We had such a wonderful field trip to the Denver Museum of Nature and Science! The kids did an amazing job with the lung dissection and learned a lot through all of the exhibits. I've loaded the pictures I took into a shared Google folder. You can access it with this link. I hope your child told you all about the experience!
I also truly enjoyed seeing so many of you at our Celebration of Learning a few weeks ago! I hope you enjoyed seeing just a taste of all the deep learning we've been doing so far this year. If you weren't able to attend, your child has a collection of files to show you saved in his or her Google Drive.
Every student is finishing up our first round of book club books. Your child should be completing his or her book in the next two weeks. Each week when we meet, we discuss all kinds of thinking about the texts and predictions for our next section. We will be doing some final writing about our book clubs books when we are done. Make sure to ask your child about their book and help them finish it!
Our current reading strategy focus is around visualizing and sensory images. We are examining how making mental images helps us understand a text differently, what language writers use to help us visualize, and how we can demonstrate our thinking using images.
Students have picked their own topic for the next bend of our research based opinion writing work. Please ask them what topic they've chosen and the claim or thesis they are planning to argue. We have begun our research to support their opinion and are now currently in the phase of organizing research and our own thinking. We are spending time in class for research, but if students don't use their time well or need more time, it may get added to our nightly homework.
We will finish our study of body systems by examining the circulatory system and digestive system. Students will then have a chance to research more about either the immune, nervous, or musculoskeletal systems.
We have started our fraction unit by revisiting our work from 4th grade on identifying and representing fractional amounts. We are now looking at equivalent fractions and strategies for comparing and ordering fractions. Our work will then move on to adding and subtracting fractions with like and unlike denominators. With the holiday baking season upon us, this is a GREAT time for looking at fractional amounts in recipes and measurements at home. Also, please keep the work up with practicing multiplication and division facts at home. It is incredibly hard for students to make common denominators or equivalent fractions without being secure in their fact families.
Also, if you haven't yet read Dr. Brown's Principal's Blog, she included this great information about a website to help parents understand our math work and the way students are learning concepts. The links that would be really beneficial for our current unit, would be under the "Fractions" hexagon and the "Addition and Subtraction: Fractions" hexagon.
The Math Words and Ideas site from the Investigations Math Series has links to math videos that explain how all concepts are taught at each grade level.
Click here to access this site.
Simply click on your child's grade level at the left-hand side of the screen. When you click on a math concept additional subtopics appear. Each subtopic includes a short video explaining strategies taught at school. In the example below, third grade was selected on left and arrays was chosen under the concept of multiplication.
Watching these short videos are a great way to review how and why concepts were taught a certain way. You may even consider watching with your child.