Novel Study Time: Island of the Blue Dolphins
The students were put into groups and collaborated on a shared document using Google Docs. Each student was responsible for notetaking in their section of the shared document. We did research using our textbook, using encyclopedias from the library, and finally using online resources. The students took their notes and wrote scripts, filmed one another, put together, edited and published their video as a group. I was very impressed by the students willingness to work together as a team to complete their projects. They turned out super cute (but we need to work on our filming skills :)
See links below (one group is still working out some technical difficulties)
Chapter 5 Math test is next week - please help your child to prepare by reviewing the lessons from chapter 5. Using the flipped math videos is a great way for the students to study, take notes, and practice their long division skills.
Book Reports- your child was given the requirements for their next book report in class today. For this report they will be required to take notes as they read their biographies and include page numbers of where they found specific information. A lot of the biography series are on the shorter side, so it is not a bad idea for the students to re-read them (if time allows). This report is an iPad project and is due January 28th. (with the note-taking graphic organizer and rubric)
Writing Journals - my initial goal for the weekly writing journal was to get the students to feel more comfortable writing and to hopefully spark their interest by allowing them to choose a fun prompt each week. Now that we are almost half-way through the school year, I will be holding the students' writing to higher expectations and this will be reflected in their journal grade each week. Although I am not a stickler for spelling (and they will not lose points for misspelled words) I will be taking points off for sentences that do not start with a capital and end with punctuation. Organization is also very important. Each entry should start with an introduction, the body of the paragraph should have supporting details, and it should end with a conclusion. Each entry should include the prompt number, the date, and a title (which should be capitalized!) Sentences that are vague, unclear, or "fluff" filler sentences will not be counted. I went over all of this with the students in class today, but I wanted you to know the expectations as well. For the third trimester, the students will be required to write two paragraphs each week. Please see writing criteria glued in the front cover of the journal if you have any questions. Thank you for your support!
Classroom Community Activity~ during Black History Month I use Dr. Seuss' The Sneeches to teach the students about segregation, diversity and tolerance. On Friday we will be doing an activity based on this book, to help the students better understand what segregation was really like. This activity is meant to foster discussion about how we can learn from our history and grow in our ability to empathize and include of others. We will do a big debrief/class discussion of the activity before the end of the day.
Geography Bee — Our Geography Bee takes place next Wednesday, January 13th, at 1:30 in the parish hall.
Spell-A-Thon 2016 packets — The Spell-A-Thon packets were sent home through your child’s classrooms the Monday before Christmas. Our annual Spell-a-Thon will take place on Wednesday, January 20, 2016! The SJA Spell-a-Thon has become a successful academic fundraising event with which we kick off the New Year! This is a unique way to raise funds for our school while promoting academic excellence. The packets include word lists that may also be found underFundraising and on class websites to prepare for the Spell-a-Thon. They also include pledge sheets. Students will be given challenging, grade appropriate words that are a part of their curriculum and will be included as a part of their grade. FAMILY and FRIENDS can sponsor our students by pledging funds for each word spelled correctly, or by simply making a flat donation in support of a student's participation. Thank you in advance for your support and participation! Another huge ‘thank you’ goes to Cheryl Flynn who is chairing our Spell-A-Thon again this year. Any questions? Please contact Cheryl.
Academic Areas of Focus this Week
Reading Genre: drama
Reading Skill: determine the theme
Vocabulary Strategy: context clues
Math: long division
Social Studies: Explorers