I hope everyone enjoyed the first snow day of the year! I sure did, curled up on the couch reading a great book (in between rounds of shoveling, of course).
Last week we launched our informational writing unit. Students chose a sample topic to research and write an informational text on –solely for me to assess their research skills and informational writing techniques. I have a lot of teaching to do in this unit!
After learning about students’ research habits, I realized that I needed to teach them about quality sources for research. We chose a class research topic (pandas) and began exploring our school’s very own search tool: Destiny. Students were able to find kid-friendly, educational websites loaded with informational videos, images, and reading.
In Math, we worked on Fraction Basics. We learned about fractions as division, fractions of sets, and fractions as a combination of wholes and parts.
What we didn't get to:
We didn’t make great progress in the plan this week –the snow day didn’t help– but we did some very important foundational work that will set us up for success in more complex future projects. Much of last week’s plan is moved to this week.
- We didn’t get to equivalent fractions, or fraction addition or subtraction.
- We took a detour with Writing to learn about how to conduct research before we even get into note-taking.
- In Social Studies, we didn’t get to conduct short research or write journal entries.
- In Reading, we didn’t get to compare fiction and informational texts, nor is our work done with determining importance.
This Week's Plan
- Flame the Band will be performing at a special All School Meeting on Friday. To accommodate their schedule, ASM will be held at 1:45pm.
Fraction Basics. Addition and Subtraction of Fractions.
- Finding Equivalent Fractions –We’ll use our understanding of multiplying and dividing by “1” to make equivalent fractions.
- Fractions in Simplest Form –We will learn how to test if a fraction is in simplest form and report fractions so that they have no hidden wholes and the smallest denominator possible.
- Addition of Fractions –Using those handy-dandy equivalent fractions, we’ll add fractions with unlike denominators and learn how to reduce them to simplest form.
- Subtracting Fractions –Just like addition, only we’ll take away fractions.
- Research Resource Exploration –To help students do better research, we will learn about all of the free resources available to Pine Hill students.
- Categories of Research –Students will learn how to organize their research into categories that describe the topic so they can better search for information and take notes.
- Effective Note-taking –We will practice a couple of different note-taking strategies, all with the goal of having students process information rather than copy it.
- Learning about Informational Texts –To guide our own informational writing projects, we will look at other informational texts and their structures and features for inspiration.
Book Groups. Informational Texts and Determining Importance.
- Book Groups –Groups continue to meet using Reading Reports to prepare for insightful discussions.
- Exploring Informational Texts –We will notice features of informational texts and how they help us as readers. We will compare them to fictional texts.
- What is Important? –To help us comprehend informational texts, we will identify parts of texts and concepts that are important and learn how to build main ideas from those parts.
- 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.
- Culture in Colonial America –We’ll read about culture, medicine, law, recreation, and more in Colonial America through a fun book called, “Your Travel Guide to Colonial America”. As we read, we’ll be learning about informational text features and techniques.
- Short Research on Colonial Culture –Students will choose a topic they were interested in from the book, “Your Travel Guide to Colonial America,” and research it further. We will explore how to use online resources and check our sources for credibility.
- Journal Writing –We will take what we learned from our Colonial America reading and write from the perspective of an American Colonist.
Please visit the Homework Page for more details.
- Homework Project: None.
- 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 reply to my comment and respond to another student’s comment by Friday.
- Other –Students may have some research assignments and writing assignments in conjunction with our informational writing unit.
Thanks for Reading!
So that's the plan for the week. Please feel free to email me with any questions, comments, or feedback.