This week, we focused on thinking. In each subject area, we asked ourselves, how do good mathematicians/readers/writers/scientists think? In math, we used our new projector to model our thinking as we reviewed concepts from 4th grade and took on new challenges. We also practiced speaking like mathematicians, using correct mathematical terminology as we explained problems (ex. “subtract five” rather than “minus five). We also practiced place value, both with large whole numbers and decimals. Next week we’ll continue to think about numbers by working with factors and divisibility rules of whole numbers. Students will be asked to complete a review worksheet each night to reinforce concepts covered in class. Ideally, this should feel like a review and should not take more than 20 minutes to complete. If your fifth grader is finding that is not the case, please have them email me, speak to me in class, or feel free to send me an email yourself. I’m very proud of the students for showing great self-advocacy skills already and seeking clarification when concepts or directions were unclear last week.
In readers and writers workshop, we thought about how readers and writers think as we launched our personal narrative unit. We are reading examples of powerful narratives, such as Patricia Polacco’s “Thank You Mr. Falker” as models for our own personal narratives. Students have been “gathering seeds” for their writing by brainstorming memories.
In science class, we’ve been thinking like scientists - a task that comes easily to this inquisitive group! We’ve been breaking down the scientific method - Ask a question, Form a hypothesis, Experiment, and Make a conclusion. We had so much fun asking questions about what would happen if we combined Skittles and Coke (ask your 5th grader about the results!), forming hypotheses about walking on eggs (hopefully they didn’t try to repeat the experiment at home!), and experimenting with a basic classroom supply: pencils! I can tell this is a curious bunch and I’m so excited for many more scientific explorations this year!
We also introduced our first pillar at Morning Circle on Friday: Responsibility. I asked the 5th graders to look for examples of responsibility during the day, and when we shared at closing circle, they had no trouble citing examples of responsibility that they had witnessed among their classmates. I’m so proud of them for embracing this important theme and recognizing it in our class.
I look forward to seeing you next Thursday at Meet the Teacher Night from 4-5 pm and sharing more details about our fifth grade year.