Tuesday, December 4, 2018

December Update

Upcoming Field Trip & Science

We are excited to add to the classroom learning of our Life Science Unit on Body Systems by going to the Museum of Nature and Science and experiencing a dissection of a lamb's lung. Students will first rotate a few experiments and fill out a lab book to record their findings. After, they will work in pairs to dissect a lung, getting hands on experience of the great things we have been learning in class.

In addition to the respiratory system, in class we will also learn about the circulatory system, digestive system, and excretory. We will relate all these to Life Processes and show how they all are a part of a larger system that keeps us alive. Students will look at this system and analyze its interdependance and functions of each part. Students will also discover how parts and systems are affected when disease, illness, or breakdown occurs. As we wrap up this unit, students will create a product using technology to demonstrate their learning.

As an extension, students will also get the opportunity to research other systems and discern how they work with the other systems and their functions (bones, muscles, central nervous, etc.).

Important Dates

December 19 - Field Trip
December 20 - Class Party at 1:45 (more details to come)
December 21-January 4 - Winter Break
January 7 - School Resumes
January 21 - No School (Martin Luther King Jr. Day)


Last week, we took a break for a week from fiction to explore text structure in nonfiction texts. We are also working on synthesizing and vocabulary within nonfiction texts in order to understand them better. From now until winter break, we will be back to working on theme. Students will be comparing themes across multiple texts as well as trying to find themes in a variety of genres of text (music lyrics, short stories, and novels). Theme is the moral of the story, the lesson, or the message the author is trying to portray through the characters and character changes throughout the course of the story. There truly is no right or wrong answer for a theme of a text if you are using the characters and character changes in order to develop a theme.  

Our goals are: 
  • I can summarize a text by explaining how multiple details work together to communicate the main idea 
  • I can identify details in a text that develop a theme.
  • I can explain the relationship between specific parts of a nonfiction text and the overall organizational structure of the text
  • I can compare how two texts from the same genre approach similar themes and topics
  • I can determine the meaning of unknown words and phrases 
  • I can describe the meaning of common idioms, adages, or proverbs 
  • I can identify symbolism, metaphors, and imagery in a text

We have been working on developing a great Response to Literature essay. We use RACE as our format and then provide our own opinions to back up our evidence. Below you will see a picture of the RACE strategy and this is a strategy students will use for the rest of the year to respond to any text. 

Our goals are:
  • I can identify the claims presented in a text 
  • I can explain how a claim in a text is supported by reasons and evidence
  • I can introduce a topic in an introductory paragraph 
  • I can use headings and images to signal logical groupings of information 
  • I can link reasons and evidence or details to main ideas using words, phrases, and clauses 
  • I can provide a concluding section or paragraph at the end of a text 
  • I can state clear claims about a topic or text 
  • I can provide reasons for claims that are supported by evidence 
  • I can integrate information from multiple sources into a text 
  • I can write for the purpose and task described by a prompt 
  • I can edit for subject/verb agreement and inappropriate shifts in verb tense 
  • I can edit for correct capitalization 
  • I can use italics, quotation marks, and underlining to indicate the titles of works 
  • I can use commas to set off elements of a sentence and to form lists 
  • I can edit for spelling

We are continuing our unit on fractions. Students have been given links that can help them play games that we have played in class in order to understand fractions. All useful information to help your child provided in last months blog is still pertinent to this unit. 

Students are working on the following:

Here are some things that you can work on with your child at home:

Our goals are: 
  • I can multiply multi-digit whole numbers using the standard algorithm. 
  • I can divide multi-digit whole numbers using strategies based on place value, the properties of operations, and the relationship between multiplication and division.
  • I can use the properties of place value and multiples of 10 to simplify and solve problems. 
  • I can shift a decimal value in relation to its decimal point by multiplying or dividing it by a power of 10. 
  • I can compare decimal values.
  • I can determine the volume of right rectangular prisms by packing them with unit cubes. 
  • I can calculate the volume of right rectangular prisms arithmetically. 
  • I can calculate the volume of three-dimensional figures composed of right rectangular prisms.
  • I can analyze the relationships between numerical patterns.