On Thursday we had an inspiring visit from the CEO of Edesia, a non-profit that makes ready-to-use food for children suffering from malnutrition. Students learned how regular people can make a difference in the lives of others around the world.
Students are very engaged in their informational writing projects. They have chosen a wide range of topics, from how the US Government works to how penguins survive in the arctic. This past week we worked on note-taking techniques that allow students to avoid plagiarism, as well as organization techniques that enable students to keep their information sorted under categories. Although progress in this phase has been somewhat slow, we are setting the foundation for engaging, high-quality student-written informational texts.
Based on student feedback, I decided to try a new instructional approach in math class: lesson groups. Students can choose their own group, and each group goes through new material at different paces. So far, students seem to be enjoying this format.
To wrap up our study of Colonial America, students wrote from the perspective of a colonist, creating their own primary sources. They got to choose their format and topic, and when they shared their piece, the rest of the class had to guess what it was about and who could have written it. Students loved hearing each other’s work, especially those that researched a lot about life in colonial times.
What we didn't get to:
- Students are still conducting research on their informational writing topic, so we have only gotten as far as making a table of contents.
This Week's Plan
- Thursday: Pennies for Patients Presentation –The 5th grade learns about how this initiative benefits The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
Addition and Subtraction of Fractions. Assessment.
- Comparing and Ordering Fractions –Students will learn how to compare fractions using their knowledge of benchmarks and unit fractions.
- Review for an Assessment –Students will review all of the fraction concepts we’ve studied so far. Here is a Study Guide which just lists the concepts.
- Fraction Open Response –We will look at some fraction multi-step word problems and practice explaining how we solve problems with fractions.
Informational Writing Project.
- Writing with a Purpose –Students will learn how keep their writing purposeful by asking themselves, “So What?” and making sure to answer that question within each section of their project.
- Planning for an Audience and Setting the Tone –Students will think about who their audience is and how they want to appeal to them. They will also practice writing with a variety of tones to see which one they like best.
- Developing a Topic –Students will learn how to develop each section of their writing by including facts, definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples.
Book Groups. Informational Texts and Determining Importance.
- Key Ideas and Details in Informational Texts –We will look at informational texts from previous MCASes to analyze key ideas and how they are supported with details.
- Craft and Structure in Informational Texts –Again using previous MCAS texts, we will analyze the author’s craft and the text structure.
- Book Groups –Groups continue to meet using Reading Reports to prepare for insightful discussions.
- Read Aloud –The Tiger Rising by Kate DiCamillo. A moving short novel about a 12-year old boy in the painful grip of grief and how an audacious girl and a caged tiger help him find release.
The American Revolution.
- The Causes of the American Revolution –We watch segments from the engaging “Liberty” series from PBS to learn about the major causes of the American Revolution. This week, we will focus on:
- The Stamp Act and how taxes angered the colonists.
- The Boston Massacre and how propaganda is used to sway public opinion.
Please visit the Homework Page for more details.
- Homework Project: Global Citizenship Project: Part 1. See the handout for details. Due Wednesday, March 2nd.
- Math: There will be a page or two of math practice each night.
- Reading: 25 minutes of daily independent reading is expected. Students should log it in their Planners.
- Reading Response Blog: Students must respond to my comment and to another student’s post by Friday.
- Other: Later in the week, students may have some homework related to informational reading and writing.
Thanks for Reading!
So that's the plan for the week. Please feel free to email me with any questions, comments, or feedback.