Friday, November 27, 2015

November 16th - 27th, 2015

Classroom News, November 16th - 27th

Dear 4th and 5th Grade Students and Families,

Here's a bit about what we've been up to.  Please ensure your child is successfully completing their homework each night and is studying their math facts.  Let's try to delay "vacation mode" until the break begins!

Reading:  We have been investigating the author's message and continuing with the QAR strategy with a couple of texts.  Last week, the students worked through Rudyard Kipling's The Elephant's Child, analyzing his use of repetition, onomatopoeia, and alliteration.  They practiced various reading skills and did a proposition and support write-up proving what they believe was Kipling's message.  This week, we read Eve Bunting's How Many Days to America and the students attempted to generate all four levels of questions to focus on the important parts of the text.  This book is about refugees fleeing their homeland on a dangerous journey to the US and it leads us right into what's up next:  reading and analyzing poems written by refugees.

Writing:  The students have been gathering ideas for their personal essays.  They've been using prompts to push their thinking with partners and by themselves.  They've been determined to generate meaningful topics that teach the reader something unique about themselves and/or the world.  We will be developing our first thesis statements on Monday and taking our essays through the writing process.

Math:  We have taken a break from numbers and operation to focus on probability and data.  We did a number of experiments determining likely and unlikely results and various combinations.  The students made their own spinners and discovered patterns for determining the number of possible outcomes.  This week we have learned line plots and stem-and-leaf plots and the students have been creating their own survey questions and conducting research to yield numerical data.  They've been using this data to practice creating and interpreting these types of graphs.  Next up is mean, median, mode, and range.

Science:  The students are nearly done with their google slide presentations and body diagrams and will be presenting to the class on Monday.  Students have been focusing on making sure they use their own words and use quick notes or bullets rather than paragraphs in their presentation.

Mali Health Project:  We have made some headway on the comic!  The text has been transferred to the digital comic and the kids have been hard at work during art trying to finish the illustrations.  We aim to be finished by Christmas vacation.

Upcoming Important Dates:

December 16th:  AISB's Winter Show
December 17th - January 4th:  No School
January 5th:  School Resumes

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