The theme of this year’s music program was December Around the World. Apart from two performances, students also had time to partition wholes into equal parts, learn about Loki’s punishment from the Viking Gods, and study compound sentences. We even played a little XBox at recess.
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.
Today we took an assessment covering multiplication and division of fractions and decimals. I changed things up a bit, however, by having students record their answers in Google Forms. This allows for instant feedback like you see below for me and a way for parents to keep current on student performance. In short, I’ll likely be doing this again.
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!