Thursday, September 21, 2017

Things Have Been Busy!!!

In science, we have started our study of continental and oceanic landforms. Students started off by building oceanic landform models out of Legos. Once these models were completed, we built oceanic landforms using dough. These were built inside of a container. We placed skewers through the lid of the container to mimic how oceanographers map the bottom of the ocean using sonar. Each skewer was measured and graphed.

Students building their dough landform model

Completed Lego model

You have probably heard your students talking about their kindergarten buddies. Students are thoroughly enjoying their time working with them. We have spent the last few weeks talking about the reading strategies good readers use when reading texts. During independent reading, students are spending time reflecting on their own strategies. Being cognizant of these reading strategies helps 5th graders better work with their kindergarten buddies during reading. As 5th graders read with their buddies they demonstrate reading habits that foster good reading strategies. We have also spent time discussing how to read with their kindergarten buddies (i.e., tracking the words, book placement). The 5th graders are doing a terrific job of being buddies. They are dearly loved by their kindergarten buddies.

In math we are working on factors, multiples, prime numbers, and square numbers. Students are solving number puzzles using their understanding of these math terms. This is a fun way of coming to understand these terms while further demonstrating their knowledge of multiplication and problem solving.

In writing, students are working on personal pieces of writing. Students must have their writing completed by next week.

As a side note, Ethan and Mark created a Rubik's Cube solver. We will keep this machine up and running for a while so they can show off their work. Here is a video of a Rubik's Cube being solved

Saturday, September 2, 2017

First Few Weeks of School

The first couple of weeks are off and running, and it has been quite busy! 5th graders have quite a few responsibilities. The two big ones are being a Kindergarten Buddy and safety patrol. Our class teams up with Mrs. Klosterman's class for Kindergarten Buddies. Each 5th grader is teamed up with a kindergartener. They are responsible for being a good role model, helping the kindergartener adjust to school life, reading alongside them, and demonstrating how to live and learn at CFI. Over the next several weeks I will talk with students on how to read with their kindergarten buddy including reflecting on the reading strategies good readers use when they make sense of text. This is similar to young ones apprenticing under more experienced members of a family.

Safety patrol is also another new and exciting opportunity for 5th graders. As you may know by now, we have revamped safety patrol so 5th graders are getting used to the new procedures. For now, 5th graders are enjoying their new responsibilities.

Last week, and this coming week, we are collaborating with Ms. Whitecotton's classroom for Friday Gathering. Last week the focus was CFI's Rights & Responsibilities. Both classroom created a videos highlighting these rights. It was also suggested we include of Kindergarten Buddies. Here is our classroom's part with the videos:

Next week, both classrooms will also host Friday Gathering (September 8 @ 2:20). This time we will be emphasizing what CFI is referring to as the "Book of the Month." This is a book from our Harvey Allen collection that all classrooms will read and discuss. For Friday Gathering we will be talking about this book and showing different ways classrooms can share about the book at gathering.

With many of these extra responsibilities, we have slowly getting back into the routines of class. In the 9 days we have been in class we have organized two shelves for folk and fairy tales before we begin a unit into these book, jumped head first in multiplication by looking at factors, multiples, and prime numbers, taped and edited our portion of Friday Gathering (this took much time), introduced our first unit of Social Studies by doing some introductory discussing of the Reconstruction Period, looked at how scientists use evidence to find patterns, and used some free time to write.

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