Genre Studies We finished taking an in-depth look at the different literary genres included in our classroom. We explored each genre's characteristics, refined our reading goals, and chose new books to read. Students completed genre notes to include in their reading binder so that they have a "cheat sheet" to reference all year.
Reading Assessments This week, students took individual fluency and comprehension assessments. These assessments helps us determine a number of things:
- A student's progress (and retention) over the summer.
- Which novels to include in our first book club (Diverse Fantasy).
- Whether students need some extra practice in fluency or comprehension.
- A student's current comfort with reading aloud (even if only to the teacher).
Superheroes We took a brief look at El Deafo last week, which jump started our discussion of our own superpowers (areas that make us special and/or in which we excel) and our Kryptonite (areas in which we could use an extra boost). We used this discussion to write about our own personal superpower and Kryptonite. We also noticed that a few students share similar powers and struggles. Students determined that we are going to make a mural outside our Portable that depicts our collective strength. Please be sure to stop by on Curriculum Night to see the finished result!
When students were finished their writing, or needed a break, we worked on telling stories with Story Cubes, It was a great way to see collaboration, memory, and the process of building unique and intriguing stories!
Book Buddies On Friday, we spent time with our Book Buddies in Ms. Dickens' class. Some Buddies switched around from the previous week. Next week, there is no Buddies since we will be running for Jog-a-Thon. The following Friday, we'll be doing Kahoot quizzes online with our Buddies!
For more about the Hailstone Sequence, click here.
Black Box Challenge We started our first science unit this week. Coincidentally, it is my favorite one to teach! All of our units this year are fun, but Models and Designs has us building and solving problems from day one! Our first lesson gave us the following challenge: when given a "black box" (a mystery box that we cannot see inside), how do we determine what the inside looks like? Students worked in partners and then in larger groups shaking, turning, and exploring their black boxes without opening them. Students then drew conceptual models of what they believed the inside looked like. After conferring and sharing, students were quite frustrated (that's an understatement) when they couldn't open the boxes to see if they were "right". We then talked about scientific theory and having to do many many tests to begin to prove a theory. We discussed that while we believe many theories to be true (like Einstein's Theory of Relativity), we don't know for certain. We learn that a scientist's job is to work to prove theories and solve puzzles...just like a mathematician! One student observed that "solving puzzles" is our theme for 5th grade. Totally correct!
- Replicating a simple machine with a specific set of materials. Challenge: Students cannot see the inside of the machine to see how it works.
- Launching our first writing unit: narratives.
- Launching our first math unit: place value and order of operations.
- Continuing our look at Columbus and controversy surrounding his contact with Indigenous tribes.
- Continuing our work on our Superhero mural.
- Early dismissal Wednesday (12:05pm.)
- Jog-a-Thon Friday!
- Scholastic Book Orders due Friday!