Yup, I said it. Today was the best first day I’ve ever had!
All the students showed up, excited about their first day of 5th Grade. We started the day with a class selfie!
Who says we can’t begin collaborating on Day 1? In the name of collaboration and team work, each table group (4 groups of 6 students) was challenged with building the tallest structure they could. I explained the challenge and gave the students 5 minutes to draw, discuss, and plan their towers. At the end of the 5 minutes, each group was given the materials: spaghetti and marshmallows. The teams quickly worked together – and discovered – that their original ideas didn’t work so well. The teams quickly modified their plans, talked, and regroup. Some teams repeated this process more than 6 times. After a class reflection – discussion – they realized that they needed a solid base. Now I could have gone into some metaphor here, but I figured it WAS the first day, thought I’d give them a break.
The winning team constructed a tower that approximately 15 inches tall. It was such a hit, we will do this again, maybe building a castle or some sort of Roller Coaster.
Then There Were the Vokis
Voki – Animated Avatars! Now, I could have had students tell me about themselves on a piece of paper. They could have written about themselves and drawn a picture, but come on, let’s face it – using a Web Tool is way more fun. And totally cool! So I showed them how to create one using the different characters, embellishments, and voices. And then, I let them go – free to create.
Oh my goodness, they made me laugh so hard. One boy figured out that if he wrote, “ha ha ha …” It made the character laugh. Then a few others joined in and we quickly had a chorus of animated laughter. That led to more real laughter.
In the end, we had a shark in the fire, monsters, people with purple hair, happy faces, and a whole host of other crazy avatars.
That was one AWESOME first day!