We are busy putting the final touches on our performance boards. All students have made models within the classroom, if they also made a model at home they can bring those in to add to their presentations. Students are prepping by presenting to their classmates and making final revisions to their presentations and write-ups. We will be sending home an invitation soon to invite parents in to participate in our science fair.
We were extremely lucky to have Mrs. Mirander, Sabrina’s Mom come into the classroom and do a presentation on the Digestive System. She described the function of the main organs, tips on maintaining a healthy digestive system, common illnesses and allowed the children to ask questions. The children thought it was really cool to meet a specialized nurse with lots of experience teaching and working with patients on digestive health.
On Friday, students worked in groups to measure the length of the mouth, esophagus, stomach, small intestine, long intestine and rectum to learn how long the digestive tract is. They labeled lengths of yarn and placed them in order in the hallway. Please see the pictures of their work. This week for homework, students will review the organs by labeling a diagram. They will write jot notes to review what happens at each stage in digestion e.g. stomach. There will be a quiz on Wednesday. Students will label a diagram and write about each stage of digestion.
Here is a copy of the students’ schedule. This will help students be organized with the materials they need for each day. We have either gym or DPA each day, so students should always have athletic shoes available.
We had a busy first day and many of us were surprised when the bell rang at 3:25. The day flew by! A special welcome to several new students.
Today we did an activity where students shared their ideas about ways that classmates can help them do their best work. We are going to use these ideas to generate a Classroom Rules Chart. I will post what we come up with in a future post.
We are starting the year with a study of the Human Organ Systems. As a class, we will be learning about the Digestive System, Respiratory System, Circulatory System and Nervous System. After our guided study, students will choose an organ system e.g. skeletal system and complete their own reading and research. Once they have learned about their chosen system, students will be sharing their learning through written work, labelled diagrams, a model and oral communication. They will display all of this on a cardboard performance board which can be purchased at the Dollar Store or Staples. Students can already start thinking about which system they would be interested in learning about. They can visit the Waterdown library to take out books on their topic and use evening reading time to start learning!
There are many free websites for students to learn and check their understanding about organ systems. For example, brain pop.com and softschools.com have the digestive system. Students can read about each organ e.g. the liver and drag and place the organ into the diagram to learn about its role and location within the system. We will be using some of these sites in computer class but students could start to use them at home to learn and practice.
In math, we are starting with a Place Value unit. Students will be creating models for numbers, reading and writing to communicate quantities, rounding numbers, adding and subtracting amounts. I will share more specific details in the future.
In reading, I am reading a novella called Branded by Eric Walters. Students will soon choose a book to reading independently in class. They are welcome to bring books from home or the library to read in class time.
I writing, I am going to model writing a science explanation to help them prepare for the Science Independent Study.
A few days ago the students in 4-5 did a series of sheets to test their basic number facts fluency. I am sending these home today to share. At the top of the sheet you will see the total time it took your son/daughter to complete and their score on each page.
The media has been sharing the concern over students not knowing their basic number facts. This becomes a particular problem in the upper grades when they start solving larger more involved problems and figuring out basic equations like 81 divided by 9 will slow them down. If your son / daughter took quite a bit of time to complete e.g. more than 47 minutes and /or got quite a few equations incorrect, I would recommend that over the summer they continue to practice their basic number facts. They can continue to use free and engaging websites like “fun brain” or you can purchase workbooks at Indigo, The Dollarstore or any of the Teacher’s Stores. A little remediation here will pay off in the longterm. Please feel free to call if you have any questions.
I have sent home homework this week that gives the students a chance to practice measuring angles using a protractor. Some of the grade 4 students have chosen to use the traditional protractor and are managing this. Otherwise, they use a protractor that I made that has them compare angles to benchmark angles (0, 45, 90, 135 and 180 degrees). I found a modified protractor for the grade 5s which I have sent home for the homework. Quite a few children are having a hard time with the two sets of numbers on the traditional protractor.
I have modelled using protractors on the overhead, projector and in small group but some students just need supported practice to master this skill. If you have time please sit down with your son / daughter and measure some angles together. The homework is due Thursday this week as we are running behind in our math program and need to speed up. They will have another exit card on measuring angles and sides this Thursday.
We have started our final social studies unit. The grade 4s are learning about Early Civilizations 3000 BCE – 1500 CE and the grade 5s are learning about First Nations and Europeans in New France and Early Canada up to 1713.
To start the unit, the whole class has been doing a guided inquiry about the Vikings. We have learned about the different Viking explorers who came to Early Canada. Bjarni Herjolfsson is believed to be the first European to discover Canada and Leif Erikson is widely accepted as the first European to explore Canada.
The students started using the HUB this week. They can sign on using their user name and password to read articles that I have placed into our folders to use for research. Mrs. Heaver visited the classroom this week and showed the class how to access books to read online. They need to see me for their OEN number in order to sign out ebooks. Their OEN number is at the top of any of their report cards. They can sign out books from home. Allan A. Greenleaf has access to 1000s of books online!