Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Overwhelmed - in a GREAT Way!

Yesterday I posted my first project on DonorsChoose.org to help get new 'judy clocks' in the hands of our fourth- and fifth-graders for solving elapsed time problems. Our current clocks are breaking and just don't work the way they need to to help our kiddos be successful.

The great news is that within just an HOUR, my project was fully funded! I was overwhelmed with happiness at the kindness of others. We had just 3 donors fund the project, and I already received an email today from DonorsChoose.org saying our clocks have been purchased and should arrive at our school within the next 4 weeks! Holy cow! Thank you to Mrs. Kari Petre (the teacher I student taught for in college), Mrs. Pam Warren (Nina's mom), and the National Education Association for making this all happen. We love you!

In different news, today was our first day back after a nice, long winter break. Our writing block is a workshop format but I also need to know that students can pre-write and draft a 3-paragraph narrative within a reasonable amount of time. I modeled for students my own quick pre-writing and drafting from my plan to give them a visual of my expectations.

Then it was the kids' turn to show me their pre-writing and drafting skills. Our room was silent as can be as the kids drifted off into planning 3 main ideas regarding their winter break and extending them into full paragraphs.

At the end of the day, we had the Geography Bee! There were 16 fourth- and fifth-grade finalists. Here they all are just before the Bee got started. Inside their folders was a sheet with five questions that were part of the first round. Eleven of these kids advanced to the second round.

 These 3 kids advanced to the third round - including Olivia from our room!
 She did it! Olivia got the most questions right and was the Geography Bee champ. She got a gift certificate and a trophy.

Congratulations to all of the kids who were involved. 
It doesn't matter if you win or lose; all that matters is that you at least TRY!

Here are the finalists from our room. Congrats to Aaron, Tyler, Cody, Olivia, and Cyndi!


  1. I am so excited for you! Donor's Choose is a wonderful resource, and it sounds like you are blessed! :) I still love reading your blog! Hope your year is going well!

  2. Congratulations on getting your first Donors Choose project funded! Isn't it exciting?? I have had 21 funded, and I get giddy each time another is funded.

    I really like the idea of the Geography Bee. How long did the students have to prepare for that? It might be something my 5th graders would really enjoy.

    Your newest follower,
    Teaching in Room 6

  3. The Geography Bee is exciting! I wish I had a better answer for you though about how they study. The bee is actually sponsored by National Geographic, so our principal gets sent a whole list of questions, but there is NO study guide to go with it. It is basically all based up to what kids already know from their life experiences, which I guess favors those kids who are fortunate enough to be able to explore and travel with family and friends. Then again, we study the 5 regions of the U.S. in 4th grade so all 4th and 5th graders do have that background knowledge but still...