December 20th

Happy Winter Break! Now, if only we would get some more snow…

We have had a lot of fun this week!

In Reading Workshop students finished up their individual Natural Disaster or Extreme Weather presentations (most used Book Creator) and then presented to the class. Students came up with a question about a topic they were interested in and then researched. Students had to decide what information to present to the class and how to present it. We learned about thunder snow, how to prepare for an Earthquake, how to stay safe in a tsunami, how volcanoes erupt, how to stay safe in a blizzard etc.

We finished up Topic 6 in math. Although students struggled with the online practice test, they did much better with the final test. The questions focused on making comparisons and multi-step word problems. Students learned that they need to read carefully, think and then check their work! The tests were sent home Monday.

In writing we made sure we completed our final copy of our personal essay. Some students shared their essays with a partner.

I hope everyone has a safe and restful break (after the excitement of the holidays) and returns in January excited to learn!

A huge thank you to all those that donated items for our class raffle!

I also thank you for all of your generous and thoughtful gifts!

School Resumes Wednesday, January 3 full  day!

December 15th

Only 3 more days until Winter Break! You can sure feel the excitement in the air!

We have had a busy week this week trying to wrap up a few loose ends before the break.

This week in Reading students learned about the techniques author’s use to elicit a response or an emotion from the reader. Non-fiction writers do this too! (This is called author’s craft). We have learned that nonfiction author’s can use comparisons, anecdotes, quote an authority, incorporate humor and even use shocking facts! Author’s do this to manipulate the reader to feel or act a certain way about the subject.

In writing students have been working hard to complete the final copy of their essay. Students have revised, edited and then put their essays together paying attention to proper conventions and structure.

In math this week we completed a short unit on comparison situations using times as many as or more than. We also worked at solving multi-step word problems with hidden questions. While the problems themselves were not difficult, students struggled with perserverance and grit. We talked about reading problems a few times and solving them step by step. Making sure that they have answered all parts of the questions asked. Our test will be on Monday. Your child is bringing home a few review sheets this weekend to go over.

In Science we have continued to learn about the properties of matter. We found the volume of solids by using a graduated cylinder to measure the amount of water each object displaced to find its volume. We also explored liquids. We found that liquids have no definite shape, take the shape of their container, have mass and weight. We also learned that oil has less mass than water! We floated vegetable oil on top of water! So cool!

Remember next week is only 3 short days of school!

December 21- January 2 – Winter Break

January 3 – School Resumes

December!

I can’t believe how fast last month flew by! We have 2 1/2 weeks before Winter Break! We will be working hard to tie up all of our loose ends before break.

This week in Reading Workshop students continued to research their topics. They learned how to write about their research in a way that helps them to synthesize the information that they are learning. Students met with their groups Thhursday to plan out their posters. Today groups got together to work on and complete their posters. Students will be presenting their research on Monday!

In Writing Workshop students are continuing to develop their personal essays. They wrote mini-stories that give an example for each of their reasons that supports their thesis. Students also learned how to create parallelism in lists as a powerful alternative to writing a mini-story. Next week, we will be working on writing introductions that hook our readers.

Math this week was all about long division! Students learned how to use an area model to divide, how to use the partial products method to divide and today they learned the “old school” short cut. (This is the method you and I learned in school). Please ask your child to show you how all three methods work. We will be practicing one more day (Monday), before our online practice TEST on Tuesday.

Students took their test for our Science unit: Organisms in Their Environment on Thursday. I am hoping to have these graded and handed back next week. Students made vocabulary cards, and took home a review sheet to help them study for the test. We also played a few online Kahoot! and Jeopardy! games, with test like questions that covered the concepts taught, as part of our review. We will be starting our last science unit on the States of Matter next week.

We have also been practicing grammar and conventions each week.  last week we reviewed some things we all know, but do not always use – when to capitalize a letter and when not to.  We learned terms like proper noun, common noun, abstract noun, and concrete noun.  We also talked about when to use “a” and when to use “an.” This week we talked about plural nouns and the importance of having noun agreement in sentences.

Has your child come home saying words like amygdala, hippocampus, and prefontal cortex?  We have been learning about the parts of our brain and what the do as part of our “Mindfulness” lessons.  Ask your child about these parts of your brain.  Last week we  talked aboutamygdala, hippocampus and pre-frontal cortex and what the do. Students learned some strategies to calm their amygdala in order to get new information to our PFC and store the important things in our hyppocampus. Today, we learned the difference between mindful and unmindful thoughts and actions, we talked about bringing mindful awareness (focusing attention and withholding judgement) to our lives.

Important Dates

December 14 – Build a Gift

December 21- January 2 – Winter Break

January 3 – School Resumes