Weekly Update September 22

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The 5/6s had a big moment this week: the unveiling of our first class project: The Bruce Project. Bruce is a bass who lives at SK and is getting bigger. In teams of 3 or 4, our 5-6ers will devise a plan for a new habitat for Bruce, one that meets his needs, looks attractive in the school, and includes educational information as part of the display about fish and the outdoor industry in Michigan. Students learned who they were working with by the color of balloons we handed out on Monday. In their groups, they’ve started online research using a note-taking rubric they had set up in a spreadsheet.

Photo Sep 18, 12 52 36 PM
Starting a new project is a time to celebrate! Students learned who they were working with for THE BRUCE PROJECT by the color of balloon they received on Monday.
In writing workshop, we’ve started to study parts of speech and how choosing the right nouns and verbs can make our writing extra powerful. Searching for the right word is an important job for a writer (instead of saying the boy runs away, does he sprint or jog)? But in addition to finding a specific word instead of a generic one, there’s also verb tense to consider. The boy sprints? The boy sprinted? Or the boy is sprinting? All sound different when put into the context of a story and all invoke different modes and emotions. Combined with our conversations about 1st and 3rd person, we now have a lot of decisions we can make as an author to tell our stories exactly the way we want to.

In reading, the whole class is hanging onto the edge of their seats (metaphorically–we actually read in a circle on the rug), as we get closer to the plot’s climax in HOOT. Every day, there is a collective groan when we have to book the book down.

In science, we worked on writing up our pill bug experiment and will continue to learn more about the little creatures soon. The Bruce Project is also very much tied to our study of science.
And in history, we talked about the middle ages very briefly, setting the stage for future studies of a changing modern world. Next week will be a busy one with our class overnight to Howell!
Wendy’s math class focused on two lessons this week: factors and multiples and also the multiplication table. As the students do more and more problems multiplying decimals, it helps to have our multiplication facts accessible. We’ve filled out the multiplication table several times as a class, talking about strategies to remember or figure out the answers. Then we’ve left it visible to use as a tool as they solve more in-depth problems. Everyone continues also to work in their Singapore books.

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