It’s hard to keep our energy and focus up all day. However, having a healthy snack and staying hydrated is a game changer. We will have a built-in time to take a quick snack break each afternoon to recharge. I will have some leftover breakfast food available for snacks, but we run out quickly. I strongly suggest packing a healthy snack each day as well as a full water bottle.
This year, Chromebooks and chargers will be staying at school. Chromebooks are an educational tool, not a toy. It should only be used for classroom purposes. Students will also use it as an organizational tool, using tools like Google calendar and Google tasks. I use LANschool in our class, which helps me monitor screens and be able to communicate quick messages with students.
Students will all play important roles in our classroom economy. Students will apply for a job, receive training, and then collaborate to create a functioning economy in which classroom money gets spent, saved, earned, and moved around. Students will need to plan for paying “rent” every month and I will help them gradually be able to plan a safe budget so that they’re comfortably responsible with their money.