Week 23 Review, Week 24 Preview (Feb. 26-Mar. 1)

A reminder that Friday, March 2 is a PA Day.

Although a short week, there were a few bumps along the road. Students submitted some written work that focused on various elements of paragraph writing. When beginning to give feedback, it became clear that a large portion of students were not handing in work that represented their best efforts – i.e., not looking at the success criteria to focus their efforts in the areas we have been working on, being lax with writing simple sentences, using capitals appropriately, employing punctuation (these last three are all grade 1 curricular expectations). I will be providing feedback on this written work and will be sending home some levelled checklists early next week so that you can see if this affects your student. Students have been given a chance to make revisions but have been told this work needs to be finished early in the weekend if they choose to do so.

We began with some descriptive writing which will form the basis for some creative writing in the upcoming week (based upon a series of interesting images from a book entitled The Mysteries of Harris Burdick). We worked on using adjectives and adverbs and highlighted their use in our read aloud of The Hobbit. We read a great deal from this book this week. We also continued advancing our advertisement project in Language. Groups are beginning to assemble pieces they have created/gathered and are starting on actual production.

In Math, we continued with fractions, building “living fraction lines.” Students have been divided into groups and each group began by creating 6m lines that conform to certain specifications (e.g., starting point distance, parallel to fixed points, conversion between cm and m). Students had to create a plan and do a series of calculations. This part of the task involved a number of measurement expectations from the curriculum. Groups then began exploring different strategies for dividing these lines up into different fractions (e.g., one group is dividing the line into fifths, while another is dividing it up into sixteenths). The focus for this fractional work is to develop an understanding of components of a whole and to help see relationships between fractions of different denominators. Next week, we will work from these emerging understandings of equivalent fractions in this concrete way and see how they can be represented in other ways.

Science trials have begun for experiments! Groups have refined their experiments as they begin to deconstruct successes and difficulties in executing their plans. Students are now running a series of trials and are starting to gather data from which they will draw conclusions relating to their guiding question. Next week, they will present their experiments to the class and begin codifying their conclusions with input from their peers. There is a wide range of very cool experiments!

In Social Studies, students have begun developing proposals for projects they will do relating to Early Societies (grade 4) and First Nations/Early European Contact (grade 5). Students began by working with the Social Studies curriculum document and posting “I wonder” questions on their blogs relating to these topics. Next, they brainstormed possible projects that we might explore to dig into this learning. In the upcoming week, students will begin to select and nail down the projects that they wish to devise going forward. They will need to justify it to me first in a formal written proposal, however, where they explain what elements of the curriculum they are tackling and how their project will help advance their learning (and the learning of others in the class) in relation to these topics.

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