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: http://www.signupgenius.com/go/10c0d45aca82cabfe3-student.
Also remember that Friday is a half-day.