In Mrs. Johnson’s class, last week we were working on lesson 13. We read a section from Escaping the Giant Wave, a dramatic story about a brother and sister who survive a tsunami and try to reunite with their parents. The focus skill for this lesson was learning to recognize the theme of a literary work. This week we were working on lesson 14. We read a short excerpt from Brian’s Winter by Gary Paulsen. While reading, students responded to questions that require fact recall (“right there” and “think and search” questions) and inferencing questions (“author and you” and “on your own” questions). At the end of the story, we spent time identifying and analyzing the features of theme conveyed through characters, actions, and setting. The lesson 14 quiz (comprehension, focus skill, and vocab) is scheduled for Monday. Please encourage your child to study their vocab cards and re-read the main text selection Brian’s Winter to ensure they are well prepared for this assessment.
Additionally, in preparation for the state assessments, we have been spending time talking about how to decipher the meaning of a TDA (Text Dependent Analysis) and learning strategies for how to provide an appropriate written response. The students have been doing an awesome job learning to tackle this challenging component of the ELA assessment! I’m extremely proud of their efforts and all the progress they have been making. In the near future, students will be independently completing a TDA (as an assessment) that corresponds to Brian’s Winter.
In Mrs. Mitchell’s class, last week, we worked on lesson 14. We read a short excerpt from Brian’s Winter by Gary Paulsen. While reading, students were responding to questions that require fact recall (“right there” and “think and search” questions) and inferencing questions (“author and you” and “on your own” questions). At the end of the story, we spent time identifying and analyzing the features of theme conveyed through characters, actions, and setting. The theme vocab quiz is on Monday. Students should be studying the vocab terms for the last four lessons.
Students also completed a project where each partnership chose a children’s book and decided on a theme for that book. Then, they were asked to create a CD cover and a playlist that represents the theme. Projects will be shared on Monday.
**The Book It! reading program continues. Remember that your child is strongly encouraged to read 20 days in January for a minimum of 20 minutes each day. A packet of calendars was made available to interested students. Parents, please sign each day your child reads. If your child chooses to participate in this incentive program, the completed calendar may be submitted at the end of the month and your child will receive a “reward” for their efforts (i.e. Pizza Hut coupon, coupon for a ‘free’ snack item at the Letort Café, or a “Homework Pass”). Happy reading!
We completed chapter 7, which focused on writing and solving algebraic equations. Students learned how to use the addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division properties of equality to find the value of a given variable. Students also learned how to write and solve algebraic equations for a given word problem.
We are currently working on chapter 8, which focuses on functions and inequalities. Students are learning how to represent functions in a table, on a graph, and as an equation. They also will learn how to write, graph, and solve inequalities.
Just a reminder that there are many resources available online that correspond with the math curriculum. Your child is aware of these resources and knows how to access them using their username and password. We encourage you and your child to take advantage of these online supports. Additionally, the math text contains numerous step-by-step examples related to the focus concept and should serve as an excellent resource for you and your child when completing daily homework assignments as well as when preparing for end-of-chapter assessments.
We are continuing with the chemistry unit. We learned about boiling points, freezing points, and melting points, and discovered through lab experiments that not all matter boil/freeze/melt at the same temperature. We are currently learning about pure substances (i.e. elements and compounds) and mixtures (homogeneous and heterogeneous) and the characteristics of each. A quiz is scheduled for next week; encourage your child to study the information from the Study Guide for 10-15 minutes each night in preparation for this assessment.
Students read through Special Field Order 15 which described how the government helped the freed slaves develop a new life. We then walked in the footsteps of Tunis Campbell who was a preacher who helped to organize the community for the freed slaves. Finally, we learned about the terms carpetbagger and scalawag.
In Mrs. Mitchell’s class, students completed the revisions for their informational piece and will be inserting them next week. We learned a lot about verbs during the past two weeks and then completed a quiz to mark the halfway point in the unit. Additionally, we continue to work on Daily Language Review each week to practice grammar skills.
In Mrs. Johnson’s class, we are still working on the informational essays. We discussed different ways to capture the reader’s attention in the introduction paragraph. We then moved on to revising the rough draft; students highlighted three areas in their essay where they felt they needed to add additional examples, explanations, and/or details to improve the content of their essay. Next week, students will be working on writing their final rough draft. Ask your child to share with you what they have accomplished so far. Additionally, we continue to work on Daily Language Review each week to practice grammar skills.
As we continue to work toward preparing students for the transition to middle school, in the third marking period more focus will be put on students developing greater independence. Students will be encouraged to continue to use the planner to keep track of daily assignments and long-term projects, but there will be few reminders from the teacher, and beginning February 1, daily homework blog-posts will desist. Your continued home support is important for your child’s educational success; we encourage you to check the planner and homework each night as well as periodically check your child’s academic progress on Sapphire.
- Jan. 20 – Family Fun Movie Night sponsored by the PTO (6-8 p.m.)
- Jan. 27 – report cards distributed