Weekly Memo (September 2-6)

Leveraging Technology In Our Classroom

One of my favorite things about being back in the classroom is having the ability to use Chromebooks to explore and utilize some of the classroom tools I was introduced to as an administrator. Just this past week, we used three new-to-me learning tools— Google Classroom, Kahoot, and IXL— and while I’m still learning all the ins-and-outs of each program, I’m loving them and the kids are, too!

It was one thing to observe other teachers using technology in their classrooms, but for me, it’s a whole new level of excitement getting to explore what technology can do and how it can enhance the learning experience. What happened in class yesterday is a perfect example of how leveraging technology in the classroom— using a balanced approach— is ideal for student learning and growth.

In our English lesson on Wednesday, we learned and practiced identifying nouns as subject complements. (You know, when you have a subject, then a linking verb, then a noun in the predicate that renames the subject.)

Students turned in their assignment Thursday morning and after looking through them, I noticed a common error occurring— many students were confusing objects of the preposition and subject complements. With the day’s lesson being nouns as direct objects I knew we were in for some trouble.

Instead of attempting to teach students about direct objects, we put the day’s lesson on hold and focused on the prerequisite skill needed— identifying prepositions and prepositional phrases. We have to be able to do that before we can identify other ways nouns can be used in a sentence.

To do that, we logged into IXL and practiced two skills— identifying prepositions (if they felt they needed help with that) and identifying prepositions and their objects. Students worked on those skills while I floated around the room and met with each student individually to clear up any misunderstanding with the previous night’s lesson.

During that time, take a look at what they were able to accomplish!

In roughly 26 minutes of time practicing, we were able to answer 2,617 questions (an average of 131 per student), and 16 students mastered these skills. This was before we ever had a lesson about prepositions and objects of the prepositions!

By spending less than 30 minutes of class time today, every student was able to practice one skill at his or her own pace and work towards mastery, so that the next skill we learn about will be much easier to understand. This is how leveraging technology in the classroom helps students learn!

I love using IXL in the classroom and my students do, too! Just out of curiosity, I ran our Achievement Summary to see how we’re doing so far as a class this year. As you can see by the report below, we’re making some great progress! I can’t wait to see how we’re able to leverage IXL and other classroom tools this year. Learning is so much fun!

What We’re Learning Next Week (if all goes as planned)
  • Bible
    • God’s Word is True— Abraham and Faith
    • Memory Verse: Hebrews 11:17 (see below)
  • Reading/Vocab
    • Read-Aloud
    • Independent Reading
    • Journeys— The Structure of a Story; "A Package for Mrs. Jewls"
    • DRA Testing
  • Social Studies
    • Studies Weekly— U.S. States and Regions
    • Key Concepts:
      • Identifying and exploring the USA’s Seven Natural Regions
      • Mapping and Charting the Six Major Rivers of the U.S.
      • Diversity
      • The history and significance of adding our 49th and 50th states
  • Math
    • Lesson 9— The Subtraction Algorithm
    • Lesson 10— Adding Whole Numbers
    • Practice Test— Lessons 6-10
    • Test— Lessons 6-10
  • Spelling
    • Week Three list (see below)
    • Pre-Test Thursday (perfect scores will not need to take Friday’s test)
    • Test Friday
  • English
    • Focus on subjects and verbs
    • Nouns as subjects and objects
  • Writing
    • Paragraph writing/Journaling

Next Week’s Memory Verse
"By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice. He who had embraced the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son."
Hebrews 11:17

Next Week’s Spelling List
Printable version— Download PDF
Week Three Spelling List
  1. knowledge
  2. know
  3. knew
  4. numb
  5. bomb
  6. ghost
  7. spaghetti
  8. Christmas
  9. listening
  10. fasten
  11. knead
  12. knitting
  13. knapsack
  14. tomb
  15. climber
  16. plumbing
  17. aghast
  18. hustle
  19. mistletoe
  20. whistling

Next Week’s Tests & Quizzes
  • Thursday, September 5
    • Spelling Pre-Test
    • Math Lessons 6-10 Pre-Test (in class; graded)
  • Friday, September 6
    • English Test— Nouns and Verbs; Nouns as subjects and objects
    • Math Lessons 6-10 Test
    • Spelling Test (if necessary)
    • Bible Memory Verse Quiz

Upcoming Projects
  • Send a 4x6 picture for our "Fearfully and Wonderfully Made" bulletin board

Important Dates & Upcoming Events
  • Monday, September 2
    • No School (Labor Day)
    • Happy Birthday— Aster Chang
  • Thursday, September 5
    • Yearbook Picture Day
    • Gymnastics Begins (free tryout-out opportunity)
    • Room Parents Meeting
  • Saturday, September 7
    • 5th/6th Grade Football vs CTK (10:30; Mustang Mountain)

Resource of the Week

Helpful Links

Classroom Resource Page (for class schedule, safety patrol rotation, textbooks, etc.)

Google Classroom (students may access this from their Google drive account)

Class ShowMe Page (video tutorials)