This week in 5th Grade.......dojo, phones, baseball and more

How was your week?  We had a crazy week of assessments in Room 206 - being the end of the marking period and all!  But we made it!  I managed to throw a little fun in somehow. Here's a sneak peek - 

#growthmindset is a hot topic in the education world currently and Class Dojo has jumped on board by creating cute, engaging videos that tell kids "the brain is a muscle that needs to be worked out."

If you haven't shown these videos yet - put them in your plans for next week!!  They've released two videos so far (just a couple minutes long for each) and they have three more planned!

We typically do a gonoodle brain break each day before writing time, but we substituted with the videos twice this week instead!  Just go to your class dojo page and click on the 'big ideas' tab.  The videos will pop right up.

Since it's the end of the 2nd marking period for us this week - new semester means new partners!  If you use partners in your classroom a lot (two heads are better than one) than you need to download these phone partner templates from Young Teacher Love.   For years, I used a strategy similar to this one but with clocks - when I saw Kristine's phone templates a few years ago I HAD to replace our clocks with her phones - I mean it's the 21st century, right? Better get with the times!  

The concept is easy - each student gets a phone template and walks around the classroom searching for ten partners.  I laminate the phones when they're completed and we tape them to our desks. Whenever the students need to check over their work with a partner, discuss ideas or work together, etc., I spin a spinner and they find that number partner quickly.  Takes all of about 10 seconds to determine partners this way.  And we use partners several times daily so this is a HUGE timesaver in room 206!

End of the marking period also means LOTS of assessing!  To review for our math summative assessment this week we played one of my favorite review games - Math Baseball.  This idea was passed on to me from a former collegue and it's never gotten old!

Here's a quick run-down of how to play - separate the class into two teams.  Number each student 1-15 in team one, and 1-15 in team two. (numbes will vary depending on your number of students)   Draw two baseball diamonds on the board - or create reusable posters like I have.  Bring batter number ones up to the board, all of the remaining students are outfielders.  Give the students a review question to solve. The batters solve it on the board but keep their work covered up. The outfielders solve it at their desks.  Call a random outfielder number, check each outfielder's work.  If correct, the team moves a base.  Check the batter's work.  If correct, the team moves a base.  Play until all review questions are complete.  The team with the most runs is the winner!!  What I love most about this game is that ALL students are engaged the entire game!

We took a BIG writing test this week too over opinion essays.  What I've noticed over the past few years of teaching opinion writing is that my students are good at forming an opinion and good at backing it up with evidence and good with arguing their point (what kid isn't???), but they struggle with putting all that great thinking into the correct opinion essay structure.  So we created this anchor chart to help with remembering the format for an opinion essay!   I think it really helped!

Lastly, while we tested our little behinds off this week, we also celebrated the end of the marking period with a PBiS school wide movie.  Our gym was transformed into the Falcon Cinema for a showing of the movie 'Inside Out.'  The kids brought in blankets and pillows and we served cookies and hot chocolate.  A good time was had by all.  Our PBiS team rocks!!!!

Happy weekend teacher friends!  I'm off to grade all of those assessments we took this weekend!  Yikes!!!!


  1. My students worked on NWEA Map Testing most of this week. I'm so glad that we're done! We'll be working on opinion writing next as soon as we finish up the narrative project and assessment we're in the middle of. Thanks for the phone partner idea!
    Laughter and Consistency

    1. Doesn't it feel great to be done with the testing?!? You'll love the phone partners - they make partnering so easy!!

  2. I love your phone partner idea. My 5th graders enjoy working with other students to study and share ideas. Showing a movie and watching on the floor is just the thing for kids after a busy week. Thanks for sharing.

    1. It doesn't take much to please 5th graders! LOL I hope you love using the phone partners Beti!


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