Weekly News - September 23, 2016

September 23, 2016

Classroom News

The writing your child should be giving you on Friday is a revised version of the name story that went home a couple of weeks ago.  We introduced one of our rubrics and practiced how to evaluate a piece of writing (a couple of versions of her name story that Denise had written about her name) by using a rubric and how to then use that information to help you improve your writing.  Students then evaluated their own writing and used that information to revise their paragraphs.  Students were also given the opportunity to revise with Denise, if they wanted to.  The piece that is coming home today includes all of the versions, as well as the rubric, so you can see the changes your child made and see how he/she evaluated his/herself on the rubric.  The evaluations were for the writing before it was revised, so hopefully the new version shows growth.  Once we get these back on Monday, we will read them and do our own evaluation in the teacher section of the rubric.  Please feel free to use the rubric as you discuss this writing with your child.

Our work with geometry continues, as we learned about points, lines, line segments, rays, and angles.  After seeing what these all look like, and how they are named and drawn, the students have been using the iPads to draw and label their own examples, which they will then use to create their own reference sheet handout in Comic Life.  Students who already did this activity last year, and who already demonstrated an understanding of the concepts, moved on to using these concepts to identify these elements and their relationships in diagrams.  We will be moving on to parallel, perpendicular, and intersecting lines, as well as acute, obtuse, and right angles, and eventually using a protractor to measure angles, with each student practicing only what his/her pre-assessment showed was necessary.

We also began learning about the regions of California and the students gathered information about these regions while watching a video.  They will then do some more research through books and the internet to add to their knowledge, as well as doing some map activities to build their geographic sense of the state we all live in.  If anyone is planning an in-state road trip this year, this would be a great time to get out some maps and look at them together.

Our hovercrafts that everyone sent bottle caps in for turned out to be duds.  After cutting a bunch of different shapes and sizes for us to experiment with, and gluing the caps on and punching holes in a few of them, it was discovered that their hoverability was severely limited.  Oh well, we tried!  So we switched over to researching a little bit about the history of transportation and the students are creating a version of a timeline to show how travel on land, water, and in the air has changed over the last few thousand years.

We have been having some great beginning discussions around our read aloud, A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park.  Students were very curious about the tribal scars that are referred to more than once in the story, so we found some pictures of the tribes referenced, as well as some others, so the students could see what they looked like.  Many students asked how the scars were given to the people, which we did explain, but we didn’t show pictures, as they were quite bloody and possibly scary.  Some students still wanted to see them, so we said that was a family decision and a family project.  So if your child is interested, have a look yourself first, and decide if you think your child will be okay with the images.  One of our characters was also just in a refugee camp, and then, as the government changed, everyone was forced out of the refugee camp and chased away.  (This is all based on true events.)  We talked a little bit about why a government might decide to do that, but really only skimmed the surface of that conversation.  The students are totally engaged in this book and complain loudly every time we stop reading.


Job Applications: Remember that job applications are due on Tuesday.  All three need to be completed and each adult can only be a reference once.

Scholastic News:  The new magazine will be coming home on Tuesday.  The map that goes with it will have the students look for the causes of a problem (how the historical site of Pompeii is being damaged) and some of the solutions they are using to try and fix the problem.  It will be due on Tuesday, 10/4.

Problem of the Week:  We are doing one more week of a visual problem, this time about dividing a grid into congruent pieces (which, as a hint to you, are not rectangular or square).  It will be due on Tuesday, 10/4.

Word Study:  The pentagons’ and hexagons’ work is due on Tuesday, the 27th, when they will be having their test. The octagons and heptagons have their work due on Tuesday, October 4.  


Expiration Date: 
Jun 30