Halloween, and a Week of Learning

Thank you the parents and siblings who helped put together a pretty terrific Distance Learning Halloween experience. The Halloween celebration came at the end of a unit of learning that had some students moving from multi-digit multiplication to multi-digit division and other students learning to multiply fractions. We continued to write multi-paragraph papers and we added Pixton as a tool to plan and enhanced our ability to communicate.

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.

Blending Google Forms with Fraction Work

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.

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The First Auction of 2017

Today marked our fourth classroom auction. Impressively, this class has a number of savers who have been sitting out these events in favor of buying their desks and turning them into condominiums.

A big part of a successful auction is receiving donations. Over our winter break, 19 different companies and people contributed items for the effort. These partners in education are not only contributing material items but they are also helping with developing financial literacy. Thank you!

Phew! A Full Week of Instruction without Delayed Starts and Snow Days

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!

Our Study of the American Revolution Begins

Today we started our study of the American Revolution. The big idea for students to grasp, after working through 17 units, is that disagreements about principles of government led colonists to seek independence from Great Britain. Students will be introduced to important battles, historical figures, and writings so they know what values were at the heart of the Revolution.

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A Study of Personal Narratives and Point of View

Since returning from our Thanksgiving Break, we have taken a very close look at the personal narrative with an emphasis on point of view. Students can be pretty adept at identifying first person from third person point of view and even third person limited from third person omniscient. Understanding and analyzing how point of view impacts a story is an entirely different endeavor and this is why taking so much time with it.

Students are reading rich personal narratives and are also writing their own. They may have been asking about the history of their name and we will be turning what they learn into a graphic essay.

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