Here's a peek into what we've been up to the past few weeks. Enjoy!
Reading - We have started a new class novel called City of Ember. It is a science-fiction, post-apocalyptic story.
Ask your child about it! Here are some conversation starters:
- What's special about the setting in the novel?
- What's the central problem?
- Compare and contrast Doon and Lina.
- What clues do we have so far about The Instructions? What are our ideas about them?
- Which things represent fear/darkness and which things represent hope/light?
Writing - Students are drafting and editing their persuasive essays. Soon, we will be turning these essays into persuasive speeches! Slow typing speed is causing many students to be behind in class. If at all possible, I encourage students to practice typing at home.
Math - Both the 4th and 5th graders are deep into fraction concepts. The 4th graders have been working with simplifying, comparing, ordering, and converting fractions. The 5th graders have been working on the same concepts but also relating fractions to decimals and percentages. Both grade levels will be working with fraction operations next week. A key focus of these units is conceptualizing fractions and why different algorithms work. Math communication is a large part of our lessons. Besides the current unit, students also get daily practice with mental math, fluency, and multi-step problem solving.
Social Studies - The explorer projects were very well done! The students enjoyed learning about each others explorers and the impact they had on the world.
Science - Science this quarter is about the ocean; how it impacts us and how we impact it. We watched a documentary titled Planet Ocean that discusses the origins of the ocean as well as the many different relationships in the ocean. Students were introduced to major problems such as overfishing, drilling, and rising temperature. We did small experiments testing the differences in density between hot and cold water, and fresh and saltwater. After students finish a mini-research project on one of the five oceans, we will be starting an iMovie project where students focus on one of the major threats to our ocean. They will be discussing what the problem is (how and why it happens), and why and how we should stop it!