Week 5 Distance Learning

The kids continue to impress as a routine is taking root in our digital classroom. We are working with more fourth grade standards, especially in math with some student tackling multi-digit rounding and others being introduced to the partial products algorithm. We reintroduced our Benchmark reading program and used Microsoft Forms to share answers. We did some work with prefixes and abstract nouns and ended the week with a directed draw of Flamemallow.

3 Great Days of Productive Learning

At the beginning of the week, I reminded the students that we would maximize our instructional time until our Holiday Celebration on Wednesday, at 2:30. That is exactly what they did. We covered a lot with explorations of unit fractions, adaptations, work on syntax, and fluency practice via Readers Theater. We gamified content with Quizizz and built background knowledge with Edpuzzle. We were productive and the kids covered important content. Oh yeah, we were also filmed.

1st Week of 3rd Grade

It was a great first week of the 2019-2020 school year. We managed to get a lot done including establishing a number of important routines and navigating a lot of challenging content. We started our work with multiplication and division, described part of the scientific process, learned how to participate in a Readers Workshop and Writers Workshop, and did our first art lesson. Below, the highlights.

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The Day Before Spring Break

We maximized opportunities to work with a lot of content before tracking off for our spring break. We did a “Quiz-Quiz-Trade” around perimeter, read bout Juan Ponce de León and European exploration of North America, used Writable to refine our understanding of introductions, applied for new classroom jobs and introduced the prefix “anit-.” We also completed several Quizizz’s to refine a few skills. All-in-all, really impressive for a day that is traditionally hard to keep kids engaged.

Stronger and Clearer Each Time

We were visited by Dr. Amy Salgo who introduced the students to Stronger and Clearer Each Time. The instructional approach was developed by the Understanding Language Project at Stanford University and has students engage in multiple rehearsals of a problem or question before coming to a final answer.

Dr. Salgo asked the students if fractions are numbers and the students ultimately arrived at the conclusion, yes!

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We’re Back and we were Busy

Although it was just a four day week, and student hadn’t been in school for 23 consecutive days, we got a lot done! We learned to multiply decimals and relate this to our understanding of fractions. We studied surrealism, sensory details, and word play as we moved further into the Phantom Tollbooth. We wrote with an emphasis on tone. We did a close read as we started our work with We the People. And we began a Doodles Academy Project.

Our Focus on Fractions

A big part of having a successful 5th grade year is being able to add, subtract, divide and multiply mixed numbers and fractions. To the credit of the students, we are quickly marching through this content and the students are doing extremely well with the first part, adding and subtracting mixed numbers. This success, will allow us to then move to the operations, division and multiplication. Moreover, with the right foundation, students will enter the middle school years ready for rates, ratios and proportional reasoning.

DiscussionThe first two weeks with fractions was largely conceptual with students creating models on how to add and subtract fractions. Now, students are using more traditional algorithms—the way their parents learned—with a great deal of success.