Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Hockey update 1/31/17

Our hockey learning continues! They are dreaming BIG dreams!!!

The students are continuing to interpret game stats! Instead of verbally telling them to me, they are now writing about what they see! At first I let them write about any of the players and anything they observed. While I got some great writing from them, I'm going to change it up from here on out. I will give each student one player. They will then write about the stats for that particular player. I think that will be less chaotic for them!

The students have been BEGGING me to make a penalty box in our room. I had them work on a persuasive writing assignment yesterday. The prompt was, "I think Mrs. Lynch should make a penalty box because...." I'm still reading the answers, but several students have said that I should do it because if they don't make a good choice I can put them in there! I read that to my principal and we both had a good laugh! I definitely WON'T do that!!!

The students spent several days brainstorming possible ideas for the movie. I combined their ideas into 3 different scenarios. This morning, I read the students the 3 storylines. Then they voted for the one they like best. We graphed their results!

Our story will be about a team that is always losing. They never give up! They put in a lot off effort. They finally win a game - in a shootout! Oh, and TJ Oshie is one of the players!

The other two stories were 1) There is someone who doesn't know how to play hockey. He / she learns how to play hockey, makes the team, and scores the game winning goal. 2) A hockey player gets hurt during a game. They are scared to start playing again. With encouragement from the team, they finally feel confident enough to start playing again.

After a quick brain break, the students learned about the 7 continents. They learned a fun song to help them remember. You can find it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KxQ0WLlDxvU

Then, I opened up a flipchart I made. It had a map of the world. It also had a picture of each of the Caps players. Next to their picture was their name and where they are from. I read them those pieces of information and had them tell me which continent they were from! We will have more practice with that. The students made some GREAT observations! 13 players are from North America. 5 players are from Europe, and 3 players are from Asia!

I am still working on a field trip to the ice rink. I am trying SO hard to get the class to a practice with the Caps, but I haven't heard back from anyone I've contacted yet! I am not going to give up though! I'm going to keep on dreaming my BIG dream!

If any of my readers have connections to the Caps and can make this happen, PLEASE comment below! This is the letter I've been sharing: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1qV2MvuwQcfXC_XI7R_wSBRT4FFdWjE-0wnr3DC9QHlc/edit?usp=sharing

As always, thanks for reading! :-)


P.S. Here are the links to my other three hockey project posts:

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Hockey School!

Image result for excitement quote 

This quote sums up how my students and I felt by the end of the day!

Today was AWESOME!

A few weeks ago I contacted the Washington Capitals organization to see if they could help us out with our hockey movie.  It turns out they have a Hockey School program that they send to schools.  I booked them for the entire first grade.

Today was the day they came out.  Andrew, Jared, and Vinny came down to my room first to discuss how the afternoon was going to go.  Then after setting up in the gym, it was time to get started!

The guys went over 4 things today:  how to hold the stick, stick handling skills, passing & receiving the puck, and how to shoot a goal.  For each skill, they had 10 students come up to practice that skill.  The students LOVED it! 

After teaching the skills, there was a quick boys vs girls game!

Then it was teachers vs students!  That was EXHAUSTING - but so much fun!!!!  One of the students scored a goal and his reaction was PRICELESS!!!

Finally, the guys gave us some goodies!
For the school:  a set of hockey sticks, balls, and pucks!  There was also a banner!

For all of the first grade students:  a Washington Capitals t-shirt!

They even had things for my students to use in our movie!

(Before I forget, thank you to my teammates and staff development teacher for taking pictures and sharing them with me!)

Before we left, I thanked Andrew, Vinny, and Jared.  I told them how awesome everything was.  I asked if they saw the rink in my room when they came down earlier.  They said they did and that it was awesome!  One of the guys then told me he fell in love with hockey because of his Kindergarten teacher.  She used hockey to teach them addition.  He said that if I could get at least one student to love hockey because of this project that I am doing something right.  (I think I have closer to 18!) :-P

When we returned to our room, we discussed what we had learned.  Then we had a little bit of time before PE so I set up the net and let each of them shoot the ball into the net.
They cheered each other on!
If someone didn't get it on the first try, they shouted, "You can do it!"
When a goal was scored, they all screamed!

It was truly a day they will NEVER forget!

