Week 31 Review, Week 32 Preview (Apr. 30-May 4)

If you would like to see whathappened in our class this past week, from a student perspective, please see Mr. Hughey’s Class Weekly Update, Episode 6.

Now, here is my perspective! You may have noticed a number of 3 Act Math problems popping up on the blog this past week. Ms. Kwon, our student teacher (who is now teaching approximately 90% of the week), has been working on subtraction strategies with the students, focusing in particular on a variety of mental strategies to work flexibly with numbers. As always, these strategies have been couched in the context of wider problems. Early next week, there will be an individual assessment of students’ abilities in this area and we will determine from there where we will be going next week. We will be changing gears Tuesday or Wednesday.

We have really sunk our teeth into our creative writing project this past week and students have developed plans using a variety of independently selected graphic organizers. Students are well into the rough draft portion of their writing and we have begun talking about the editing skills we will be focusing on in this round of writing. Specifically, we have been working on including a variety of sentence types. We have been learning about simple, complex, and compound sentences as well as the use of conjunctions and subordinate clauses. We have also been talking about descriptive elements using adjectives and adverbs and how these can be effectively deployed in the various elements of a story. As we move into the editing phase of our work next week, students will be doing some descriptive work relating to developing detailed characters and setting in their stories.

Social Studies has been very fun this week! To help build a base of knowledge in their project areas, grade 4s engaged in a “Complainer’s Conversation.” Students were each assigned a role and provided with a variety of information about that role. For example, one student was a Roman slave while another was a medieval European peasant. They learned their parts and engaged in an in-role, semi-impromptu “conversation” which they presented as a group. For example, one student began by saying, “Oh, my life is so hard. I have to get up every day at 4 am and start ploughing fields.”  The next would respond by saying, something like, “You think that’s bad-I have to….” The presentation was very well done and quite hysterical.  Grade 5s were given a script relating to various aspects of First Nations/European first contact. In this round of investigations, we are focusing on aspects of cooperation between the two. Students presented their skits on Friday. Both 4s and 5s will create online quizzes for the other groups next week in an effort to continue to expand their knowledge base in these areas. We are moving towards the independent projects that the students conceived a couple weeks ago.

In Science, Grade 5 students were divided into groups and each group began thinking about how they might design one bodily system for our class model Igor. To this end, they are identifying the major organs in that system and coming to understand the functions of these organs. Grade 4s have been working on identifying key terms relating to rocks and minerals this past week. Next week, we will be moving towards the actual design of the organ systems (grade 5s). The grade 4s will begin researching some different experts in geological fields. They will also begin determining what it is they would like to reach out to these experts for.

Lastly, practice for our spring concert is in full swing. We have had the ukuleles out a few times this past week and we will need to squeeze in a couple more sessions before next Wednesday’s concert at MacNab!

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