Friday, March 16, 2018

Happy Friday!

We are doing our best to keep a normal schedule despite the weather. Students continue to work hard on their note-taking and research of their explorers. After taking notes on the explorer's early life, voyages, and accomplishments, students are beginning to grasp the idea of how "European Explorers Changed The World."
Next week, the students will finish their pre-writing and begin their final project. Some students are choosing to design a keynote slideshow and yet others are choosing a more hands-on artistic approach to drawing and writing in a postcard format taking on their explorer's personality.

By Friday, we had an opportunity to play a "headbands" game using vocabulary from the exploration unit. Students had a fun and laughter filled hour of guessing and acting out their vocab words. 

We are continuing our study of poetry and poetry analysis in Reader's Workshop. Students are looking at the many different figurative language devices used by poets and the sensory words chosen to describe a theme in a poem.
* Colonial Craft Day is Fri. Mar. 23
   Students should be gathering their colonial clothes 

Friday, March 9, 2018

Hard at work!
Happy Friday!

Our busy week in writing focused on our reading, research, and "dot-jot" note-taking on our explorers. Students focused on note-taking their explorer's early life, country they were born in, country they explored for, why they explored, what were they looking for, were they successful, and last, how did their exploration change our world. Next week students will choose a creative project to showcase their knowledge of their explorer. These final projects will be presented and shared with their classmates in a few weeks.

Thinking about poetry
Our Reader's Workshop time was spent reading many forms of poetry, looking at the use of figurative language in poetry, and digging deep to find the theme in a poem. We also started our new read aloud, The False Prince. This is a historical fiction genre with a mystery involved to go with our Exploration time period:

Choose to lie...or choose to die.

In a discontent kingdom, civil war is brewing. To unify the divided people, Conner, a nobleman of the court, devises a cunning plan to find an impersonator of the king's long-lost son and install him as a puppet prince. Four orphans are recruited to compete for the role, including a defiant boy named Sage. Sage knows that Conner's motives are more than questionable, yet his life balances on a sword's point -- he must be chosen to play the prince or he will certainly be killed. But Sage's rivals have their own agendas as well.

As Sage moves from a rundown orphanage to Conner's sumptuous palace, layer upon layer of treachery and deceit unfold, until finally, a truth is revealed that, in the end, may very well prove more dangerous than all of the lies taken together.

An extraordinary adventure filled with danger and action, lies and deadly truths that will have readers clinging to the edge of their seats.

Have a wonderful Weekend!

Friday, March 2, 2018

Working together!
Happy Friday!

We settled in after our winter break and got back to a busy successful week. We kicked off our week with an introduction to our Explorer research and writing. Each student received their explorer to research, note-take, and in the end, create a final project to teach their classmates about their explorer. We began our research with learning how to read non-fiction and how to pull out just the important information. Students are in the middle of dot jotting their notes as the week came to an end.

Poetry notes
We also started our poetry unit this week in reading and writing. We started our unit by looking at many forms of poetry, what makes poetry different from prose, what are the parts of a poem, and what makes poetry harder for some people to understand and enjoy. Students learned about stanzas, verses, lines, and noticed how poetry was our next step after spending half the year working on the many forms of figurative language. By Friday, we had a chance to analyze Robert Frost's, "The Road Not Taken." Next week we will be reading many poetry books and looking for the figurative language and themes of different poems.
1. We still need volunteers for Colonial Craft Day.
2. Students need to bring in their knitting needles by 3/12
3. Students need to bring in their empty baby food jar by 3/12

Friday, February 16, 2018

Reading Non-Fiction/note taking
Happy Friday!

This was a busy week! We continued to put the last details in our persuasive essays and worked with our revision buddies to revise and edit our work before turning in our final pieces on Thursday.

Revision work

With the end of our persuasive essays, we began our unit on European Exploration. While the students are learning about the effects of exploration on the world in Social Studies, we are learning how to read non-fiction articles for information and note taking to prepare for our explorer essays and project which will start the week we return from the break. Our research will come from the questions the students generated from the statement: European Explorers Changed The World. This statement will guide our research as we come to understand the importance of exploration in our world.

