April 22, 2013,
I have not posted in some time!! My apologies.
So much has been happening. Students worked diligently on fractions for the better part of the whole third quarter. Their understanding of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division has come such a long way. The new methodology of the Common Core has them solving these problems using models before they learn the algorithm. It's difficult for those of us who know the algorithm to try and build area models and number lines. However, I did see a greater understanding of how fractions interact, especially with multiplication and division. We are currently working on coordinate grids/graphs. This year, students will work only with quadrant 1.
In social studies, we have completed our study of the 13 Colonies. Students kept an interactive notebook, read Blood on the River and developed brochures on the computer, based on a colony they researched. They took seven quizzes as well, on the reading from the textbook. These quizzes held them accountable for the reading, as well as provided question and answer formats for non-fiction text.
In science, we completed our sinking and floating kit with a culminating activity...Buoyancy Bash. Students created wonderful homemade boats that met the criteria for the assignment. We have now begun our final kit, micro worlds. We will be working with hand lenses and microscopes to view both non-living and living specimens.
In reading, students have finished another novel and have begun yet another. Our group discussions on text implications have been fantastic. Students are expanding their understanding of both character and plot development. Please be sure to ask them what books they are reading. Word study has gradually moved into a vocabulary study. My goal is not only spelling patterns, which we worked on for the majority of the year, but also a deeper and richer vocabulary.
We continue to write everyday. Students have not only completed brochures, but also RAVEd about various topics in their writing notebooks. Believe it or not, we are into our second writing notebook of the year! Most recently, they wrote persuasive essays to save Starbase, which we hand delivered to Congressman Langevin before vacation.
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