Thursday, September 21, 2017

Collaborating on Planning a Narrative

Students are working with their writing partners to lay the foundation for a planned story. Narratives have a "way of being". Knowing that we can use this as a formula should provide us with support as we produce our own narratives.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Taking our Notes and Making our Presentation on Colonists

Last week, students spent time researching information about the colonists. Students used their textbook, primary sources, video, and trade books.

Students took notes and are now ready to collaborate to build their presentation. Each group member is responsible for contributing to a slide in the presentation. Our lesson for today was how we need to put "highlights" on the slide so that the text is not overwhelming. Students also were introduced to the "speaker's notes" where they can add additional information to help them when they present.

You can see there are six students working on this presentation at the same time. 

Students will be presenting their portion of the presentation while the rest of the class is taking notes. This will be their first attempt at taking notes while a speaker is presenting. In other words, they have to summarize the information they hear and write down the important parts. A valuable skill to have!

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Shoreline Investigation

Students are investigating how the oceans' waves and currents can shape landforms. This investigation is particularly relevant as students are paying attention to the recent hurricane's on the news. Students were able to see how the water encroached on their "beach" to show erosion.  The waves and currents pick up the sediments and move them away.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Learning about Area and Volume

Students have been working hard to learn concepts about area and volume.

Last week, we learned that we can find the area of a square by multiplying the length by the width. A=L * W a formula we may remember from our school days. Students are also thinking about how we may find the number of pieces that cover that "square area"--including using the fractional parts.

For example:
How many 1/2 ft squares or parts would you need to fill one square foot?
It would take four 1/2 square feet pieces to create one square foot.

We were looking for a pattern to help us solve other problems. Some noticed that if we multiply the denominators, we will get the number of pieces needed to cover the square foot.  In the second example, it would take nine 1/3 square feet pieces to cover one square foot.

This week, we transitioned to volume. Students have been working to find the volume using either of the following formulas:
V = L * W * H   or V = B * H

Students were also working to visualize the size of various cubic units. We have worked with cubic centimeters, cubic decimeters, and cubic meters. Below, you can see us building a cubic meter. 

These first few days in math have been challenging. However, it is exciting to see students think deeply about math!  

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Building the Narrative Arc with Mentor Texts

Students are correlating the narrative arc from their reading to their writing. We are identifying story elements, theme, and plotting stories using the narrative arc. Using three different books, we are seeing the relationship between books that we read and how we are writers.

Books we have used as mentor texts:

We will go back to these texts next week to introduce some reading structures from the text Disrupting Thinking by Kylene Beers and Bob Probst. Using a BHH model where we think about the Book's details, how it impacts our Head, and our Heart is where we are headed next.

Earth Systems in Science

Students have begun our unit on Earth Systems. We are thinking about how earth's systems interact. Students are being introduced to the systems of Earth: biosphere, geosphere, hydrosphere, and atmosphere.

Before starting our unit, students are sorting picture cards into categories that they assigned together. Some students did living/nonliving. Some students did weather, people, landforms, etc...

Students are being introduced to the academic vocabulary through our textbook and are recording what each system means. We have focused on the Greek root words and have applied these root words to other words that contain geo/atmo/bio/hydro/sphere. 

On Friday, we went outside to take pictures showing examples of how these systems interact. We will continue to document the earth's systems throughout the seasons.  Next week, we will be building some models to help us understand and simulate how these systems work.