Friday, October 9, 2015

News of the Week: October 5th - 9th, 2015

October 5th - 9th, 2015

Hello 4th and 5th grade families!

Here's a look into what we've done this week.  Enjoy some pictures of the kids enjoying each other's projects and having fun in Science at the end of the post!

Reading:  This week in Reading we were focusing on two non-fiction reading strategies that we will continue next week.  The first is called "FQR" or Facts, Questions, Responses.  Together we looked at a timeline of early African history and pictures of thriving kingdoms.  We also noticed change over time on maps showing borders (tribal and later country borders).  We read an article on the history of Africa and jotted down interesting facts and questions and responses related to those facts.  Once we were done, we decided on the main question the article answered for us and used that question as a focus for our question web.  We reread the text and added answers to our question web. Now students are in small groups focusing on children, poverty, agriculture/famine, and development in Africa.  These two strategies (FQR and a question-focused reread) are helpful for challenging non-fiction.  We are practicing these strategies to increase our success with understanding what we are reading when we do independent research.

Writing:  We focused on adding setting and rewriting our leads and endings this week.  Over the weekend, those who haven't finished drafting their scenes are expected to finish.  Next week we will be self-editing and peer-editing and spending sessions in the lab to type up our stories.  The students now have usernames and passwords so they can practice to improve their typing speed and accuracy.  Their login information is the same as it is for IXL.

4th grade - We ended our addition/subtraction unit with some multi-step problem solving and students began working with relating multiplication and division. Students recognized and modeled how division is similar to repeated subtraction just like multiplication is similar to repeated addition. We also practiced some work with variables (finding the unknown).

5th grade - The fifth graders finished their unit on multiplication, practicing mental math strategies such as using powers of 10 and the distributive property.  We also had time to practice multiplication by 1 and 2-digits using the algorithm.  Long multiplication takes many steps and if students are not fluent with their facts, it is unlikely they will be successful with this concept.

 Practicing math facts at home each night is very important for both the 4th and the 5th graders!

Science:  We began our unit on the human body this week!  Our first system was the skeletal system. Students participated in centers constructing the skull and putting together the skeleton.  We made hypotheses about what will happen to a chicken bone if it is submerged in a jar of vinegar for one week; we will draw some conclusions next week when our experiment is complete.  We also made connections to how bones' structure is related to their function and began the first bit of the project we will be doing throughout the unit: writing a story about a journey through the human body!  Students are paired up and each team has designed a vehicle that will enter a human of their choice.  Students will be showing their learning in many fun and interesting ways.

Upcoming Events:

October 15th:  4/5 will put on a small reader's theater at the morning assembly
October 19th:  End of After School Activities for Quarter 1
October 21st:  End of Quarter 1

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