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!


  1. Your enthusiasm just SHINES through this post!! What an awesome teacher you are to put so much time and effort into your students' learning :)

    1. Glad my enthusiasm shines through! :-) Thanks for visiting my blog!


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