Students will be creative again this week! I have asked them to design and construct a device that slings, catapults or shoots mini marshmallows. The catch, which drives kids crazy, is that they have to have an original idea and it is made with re-used materials. We will have a friendly competition on Friday.
Please support your student by asking them how they can improve the device and make changes. We have discussed the idea of accepting feedback and making changes. Students should alter designs and not settle on the first design. It's a week long process!
Students are working towards creating better habits with grammar and mechanics of writing. Since Winter break they are studying various aspects of writing about 3 days a week.
Here is a list of mechanics and grammar covered so far:
- capitalization uses
- use of quotation marks (dialogue)
- difference between there, their and they're
- difference between its and it's
- conjunctions (and, but and or)
The focus this week is to read non-fiction articles and books slower with a focus on thinking and learning. Students take time to pick out important facts, ask questions and react with responses to the text. They show evidence of understanding by writing their thinking down. Eventually students will be organizing the information and writing summaries.
Students have dove into the choice fiction unit. They are automatically applying the lessons from our last unit and drafting quickly. I am impressed with their imagination and variety of interests.
Students are making connections to their own eating habits through scientific experiments, discussions, activities, watching videos, and reading articles. As students begin to question the food they eat, the focus is all about a balanced diet (not eliminating foods entirely).
Students have learned how to find equivalent fractions and subtract fractions with unlikee denominators. This week students are learning to add fractions and find least common denominators.
A note about ST math:
Students have access at home (see past email for activation code) and at school. At home students will practice past content (addition, subtraction, place value, multiplication, and division) and at school new content (fractions, geometry, etc.). Feel free to encourage your student to use ST math at home.
It seems like the Amber, the leopard gecko, is settling in. The class has certainly enjoyed observing her every move and caring for her properly. It's been fun to watch them take ownership of the pet and plan every last detail.
While we were prepping for the gecko, the students were continuing to catch each other in action doing something kind, safe, fair or helpful. They have also added "selfless" as a motivator to catch classmates. Well, wouldn't you know, the marble jar has been filled again! Students have already began to generate ideas on how to celebrate. The talk of slumber party, another class pet, and all day recess is buzzing...
The planning for the World Peace Game is much more intense that I initially figured because I am working off another teacher's experience, which is missing many aspects. The game is extremely complicated with many unknown factors. However, I am still looking forward to it!
My husband has graciously agreed to design and construct our 4x4x6 foot board. I will send a list of materials that will be needed soon (thanks in advance). I am hoping you have some things laying around the house.
This idea was termed at Google. Google's work strategy allows employees to spend 20% of their time on projects of exploration. Google employees have created very successful projects, like gmail, with this time. The freedom has been successful in business and now it is making it's way into the classroom.
I have decided to try it out because I know that this class will jump on board and create incredible projects. I am introducing it Wed. and we students will begin planning. There are a couple key elements that will be required. The exploration begins with passion and a driving question. Then, planning and taking action on a project that will be presented in the end. In a way, it's like a mini PBL project!
I plan to give students Wed. afternoons to make progress. Instrumental music takes place at this time so some students will unfortunately have less time to work on it. Students will be able to work on the project at home once the first steps are approved.
Check out the link for more info on genius hour.
Yoga: Tuesday mornings with Ms. Skoog in the gym from 9:05-9:25. Parents are invited to join.
Homework club: Still taking place Mon, Tues., Thrus. and Fri. until 4:30 in and a 3rd, 4th or 5th grade classroom in the treehouse (upstairs).