As we begin to settle into more a consistent rhythm of learning together, please ask your child to show you how they are using their planners. Each students will have evidence of assignments/deadlines as well as evidence that their assignment has been completed (sometimes a line or checkmark). Some families benefit from reviewing planners on a nightly or every other night basis. A check in with your child at least once a week at this level can be supportive to help 5th-6th graders manage their increasing responsibilities. We are working hard to offer in-class time to begin assignments and get the 1:1 assistance from teachers and paraeducators. If you see your child spending more than approximately 25 minutes on homework in addition to time spent reading each night, please contact us so we can help evaluate the situation.
Fifth and sixth students are working on various projects and are engaged in many stages of the writing process including drafting, revising, editing and publishing. This week, students crafted the ‘inside captions’ for their mini-memoir photo projects. We used mentor text to explore how authors use writer’s craft to show action, build scenes and communicate importance. We are working on revising writing using complex sentences, figurative language, dialogue and more as modeled in the mentor text. We are also using mentor text to explore the structure and craft involved in writing book reviews for books students have read independently. We continue with daily independent reading time of self-selected books. Students should be reading at least 25 minutes per day at home. We are also looking at the structure of friendly letters as we write thank you letters to adults who helped make our outdoor education experience wonderful.
Our 5-6 read aloud is Seedfolks, exploring complex interactions between diverse neighborhood members as an urban community garden blooms in Cleveland, Ohio. Students are exploring character wants and needs and symbolism in literature.
In Lynn’s math class, we have continued our study on decimals, paying close attention to the variety of ways we can visual tenths and hundredths to deepen our understanding and mathematical literacy. Much of the nightly homework this week has been completed in Jim’s academic lab.
Lauren’s class , students also continue to study tenths and hundredths using different models including area models, number lines, number bonds and tape diagrams. Next week we will begin study groups in foundational skills and concepts that support the acquisition of higher math thinking and skills.
In Jim and Peter’s class, we’ve delved deeper into our study of ratios and examined and practiced: solving problems by finding equivalent ratios; understanding the relationship between ratios and fractions; and understanding and finding the value of a ratio. In the next two weeks of the ratios and proportional units, students will construct ratio tables and double number line diagrams then use this process to create plots on a coordinate plane.
Rise and Fall of Ancient Civilizations
This week we finished and shared our Personal Timelines. Please come by and check out the bulletin board displays outside Lynn and Peter’s room for some inspiring interpretations of our lives (so far). We looked at the definition of culture and what we can learn about a culture by analyzing the artifacts that comprise one’s everyday life using Peter Menzel’s photographs from Material World. Next week we will move into looking at what characteristics constitute a “civilization” as we look at Jared Diamond’s film Guns, Germs, and Steel: Part 1.
What floats your boat? We are investigating buoyancy, capacity, displacement and variables as part of our study of forces and motion. We began with inquiry and prediction into which objects might float. Who knew a bowling ball would float? Teams made ‘lifeboats’ this week from paper cups of varying sizes, measured capacity in milliliters using graduated cylinders and calculated the passenger (penny) load. We displayed data as a scatter plot graph and learned how to use a trend line to make passenger load predictions for other teams’ boats. Next week will continue forces and motion with textbooks & notetaking and cartesian divers.
In Spanish 1A, we continued our review of Conversación Básico (basic conversation), classroom terms, and began our study of the Spanish speaking world. In both Lynn’s and Pat’s Spanish 1A classes, students will continue weekly quizzes (Monday for both classes). These quizzes will help us determine our level of mastery before we move onto our next topics. If your students in Spanish 1A are not singing songs at home yet, please ask them to teach you something. They have quite a dynamic and varied repertoire at this point.
As of this point we are still actively looking for a K-6 Spanish instructor for the Spanish exposure class. We will keep you updated as we know more.
Ahh, the sweet memories of Outdoor Ed week!
The positive learning, growing and pushing ourselves beyond our comfort zones has brought us into an engaged week of learning. The 5-6 100 Elk slideshow is playing below for your family and relatives to enjoy over and over again - what a special week together. We are presently working on notes of gratitude and our 5-6 students really have a clear sense of to whom and for what they are grateful.
Over the next two weeks, we will identify classroom values. When we can reach agreement on what needs are important to us as a class community, we are more likely to make decisions that support core values upon which those agreements are founded. The first activity will focus on needs and using an inventory to identify 8-10 that speak to them at this point of their lives. Next, as students feel comfortable, we plan to compile a class list of needs and what specific actions and behaviors they are willing to help support our collective community’s needs. This process will lay the groundwork for developing classroom agreements.
Kara has helped us bring our Andy Warhol inspired self-portraits to completion. If you venture down our hallways you will see them on display in all their uniqueness. Students will be preparing Artist Statements to reflect upon their work including describing the skills they learned, how they applied their skills to this piece and how their work represents who they are right now.
Outdoor Education at 100 Elk Outdoor Center, Buena Vista, Colorado