Friday, April 28, 2017

Eat, Sleep, Teach Hockey

Image from here.

After my last blog entry, my co-worker exclaimed, "Your blog is so filled with your voice and enthusiasm!"  (Thanks Barb!!) I love what I do and I love sharing what I do!  I do my best to inspire students everyday and if I can also inspire other educators, that makes me even happier!  Teaching definitely isn't easy - otherwise EVERYONE would be doing it!

This week has been a BLAST!

First things first:  WE HAVE A TITLE FOR OUR MOVIE!!!!!

After several rounds of voting, the title of our movie is Hockey Stars Showdown!

The students and I are VERY excited!!!

Jersey Mania: On Thursday, I issued a challenge to my class and Mr. Racosky's 4th graders:  Create a jersey for each of our teams.  Our teams are the Stars and the Capitals. 

Each jersey must include the team name and team logo.  They weren't allowed to use logos from NHL teams.  They also had to take into consideration the names of the teams.  The students already knew the definition of stars, but capital was more difficult so we discussed three meanings of that word.  They also looked at jerseys from the NHL just to get an idea of what they looked like.  Then they got started! 


As of this update, most of the students are finished.  Once all of the students are done, it's voting time.  Props to Sue, Toia, and Barb for their suggestions / ideas on how the students should vote!  You ladies are awesome!

Image from here.

Authentic math - the focus of professional development at my school this year.  When I did my rainforest projects, I could only do so much with math.  It was mainly related to height, length, and weight of the animals and plants.  This year, authentic math comes easily when learning about hockey and creating a movie theater!

The other day, the students started to figure out how many chairs could fit in the room that we'll be using as our movie theater.  Since then, the students picked how they were going to measure and created their templates in small groups.

Today, I told the students to look at all of their templates their group made.  They had to choose the template that would help out the best.  They took to putting each chair on top of their template to test it out.  Each group gave me their best template.   They looked closely at each other's templates.   They discussed the pros and cons of using that one as their main template.  They put the chairs on top of the templates to see how they compared.

Afterwards, I told the students that all of their templates were AMAZING.  They did what they were supposed to do - figure out a way to see how many chairs could fit in the room.  Now, they had to choose the template that would help them the most in measuring.  I made sure to tell them that just because their template isn't chosen, it doesn't mean it's a bad template.  I reiterated again how good all of the templates were.

I created a flipchart where students could come up and drag a copy of a picture to the template they were voting for.  I had the templates on the floor near the flipchart.  They were SO cute when they were coming up to vote.  They looked very carefully at the each template and thought super hard about which one would be the best measuring tool.

We now have our template.  That group whose template was chosen created a bunch more of that exact template so that we can measure next week!

Image from here.

I have to brag - I am incredibly lucky!  I work with AMAZING, creative, helpful, and supportive people! They say it takes a village to raise a child and it is so true!  I've received suggestions and help from more than a dozen of my coworkers and endless support from another dozen.  We are all pieces of the same puzzle at work and their contributions have been vital to the success of this project!  I am very grateful for their helping hands!

With that, I bid you adieu!
Thank you again for stopping by and I hope you enjoyed our update!

As always, you can find my previous entries about hockey here:

Enjoy your weekend! :-)


Monday, April 24, 2017

Hockey, Movie Making, and Movie Theaters, Oh My! :-)

     Image from here

When my students and I first started this project, my immediate thought was, "Okay, I can teach them about hockey. Yes, I'm still learning about it, but it should be easy to teach.  Making a movie theater, I can totally do that too!  How in the world are we going to actually write a script and record this movie?  Oh my gosh! Am I in over my head?"  Well, yes, I am in over my head - and I'm loving every minute of it!

When my class and Mr. Racosky's class met after break, we started reading about script writing.  The book we read is called Cool Scripts & Acting:  How to Stage Your Very Own Show.  You can purchase the book here.  They have a whole series of Cool Performances books.  The students learned a lot.  Some of the things they learned about were

  • The parts of a script
  • Stage directions
  • Saying things in different ways (happy, sad, excited, mad, annoyed, etc...)
  • Projecting your voice
  • Stage whisper
We had a lot of fun saying things in different ways! They are really good at it!  We are still working on projecting our voices and using a stage whisper!

Image from here

The second time we met last week, the students worked in pairs or groups of 3 and wrote out possible titles for our movies.  I told the students to really think about our story line.  The title should be reflect what our movie is about.  I will be compiling all of their suggestions into a flipchart and the students will be voting on their favorite title.

We also spent some time editing our story.  We had a bunch of places where it said "they" did something or "this player passed to another player," but we didn't have any names.  We now have all of our characters first names. (Last names will come at another time.)

