Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Unsung Heroes of the Holocaust

Making Lemonade ...

Today, students made their own version of lemonade out of water, lemon juice, and sugar. They had to come up with their own recipe for lemonade before using that recipe to make lemonade. Unfortunately, students could not drink their own lemonade recipe. Student were randomly chosen to drink someone else's lemonade and rate it on a scale of 1 to 3. Tomorrow we will use language such as solution, concentration, dissolve, solute, and solvent to describe the lemonade they drank.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

New Updates

Here is some new information about what we are working on in class:

1) Math - We will be having a test on adding, subtracting, dividing, and multiplying decimals. We have been working on this for quite some time. Once we complete the test, we will be working quite a bit on fractions.

2) Science - We have done quite a bit of experiments during our mixtures & solutions unit. We did some work with chromatography (separating mixtures using water) and creating super saturated solutions. For our super saturated solutions, we are waiting for some evaporation to take place before we discover what will happen!

3) Reading - We started our whole class literature study of Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse. This book gives a detailed portrait of what life was like during the Great Depression. Students have a literature log and have been answering particular questions pertaining to the book such as questions on setting, the characters, main idea, how the book made the reader feel, etc. Along with studying idioms, adages, nuance, etc., students are developing more reading vocabulary.

4) Writing - Students are completing their DBQs on the Dust Bowl. Students have come a long way in writing in this manner which includes an introduction and conclusion, a body that contains a thesis statement, and evidence for their opinion which backs up their argument. Their evidence mush be pulled direction from the text using quotes or paraphrasing. This is not easy stuff for 5th graders but it's the type of writing that will be expected of them as they move through junior high and high school.

Once we complete the DBQ, we will be working on a fictional writing piece which students integrate metaphor, idiom, adages, proverbs, etc., into their writing.

5) Social Studies - We have been extremely busy in this area. First, we are going to start each day highlighting an important African-American in honor of Black History Month (thanks Mr. Dixon for the suggestion). Currently we are looking at the Holocaust. This week we will be looking at the unsung heroes of the Holocaust. If you have suggestions about people we should research, please let me know. We are moving into areas where my experience is limited.

Once we conclude the Holocaust, we will start looking at important people and events which led to our victory in WWII.

6) Student-led Conferences - Students have been hard at work on their student-led conferences. I am really trying to push. This is going well for some, while some students are having more difficulty focusing on strengths and weaknesses besides what they "like" and "do not like."

Please remember that you can still sign up for Student-led Conferences using this link:

Also remember that Friday is a half-day.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Blog Update

I am so sorry it took this long to get a class update to have  you. I want to keep you updated on what we have been working on class, including some information that is important for you to know.

1.     Explorations – I have signed up our class to share the things they have made over the last two years at the EdVenture Maker’s Faire. While I don’t have the exact date right now, it will be on a Saturday in May. The Maker’s Faire is like a giant share fair – the attendance on that day is about 1000. Two years ago, my class won an award for being the youngest sharers at the fair! As we get closer I will get more information to you.

2.     Science – Our share fair in December was an absolute success. I had many compliments from the other teachers, especially sharing along their undergraduate science buddies. Right now, we are working on matter and mixtures. We spent a good time studying the differences between the three states of matter. We did some experiments uncovering the mass of solids, liquids, and gases, including creating a wall of matter! Currently we are looking at the difference between mixtures and solutions. This has led us to do experiments on how to separate mixtures and solutions. (Mixtures and solutions can be separated through flotation, magnetism, evaporation, sifting, and chromatography.)

3.     Math – We are finishing our study of decimals such as how to order decimals (number sense). Next week we will review adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing decimals before moving into a large unit on fractions.

4.     Read aloud – We are finishing Tuck Everlasting (more about this book when I share reading) and moving into a whole class literature discussion of Out of the Dust. This is a classic, 5th grade text dealing with the Dust Bowl. The book is written in prose and won the Newberry Award about 20 years ago.

5.     Social Studies – We have just moved into the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl. This will eventually lead to Roosevelt and the New Deal. We are moving quite quickly through this unit because students are really excited about studying WWII!

6.     Reading – We have engaged in a very in-depth study of Tuck Everlasting. We spent a great deal of time looking for different examples of metaphor and we looked at how the element of time was used throughout the book (controlling metaphor). Students are currently going back into the text to find examples of what three of the settings look like (e.g., the woods, the cottage, and Tuck’s house). They are using these examples from the text to draw a picture of what they believe that setting looks like.

7.     Writing – We are currently writing a DBQ on the Dust Bowl. Based on the primary documents we analyzed, as a class we came to know that the Dust Bowl was caused by three things: the shortgrass prairie, mechanization, and drought. Students will be writing an essay using information from the primary documents to support the three causes of the Dust Bowl.

Here is some other important information you need to know:

1.     We are going to be working on Student-led Conferences next week. I will be sending out a SignUp Genius very soon so you can begin signing up for conferences.

2.     There will be no Curriculum Night on Thursday, February 15th. Instead, we will be using that time for Student-led Conferences. The next Curriculum Night, Thursday, March 15th, will be concerning our 5th grade Kanuga Trip.