We got a lot done, following our three weeks of Winter Break. We compared unit fractions, wrote narratives with rising action, built background knowledge with the application EdPuzzle, and identified “One Word” for 2019. It was a great day of learning.
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!
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.
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.
The 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.
We made it through the week without a delayed start or a snow day–not a small thing since returning from break. This meant a chance to connect multiplication of fractions to work with decimals, a deeper look a the the causes of the American Revolution, preparation for our move to flexible seating, and a thank you note writing for over 20 donations made to our classroom!
We packed a lot into our last week of school in 2016. We had our classroom holiday celebration, auction, white elephant book exchange, Polar Express presentation, beeswax candle making, and we even found time to watch a movie. All of the aforementioned did not get in the way of making sure we also learned a lot including more work with fractions, a careful study of theme and point of view, and a project based learning task in which students constructed their own Maker Space.
What we were able to accomplish in 2016 proved pretty amazing and I look forward to what we do in 2017.