Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Week of 10/3 Update

Hello all!

We are all adjusting wonderfully here in 5th grade.  Here's an update of what your child is working on while they are here.  Be sure to ask them questions about anything you see to encourage positive, educational conversations about school.

In Math:
My Math class is taking the Topic 1 test this week.  We have been working hard on the numerous concepts that are covered on this topic.  I am very impressed with the hard work and focus, especially when learning  new ins and outs of our new math program.

Things covered in topic 1:

  • Whole number place value up to the billions, and decimal place value up to the thousandths.
  • Understanding the relationships between place values.  
  • Writing numbers using standard form, expanded form, number name, and using exponents 
  • Comparing decimal values up to the thousandths
  • Rounding whole numbers and decimals up to the thousandths
To prepare, children took a practice test in class today, and have been assigned the reteaching sheet for homework.  


Literature Circles: We are about half way through our core book Tuck Everlasting.  We have had 2 successful literature circle groups so far.  For some of us, this is the first time we have had literature circles in ELA.  Students are working on learning routines that make for a successful circle with our groups.  This includes coming prepared with their jobs, time management when meeting, and staying focused and on task.  Literature circles will be used often throughout our year in ELA, and we're off to a great start.  I snapped a few photos of our circles below, check it out!

Matthew sharing his Passage Master job with his group
Charles, Aditya, Yonas, and Shira working hard in their Literature Circle
Caleb showing his group where to look in the book.

Active Reading: We are also using Tuck Everlasting to practice the skill of Active Reading.  Active reading is when you are actively thinking about what it is you are reading.  This could include making connections, inferring, or using context clues to figure out an unknown word.  We practiced Active Reading today with a focus on using context clues.  Tuck Everlasting presents a lot of vocabulary that can be challenging to understand. Each student had to complete a 4 square (shown below) for 2 words that they did not know in the section we read together.  For each 4 square, they needed to guess the meaning using context, find the definition of the word, find synonyms of the word, and draw a picture that could help them remember the meaning.  We then met as a class to share our findings.  

A 4 Square for the word "parlor"

A 4 square for the word "indomitable" 

Weekly Writing: Last week we began our weekly writing assignments for homework.  Students have a list of instructions with tasks to complete each night.  This assignment should be broken up throughout the week so that they are getting the true feel of the writing process (drafting, revising, publishing).  This should not be an assignment that is completed all in one night.  Weekly writing assignments are sent home on Monday and are due on Friday.  For their final draft, students have the option of hand writing or typing their piece.  I leave the choice up to them, however their rough draft must be hand written.  

In Social Studies:
Room 209 is working hard on our current unit about the first people who came to the Americas.  Students are creating a book creator where they will explain how people first got here, and who these people were.  We are using textbooks and educational videos to help us gather our research.  Although we are making a book, students will be writing scripts of what to say on each page.  Instead of typing paragraphs of information into their books, students will be recording their scripts to create an audio book.  We are about half way through this project now and I am happy to see the quality of work from everyone so far.  Be sure to ask your child the different ways people traveled to the Americas!

Enrichment: Today we began an enrichment project with the one and only Ms. Fallon! We will be creating our name using Mayan glyph writing! Names will be displayed outside our classroom when they are finished.  We are off to a great start!

After this unit, we will be starting out first unit in Science!

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