Tuesday, January 31, 2017


5th graders have upped their level of critical thinking this year by learning how to code and integrate there learning of fractions within their programing.  It's amazing to watch how their minds work and grow during this process, not to mention the great engagement from all students.  We, at Gold Rush, are putting in a lot of thought and work into the use of technology in the curriculum.  We feel strongly that these new tools should enhance our students' learning and not just be "extra."  We believe that integrating tools, applications, and software into the concepts and standards we already cover will make the learning most meaningful to students and provide a real-world application.

Ask your kiddos about what ways they've loved using technology in their learning this year!

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Geography Study

Traditionally, fifth grade geography is centered around the U.S. states and regions.  The regions we are studying are: Northeast, Southeast, Midwest, Southwest, and the West.  We've had discussions on how different geographers split up the regions differently, but we've decided to stick with these.  We look for defining characteristics of the ares through the concepts of climate, landforms, natural resources, industry, agriculture, and culture.  We also look at population density, reasons for this, and why people migrate to particular areas.

To get students more engaged, this year we, as a fifth grade team, have changed the unit a bit. While still focusing on the same concepts we changed it up a bit to add a little more interest.   Students began by studying NFL teams across the nation: locating them, looking at why they're located in particular places, population, why they have their given mascot.  In the end, students will work in collaborative groups to present a proposal for a new NFL team to the commissioner (me!).  They will be assessed on the concepts, the presentation, the thoughtfulness of their proposed team, and how they collaborated.  Below is the rubric I will be using to score.