I hope all had a lovely fall break. I had a wonderful time. I was able to complete a lot of chores that needed to be done (not fun, but it felt good to complete something). I spent Thursday at Disneyland, and saw Kassie there! I was surprised I didn't see more of you. Great day, kids loved it.
I have also spent some time planning for the next few weeks of school. Curriculum is going to start moving very quickly. We are all going to need to be focused and ready to work. On this weeks blog, I will give you all details of the week to come as well as alert you to big things coming up for both grade levels.
Fifth graders will begin rehearsal for their play this week. Each day, from 9:40 - 10:10 they will practice music with the other fifth grade classes. This will shorten their reading time a bit this week. Next week they will begin rehearsals, three days a week, in the MPR. The performance will be on Friday, November 19th, most likely at 8:30 in the morning. I'll let you know if that time changes.
Science is about to get tough for fifth graders. We will begin the unit on "Earth Weather", Chapter 5, on Monday. They will take the test, the next week, October 21st. There will be science homework just about every night. For this reason, fifth graders do not need to do a reading journal this week. These next two weeks will be a great time to explore the Science website. There will be a vocabulary test on Thursday, this week on: atmosphere, troposphere, air pressure, altitude, humidity, barometer, convection, global wind, climate and current.
Fifth graders will begin Chapter 4 of their math book on Monday. The time has come for Fractions and Decimals. If you know that your child needs some improvement in their division facts, now is the time to begin some extra work. This week we will work with; greatest common factors, simplifying fractions, mixed numbers and improper fractions, and least common multiple. This is a long and detailed chapter, I plan to have mid chapter quizzes and extra review before the test, which is currently scheduled for Wednesday, October 27th.
While the fifth graders are rehearsing theses next few weeks, the fourth graders and I will work intensely on writing. We will practice scoring rubrics and discuss the qualities of good writing and practice the three required genres: narrative, summary, and response to literature.
The new spelling list is up for fourth grade. There are 26 words, but not too difficult.
For math the fourth graders will continue with Chapter 4, Graphs. They will complete lessons 4.6 through lesson 4.8, this week and take a quiz on those lessons on Friday. There will be no big test for this chapter, due to the break. Chapter 5 begins next week: Multiplication and Division Facts. It's a review chapter, but absolutely necessary to prepare for long division.
Parents and students, as the curriculum demands increase, I will work to keep the homework site updated. I will put up the homework for the entire week. If you decide to do an assignment early, that is fine. I know that sports and activities can take up a lot of time. However, these homework activities will be listed for you each Sunday, but are only 92 percent certain. Once in a while, an assignment must be changed depending upon how I feel a concept has been mastered during the day. If there are daily changes, I will make them that day.
P.E. and Library will begin this week for both groups. Yea. Library will be each Monday, at 1:15 to 1:45. For P.E., the students will join classes of their grade level. Fifth graders will go on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1:10 to 1:40, and fourth graders will go on Tuesday and Thursdays from 12:40 to 1:10.
I must compliment all the parents for keeping your kids in athletic shoes. I (along with Mr. Bague and Mrs. Vannix) ran a spontaneous P.E. class the other day and all the students were dressed appropriately. It was great fun too. We (North Park School) are receiving special monies for Physical Education and I have been great materials to work with. I plan to work in more P.E. in the coming weeks.
Finally - Differentiation.
The class is working on differentiating the work in a number of ways. The classroom theme of "Change" has been explored. Students are working on writing their own objectives, to individualize their learning. We have begun "Pathways" as a whole group. "Pathways" are a method used to organized assignments, big or small.
This week, students will work on "Pathways" as individuals. They will each complete their own, as a tool for completing their work. Next week we will begin working on Differentiated Menus: again, a method for individualizing, and extending the curriculum.
Take care everyone. I look forward to seeing the students on Monday.