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Washers + Tennis Balls = Teambuilding

Today, we learned and reinforced a few more lessons about working together to solve difficult problems with innovative solutions. In today’s challenge, we had 6 washers with 6 strings attached. We had to use on washer to move a tennis ball across a courtyard and into a cup… no touching the tennis balls! IMG_0113


Save Fred

Jazmyn, from Mr. Capps’s class, gets a little squeamish as her partner Jayden tries to save Fred the gummy worm from drowning. Mr. Capps’s class continues their exploration of building and maintaining relationships as they work on this problem solving activity that includes putting a chewy lifesaver around a sour gummy worm (Fred) to prevent him from drowning on their desks! The catch is, they had to use 4 paperclips to touch him. No hand contact allowed. Fred should have been more afraid of being eaten than drowning!Screen Shot 2014-08-26 at 8.02.48 PM

Games in Math?! Capture 5 Time

Gulf Shores High School Peer Helper, Eric Jackson volunteers to come assist Mr. Capps’s class during math. Today, he learned how to play Capture 5 in which Alex, Asher, and Anna Grace used plus and minus number cards to capture chips on a 100s chart.


Kelly, Kaleigh, Amber, and Joshua navigate their way through the addition and subtraction hurdles of Capture 5.

Kelly, Kaleigh, Amber, and Joshua navigate their way through the addition and subtraction hurdles of Capture 5.

Water Balloon Teamwork

Have you ever been the target of 21 water balloons aimed at you by 21 kids?

Have you ever been the target of 21 water balloons aimed at you by 21 kids?


Friday, Mr. Capps’s class extended their learning about building and maintaining healthy relationships by completing a series of challenges with water balloons. After they completed their challenges with much laughter and joy along the way, they aimed for their targets, Mr. Capps and Ms. Overstreet. In their discussion, they uncovered even more ways to be a good teammates as we work together throughout the year. Good team mates give each other time to prepare (mentally and physically). We teach each other. We practice. We take big steps toward our goals with confidence. We check in with our partners, and we keep our focus on the targets. That last bit was easy when your target is your teacher and your ammo is a water balloon!

Marshmallow Challenge

Mr. Capps class learned the value of teamwork today as they worked together to build the tallest freestanding towers they could in 18 minutes with only three feet of tape, three feet of yarn, 20 spaghetti noodles, and one marshmallow. In discussion, they discovered that good teams listen to each other, let everyone contribute unique ideas, add on to each others’ ideas, get ideas from other teams, don’t give up, and stay calm even when limited time ticks away. Marshmallow Challenge

Ice Bucket Challenge

Ice Bucket Challenge

In an effort to answer our unit question, “How can we build and maintain healthy relationships?”, Mr. Capps’s class completed the Ice Bucket Challenge and read research on ALS. We discussed how many things make us the same and different. Some of the things that make us different, like disabilities, disease, and appearances also make us more valuable because it gives us a unique perspective from which to see the world. We stood in our chairs, laid on the floor, and even turned upside down to view our classroom from different perspectives. Finally, we made binoculars with our hands around our eyes. We compared looking through our binoculars to looking for friends that seem most similar to us. When we opened our hands to see a whole scope of vision, we were looking for friends who could help open our minds to new perspectives so that we can enjoy more of the world.

Me Bag

As part of our unit study, “How can we build and maintain healthy relationships?”, Kruiz presented her ‘Me Bag’ filled with objects from home that revealed her unique combination interests.

Kruiz presents her me bag to her classmates!

Kruiz presents her me bag to her classmates!

Meet the Teacher

Meet the teacher was a success! I got to meet 20 out of 21 students and their families. We unpacked, enjoyed s’mores, knocked out transportation and compact paperwork, and visited to get to know one another.

Ansley and Asher attended Meet the Teacher, 2014.

Ansley and Asher attended Meet the Teacher, 2014.

PBL in Action

Significant Content: In our curriculum mapping process for PBL, I used a free tool called to organize my standards across the curriculum to bring more depth to our projects.

In Depth Inquiry: Making some of our Science and Social Studies standards relevant to our students can be a challenge, but creative questioning and using a student centered approach can lead you to some great inquiry.

Need to Know: In this project, we used a Comprehension Toolkit Lesson as a launching point for a study on perspective and cultures. These students had great Need to Know questions that were added as they continued their research.

Voice and Choice: From The Greedy Triangle, we launched into a writing project in which students were able to choose their story lines to complete and sequel for Marilyn Burns story. Here is another example.

Public Audience: In this project, we studied map tools, consumers and producers, and weather patterns around the world. These students first presented to their Elves, then to their parents after the revision process.

Reflection and Revision: After reading Mechanically Inclined by Jeff Andersen, we began to use feedback stems to improve our revision process.

Plant Uses

Click here, and read the section, Natural Resources. Take turns reading each paragraph with a partner. After each paragraph, discuss one use for plants that you learned about.

In the comments below, explain how plants are most useful. Do you think plants are most useful for cleaning the air, becoming our food, becoming our shelter, or being used to make medicine? Give at least to examples from the text to support your opinion.

Do you know how Aloe can be used as a medicine for you?

Do you know how Aloe can be used as a medicine for you?