What a great first week with the students! I couldn't ask for a better class. Here are some highlights from the week:
- Read aloud: Students were riveted by our sci-fi read aloud, "Pacific Rim" and its mind-bending ending. My hope was to model reading with expression while encouraging questioning and critical thinking with a fun story.
- Multiplication Bingo and 50 Facts Tests: Congrats to Alec and Anthony for getting bingo in our thrilling class game of Multiplication Bingo! To encourage instant recall of facts, we took some timed multiplication tests last week. Hopefully we'll have more time this week for a couple more. Most students made huge improvements from test one to test two.
- Recess games: We played a few class games together at recess, including "Giants, Wizards, and Elves" and "Zombie Tag." I taught students the three most important rules of having a fun recess: Safe tagging, Tagger's choice, and Including everyone.
- Launching workshops: This week we launched the reading and writing workshops. Students learned the structure of the workshops and what I expect from them during the mini lessons, the practice parts, the independent times, and the sharing.
What We Didn't Get To:
Since I am always ambitious in my plans, there are usually items from last week's plans that I was unable to get to. This week we didn't get to decorate our writing journals or begin writing about our Hopes and Goals for the year. We also only started looking at prime and composite numbers in math. All of those activities get moved to this week!
Our focus in Reading this week will be to continue to establish routines and expectations for Reading Workshop. We'll work on the following:
- Building stamina for reading independently
- Keeping a weekly reading log and response
- Participating in our online class blog
- Understanding our classroom library organization and how to treat books
- Practicing good listening during book discussions
- Turning and talking to a partner (while sharing our favorite books)
During Independent Reading Time, I will be administering formal reading assessments to a number of students. By the end of the week, I hope to have heard every student read through an informal or formal assessment. Wish me luck!
At some point this week we will have a relaxed writing assessment to see what students can do in 45 minutes at the beginning of the year. This is an important marker so that students can compare their progress throughout the year to this first piece of writing. In addition, we will also work on the following:
- Determining and writing about our hopes and goals for fifth grade
- Revising and editing our Hopes and Goals paragraphs for meaning, organization, spelling, and mechanics.
- Choosing "seed stories" to write about: small moments of an experience rather than a retellings of day-long events
On Wednesday this week, we have guest teacher Mr. Guttell who will be presenting "The Locker Problem" to the class. It is a fun puzzle designed to encourage students to persevere in solving problems and creatively strategizing. We'll also work on the following this week:
- Drawing arrays to represent numbers and multiplication
- Finding factors of numbers
- The Sieve of Eratosthenes, presented to students as an activity to find prime numbers
- Playing the game, "Factor Captor," a fun way to practice finding factors of numbers
We launch Science class this week, beginning with an introduction on how to create and use a Science Notebook. We'll also begin our study of Pond Life by discussing characteristics of a pond and learning a little bit about single-celled organisms.
Thanks for Reading!
So that's the plan for the week. Please feel free to email me with any questions, comments, or concerns.