Next week, we will be shifting over to a new unit of study, centering on historical fiction. Students will be reading historical fiction for IR, and we will be exploring this genre through texts related to social studies topics they have already had some introduction to. Once again, we will be using a blend of short story narratives (both fictional and real), picture books and student IR books to help students gain a deeper grasp of this important genre.
As always, please reach out with any questions or concerns you may have! Enjoy the upcoming spring season!
We have also begun working on IR bookmarks again - this time, students are reading non-fiction books! Students can choose to read about any topic that interests them, using books at or near their reading level. Students who finish their book before break is over are encouraged to choose another non-ficiton book focusing on a different topic. Ask your child about what (s)he is reading!
As always, thank you for all you do to help support our students from home. Please reach out to me any time you may have questions. Have a wonderful Spring Break!
We've now entered our major research unit for the year, and our focus is nominating someone for a Nobel Peace Prize. This week, students explored the inception and meaning of this prestigious honor, added some critical words to their vocabulary, and have already learned a "quick search" strategy to help them find information. By the middle of next week, each student will have looked up and recorded the philanthropic efforts of a large list of candidates; students may add individuals that are not on the list, but who have done a lot of work to benefit others - with teacher approval. When that is due (Tues/Wed), students will narrow it down to their top three choices, and from there, choose one person they strongly believe should be nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize. Our lessons from now into the week before break will focus on actual strategies for conducting effective research, including effective questioning, how to paraphrase vs summarize, ways to determine whether a source is reliable, and how they will be organizing their sources and notes. Ultimately, everything they learn about their chosen person will be used in a series of writing pieces.
Students have continued to conduct research for their MGP Biography Project. They have been learning valuable skills such as summarizing, paraphrasing, and using quotations when taking notes, along with how to organize their research notes by subtopics. They are finding that when managing such a large amount information, organization is crucial! So far, students have written a news article highlighting a major event in their person’s life. They have also begun drafting a formal, five-paragraph essay detailing their person’s contributions to the world. Additionally, students are learning how to use MLA (Modern Language Association) style parenthetical citations to cite their research sources, and how to create a works cited bibliography page.
This week we also held our last Nonfiction Book Club meeting. For their culminating project, students will be reflecting on the their experience and presenting book talks to the class.
Students have completed three out of their five Nonfiction Book Club meetings. They have been strengthening their ability to dig deeper into a text, make insightful connections and analogies, and cite text evidence to support opinions!
We have also begun a Multi-Genre Biography research project, which students have referred to as “MGP” (Multi-Genre Project). Students chose a person to research whom they admire and want to learn more about, and who has contributed to the world in a meaningful way. This week they learned various research skills, such as how to use a database to access books, periodicals, websites, videos, and other sources. Our librarian Ms. Nekola created a scavenger hunt in which students had to use different research modalities to find information about a mystery aviator. Students accessed reference books, nonfiction books, biographies, online articles, and more to complete their scavenger hunt! They also learned strategies for analyzing a resource’s credibility and reliability, which is particularly useful when conducting research via the internet!
In reading, students have begun participating in Nonfiction Book Clubs. The first Book Club meeting yesterday was a great success! Students were well prepared, and they engaged in interesting and thought-provoking discussions about their books! Book clubs will meet once a week, and during each meeting, students will be responsible for different roles: (1) discussion director, (2) summarizer, (3) connector/travel tracer, (4) literary luminary, (5) investigator, and (6) vocabulary enricher. Some of the books students are reading include Black Potatoes: The Story of the Great Irish Famine, They Called Themselves the KKK: The Birth of an American Terrorist Group, Flesh & Blood So Cheap: The Triangle Fire & Its Legacy, The Impossible Rescue, and Hitler Youth.
In writing, we have been focusing on vocabulary and grammar. Students created vocabulary stories, songs, and presentations with mnemonic devices to help them prepare for their quiz on roots and affixes. We will also be working on pronoun case, pronoun-antecedent agreement, and avoiding vague pronoun usage.
P.S. Baby Desmond turned four months old last Friday!
On Tuesday, May 14th, the Journey students will participate in a fascinating Civil War Days Field Trip at the Grove. Students will be able to enhance and refine their vast Civil War knowledge by experiencing a variety of hands on activities and presentations from the Civil War Era! Great job in Social Studies Journey students and keep up the good work!
In common core, students just finished up their test on area of a rectangle, square, triangle, trapezoid, parallelogram, and hexagon. Our next unit of study will be on surface area of prisms and pyramids (only 14.3, 14.4, and 14.5). Test on this will be on Monday May 20th. On math IXL, students can work on 6th grade FF2, FF3, FF4, FF5, and FF6.
In single acc., students are studying dot plots, histograms, and box plots. Test will be on Thursday May 16th.
On math IXL students can work on 6th grade GG's.
In double acc., students just took their test on experimental and theoretical probability. Our next unit of study will be on compound events. On math IXL, students can work on 7th grade CC's, DD's or 8th grade DD's and EE's.