I've been collaborating with our art teacher on things we need to make for our movie.  The students created a list of everything we need to make and I gave it to our art teacher.  We've come up with some very creative ways of making things! :-)

Image from here

One of the things my colleagues and I have been working really hard on this year, is making math more authentic with real life scenarios.  Over spring break I emailed our staff development teacher about our movie theater.  One of the things the students will have to figure out is how many chairs can fit in the room that we're going to use for our movie theater.  This will then help us know how many classes we can have at one time.  She and I met and worked on turning this into several Drexel style math problems.  

The students started working on the problems today!  I took the students to the room we will be in and split them up into groups.  Each group received 1 chair, cubes, yardsticks, rulers, construction paper, whiteboards, markers, and erasers.  

First, I had the students explore their materials.  I asked them what they thought they would be using the materials for.  The students responded with "To make things we don't have for our movie," and "To measure the chair."

That led me to ask the question, "Why might we need to measure a chair?"  Their answers were, "So we know if they are the same height," and "So we can see how long the chairs are."

We went through every measuring tool and listed it as a standard unit or nonstandard unit of measurement.  Afterwards, I asked them "How can we use these things as measuring tools?"  This led into "How many chairs can fit in this room starting at the spot I've marked on the floor?  How can we figure it out?"  To dissect this problem, I asked the kids "Why do we even need to know how many chairs fit in this room?"  They responded with "So people won't have to stand up during our movie," "So we know how many rows we need," and "So we know how many people can come at one time."

We discussed how there are three parts of the chair we can measure:
How tall the chair is (the height)
How wide the chair is (the width)
How long the chair is (the length)

The students decided we didn't need to know the height, just the width and the length.
The students made a list of how we can measure:
  • use cubes
  • use yardsticks
  • use rulers
  • use the floor tiles (each floor tile is equal to 1 foot)
  • make a template of the chairs on the construction paper
Next time, the students will pick how they are going to measure and get to work.  They will have several opportunities to measure.  The first time, the only parameter is their starting point  Eventually, we'll talk about aisles!

Thank you for stopping by and I hope you enjoyed our update!

As always, you can find my previous entries about hockey here:

Hockey Entry #5
Hockey Entry #6

Have a great rest of your day! :-)


Sunday, April 16, 2017

Hockey Project Update & Plea :-)

Image result for quote about determination 
Image from here.

For those of you new to my blog, my first grade students have been learning a lot about hockey and movies over the past few months in order to make a hockey movie.  (See the end of this post for links to my previous hockey entries.)

Here's a quick synopsis:
A science lesson about force and motion led me to compare what they were learning about to hitting a hockey puck.  After my students looked at me like I had three heads, I showed them a clip of my favorite player, T.J. Oshie from the Washington Capitals.  My students were then hooked on hockey after that! (Yes, that pun was very much intended!)

My students teamed up with a fourth grade class and have learned all about hockey and the Washington Capitals!  We took a field trip to a local hockey rink so they could experience what it's like to be on the ice.  (Most of them had never been to an ice rink before!)  They had an absolute blast!

Since then, each first grader paired up with a fourth grader or two.  Each group wrote out a possible script and then organized their ideas on storyboards.  Once everyone was done, it was time to decide which story was going to be the one we write a script about.  Since it was the end of March when all of that happened, and I had exactly 16 stories, I decided we would have a March Madness Bracket to choose our winner!

I created an ActivInspire Flipchart where I paired up two stories at a time.  (The stories are hidden under the Capitals pictures.)  I didn't attach names to make it fair. 

After viewing the two stories, I reminded the students of our theme and told them to choose the story that they thought best kept in line with our theme.  They voted using ActiVotes and the winner moved on to the next round.

Some of their stories cracked me up! Several mentioned TJ Oshie. (OF COURSE!) I also saw mention of Braden Holtby, Brett Connolly, & Daniel Winnik. One group mentioned some American Ninja Warriors. One group had me as a world famous hockey player! (That would NEVER happen!)

I'm not revealing what the winning story was, but I know it will be good!

We are currently on spring break, but when we return, the students will be learning all about script writing.  We have a lot to do and we're running somewhat short on time.  (Last day of school is June 16th and we need to show our movie before that!)

Image from here
We currently have enough hockey equipment for all of the students. (Thank you to the Washington Capitals' Hockey School for all of the equipment!)
There are other things we need though.  We would greatly benefit from the following:
Jerseys (for 2 different teams)
Anything else you think would help us with our movie!

If you are able to help, please contact me at, find me on Twitter @StaceyLynch82, or leave a comment below with your contact information.

If you can also share this blog entry with everyone, I would appreciate that as well! :-)

Thank you for all of your support throughout this project! It means the world to me!
Have a wonderful Sunday!  Happy Easter, Happy Passover, & Happy Spring!


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...