Happy Friday 5V Families!
A few dates to keep in mind during the upcoming weeks:
Here is a look at what we covered this week:
Reading: In reading, we have started writing our own poetry after examining several elements of poetry (figurative language, personification, rhyming, rhythm, etc.) We began by writing Haiku poems, and List Poems. Students will be getting a document with all of their classmates poems, and will add that to their Poetry Anthologies. We also examined the life and works of two well known children's poets, Douglas Florian and Bryan P. Cleary.
Writing: In Writing, we continued our examination of chocolate milk, researching to make a decision about if we think chocolate milk should be served in schools or not. We are using what we learned about researching and evaluating sources for credibility. We talked about bias, and how bias can impact how a writer reports information on their topic. We also talked about knowing when certain information is being somewhat "twisted", and exaggerated, and when to use our judgement on if that is information we want to include in our argument or not. This project is NOT to leave students feeling that milk is bad for you. We know that there are some really good things about milk, and some things that might not be ideal for milk drinkers, but I have been clear that we need not go home and dump out the milk cartons in our refrigerator, or worry if we are big milk drinkers, that we are going to get sick. I have reminded the class I still serve milk to both of my own children throughout the day! There is no right or wrong answer to this question. What makes it "right" or "wrong" is if you can back it up with substantial and relevant information and clearly explain your argument. It's great to hear the student debate on this topic, and how the defend their position. We might have some future lawyers in this group!
Math: In math, we are covering two chapters at the same time. We began our Geometry unit, which requires us to classify polygons, triangles, quadrilateral and polyhedrons. Students are doing a great job getting used to this vocabulary, and what it all means. We also began talking about measurement by learning how to convert standard units of length and capacity. We will continue to practice this next week, as it is a tricky subject!
Science: In Science, we began talking about the Nervous System and the parts of the nervous system, specifically the brain, brainstem, spinal cord, and nerves. We watched a few videos on the brain, and learned how nerves send messages throughout our body. We will begin reading and researching the parts of the brain next week to think about what we want to do for our in class project on The Brain.
Another great and BUSY week here in room 504! One of the most important things we focused on this week was getting back to our classroom community and our belief system about how we treat each other in the classroom. We had some great reflection on things we can improve upon, and how we can all be checking in on ourselves, and others, to be sure that everyone in our classroom is being treated kindly and respectfully. We used a lot of examples from the book Wonder, specifically the the follow up book to Wonder, The Julian Chapter. This chapter tells the story from the perspective of the bully, Julian. It really is amazing to read and hear this perspective, and generates a lot of thinking about what each of us can be looking out for in ourselves , in our treatment of others, and how we can make sure we have one another's back. If you loved the book or movie Wonder, you should definitely check out the follow up book, Auggie and Me. The first chapter of this book is "Julian's Chapter". It is excellent.
A few dates to keep in mind:
Here is a peek at the week...
Reading: In reading, we continue working on tips for taking a test, looking at more strategies for tackling multiple choice questions, and strategies for answering short answer questions. We also had the awesome opportunity to email award winning author, Ken Mochizuki, author of Baseball Saved Us, and Passage To Freedom, two of our very favorite read aloud books from our historical fiction unit. Mr. Wiles, Ben's Dad, was kind enough to help us get in touch with him. We emailed him some questions this week. We composed our questions in a video format. The kids came up with the questions all by themselves. If you would like to see our video, click below!
Writing: In writing we wrapped up our compare contrast on the Feejee Mermaid and Giant Squid, and began writing our own. We read two articles, one on country music star, Taylor Swift, and another on grammy award winning singer, Stevie Wonder. Next week, students will be asked to compose a well constructed essay comparing and contrasting the two music superstars. This was especially fun because we got to listen to some Stevie Wonder music during classroom cleanup. :-)
Math: In math, we continued our discussion on multiplying fractions and mixed numbers. We examined what happens to the product when we multiply mixed numbers by mixed numbers, or mixed numbers by a fraction. We also looked at using an area model to find the area of a space with dimensions that contain fractional parts. I hope to finish up chapter 7 and review this week so that we can take the test on Friday.
Where do I even begin?! The past two weeks have been exciting for many reasons: snow days, re-locations....and all the while, the students in room 504 have worked hard and worked TOGETHER. We are growing as students and as young people. Our maturity and ability to be flexible in new situations has been tested, and your children are doing a fabulous job. Here's to keeping up the GREAT work as we move forward in MARCH!
A couple of upcoming dates to keep in mind:
Here's a peek at the week.....
