Reflection is important in education. Looking back at how you did is the only way that we teachers can improve our craft. I have really taken that to heart this year. With that in mind, I would like to reflect about the 3rd quarter that I had with my students.
My 4th and 8th graders read the same book, Hatchet by Gary Paulsen. The challenge that I had was I had to make different activities for different grades based on the same book! But it went well. My students really got into the book, and had a great time. We did a few cool activities, such as making fire in a can, which both of my classes enjoyed. The other really cool activity that I did, with both my classes was we looked at maps and details from the book and figured out where we think that Brian crashed. My 8th graders took it farther and had to mathematically prove it using details about the plane, amount of gas it could hold, and specific details about the book. They had to plot it on a map of Canada.
My third graders learned about bats. We looked at how bats are similar and different to birds and people. We discussed the different types of bat, and they blogged about what they had learned about a particular bat. What is cool is I have a dead bat in a jar that I get out, that either freaks out kids or excites them. Always cracks me up.
My 5th and 6th graders worked on discovering who Leonardo da Vinci was. We looked at his life and times. We looked at his inventions and how they shaped some of the modern inventions of the day. We also took some of his sketches and tried to build a 3-D model. The models turned out to be awesome. My students worked real hard, and I believe they got a lot out this unit.
Overall, I think the quarter was a success. My students were engaged, challenged, and using their creative and cognitive skills to solve issues and problems.