In Reader's Workshop, we continued our work with "theme" as we also came to the end of our read aloud. Be sure to ask your student about how our main characters Gabe and Frita learned how you can overcome your fears and all things are possible with the love and support of your family and friends.

We ended our week with a fun afternoon of "Jail" ball with Mr. Smith and Mrs. Rollins in the gym and our fun and wonderful afternoon visit with our new senior friends at Bayside Senior Living. We presented them with Valentines and visited with them about their life as a child. We learned about so many historical events and changes that have taken place in their lives.They also shared their life lessons and advice for us as we grow(see below).

Friday, February 9, 2018

Happy Friday!
We started our week in the library with Ms. Sturh as we began the first lesson of our Exploration research project. Our lesson began with the first step of the inquiry process when the students brainstormed in groups the questions they had regarding the statement, "European Explorers Changed The World." During our second lesson, students brainstormed questions after viewing a few exploration pieces of art. These questions will drive their individual research projects on a famous explorer. 

As our week came to an end, we finished our persuasive essays and were ready to revise with partners before completing our final drafts. This is a very important part of the writing process as students practice being critical helpers as well as accepting helpful suggestions to better their writing.

Next week, we will continue our focus on European Exploration while we practice reading and note taking from nonfiction literature.
Have a wonderful weekend!

Friday, February 2, 2018

Happy Friday!
Working Together

Our students are amazing people! Their kind hearts and loving spirit make school a wonderful place to be every day. Their support for each other in times of need shined this week. With lots of hugs, we were able to stay our course and enjoy our learning.

In Writer's Workshop, we continued to work on our persuasive essays with our focus on "counterarguments" to our ideas. Students had a chance to work with a partner and help each other see the other side of their essay thinking. This helped them to address those thoughts in their writing in order to make a stronger claim.

We are enjoying our read aloud, The Liberation Of Gabriel King. While we enjoy this wonderful story about facing our fears with family and friendship for support, our focus was on the protagonist and antagonist in our literature. 

We ended our week with Valentine making with our 8th-grade buddies. These valentines will see their way to our senior friends at Bay Square Assisted Living Center. 

Have a wonderful Weekend!

Friday, January 26, 2018

writing work
Happy Friday!
Student writers were hard at work on their persuasive writing essays. We focused on following our essay organizers. We drafted the body paragraphs and then had a chance to meet with peers to be helpful critics. Students shared what progress they had made, any parts of their writing were they may have needed advice, and celebrated what work they had completed. Later in the week, we began to look at "great leads" of a persuasive essay. We saw samples of starting with a quote, a personal story, a shocking statement or fact, or maybe a question. We also began discussing the term "counterclaim."

In Reader's Workshop, we continued our work on "theme" and students were introduced to the "protagonist" and the "antagonist" in a story. We are also looking at character analyzing in our read aloud, The Liberation of Gabriel King. This is a wonderful story about friendship and the love of family as our country moved on beyond the Civil Rights movement through 1976.
Gabriel King was a born chicken. He’s afraid of spiders, corpses, loose cows, and just about everything related to the fifth grade. Gabe’s best friend, Frita Wilson, thinks Gabe needs some liberating from his fears. Frita knows something about being brave— she’s the only black kid in school in a town with an active Ku Klux Klan. Together Gabe and Frita are going to spend the summer of 1976 facing down the fears on Gabe’s list. But it turns out that Frita has her own list, and while she’s helping Gabe confront his fears, she’s avoiding the thing that scares her the most.

On Tuesday, we celebrated National Reading Day. We shared many books that students are reading and we read a picture book by Patricia Polacco called Aunt Chip and The Triple Creek Dam Affair. This wonderful story showed the decay of a town when the library closed and people began to spend all of their free time on electronics. The books became a long lost memory. We also made a 5th-grade bookshelf of all the books we have loved so far this year.

Have a wonderful weekend!