Reading: In reading, we started talking about "Tips for Taking a Test". We specifically looked at tips for answering multiple choice questions:
One of the most exciting things that students learned as we being to prep for the NYS ELA test, is that this year, the NYS ELA is only 2 days. In years past, it has been a three day test. This year they will be taking the test over two days. The first day will have 5 passages and 35 multiple choice questions, and day 2 will have 2 passages, 6 short answer questions, and 1 extended response. I think all of the students breathed a sigh of relief when they heard that a whole day of testing had been eliminated.
Writing: In writing, we began writing compare/contrast essays. We read two articles, one on the myth of the fiji mermaid, and one on the Giant Squid. We then began using boxes and bullets to write a well constructed essay comparing and contrasting the two topics, using quotes and evidence from the articles to back up our thinking. These writing skills will help them on the extended response portion of the NYS ELA, but will also help them as students for the rest of their academic career. They are learning to read something, rocess it in their own thinking, and respond to what they have read in a clear and organized way. These skills are something we use in middle school, high school, college, and beyond!
Math:In Math, we began chapter 7: Multiplying fractions. We used pictures to model what it means to multiply fractions, and will be using the regular "paper/pencil" way this week. Chapter 7 is a shorter chapter, so we will wrap that up by the end of next week or in the early days of the following week.
Science: In science, we finished up our last discussion on the skeletal and muscular system. Next week, we will being our study of the brain and the nervous system....one of my personal favorite units in Science!
Social Studies: In social studies, we began talking about Civil Rights, and the Civil RIghts movement in the UNited States. We read the book, She Persisted by Chelsea Clinton, which highlighted several women in American History who pushed the boundaries and fought for women's rights and equal rights. I continue to notice something really cool about this group of kids. I find that if I give them information about something, maybe an event in history, or a person in history, they are so eager to research these topics further. I haven't had a class like this, that is so interested in gathering information and learning, that can take topics covered in class and take them as far as they want. It is such a great reminder of how young children WANT to learn. They crave new information, and they have the confidence to find information on their own through reading and researching. It is so impressive, and I hope to continue fostering that as we continue this school year. I must compliment you as parents, because whatever you are doing with your children is also fostering that curiosity.
Have a great weekend, everyone!
TGIF 5V Families!
Another awesome week in room 504. Some important dates to remember:
Here's a look at what we did this week.....
Reading: In reading, we continued with our discussion in guided books groups. We will be wrapping those books up next week. This will conclude our Historical Fiction unit. Next, we will be moving into no another nonfiction unit. Our next writing unit is research based argument writing. During reader's workshop, we will be looking at shorter text and articles, examining things like bias, and thinking critically about the author's credentials and information they are presenting in their writing. We will be reading about several different topics: Should students have homework? Should animals be kept in captivity? Should schools require uniforms? Should the school day be shorter? This is a great unit because we really get to dive into topics that interest us, and we begin form opinions about things that matter to each of the students based on research we have collected.
Writing: In writing, we finished up our publication of our informational unit. Next week, students will complete an on demand assessment where they will be asked to write an informational text about a topic that interests them. Our hope is that they will apply some of the new writing principles that they learned when writing about the westward expansion, into this new piece. Once their informational texts (the pre assessment, done before they received any instruction, the guided writing piece that they did in class on the westward expansion, and their post writing piece, that they will complete independently next week) are all published on their websites, I will have students log into their accounts at home to show you these beautiful writing pieces.
Math: In Math, we complete the mid chapter check. I went over the results with students, and pulled a couple of small group or individual students to go over any concepts that needed more practice. In most cases, students need to be sure to read the directions carefully. Many students lost points because they needed to find the estimated answer, but found the actual answer. Overall, I think students are starting to get a really good handle on adding and subtracting fractions and mixed numbers. We will continue this work next week as we wrap up this adding and subtracting fractions unit.
Science: In Science, we continued to label our Mr. Bones skeleton and talk about the different bones and their jobs.
S.S. We moved on to our World Wars section, and began discussing the causes and events leading up to both WWI and WWII. We also read a really moving story, Jars of Hope by Jennifer Roy about a real woman named Irene Sendler, a Polish social worker, who saved over 2,500 Jewish children from the Warsaw Ghetto during the Holocaust. Roy is a local author who currently lives in Saratoga, NY. If you haven't heard this story, check it out! It is inspirational and moving. I got chills while reading it! Even though it is written about a terrible time in the world, it reminds me of the good in the world, and how strong and brave people can be!
Have a great weekend!
In some ways, January has felt VERY long.....but in "school time", it feels like it flew by! Your children are learning so much, and are becoming such active participants in their own learning. There are so many wonderful things happening in the classroom, this blog could never do all of that work justice. Nevertheless, here are some important things to keep in mind in the coming weeks, as well as a look at some of the things we are working on in the classroom.....
Use this page to keep up to date on what we are doing in the classroom. Also, don't forget to check out See Saw for student posts and stories. (We will set this up in September)