Students are enjoying their third arts rotation learning marimba, learning classic and contemporary songs in choir, making CO2 cars and rockets in tech lab and creating pottery to accompany pourquoi stories in art. Our next sharing of learning will be Wednesday, February 25th at 6:30 in the gym.
We enjoyed our first day at Eldora last Thursday with all the students in a two hour lesson in either alpine skiing, snowboarding, nordic, or snowshoeing. Afterwards, we met with the instructors to see if they had any recommendations on placement so that each child would be at the appropriate lesson level this upcoming Thursday.
Students in Lauren and Jim’s classes are working on revisions to their pourquoi tales, concentrating on plotline, developing character and setting, incorporating characteristics of pourquoi and writer’s craft. They’ve workshopped with one another, reading each other’s stories and giving feedback, and have conferenced with teachers as well. Editing and publishing will follow revisions next week.
Students in Peter’s and Lynn’s classes are concluding a four-week study of poetry. We have focused on continuing to develop our poetic voices through the study of form, mentor texts, figurative language and revision strategies. Most have completed the workshop process and are applying finishing touches through revision, editing, and illustrating this coming week.
We continue to read Rebecca Stead’s book Liar and Spy as well as self-selected novels. Students from all classes have been reading and commenting upon news stories using Smithsonian’s website called Tween Tribune. This website provides students with a chance to read current news stories at variable reading levels and includes quizzes that encourage readers to refer to the text for specific information. Students also answer critical thinking questions that help them to make relevant connections to the content they’ve read and to appreciate other students’ thinking.
Jim is working with the students in Lynn’s class for science, and Lauren is working with students in Peter’s class. Last week, fifth and sixth graders visited the CU campus to learn about sound, resonance, and waves in the Sound Lab at Fiske Planetarium. Students explored the Fiske lobby displays before heading into the planetarium for a show about earth’s climate and a star talk. Finally, we visited the Integrated Teaching and Learning Laboratory at the Engineering Center for some hands-on physics displays. If the weather cooperates, we will launch our hot air balloons on 8:30 am on February 23rd. Join us in the field north of school!
Former Horizon’s teacher, Dave Abbott, brought Science Discovery’s How Illuminating! workshop to our classrooms as we continue to investigate waves and energy. Both classes will wrap up our studies of buoyancy and density with a hot air balloon launch on February 23rd at 8:30 am, weather providing.workshop to our classrooms as we continue to investigate waves and energy. Students have floated boats, learned about variables, controlled experiments, using data to make predictions, explored Cartesian divers, investigated density through experimentation, learned to use scientific tools with accuracy and learned strategies for reading textbooks and taking notes. Lynn’s class is currently investigating Newton’s Laws while Peter’s class is delving into light and sight.
Lauren’s class is working on different models for division to help bridge the conceptual understanding of division with abstract algorithms. Students are solving word problems and learning to be clear and accurate math communicators. We are currently working on division of two and three digit whole numbers by one digit divisors, and interpreting remainders.
Lynn’s class is working with fractions. Students are working to represent equivalent fractions using number lines and area models as well as the more traditional number fractions. We are currently working on representing additional and subtraction of fractions in a pictorial manner to help gain a deeper understanding of the concept of greatest common denominator.
Peter’s class is continuing their study of writing and evaluating algebraic expressions in order to develop and evaluate formulas. From there, they will move to the study of true and false number sentences, where students conclude that solving an equation is the process of determining the number(s) that, when substituted for the variable, result in a true sentence. Finally, our study will conclude with solving one-step, two-step, and multi-step algebraic equations.
This past week in Social Studies we completed watching and processing the film “Guns, Germs, and Steel” based on the work of Jared Diamond. Diamond looks at the idea of why certain early civilizations were more successful than others and how the idea of “geographic luck” plays into the success of a civilization. We also worked on a definition of “civilization” by exploring what characteristics are present for a group of people to become a civilization. You may have heard your children talking (or singing) about G.R.A.P.E.S. this week. This acronym - Geography, Religion, Achievements, Politics, Economics, and Social Structures - provides us a lense through which to examine civilizations - both old and contemporary. In the coming week we begin to analyze the Fertile Crescent civilization of Mesopotamia by applying the lense of G.R.A.P.E.S to deepen our understanding.
Lynn’s Spanish 1A class is finishing our novela Casi se Muere this week. Students will be working in pairs to dramatically depict each chapter in skit form. This will help with reading comprehension and synthesis, oral language fluency and bring additional creativity and challenge to our learning environment. Please refer to our class website for important dates.
Please see Pat’s Spanish 1A website for more specific details about the learning taking place there.
Leticia’s Spanish Class
Leticia continues to meet with groups of students one day a week during academic lab time.