We launched Social Studies with our exploration of Colonial America. Students were all amped up as we looked at timeline map of world colonization. Students noticed the expansion of colonization from 1492 to 1850 and discussed which countries claimed distant lands as their own. We then watched a riveting documentary clip on the early days of the Jamestown settlement in Virginia. Students were shocked to learn about the depth of starvation the settlers endured due to their lack of preparation.
In Writing, students practiced writing a variety of introductions based on mentor texts. They read a selection of leads in well-known novels and analyzed the strategies that the authors used, such as painting a picture with words or beginning with an interesting conversation. Students then attempted to imitate those techniques in the introductions to their own stories.
Our book group meetings are definitely a highlight of my day. Students come to the discussions prepared to share insightful observations and thoughtful questions. Whenever a student makes a claim, we all dig through the text to find evidence. It’s amazing what ‘going back through the text looking for specifics’ can do for students’ comprehension and analytical skills. Students are getting very good at supporting their thinking.
What we didn't get to:
- Math didn’t proceed as expected. I decided to add two lessons on applications for adding and subtracting decimals to give students some real-world practice with those skills. Therefore, we didn’t get to multiplying decimals.
- In Writing, my lesson on Orienting the Reader turned out to be more extensive than I planned. Plus we had our teaching coach visiting the school, so I spent time during writing to work with her while students continued their independent work. Therefore, we still need to work on Pacing.
This Week's Plan
- Wednesday: Early Release.
- Friday: Band and Chorus performs at All School Meeting.
- Multiplying Decimals by Whole Numbers –This is a multi-day exploration: we will learn how to multiply decimals first by drawing models, then by estimating, then by using algorithms.
- Multiplying Decimals by Decimals –Another multi-day lesson: we will draw models to illustrate the concept of multiplying by numbers less than 1, which can be very tricky to wrap your brain around!
- Dividing Decimals –In similar fashion to decimal multiplication, we will learn how to divide decimals first by drawing models, then by estimating, then by using algorithms.
- Orienting the Reader –Students will establish a situation and introduce themselves as the narrator by using introductory techniques.
- Bringing Forth the Story Arc –We will discuss how stories “tend to go” and students will learn how to structure their own stories based on those features.
- 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.
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.
Begin studying Colonial America. We will learn about the following through videos, readings, and reenactments:
- Who were the settlers and why did they come?
- What was life like in the first years of settlement?
- 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: Students finish the “Living in Outer Space” project. Final due date on Friday.
- 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 do not have a new Reading Response Blog to respond, but they must reply to me and another student.
Thanks for Reading!
So that's the plan for the week. Please feel free to email me with any questions, comments, or feedback.