This week, our focus was, “What’s My Story?” In reading, we shared examples of powerfully written personal narratives and practiced identifying key features of narrative text: setting, character, conflict, and resolution. We applied these ideas to writing, and students are listening to well-crafted mentor texts, including “White Socks Only” by Evelyn Coleman and “Saturday and Teacakes” by Lester Laminack. They brainstormed memories and thought about which carried strong emotions and would lend themselves to well-written narratives. Next week they will begin their first draft!
We continued with the “What’s My Story?” theme in social studies, as students applied their math and measurement skills in order to make illustrated timelines of their lives. These include five personal events as well as five world events that occurred during their lifetimes. We had a lot of fun practicing our tech skills as we used the Chromebooks and Google Classroom to research our events. Look for the timelines to be hanging in the classroom soon!
In math, we delved deeper into our Number Theory unit by practicing skills with factors, learning divisibility rules for 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 9, and 10, categorizing prime and composite numbers, and using our knowledge of arrays and factors to define square numbers. We’ve also been using class time to practice mental math, set guidelines for making partner work positive and productive, and solve word problems. Next week we’ll finish up our Number Theory unit with unsquaring numbers, prime factorization, and factor strings. Next Thursday we’ll have a unit test on Number Theory. Our second unit is “Estimation and Computation,” and will cover skills including:
- Adding, subtracting, and multiplying whole numbers and decimals (division to be covered in a separate unit)
- Understanding the difference between estimation and computation and knowing when to utilize each
- Comparing millions, billions, and trillions
As you know, next week the students will be taking the NWEA MAP test. This provides helpful data to us as a school and allows us to plan effective instructional practice. It’s normal for students to feel stressed about testing; if your fifth grader expresses concern, please remind him or her that this is a tool for teachers and will not affect the report card grade. There is no need to study for this test; the best thing you can do is ensure your fifth grader has a good night’s sleep and a nutritional breakfast.