past week at Sigler was one in which we surprised our very own Alicia
Fernandez, as Office Max came out for their annual "A Day Made
Better". It was very special to see the emotion from Mrs. Fernandez as our
students and staff acknowledged her and as the representatives from Office Max
awarded her a prize package over $1,000 dollars, including a Kindle Fire!
Congratulations Alicia Fernandez!
#NoOfficeDay - 5th Grade
Man, I look forward to these days. Those unfamiliar with #NoOfficeDays, these
are days I spend out of the office with a specific grade level for the day.
Last Friday I spent the day with 5th grade. Before I begin to showcase the
highlights of my day, I must say, we as a campus get tunnel vision at times,
focused on the students we have in our grade level from year to year. After
spending time with our 5th graders, y'all are doing a phenomenal job! These
students have come through the finest classrooms, led by the finest teachers
and are all the better for it.
As the day began, I was jumping right into my chair at the teacher table for my
first hour of guided reading. Students in Mrs. Tucker's class were hard at it
when in arrived and reading a passage covering the American Revolution, which
they have been studying in Social Studies. I loved how the team was connecting
across the curriculum, as students were sharing what they knew about Paul
Revere as they read this story. This specific story shed light on a special young
lady who played a similar role to Paul Revere as a 16 year old girl. The
discussion had with two groups was engaging as we wondered why we had not heard
of this young lady before and how unfair it was for the girls in the group to
have this story go untold until now.
I transitioned into Mr. Braden's room as students were working on some note
taking in pairs, determining what exactly they were reading and whether the
purpose for their reading was informative, analytical or both. As students
shared their thoughts, it was obvious they had made some connections to this
Folktale, Terrapin and The Hare.
Specials broke up the whole group conversation, and I began my specials
rotation in the "Art Studio". Students waled right in and engaged in
a warm up activity defining a piece of art based on prior knowledge of art.
Students clearly have the mind of an artist as they articulated details about a
mask they were studying including whether it was 2-D or 3-D, if it have
overlapping parts and the specific medium and media being used.
As I left art and entered the music room, students were just wrapping up a
mini-lesson on reading music and jumped into a brain break which included some
folk dancing and mighty nice footwork (not my footwork). Students danced to a
choreographed routine, in which each of them knew the steps and participated
fully. My time wrapped up with a Mi, Re, Do exercise in which students had the
liberty to see with their hands, bodies or however they needed in order to
decipher between the various notes. Each student was able to participate using
their own learning style. Great job Mrs. Caldwell!
The final stop during specials was fitness and PE which had combined together
for a little scooter basketball. Our students have so much fun while they
are with our coaches and our coaches have a darn good time with them as well.
Students were excited to play and anxiously awaited their turn to play again as
they rotated around.
Getting back to 5th grade allowed me to see just how much our students mature
from KN-5th. Students had been reading a Folktale, Terrapin and The Hare and
were faced with a couple of reflective questions they needed to answer when
walking back into the room. Once answered students participated in a
"reading seminar" where they were able to share a question they may
have had about the text and fellow students were able to weigh-in in an attempt
to answer the question or add their own in-sight. It was awesome to see a
teacher sit back and listen as students controlled the classroom for 45
Returning from lunch and recess, which is always a good time to see how our
students interact outside of the classroom, brought me to Mrs. Beck's IC class
to see some group presentations from a Mind Missions activity they had completed
before lunch. Students were given materials to create a "shoe" that
would provide comfort, warmth and work in weather conditions.
Students presented and model their shoes as they articulated why they designed
their shoe how they did and after reflecting, we're able to share what they may
have done differently given a second chance. Audience members asked questions
that proved students had throughout about their designs and showed they had
been listening intently. Bravo to the creators, presenters and audience
I doubled back for math and revisited Mrs. Tucker's class and ended my day in
Ms. Mancilla's room. Both classes were focused on an old favorite of mine, The
Product Game. Students were in small group rotations in Mrs. Tucker's room were
I was able to play the product game with students to help them think about some
questions they needed to answer about the game. Playing the game while
answering the questions showed me our students have the ability to be
successful, but at times need a concrete visual or must be a part of something
in order to male connections to their learning. After playing a couple of
games, winning one and losing one (still can't believe it) I took my skills to
Ms. Mancilla's room to redeem myself. The day before Mancilla had provided me
the lesson plan and shared I would be teaching, so I hope I didn't let her or
her students down. We worked through the necessary vocabulary and a was able to
select a brave volunteer who played the game with me as an example for the other
students I'm the room. After redeeming myself, students played the product game
in pairs for the remainder of the class. Of course, as students packed up for
the day I found a few more minutes to square off against one young lady as my
first first opponent was a young man. Again, I left feeling on top of my game
and let the students know I would be returning to defend my reign as they
continued to learn some of the strategy needed to win the product game.
We are entering our 7th week of the school year and yes, I know teachers are
feeling the pressure of needing to succeed in their grade level, but please
remember, you cannot do it all. Narrow the focus, pick an area or two and rock
and roll. Know that as students leave your grade and go on to the next, there
is another teacher who is fighting the battle right along with you. If students
keep entering 5th grade ready to succeed we are doing what is right by our
In closing, I couldn't help but wonder, would one of our 5th graders be on
stage one day, just as this young man was last summer at our AVID Summer