Saturday, March 11, 2017

Learning Update

Math: In Chapter 10, students are taught the meaning of sum and difference. They have also been working really hard on learning many strategies that will help them with their mental addition and subtraction skills. Mental math is a very important component to our Math in Focus curriculum. Your child has a very good start and has found one or two strategies that work best with the kind of thinker/learner they are. 

In the coming week, students will learn how to round numbers to estimate. They will use a number line to round to the nearest 10, use rounding to estimate sums and differences and estimate to check reasonableness of answers. We will wrap this chapter up before break with a test towards the middle to end of the week. 

Social Studies: As you know, our social studies focus recently has been on Important Americans. Students not only researched and presented on their own Important American, but we also learned about many others as a whole class. I was quite a proud teacher and know you were proud parents, as well! Next up after Spring Break: research reports on Countries! 

Writer's Workshop: Students have been working on scientific writing by creating lab reports based on experiments done in class. The three lab reports they've written so far are impressive and showcase their thinking when it comes to a their hypothesis, determining what is the big question, procedure, results and conclusion. While writing these reports, your child also learned about force, motion and friction and how each played a role in our experiments. 

This past week marked an important turning point in the unit, as students started applying all they've learned over the course of the last several weeks to topics of their own choosing, topics about which they know something and can teach others. They are writing information books and although they've done this in prior years, this time they are expected to incorporate scientific thinking: force, motion and friction into their topic of choice. We have experts on Lego building, lacrosse, gymnastics, hockey, jiu jitsu and many more! Ask your child what their topic is and how force, motion and friction play a role!

Science: Social studies has been heavy lately, but science will ramp up this week. As we prepare to go to the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, we will learn about trees. More specifically, the life cycle of a tree, parts of a tree, as well as a discussion about why trees are important and what we get from trees.

Reading: While working on their Important American, students continued to learn about researching skills. They were also busy determining what was most important and organizing their thoughts into their book. Chronological order was also important when reading and transferring these thoughts into writing. These researching skills will continue as we begin working on country reports. 

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