The NEW 5A!

We are the 5A class for 2014-2015. Over the summer our school renovated the 4th floor – our floor. The new classroom we have is huge and has the most windows in the school! The old 5A room was tiny and had no windows at all!

In 5th grade we study ancient civilizations – we study ancient China and ancient Greece. We will have a Greek Olympics later in the year. We are also going on an overnight to Black Rock Forest!

5th grade is pretty hard so far! We think we have a lot of homework, but out teacher doesn’t think so! Our teacher is giving us a secret project – but we have no idea what it is yet. We will keep you posted.

Skeleton Man, and The Return of Skeleton Man

We have recently finished reading Joseph Bruchac’s books, Skeleton Man, and The Return of Skeleton Man. We really liked the stories and recommend them to people who like books with a lot of action in them. They are mostly about a girl whose parents disappeared all of a sudden, and a scary so-called ‘Uncle’ came to look after her. The story follows her adventure of searching for her parents because she never believes they would leave her. She is Native American and has dreams about the past, that help her along the way. We don’t want to give too much away, but it is great to listen to and full of suspense!

The Mystery Box!

We have opened up the Mystery Box! It is no longer a mystery! When we opened the giant box, we saw a piece of paper that told us our mission. We have to help government officials and design and build prototypes for wind powered vehicles. We can use only the items in the box. As passengers we have 12 marbles that have to be safely carried.
We split up into groups to design and build our vehicles. Our groups are named: Gleaming Goofballs, Team Mystery, Caramel Apple Pancakes, and The Wonderpets.
Once we have built our prototypes, we are going to test them to see how far they can travel. We will use a fan as our wind source. After the first test, we will have time to adjust, make changes, to try to improve it, and then we will retest and hopefully the second time they will travel further.
We have some photos and we will make a slide show to add to this post. Then we will take photos and video of the other days and the tests and post those too.

Our First Days of 5A (2013-14)

Hello, this is 5A for 2013-14! Today is our second day, but our first full day. Yesterday we got our supplies – this year we get to have our own pencil case with our own set of supplies. We have pens, pencils, colored pencils, highlighter, eraser, glue stick, a ruler and a sharpener. A new addition for us is that now we have band. We will find out our instruments soon.
In our class we have 12 children, 7 are girls and 5 are boys. We have a small classroom and it has different furniture than the other classrooms. We have low tables, a regular table and high tables. We also have Hokki stools that you can tilt and rock on. When you sit on a Hokki stool, you have to be like a tripod – two feet on the floor and the base of the stool on the floor. We also have cube chairs with velcro cushions we can take off, and we have backjack seats to sit on the floor.
This year we can join athletics teams. We have some kids signed up for soccer already! Later in the year we could join basketball, track or lacrosse.
We are looking forward to learning more, working together and having fun!

8-9 Skype Marathon, by Zara

So far we have done 12 skypes we still have 3 more left. I am so excited, I feel like this Skype marathon has been going really well. All the different countries have similarities and differences! It makes it very interesting when we have different and similar things. These communities we have been Skyping with are very different. Our first school was The Rock Academy. It was at 8:00 in the morning, but even though it was in the morning it was really fun. It was in South Africa and that was our only African Skype. Many of the Skypes so far have rules, (which we don’t think is that good) we think expectations are better. The school now that we are Skyping with is Mark Oliphant College. I feel out of this whole marathon they are the best school. They have a diverse school to which I think is very good. I really enjoyed the Irish school called Ransboro National School. I played the flute and another student Otto played the clarinet while the other kids in the class sang. It was an Irish song called Eni ni. It was really fun. We also spoke in Irish to them. Today we had many treats. First we had brownies they were yummy. Then we had chocolate covered strawberries. Those were so yummy! Lia and her mom she make the best chocolate. Then after recess we had my pops they were yummy. Then we had cinnamon buns. They were really good, then dinner which was pizza. We are about to have danishes soon. There has also been fruit you could take, and apple juice.

Skype Marathon, by Owen

May 30, The day of the 8 to 9 Skype! A lot of things have been happening in our class on the Skype day! So far, these are the Skype calls we’ve done that I like: 1.The first Skype we had – with South Africa – and it actually turned out better than I thought it would be. I thought it would be kind of disorganized because it was the first time we would do one of our 8 to 9 Skype calls, but it turned out pretty well. I was the photographer. The South Africa school was very different than us, they had beaches within 5 minutes of their school and they’re on a peninsula! It is Autumn in South Africa right now! 2. The school from Newmarket, Canada. They do a lot of donation things, like Jump Rope For Heart, they do a run where they celebrated a Canadian hero that ran across Canada with cancer in one leg and another thing where they collected the things on top of soda cans and they’ll give it to a company that melts the metal down and create it into wheelchairs!

So far the 8 to 9 Skype has been a great learning experience and has been very fun!

The One and Only Ivan… (post from Nov)

Our class just finished The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate. We  thought that the book was great. We had some great inferences and questions. All of us hoped that Ivan and Ruby went to the zoo and that happened. YAY! We all felt bad that Stella died and how they just threw Stella in the trash. We connected with classes for the global read aloud on Edmodo, that was the book we did. Our class did a lot of post about the book and what we thought was going to happen. This book was really fun, and I hope a lot of people get to read it because it’s a great book.

This I Believe

This I Believe is based on a 1950’s radio program of the same name, hosted by acclaimed journalist Edward R. Murrow. Each day, Americans gathered by their radios to hear compelling essays from the likes of Eleanor Roosevelt, Jackie Robinson, Helen Keller, and Harry Truman as well as corporate leaders, cab drivers, scientists, and secretaries—anyone able to distill into a few minutes the guiding principles by which they lived. These essayists’ words brought comfort and inspiration to a country worried about the Cold War, McCarthyism, and racial division.”
Please listen to our version of NPR’s This I Believe, with essays written by 5A students after considering what they believed to be most important in their lives. There are still a few more to add, so come back in the next few days to listen to the last few!

