With project completions, AmeriTowne, Halloween, a couple of snow storms, and Thanksgiving (coming around the corner), we've had a crazy few weeks. Sorry for neglecting this blog.
First of all, thank you all for your various cards and well-wishes on my birthday. I always appreciate your thoughtfulness and generosity! Also, thank you to those many volunteers who were able to accompany us to Young AmeriTowne on that day. We had a blast.
Below are some updates pertaining to what we've been up to and also what to expect for the next month or so.
Important Dates to Remember (or Pencil In)
Report cards are going home today in Thursday Folders. If you have any questions or concerns, please let me know.
Note again that students did not receive grades in science for the first trimester. This is because the foci of our two big projects this trimester were on social studies (in addition to ELA), and the science we did was too limited to produce grades. You can however expect to see grades for science on report cards for the second and third trimesters (more on this below).
English Language Arts & Social Studies
We are wrapping up our long-running U.S.-American History projects, and most students will be presenting their projects when we return from Thanksgiving break during the week of November 26.
I have encouraged all students to share their presentations with family and friends during the Thanksgiving break as a way for them to (1) share what they've learned and (2) practice for their presentations which they'll soon deliver to their class. If you need any help with the logistics of this, please let me know, but all students should be able to access their Google Slides presentations at home -- they know how to do this.
This week we finished our third unit in math, on fractions, and students did very well on their unit test as a whole. We'll be revisiting this topic later in the year.
When we return from break, we will begin with our fourth unit on refining division strategies. During our fourth unit, we'll be working on advanced computation strategies with larger numbers (up to six digits). Now that students have been well exposed to "long" division (also known as the U.S. standard algorithm), the focus during our fourth unit this year will be on improving speed and accuracy. It will be a relatively quick unit, but it will help students as we circle back around to fractions and decimals as the year progresses.
To start the second trimester, we are going to be working on science fair projects. Students have received their science fair informational packets, which they'll be taking home tomorrow.
In conjunction with the start of the science fair season, we are reviewing iterations of the scientific process, and after Thanksgiving break students will have time to research topics and construct their plans. This will be done in class, but can also be done at home. In most cases, the bulk of science fair projects will be done at home leading up to and during winter break, but I am happy to help facilitate any portions that can be done at school, and if students construct projects that can be done at school, it is okay with me if they do some work in the classroom. (They will have some time at school, but probably not enough for everything.)
In addition to the science fair, and in anticipation of our December trip to Balarat, we also are going to be working on portions of this year's Earth Systems Science curriculum as they relate to what we might see at Balarat, and also the Balarat curriculum which covers ecosystems, lifeforms, weather, and landforms (physical science). There is a fair amount of overlap between the two curricula.
Our trip to Balarat is coming up in just three short weeks.
If you weren't able to attend our Balarat informational meeting and/or having any lingering questions, please let me know.
Also, if you have yet to turn in permission slips and fees, please do so!
Thanks for all you do!