Pirates and Morning Work!

I am beginning to get my teacher thoughts in order.  I go back to school Aug. 19, so it is just right around the corner.  This year I won’t be blocking for math, science and ELA.  It has been a loooong time since I kept my homeroom class all day.  If you are not familiar with blocking, a second teacher and I traded classes.  She taught math and science to my students while I taught ELA to her students and then we traded back our classes and did the same subjects with our own students.  That won’t be happening this year, so I am looking for ways to integrate all the subjects.

Right now I am putting together a pirate unit that I have had in the back of my head for quite a few years.  We will be doing close reads about pirates in ELA lessons and solving pirate math problems.  Here in North Carolina, we are in the midst of hurricane season, so we will be learning about latitude and longitude as we track any hurricanes that might come up the Atlantic Ocean.  We will also be investigating force and motion…I just haven’t quite worked out a pirate slant for that.  Perhaps look at pulleys as pirates used them to raise and lower sails.

I am also trying to figure out how to make morning work more meaningful for my students.  I have seen ideas on PInterest (I am a big fan and have many boards if you want to check them out!)   Our students are pulled in many directions; breakfast in the cafeteria, safety patrol, student council, recycling club.  Morning work often becomes homework as a result, which has always seemed a bit unfair.  There are also students who are unable to get to school on time. Morning worksheets become homework for them, also.

My thought is to create a binder with a ziplock bag of manipulatives.   In the bag would be flash cards (addition, subtraction to begin with).  I don’t want my fifth graders using their fingers to count out subtraction and addition…they need to know these facts as well as multiplication and division facts.  I will also put their spelling words for the week in the bag.  I might also have a deck of cards for some place value games I will have in my class.  My hope is that students will work with a partner in that time from 7:15-7:45 am and improve their math and spelling skills.  I want morning work that will engage my students and be meaningful at the same time.

Any ideas to go along with what I have in mind, feel free to leave me a comment.



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