On Friday afternoon we will be going to the DREAM project in Cabarete to kick off our service learning project, partnering with the DREAM project kids to promote literacy. This Friday we will be doing a community-building activity with the kids we’ll be working with in order to get to know them and learn more about DREAM. Permission slips were sent home on Friday - please remind your 5th grader to get his or her slip signed and returned to school by Wednesday. Thank you so much to the parents who volunteered to drive Friday!
The students are really getting the hang of multiplying fractions by whole numbers! We’ve been practicing with a lot of word problems in order to learn not only the mathematical algorithm but also how to break down problems into steps and record our work carefully. On Wednesday, we will have a mid-unit assessment in order to track our progress. There will not be officially math homework that night, but students are encouraged to use the extra time to catch up on their Zearn assignments, get ahead, or practice with another resource (Khan Academy is a great one!). Starting Thursday, we’ll begin multiplying fractions by fractions.
The fifth graders are doing an impressive job tackling complex vocabulary words and themes in our class novel Promises to Keep. Last week they did a great job paraphrasing important historical events from the novel as well as using post-it notes to mark evidence to support the author’s opinion. Post-it notes are a great tool for reading comprehension; each day during morning meeting I preview the night’s reading response choices with the 5th graders and remind them that using post-it notes to mark ideas as they read can help them be successful with their assignment. Just a heads up: the reading response choices lend themselves much better to a fiction novel than nonfiction. Because the 5th grade standards are so heavily focused on nonfiction, much of our class time is devoted to reading informational text. In order to balance this out, the homework reading is mostly fiction. If your 5th grader needs help find an appropriate book, or is having trouble with the assignment, please let me know so we can work out a solution!
Now that our presentation on the solar system is over, we’ll be moving on to life science for the rest of the quarter. The 5th grade life science standards include the following:
- a. Students know many multicellular organisms have specialized structures to support the transport of materials.
- Students know how blood circulates through the heart chambers, lungs, and body and how carbon dioxide (CO2 ) and oxygen (O2 ) are exchanged in the lungs and tissues.
- Students know the sequential steps of digestion and the roles of teeth and the mouth, esophagus, stomach, small intestine, large intestine, and colon in the function of the digestive system.
- Students know the role of the kidney in removing cellular waste from blood and converting it into urine, which is stored in the bladder.
- Students know how sugar, water, and minerals are transported in a vascular plant.
- Students know plants use carbon dioxide (CO2 ) and energy from sunlight to build molecules of sugar and release oxygen.
- Students know plant and animal cells break down sugar to obtain energy, a process resulting in carbon dioxide (CO ) and water (respiration).
We’ve been studying what culture is by looking at our own personal cultures and recognizing patterns in the world’s culture regions. Next we’ll be examining the spread of culture in cultural diffusion and the advantages and disadvantages of cultural diversity.