We’ve really been accomplishing a lot! First, IN the classroom:
Reading – kiddos finished the Mystery of Felix. They examined the crime scene, analyzed the evidence using scientific testing, and created their own scenarios based on evidence and inference. There were many theories as to how Felix met his demise! The majority of kiddos felt it was a group effort! Kendra and Vera were prime suspects, but many thought Alfredo also perpetrated the crime. The only one thought to be innocent? Gene Poole! Poor guy, everyone was sure he was being framed!
We’ve also been working our way through our guided reading mysteries! We have four separate groups going and each one has been attempted to analyze clues and, most importantly, analyze the writers’ craft to determine why the author included what he/she did. We always refer back to our last two read alouds by Dave Lubar. He is a master at including ‘everything for a reason’. His purpose isn’t always immediately clear, but at some point during the reading there is an ‘aha!’ moment, and you realize exactly why the information was included. The class has gotten quite adept at identifying key portions within a text – even if it isn’t readily apparent! They are also using this strategy within their own writing.
Lastly, we were featured in the Colchester School District blog AND the Colchester Sun for our mythology work! I’m very proud of what your children accomplished and I was happy to see their achievements recognized! If you didn’t get a chance to see the write ups, let me know!
Writing – we’re working on completing our narratives. This has been delayed a bit because of DARE and the puberty movie, but some narratives have completed their first draft and will be moving on to the second.
Science – chemistry is progressing nicely. Kiddos have learned to use both sensory and systematic explorations of unknown substances. They’ve already identified one of the mysterious powders and are working at two more. Yesterday, we focused on the difference between a physical change vs. a chemical change. My experience has shown that these are often confused by students, so I insert a lesson to reinforce the concept … hence, flubber! It is a fun, fascinating way to illustrate chemical change and most students never confuse the concepts again! I sent home the recipe – sorry! ;) We will test the substances using iodine as an indicator on Monday. Please send your child to school in old clothing – just in case!
Math – we’re just about ready to test Unit 9. I anticipate this will happen on Wednesday. We’ve focused on coordinate pair graphing, translating images, reflecting images (both by applying rules of change to the coordinate pairs), area of rectangles, parallelograms, and triangles, and volume of rectangular and triangular prisms! Wow! It’s been a lot of new learning for most and the next unit will build upon that. I sent home the home link so you have a reference to assist kiddos with their home practice for Unit 10.
Next, OUT of the classroom:
Wednesday, April 10th, I will be out of the classroom to work with fifth grade teachers on math curriculum alignment. Sue Merola is scheduled to be my substitute. I anticipate a very smooth day and will be within the building if anything unusual arises.
The end of April – Some of you may know I’ve been having a variety of health problems over the past few years (nothing serious, just aggravating). I am finally reaching the point where I know I need to take care of these bothersome issues. I’ve tried to ‘stack’ appointments, schedule them early in the day, or later in the day to avoid missing time, but it does mean I’ll be out. I apologize for missing time with your children.
Field trips – May 22nd, and May 23rd are scheduled field trips to Winooski Valley Field Day and Fort Ticonderoga. Back to back field trips? I know, not my first choice either, but we have no say in the field day scheduling and we take Fort Ti when we can get it – it’s a very popular trip and difficult to schedule. If you plan on chaperoning either trip, make sure you have registered with the district and are an approved chaperone! As I mentioned in an earlier post, it takes time to have the background checks done – please allow plenty of time to complete the process! In other words, act now! :)
Student Blogs – I don’t know how I did it, but somehow I accidentally removed access to your kiddo’s blog! My apologies! I think it was when I was attempted to add a new category link and I inadvertently pulled their blogs ‘out’! We haven’t worked on them in the last few weeks – too many other priorities – but our narratives will be posted soon!
Talent show – why is this included in the ‘out’ section? Our fifth grade talent show takes place the last day of school – almost the final out! If your child would like to perform in the talent show, please return the permission slip as soon as possible. If you need another slip, let me know, I don’t have that linked to this blog.
Whew! A lot of information! As always, if you have questions or concerns, let me know!