Curriculum Updates …
Math: We finally completed the multiplication and division unit. We will continue to practice the algorithms throughout the rest of the year. Math lessons are now focusing on estimating fractions, finding equivalent fractions and renaming fractions as mixed numbers. We have just finished our first round of Fizz and Martina. This is a program that requires students to work together to solve problems and then explain how they solved them without using numbers. They are learning how to use number models to help them explain how they solved problems.
Science: We also finished our magnets and motors unit. The final activity had students take apart mini motors, think about how they work, and put them back together correctly so they worked again! You will see all of their work from this unit on the next “Purple Folder Night”. We have started a mini unit on Environments. Students are observing, creating investigations, and using their data about darkling beetles and isopods to create terrariums with the preferred environments of each organism.
Social Studies: We will begin our Exploration Unit next week! Students will be learning about early exploration. They will participate in several activities that help them answer the following questions:
What were the key events that led to the Age of Exploration?
What were the effects of interactions between Native Americans and Europeans?
What lasting consequences did the Age of Exploration have on the world?
What technological developments/improvements made the age of exploration possible?
Language Arts: We are continuing to work on our persuasive essays. We have drafted 4 out of the 5 or 6 paragraphs. We learned how to use Google Forms to create a survey to get data from classmates about our essay topic. We’ll incorporate these statistics into our essays to help make our claim stronger. We will also learn about a counterclaim. Coming up we will be starting our explorer unit in the library. European explorers changed the world is our focus statement. Students will come up with questions about this statement and do a photo gallery walk to study pictures about the age of exploration. Students will research an explorer to discover what they were looking for, where they went, why they explored and what they actually found.
Reading: Character traits is our current focus. We learn a lot about characters from what they say and their actions. Based on those we can infer what traits describes them best. I looked at all the Reader’s Notebooks to check in on reading goals. Most everyone appears to be right on track. Yay!
Conversation starters ...
- Fizz and Martina-how to explain how you solved a problem without using any numbers
- Number model
- Hand washing!
- Scat Will they be able to return the baby panther to its mother in time?
- Word of the week: fabricate
- Pencils- Do they have enough at school to be prepared for class? Many do not!
A look ahead …..
Field trip to Bay Square Assisted Living Center: February 8
February break: Week of Feb. 18. Get out and enjoy the snow!