On a related note, one of my boys made a book for me and gave it to me this morning.  It seems that he now loves the Capitals and TJ Oshie too!  See for yourself:

I've heard him say before that Oshie should be captain!

I couldn't have asked for anything more from today.
What an awesome day.  (I know, I've said "awesome" a lot today!)
What wonderful memories.

I love teaching. :-)
~Mrs. Lynch~

To read more about our hockey movie, click here and here.
To donate to our Donors Choose project for a flip camera to record our movie, click here.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Impromptu Hockey Questions

Image result for asking questions image

Asking questions - such an important aspect of learning.  The more questions you ask, the more information you gather!

This morning before we started our center rotations, I gathered my students and told them how proud I was of them for all of their hard work from yesterday.  After those praises, I told them to start thinking about our story.  I explained that every story has a beginning, middle, and end.  I talked about how stories have characters and a setting.  I also told them how stories have a problem, a solution to the problem, and a climax (turning point,) to the story.

At this point, one of the students asked a question.  That had a huge snowball effect on the class!  From there, the students asked MANY questions and gave possible solutions about our movie!

How are we going to make the ice?
How are we going to make skates?
How are we going to make hockey sticks?
How are we going to make jerseys?
What will our teams be called?
How are we going to make the shoulder and knee pads?
How are we going to make the helmets?
How are we going to make the pucks?
How will we make the referee shirts?
How we will make the nets for the goals?
How are we going to make the walls of the ice rink?
How are we going to figure out who is an actor?
How can we make the fans in the stand?
How will people throw hats for a hat trick?
How will we decide who is on each team?
How can we make a penalty box?
How will we decide who is the captain of each team?

For 30 minutes, I let them ask those questions.  I recorded their questions and possible solutions.  It was amazing to hear what their brains were thinking about!  It's quite obvious that they are not only paying attention to everything, but they are RETAINING that information!  

As a teacher, I could not ask for much more than that!

Happy Friday!

Thursday, January 12, 2017


Image result for quotes about education 

I truly believe this quote speaks to both educators AND students.  I've always liked this quote and am finding it to be particularly true right now.

My school is a Project Based Learning (PBL) school. PBL is hands-on, inquiry based learning! While creating their projects, our students learn reading, math, social studies, and science – but they also learn to problem solve, to speak and write with clear expression of their thoughts, and to collaborate with others.

In previous years, their projects have mainly centered around the rainforest.  (There was one year they focused on zoo animals.)  This year, my students have decided to go in a completely different direction and combine three things into one for our big project!  They will be:
1.    Turning our room into a movie theater (complete with popcorn!)
2.    Writing / producing / filming a movie to show in our movie theater.
3.    Learning about hockey as that will be the theme of our movie!

My students became interested in hockey when we were learning about motion! (Force, push, pull, friction, etc…)  I used hockey as an example when explaining a little bit about Newton’s Laws of Motion.  They were hooked. They wanted to see some hockey clips so I showed them clips of my favorite player, TJ Oshie from the Washington Capitals! :-)

Ever since, they have asked each day, “Can we learn more about hockey today?  Can we watch more hockey videos?”  To say they are excited is an understatement!  That excitement SOARED when I created a hockey rink in my classroom!

Note:  I love hockey and the Washington Capitals are my FAVORITE team!  Having said that, I know I don't know everything about hockey!  (I've done a lot of research and have asked my husband lots of questions - he knows way more than I do!) I also reached out to the Washington Capitals organization to see if they could help out in learning about hockey.  They have a hockey school program which will be coming out to my school next week.  They will be teaching the students about hockey and will be donating supplies as well.  

We've been reading a lot about hockey to help us prepare for our script writing.  Up through yesterday, the students learned:

  • They play on an ice rink. 
  • They use a hockey stick to hit the puck. 
  • A shootout is what happens if there is still a tie after overtime 
  • If a player does something they shouldn't they are put in the penalty box 
  • The person (or people) who passes the puck to the player who scores gets a point in hockey for an assist. 
  • An unassisted goal is when a player gets the puck from the opposing team and scores a goal without help from their teammates. 
  • Players lose points too. 
  • A hat trick is when a player scores three goals in one game. 
  • There are three different positions in hockey: goalie, defense, and forwards. 
  • The goalie is the last line of defense. The defense makes sure the other team doesn't score. The forwards try to score. Each position can play the other position.
  • Players visualize in their heads.
The students have also been learning the names and numbers of the players on the Caps team!
(I know there is more they've learned, but there is so much I just can't recall it all at the moment!)

