Friday was truly a highlight for the whole year. The DS Arts Homecoming brought former Dispatch member Chad Urmston to our classroom to share stories about his signer/songwriter career and perform a couple songs for us.
We celebrated the completion of our ‘I Am” poems with a “café club” share, complete with dim lights, chill background music, and microphone. Students passionately read their poems to the class and we were all moved by the deep feelings everyone shared.
Our lovely butterfly is free! We released it and sent with it our hopes on the back of its wings. We still have three cocoons waiting to hatch. Maybe a new butterfly will be waiting for us on Monday!
Students took their first math assessment this week. Scores overall were very good. We’ll be finishing the accompanying open response question about divisibility and dancers in rows on Monday, along with starting a new unit on estimation and computation.
Our first Science experiment was mostly successful. To learn about how the temperature of the earth influences our weather and climate, we heated up substances found on our earth’s surface –sand, soil, and water. We did a preliminary analysis of the data, but we will graph it and analyze the graph in a science report this week.
What we didn't get to:
- Although I finished our first reading assessment on fluency, I was unable to begin the Benchmark Assessment, which gives a fuller picture of students’ reading levels.
- We also were unable to tackle “Monitoring our Understanding” stategies.
- The Science experiment on Sand, Soil, and Water took longer than anticipated, so we have yet to look at convection currents.
This Week's Plan
Wednesday: Early Release. Teacher professional development on Reading & Writing.
- Reading Journal Responses –Students will learn more about how to write thoughtfully about their independent reading in their journals.
- Monitoring our Understanding --Students will learn how to recognize that their comprehension is fuzzy and will practice three strategies for fixing it.
- Teacher Read Aloud --I continue to read aloud from There's a Boy in the Girl's Bathroom by Louis Sachar.
- Formal reading assessments -- I will begin administering a more thorough reading assessment this week, meeting with individual students. This assessment takes a couple of weeks to finish with the whole class.
- Opinion Writing –This week we launch our unit on opinion essays. We start by listing things in our lives we care about and issues we feel passionately about to collect potential topics.
- Pre-unit Assessment –Students will write a sample opinion piece so that we can show their progress throughout the unit.
- Suspending your Judgment –Students will learn how to look past their own opinion in order to see both sides of an issue and gather evidence that both supports and weakens their position.
We launch a new unit this week on Estimation and Computation.
- Open Response Practice --Students learn how to effectively respond to a math open response problem, showing their work clearly and concisely.
- Place Value and Powers of 10 –We look at how our place value system works by multiplying and dividing by 10.
- Decimal models --We will learn about the first three decimal place values and draw models using base-10 blocks to help up visualize decimal numbers.
- Rounding –We will review and practice how to round numbers to a given place value, including decimals.
- Expanded Notation –We break down numbers, including decimals, by place value and write them using powers of 10.
- All of the above will help us effectively multiply two-digit by two-digit numbers (not including decimals yet). We will start off by using the Partial Products method. (I save the standard algorithm, which is essentially a short cut, for the end of this unit once students master the concepts behind multi-digit multiplication.)
We are studying Weather and Climate.
- We will continue to investigate causes of weather and climate by exploring the uneven heating of the earth and convection currents, which involve the movement of hot and cold air.
Please visit the Homework Page for full details. Students have a new Reading Response Blog to respond to. There is no new homework project. Students will need to complete an experiment report on our Sand, Soil, and Water experiment. They will get another experiment report later this week to finish 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.