This week we focused on summaries in reading. For fictional texts, we used the strategy Somebody Wanted But So to structure concise but informative summaries. For nonfiction texts, we practiced using the five W’s (Who, What, When, Where, Why) to summarize important details. This is a very useful skill for all content areas, and we will continue to practice summaries all year.
In writing, we continued to revise our personal narratives. This week, we used mentor texts to analyze what makes a strong opening, and students used technique such as dialogue, onomatopoeia, description, and suspense to write “hook” openings for their own narratives. We also practiced punctuating dialogue - not an easy skill, but thanks to the magic of Google Docs we were able to share stories and help one another craft engaging dialogue in our narratives. We’ll continue to revise narratives for transition words and strong endings after break, and soon they’ll be ready to publish! Stay tuned!
In language, we practiced using context clues to find the meaning of words in a text. The fifth graders did a great job using synonyms, antonyms, examples, and explanations to figure out the meanings of new words. I’m happy to see them using this important reading skill to learn new words that are also popping up in their writing!
We entered the exciting world of decimals this week! We practiced writing decimals in standard form (3.84), written form (three and eighty-four hundredths), and expanded form (3x1 + 8x1/10 + 4x1/100), as well as comparing, ordering, and rounding decimals. The fifth graders grasped these concepts quickly, and today was our best post-assessment in math all quarter! Look for these assessments to come home the Wednesday after break as homework; students will be asked to complete a reflection sheet, correct any errors that they made, and have a parent sign their assessment. Remember, I’m happy to help any student still struggling to master a concept after school from 3-3:30!
Wow, these fifth graders love science! To change things up this week, I told them that I was accepting applications at my fictional engineering firm, Zika Enterprises, and that in order to be hired students must write a paragraph defining the problem in a fictional scenario I gave them. In short, a fictional town called Kidville needs raw eggs to be delivered by helicopter in order to cure a disease. The students were tasked with using their engineering skills to hypothesize a solution to this problem and propose a way for eggs to be dropped without breaking. I was very impressed with the creativity and critical thinking skills that were displayed as students proposed their hypotheses - everyone was hired! When we return from break, we will be conducting the experiment and actually dropping raw eggs off a second story balcony. I will supply the raw eggs, and students are welcome to bring in materials as part of their designed solution, however they are NOT required to buy anything new or fancy for this. Some of the best solutions can be made from recycled household materials! This experiment will take place the week of October 17th, so there is plenty of time for students to think about their hypotheses and gather materials.