Thomas – Friends are Family

Claire – The Vial of Courage

Otto – Love’s Necklace

Owen – Love’s Always There For You

Sawyer – The Guide of Life

Nina – Love is My Light

Lia – Friends and What They Do For You

Moussa – Family is My Home

Aaliyah – Being Yourself

Zara – The Real Me

Amir – The Helper’s Faith

Autumn – The Impact of Courage

Mystery Skype!

Each of the students in 5A have written a portfolio entry on their experiences with Mystery Skype in our classroom. Here are some of the entries, along with a slide show with images taken during our various Mystery Skype sessions.

One highlight I totally love about 5th grade is… Mystery Skype! Basically Ms. Gartside tweets and plans with another teacher from a different school in the world and they arrange for us to have a Skype. We have to guess (by asking yes or no questions) to see where they live! It’s Ms. Gartside and our first year doing it—and so far I think we have done either three or four!
We have various different jobs—like the mapper (narrows the state, city and country down,) info-researcher, questioner and replier, (talks to the other kids and asks and answers questions) runner (brings answers and questions from one group of people to another,) tweeters who live-tweet and a photographer. When we have Mystery Skypes the room just starts buzzing and almost everyone is always busy.
So far I have been a questioner and replier (look at the photo I posted,) a info-researcher and a tweeter. We were supposed to have one today, (Jan 30, 2013) but it was cancelled due to a snow day. Our friends we have been Skype-ing with live in Chicago, Ontario and Minnesota. They always guess our city pretty quickly! Once the school was in a tiny town and we couldn’t find them until the end! Turns out they were in Mahnomen, Minnesota. The kids in Ontario were very close to Niagara Falls-wouldn’t it be fun to go on a field trip there and meet them face-to-face? Eagerly looking forward to our next Mystery Skype!
by Claire

A Mystery Skype is a Skype call, but a very special one. You try to find out where in the world the other class’s school is before they find out ours. First you try to find out what country they are in, then their state (or county, province etc.), then their town/city and lastly their school. To figure out this information, you can only ask yes or no questions. The following rules are ones that depends on the one you prefer. The first option is: You can ask a question, and if the opposing class answers “yes,” then you get a bonus question (only one bonus question per turn.) The second option is: You can ask the other class a question, they answer, and then it’s their turn.
Now that I’ve explained how to Mystery Skype, I can now explain my experience. I love Mystery Skypes because I get to apply my knowledge of world geography and U.S. geography, while also getting to have special jobs for each person! For our Mystery Skype on December 7, 2012 my job was the questioner and replier, answering and asking all of the questions with Claire, the other questioner and replier. I thought that the Mystery Skypes are a really fun thing that most classes don’t get to experience!
by Owen

Mystery skyping is basically skyping with another class and trying to figure out their location and school, simple right? Not really. Although mystery skyping is so much fun, it’s hard work too! Each person get assigned to a job, here is a list of all the jobs: host, backchannel writers, runner, photographer, mappers, reasearchers, questioners, and question reasearchers. You have to ask yes or no questions to eliminate places on the map. Usually the places are in the U.S.A but we once had a class from Canada. So far we’ve done 3 mystery skypes and are improving each time. I really hope that we can continue doing mystery skypes and I think they’re really fun to do.
by Nina

A Mystery Skype is a Skype we do with other schools, and try to figure out where and what their school name is. The Mystery Skype we did today was with some 5th graders. My job was to say the question and answer the questions from the other class. I like Mystery Skypes because we work together as a team. Also I like tracking down where they are because it’s kind of like a game. When me and Nina wait for the answer to their question we have a little chat with the other school and it was kind of fun. There were some funny kids so I liked to talk with them, I think I made a new friend in a different school. I also like the feeling when we find where they are, I feel proud of myself and I feel the joy of winning. I think these feelings come to me because we worked hard. It was fun doing the Mystery Skype, I would definitely want to do it again.
by Thomas

In class we have been doing Mystery Skypes with other city schools from around the world. The way it works is that each class tries to guess were the other class located in the quickest way possible. For example a question could be “are you in a country 1,000 miles away from the north pole?” The questions can only be yes or no answers. My favorite Mystery Skype was with this 4th grade class from Canada. It was really hard to locate them at first but once we knew they were within 25 miles of Niagara Falls we easily got the answer. We also did one with a fifth grade class from a small town in Minnesota. That was really hard because their population was about 5,000 people, and we had 8 million. My favorite part about Mystery Skype is being a mapper and coming up with the questions. I found that Google Chrome is really useful when you have a general idea of the population, and know about were they are located, google earth was really useful because in our Mystery Skype with the Canadian class I searched Niagara Falls and then zoomed out until I was only seeing cities with a population of around 1,000. From there it was easy and we found the school in the next question. I have really enjoyed these experiences so far and hope to do another one soon.
by Otto

Recess gets a boost

This year our school added some things rooftop recess space to make recess better. We now have a six foot transverse climbing wall which our feet aren’t allowed to go above a line 1/2 way up.  There is also a new play structure that consists of steps, a slide, a swirly pole and a smaller climbing wall.  nder the play structure there is a seating area where three people can hang out comfortably.  Since there are so many kids wanting to use the play structure, it gets switched up every day – 5A and 5B one day then 5C and 5D the other.  The structure has most definitely made recess more fun adding energy to our recess and I have noticed more kids being active now!