We took advantage of the short week to do an inquiry-based lesson on measurement. In inquiry-based learning, students create their own questions, then decide how they will go about answering them. I was so impressed with the 5th graders for taking on this challenge, working together, and pushing themselves to not only learn new information, but discover new ways of learning. Ask your fifth grader to help you next time you have an opportunity to use measurement in “real life” - we practiced both metric and standard systems!
We also took the time to delve further into the world of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) with coding this week. To learn more about coding and why it’s such an important skill, check out the video on this site. A huge thanks to Jordi, who modeled a coding activity for us and got us all started with our first coding project on code.org. I was thrilled to see the fifth graders embracing this important 21st century skill - check out pictures of the kids in action on the class website! There are tons of fun and free ways for kids to continue practicing coding - code.org and Khan Academy are both great resources!
The short week didn’t slow us down at all in ELA! In language, we had a lot of fun spicing up our writing with descriptive words. We identified commonly overused words, and pronounced them dead of overused. We then created a “word graveyard” of tombstones full of more juicy synonyms for these words. Not only is this helping us with writing, but they’re great Halloween decorations for our classroom!
In reading, we practiced identifying point of view - first person, second person, and third person (both limited and omniscient). I’m proud of the students for mastering this skill so quickly! This quarter we’ll be focusing on informational text and practicing skills to help us read nonfiction. Next week we’ll be studying text structures of informational writing - chronological order, compare/contrast, problem/solution, and cause/effect. Most of the reading we do in “real life” is informational text, so it is important that students feel comfortable and confident with these skills. Good ways to practice nonfiction reading outside of school are Newsela, newspapers, magazines, etc. Some students find informational text to be less interesting than fiction, so it helps to read material that is on-level and related to a high-interest topic, such as sports, animals, or video games.
In writing, we’re hard at work finishing our personal narratives. All students will complete their narratives by next Thursday- we look forward to sharing the finished products with you!
The students are bursting with enthusiasm for this week’s engineering project! They’ve all been “hired” as engineers for Zika Engineering Enterprises and tasked with designing an effective way to drop a raw egg from a balcony ten feet up (effective = no broken eggs!). We will be conducting the experiment Monday and Tuesday; students are allowed to bring materials from home, but there is no need to purchase anything or bring anything fancy. The best models can be made from recycled household materials!
Student Blogger: Jordi!
Though it was a short week there were a lot of highlights. People were pretty nice to each other. We worked on our narratives and started measurement in math. We started coding. We did a little with the egg dropping experiment.