Monday, September 7, 2015

Updates for the Week

I hope everyone had a restful Labor Day weekend. As a note, I have updated the class calendar. You can access the calendar on the right side of the blog. I have added some new dates including dates for our 5th grade trip to Camp Kanuga. I have also added our Twitter feed on the right side of the blog. We use Twitter to keep in contact with the citizen science community, the maker community, and we post things we make during explorations. There is also a link to follow us on Twitter if you are interested.

Each week we slowly get back into the thick of things. We have begun our latest DBQ on the Reconstruction Period. You will be seeing these DBQs at home since I will be asking students to work on some of it at home for homework. At the same time, in social studies, we finished collecting information on the Reconstruction Period and are focusing on synthesizing this information.

In math, we are taking a slower, yet more direct view of problem solving and this seems to be working. Students seem a little less anxious and more focused. We have been working on number puzzles in which students have to find a specific number based on clues. These clues involve students having to understand terms such as multiples and factors, prime numbers, square numbers, and composite numbers.

I do want to take the time to emphasize the importance of making sure everyone has their multiplication tables memorized and recall them automatically. Those that seem to be less confident in math at this point are struggling with automaticity of their multiplication tables. As I have emphasized with students, 18 out of 25, 5th grade math standards involve multiplication. I will be sporadically testing kids on their multiplication tables. If they are unable to pass these tests they will be using their explorations time to memorize. You can help by working with your child on their multiplication tables or allowing them to use, or another website. Any extra help is appreciated.

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