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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Day 135- Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?

I know it sounds easy, just go with me. The answer is...we'll get to it in a minute. :)
In social studies we're working on the 3 Branches of Government. We focused on the Executive Branch today.

 When we began talking about citizens voting for the President, that got me thinking. My students need to know about how the government is set up, right? What better way than to look at the very foundation of our government?

The answer to the question is B- we are a Republic. Honestly, it blew my mind when I realized it too. Let's look at the two words, in basic terms.

Democracy: In a democracy every citizen has an equal opportunity to express his/her opinion. I put it this way to my students: in a democracy, every citizen votes directly for their favored candidate or law. All votes are counted and majority rules.
That sounds good, right? I like having my opinions heard and I like voting for who and what I want! We must be a democracy! Except, we're not.

Republic: This form of government is still run by the citizens, but it uses go-betweens which have been voted into office by the citizens. Think about it this way- we citizens don't vote directly on laws in legislature, we vote Congressmen and women into office who we think will vote for the right things. Also, we don't vote directly for the President, we use the Electoral College.

In fact, if you think about it, you've known that the Untied States is a Republic ever since you entered kindergarten.
So, we had fun asking teachers the question, "Is the United States a democracy or a republic?" and seeing what they answered. Of course, I told my students to go home and ask their parents the same thing. :)

Oh, what fun we have as soldiers in General Delk's Army! I am confident enough to say that my students can boldly speak about their rights as citizens of the US, about the Bill of Rights, and now about the Executive branch of the government and why the US is a republic.

Forget 5th graders, we're smarter than some college graduates I know!

*sigh of happiness*

Now, on to math. Working on subtraction facts. This is an example from the homework that was sent home.

Golly- gee, how ever can we solve this problem? We have two options.

 Put 8 in your head, and count up until you get to 13. 
9...10...11...12...13! That was 5 numbers!

 Put 13 in your head and count back until you get to 8.
12...11...10...9...8! That was five numbers!

The numbers don't change- just the order!

*phew!* That was fun!

In reading we are working on this story:
This is a totally sweet story about what a grandchild loves to do with his grandfather. As a class we listed the activities, then we made our won list of things they couldn't wait to do when they get older. We didn't get finished today, so we'll finish it tomorrow.

Literacy center pictures:

 Team 5 hard at work! I was so proud of these fellas today! They stayed on task, worked hard, and earned extra tickets for their efforts.

Our Daily Brain

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