Friday, April 29, 2016

Great American work
 Happy Friday!                                               
"Highlights of our week"
     This was a busy week back from Spring Break.
We started our week with Great American projects being revealed and assigned. After the students checked out their biography books, we got right to work reading and sticky noting character traits that revealed themselves within our books. Some of the students began to "dot jot" their evidence to support those traits, later to become their Great American essays. 
Tagxedo project
     By mid week we had a lesson with Mrs. Stuhr in the library. We learned how to collect the proper information to create a bibliography for the resources that we will use for our projects. While in the library, we also researched our Great Americans on the Britannica online
"Dot jot" notes

     As our week came to an end, students created their first project for their presentation boards, their Tagxedo word clouds to describe their Great Americans.
*Great American Night is 
Thursday, May 26.


Thursday, April 14, 2016

Sharing maps with buddies
Happy Spring Break!
See you April 25th
     We began our first lessons in preparation for our "Great American" projects. We began to look again at character traits and how they can drive a person to do great things in life. For our first lesson, we looked at Ruby Bridges, the first African American child to integrate into a white school in the south in 1960. We read about the traits that helped Ruby Bridges make history. The students agreed after reading articles about Ruby and seeing a movie, that Ruby must have been brave, determined and persevering. We discussed how we knew this with evidence of Ruby's behavior and comments during a very difficult situation. 
Ethan's reading accomplishments
     When the students return from Spring break, they will have their Great American assignment and will begin reading and searching for traits and evidence to share and write about their Great American. We ended our Thursday sharing a recipe for success called, "Biography Hash." We mixed up a snack with pieces of food describing the events, people, and moments in life that help us grow to be "Great" people. See below for the recipe.
Recipe for Success  
Focus- things in life that help develop character.  
Raisins--Birth/death We all enter and leave the world with wrinkles
Goldfish--Schooling  (focused, responsible, self-directed)
Pretzels--Life’s twists and turns.  Unexpected events that we learn from. (endures,
Chocolate chips--Chipping away at life’s challenges (determination, perseverance)
M & M's--Life’s sweet successes (creative, hard-working, self-disciplined)
Cheerios--Life savers.  People in our lives that teach us lessons or inspire us. (integrity,
humble, and trustworthy)
"Bio Hash"

     By the end of the week, we shared individually how many books we have read so far in 5th grade. We also met with our 8th grade buddies to share our beautiful maps and we had a clean-up our school campus activity. 

Friday, April 8, 2016

Explorer Interactive map created by students
Happy Friday!
It's been a busy week!
     In Writer's Workshop, we had a chance to share our explorer interactive maps and the research and writing that each student worked so hard on. Please ask your child to go online and share with you. Students also reflected through writing and class discussion about how "Explorers Changed the World." 
     Just as we finished our Age of Exploration, we began reading about Great Americans to begin our "Great American" projects. Students had a chance to look at a list of biographies and write down their top five choices. The Dolphins will be reading and learning about Great Americans born during 1874 to 1901. The Geese will be reading and learning about great Americans born during 1834-1873. All of the students will find out which Great American they will be reading and building their project on after spring break. A packet of information will be coming home at that time. This packet will outline the project and and due dates for the many pieces that make up the complete project. Most of the writing and research will be completed at school with the creative craft fun happening at home. The focus of these projects and essays will be on the character traits that helped these individuals become Great Americans.

Research and written by students for their maps
     In Reader's Workshop we finished our read aloud of Gabriel King and began discussing the "theme" of a book. In our Gabriel King book, we discovered that our two main characters Gabe and Frita realized that a person can overcome any fears you may have when you have people that love you. We will continue to work with the theme of a book as we ready our selves for our next read aloud. The students will also begin writing in their Reader's Notebooks about the theme/message that they find in their independent reading books.

* Spring Break- our last class before spring break is Thursday, April 14.