The students have asked some great questions throughout this learning process.  Last week, one of my girls asked, "Mrs. Lynch, can girls play hockey too?"  I exclaimed, "OF COURSE!"  I then told them how one of the 2nd grade teachers at our school played hockey.  They were AMAZED.  I asked that teacher if she would come in for a few minutes and talk about her hockey experience.  She said she would!

She came today and did not disappoint!  This teacher, (I'll call her Mrs. M,) created a flipchart about girls playing hockey AND brought in her hockey bag - which had her jersey, padding, helmet, mouth guard, hockey stick, and skates!  She told them what everything was for and answered many questions about hockey.

After she left, we talked about the things they had learned.  Then I told the students about the hockey game last night.  The Capitals played the Pittsburgh Penguins last night.  I told the students about the Captain for the Capitals, #8, Alex Ovechkin.  We reviewed how players earn points.  I then told them that last night, Alex earned his 1000th career point!  Of course they wanted to see a video of the goal that earned him that point.  Yes, we watched it!  They were amazed!

Then they had a little sidebar conversation where they were talking about who is the better player, Ovechkin or Oshie!  I said that each player has their strengths and they all work together to help the team win!

Now, my students are well aware of the fact that Oshie is my favorite player.  They asked how he played and the following happened:
Me:  I'm a little upset with Oshie.
Students: Why?
Me:  He had 3 penalties last night!
Students all gasped!
Me:  I have a question for you:  If he had 3 penalties, and was in the penalty box for 2 minutes each time, what was the total number of minutes he spent in the penalty box?

I gave the students some think time before asking for the answer.  One of my boys said "6" and when I asked how he got his answer,  he said, "Well, first I added 2 + 2 and got 4, and then I added 2 more and got 6."  We then went over other ways of finding the answer - including multiplication!  (The looks on their faces when I told them that was a 3rd grade skill was PRICELESS!)

Next, I brought up the stats from last night's game!  I went over what each category stood for.  (I also told them I had to research a lot of these because I didn't know what they meant!)

G - goals
A - assists
+ / - how many points they had
SOG - shots on goal
MS - missed shots
BS - blocked shots
PN - penalties
PIM - penalties in minutes
HT - hits
TK - takeaways
GV - giveaways
SHF - shifts
TOT - total time on ice
PP - how much time on ice during a power play
SH - how much time on ice during a penalty kill (short handed)
EV - how much time on ice when it was full strength (5 on 5)
FW - faceoffs won
FL - faceoffs lost
% - the percentage of faceoffs won

After discussing those categories, we looked at numbers for the Capitals.  We started by looking at the numbers for Karl Alzner (#27.)  Let me tell you, my students impressed me so much when interpreting the data!  I was AMAZED!  They truly understood what they work looking at!  After Alzner, we looked at Oshie's stats (of course,) and then Ovechkin's.  Again, they did a great job interpreting the data.

After that, I let them see all of the players' stats.  I asked them to tell me what they noticed and they noticed a lot!  Who had the most shifts, who scored the most goals, who had the best faceoff percentage, and so much more!

Next we looked at the stats for the Penguins.  The students IMMEDIATELY noticed that in the +/- column, the Penguins either had 0, -1, or -2 points!  They couldn't believe it.  I asked why they thought those players had -1 or -2 points.  They answered correctly:  "They were on the ice when the Caps scored!"  (SO PROUD!)

Now, up until this point, I had not told the students who won the game.  I then asked, "Based on what you've seen from the stats, which team won?"  They enthusiastically shouted, "THE CAPITALS!!!!" When they asked the score, I said, let's look at the goals column and figure it out!  They did a great job!  (By the way, the Caps won 5-2.)

We threw in addition and subtraction (1 digit AND 2 digit,) time, skip counting, and multiplication!
I was AMAZED with what they picked up today!!!

Truth be told, I was (and still am) so happy and proud, I could cry! :-)

Just like in the picture I posted above, the students and I are learning so much!  I can't wait to see what else we learn!

Thanks for stopping by!

Center Rotations

Hello everyone! My name is Stacey Lynch and I’ve been teaching for thirteen years now.   For several years I was good about meeting wi...