What do pancakes, Mardi Gras, and grammar have in common? They are all celebrated today, March 4th! With only about two weeks left in winter term and spring around the corner, it's a happening place around Helen Baller! Report cards, open house, and a spring dance down the road are a few things to look forward to. Do take a note that Jupiter Grades will not be accessible for grades after March 12th. Access will be turned back on after spring break. Here's what's ahead for reading, writing, and social studies:
Reading: We just started our next literature unit on Tuck Everlasting. Our learning targets includes defining new words using context clues, drawing conclusions using evidence and schema, identifying story elements, and writing complete responses when answering literature questions. We are learning about S-RARE as a mnemonic to remember to write in complete Sentences, Restate the question, and Answer the question using Reasons and Examples. It takes more time and obviously more thought to write several sentences to answer questions, but this is a skill that students will carry with them in upper grades and across all subjects. As a last note, by March 21st all students will be reviewing their winter reading goals and setting new goals for spring.
Writing: We are continuing our unit on the research-based argument essay. We are exploring resources to build our evidence on whether chocolate milk should be served in schools. This week we chose a side and started drafting an essay based on the evidence that we found.
Social Studies: To wrap up our unit on explorers, every 5th grade classroom is creating an illustrated timeline of of the story of Cortez and the Aztecs. Next, we will be looking at some early European settlements on the New World.
Welcome to a new month and a new blog update. The end of January marked the end of three units (Read Like a Writer/Write like a Reader using Arctic Son, Personal Narrative Writing, and Why Europeans Left for the New World). With several weeks still left in the quarter, we will continue diving into 5th grade curriculum. Keep reading to find out more about what's headed our way.
Jupiter Grades is up and running. We have sent home plenty of emails already about using it cautiously. Our main objective is to make the school-home connection stronger. If you are having trouble accessing it, please email me (email@example.com). You can also email me reading, writing, or social studies questions if you and your 5th grader need clarification. Math and science questions should be addressed to Mrs. Holt (firstname.lastname@example.org). We don't update the program on a daily basis, so check back in a few days if you know an assignment or test was completed and you want to see the score.
Reading: Last week we started our nonfiction unit by practicing the skill of identifying the main ideas of passages with their supporting details. Students are getting daily practice from their own nonfiction book choices by completing 3-2-1 comprehension responses or 4-square responses in their reading journals. Next, we will be practicing determining cause and effect both in short fiction and nonfiction passages. Finally, students have been, or will be soon, setting reading goals based on current progress in the areas of fluency or comprehension (tier 1 goals), work completion or work quality (tier 2 goals), or extended learning (tier 3 goals). Students who are choosing tier 3 goals get a choice to focus on STAR testing, AR points, book logs, reading logs, or a book project (with extra credit). Many are choosing to do a book project. I do require approval of the book and of the project, but am giving students quite a bit of latitude in their choices. I will be checking in with them over the next two weeks. No matter what tier though, students are aspiring to reach their goals by March 21st. Click the image above to see a list of book project ideas.
Writing: Our next writing will have students using their persuasion skills as they write pieces that require them to take a stand. The unit is more than just spouting opinions and reasons. Students will learn to look for evidence to include in their research-based argument essays. The groundwork is definitely being laid for 8th grade debates!
Social Studies: Students are working in cooperative groups to complete "quilt squares" that share information about European explorers that came to the New World. Specifically, 5th graders are looking at motives, routes, and the impact on our country's history in their study of 8 famous explorers.
Room 201 Notes:
Valentine's Day is coming up! I sent home a notice about our plan in room 201. To see that notice, click here: 2014 valentines.
Recently there have been questions about birthday treats. If you click on Policies and scroll to the bottom of the page, you can review my policy which is aligned with the district's nutritional policy.