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!
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)