The fifth grade band and chorus performed at All School Meeting on Friday. Wow! Students were spectacular! The hard work, talent, and commitment of students as well as Ms. Hodge and Mr. Davis were impressive.
Space Home projects came in this week. Students used their research skills, imagination, and narrative skills to design a space home and write an exciting story about it. The project are pretty impressive in their construction and ingenuity!
Students are enthralled by our exploration of Colonial America. We read a humorous description of life in early Jamestown called, “You Wouldn’t Want to Be an American Colonist: A Settlement You’d Rather Not Start.” Students learned about the struggles and horrors of starting a colony in unfamiliar land. They wrote journal entries from multiple perspectives to capture the fear, passion, and determination of early colonists as well as the natives. On Friday, we had dramatic readings of the entries complete with theatrical background music. No one will forget Kate’s struggle to eat a chicken wing!
In Math students used base-10 blocks to conceptualize multiplication of decimals. They modeled a decimal times a whole number with an array of base-10 blocks. The most challenging part was how to model a decimal times a decimal, such as 2.3 x 0.8. Students were perplexed that multiplication can result in a product that is less than what you started with!
What we didn't get to:
- My math plan for last week was again overly ambitious. Since multiplying decimals and modeling the concept of multiplication by numbers less than 1 is so tricky, we spend a lot of time on it. I decided to save decimal division for separate unit.
- In Writing, we spent extra time exploring plot development by analyzing the typical story arc of narratives. We didn’t get to elaboration or adding scenes from the past and future.
This Week's Plan
- Tuesday: Band/Chorus concert. Begins at 6:30pm in the auditorium.
Finish Decimal Multiplication. Begin review for an assessment.
- Decimals and Powers of 10 –We will analyze patterns for multiplying decimals by powers of 10. For example, 0.34 x 10 = 3.4 and 0.34 x 100 = 34.
- Multiplication with Tenths and Hundredths –We will use hundredths grids to model finding tenths of tenths and hundredths of tenths, then learn the “counting decimal places in the factors” strategy.
- Review for an Assessment on Decimals –We will review decimal addition, subtraction, and multiplication. The assessment will likely be Monday, December 21. Students can test their understanding of modeling decimals and operations with decimals.
- Elaborating on the Important Parts –Students will learn how to slow down at the important parts and speed through the unimportant parts.
- Adding Scenes from the Past and Future –Students will learn a useful technique for bringing forth meaning in their stories: using flashbacks and flash-forwards.
- Ending Stories –Students will try to resolve problems, teach lessons, or make changes that tie back to the big meaning of their stories.
Book Groups. Character Traits.
- What are Character Traits? –We will practice describing characters’ traits, supporting our claims using the characters’ thoughts and actions from the text.
- Reading Response Journals –Students continue to practice writing thoughtful, evidence-based responses about their independent reading.
- Book Groups –Groups of students meet weekly to discuss a shared text. This week I will introduce Reading Reports, which help bring discussions to the next level.
- Informational Text –As part of our exploration of early American Colonization, we will read informational texts and primary sources. See the Social Studies section for more details.
Begin studying Colonial America. We will learn about the following through videos, readings, and reenactments:
- What challenges did colonists overcome to survive in the new settlements?
- How did the European colonists and the Native Americans interact?
- What are the similarities and differences among the first settlements/colonies?
- Who were some of the famous characters in early Colonial America?
- What were the differences between the northern, middle, and southern colonies?
Please visit the Homework Page for more details.
- Homework Project: There is no new homework project this week.
- Math: There will be a page or two of math practice each night.
- Reading: 20 minutes of daily independent reading is expected. Students should log it in their Planners.
- Reading Response Blog: Students have a new Reading Response Blog to respond.
- Poetry Memorization & Practice: Students must practice memorizing and reciting their chosen poem. The goal is to recite without hesitation, with appropriate pauses, and with passion.
- Other: Depending on students' productivity during class time, there may be a "finish up" assignment to complete for homework.
Thanks for Reading!
So that's the plan for the week. Please feel free to email me with any questions, comments, or feedback.