Well, here we are at the end of Week 4 already. I can not believe how fast things have gone! I hope that each one of your students has been enjoying school as much as I have this year. As a teacher, I’m pretty impressed with this group of students. As parents, you should be very proud of each on of them. They are amazing. Here’s just a few updates of items that have been going on in the classroom.
With both groups of math students, we have taken a look at the common multiplication mathematical algorithm this week. I love doing this lesson with the class as these algorithms are so ingrained into their practice, but they never know why we follow the steps that we do. A lot of students had one of those, “AH HA!” moments when they got to see why we take those steps.
I’ve already told the class that the leaps and bounds they have made as writers from the start of the school year has been amazing. We started the year off by doing a pre-writing assessment with each of the students. After reading them, I was a bit worried. Two lessons in though, and the progress was amazing. We are now 11 lessons into our Narrative Writing Unit of Study. Today, we will be finalizing our first piece and I can not wait to see the magic that these kids are able to create with words.
STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics)
We have introduced the Engineering Design Process to the students and they have already completed their first robotic creation. It was cool to see the integration of mathematics, technology, engineering and science skills all mesh together. Students had to work to create a robot that would drive forward 3 feet, turn around and come back to the exact spot where it started. Many of the groups succeeded, but the important thing is that even in failure, the students all learned something. I tell them all the time, “We all make mistakes. We need to make sure though, that we learn from those mistakes!”
We have begun to learn about the different regions of the United States. We have already covered the Midwest, our home. Now we are moving on to the Northeast region. Just a note, a lot of the geographical knowledge for the states requires rote memorization. This isn’t a skill that we work on too often anymore. So, unfortunately, many of the students don’t have the study skills to dig in and memorize the states, the capitals, and the abbreviations. If you could help them out as necessary, I know they would appreciate it.
Our literature groups are well under way! Students have been broken up into 4 different groups and are reading, and discussing some books that I chose for them. The groups seem to be going well, but in an effort to get some extra reading in, they will have a 30 page reading assignment over the weekend.
We have also been learning about possessive, plural possessive, and irregular plural possessive nouns this week. It’s never easy learning where that elusive apostrophe goes, but they have done well and most of them have mastered it!
Thanks for all your hard work at home. We will keep on trucking here in the classroom! Have a wonderful weekend!