Based on the unforgettable experience of having Jane Goodall visit our school and in conjunction with reading My Life with Chimpanzees, an autobiography of Jane Goodall, students will be completing a character analysis. This analysis uses the Periodic Table of Character Traits from letitripple.org and the Science of Character film. They will choose character traits they can identify in Jane Goodall and cite specific examples from the text. Next, they will look inside themselves and determine which traits they share or would like to develop in order to be more like Dr. Goodall. Finally, they will write about ways in which they can answer Dr. Goodall’s call to action, to make the world a better place.
Fifth and sixth graders were immersed in the world of Jane Goodall this week! Not only did students read their first autobiography of the year, we partnered with 3-4 classrooms to adopt a chimp— investigating the life and times of one of the chimpanzees dedicated to the trees in Gombe Grove. Projects included books and informational posters delineating everything from chimp’s biography to diet.
Students are also working hard to independently revise and edit several pieces of writing as we cycle through the publishing process. In various classrooms, students have been learning about using context clues to understand new vocabulary words, writing artist statements for a variety of art experiences, launching spelling practice, writing some poetry, and continuing to read self-selected books. In upcoming weeks, we’ll be launching our traveling notebook project, starting (or continuing) to read Fish in a Tree by Linda Mullay Hunt and working more with reading comprehension strategies.
Rachel’s math class is transitioning from whole number place value into decimals. We will focus on decimals in the tenths, hundredths, and thousandths. In addition, we will be working towards fluency of multiplication facts. Ten minutes a day of practice will help increase their accuracy when multiplying numbers 0-12. Students may also want to visit www.multiplication.com to practice facts using online games.
In Lynn’s and Julie’s math classes we are continuing our work with multiplicative and division patterns on place value charts, place value and rounding decimal fractions, and rounding decimals. We have also worked with using exponents as an efficient way to express larger multiples of 10. Next week, we will be taking our first mid-module assessment before we move onto adding and subtracting decimals.
Peter’s math class is using what we’ve learned in previous investigations about factors and factor pairs; multiples and common multiples to find longer factor strings and explore prime factorization. This leads to one of the fundamental theorems in mathematics--”a whole number can be written as a product of primes in exactly one way, disregarding order.” Exponents are also introduced as an efficient way to write repeated factors in the factorization of numbers. Next week, we’ll explore the distributive property and order of operations.
Lauren’s math class has finished the first investigation for our study of primes, multiples and factors. Students were able to show what they know and identify areas that still need to be mastered via an end of unit assessment. Students are completing revisions and corrections for previously completed (or missing) homework and are learning to keep track of assignments and progress as sixth graders. We are striving to use math language in explanations and conversation and to reinforce concepts and access to problems. Students have been learning what might be revealed about different numbers based upon their factors, and using critical thinking to problem solve and reason. Monday we will begin Unit #2— an investigation into common multiples and common factors.
Earth Systems Science
Students in Rachel and Lauren’s classes spent the week dancing and performing with Erin Turnbridge, a Boulder Ballet Middle School Outreach instructor. Reinforcing ideas and concepts (and learning some new ones) related to our Earth Systems Science study. What’s the connection between dance and science? Kids know! This week they wrote a reflection on the experience which they can share during conferences.
Social Studies-Explorations and Revolutions
Our social studies classes have been focusing on the continent of Africa with learning around both the physical and human geography of this vast space. Students began their exploration through a Blendspace assignment in which they completed a number of independent online learning experiences to gain foundational information. As we move forward into the next two weeks, we will be focusing on the African civilizations of Ghana and Ancient Zimbabwe during the 14000s. A film we will be learning from as a class is Timelife’s Africa: A History Denied. As part of our study of Ancient Ghana, we will analyze the formation of Islam and the role the Arab traders played in bringing revolutionary ideas to the European continent.
We have been studying the Spanish speaking world this week and perhaps you’ve heard your child singing one of a number of “catchy” tunes to help them as they’ve been studying. We have scheduled our first formal assessment (or examen) for Wednesday 10/7 on all vocabulary, and grammatical concepts covered so far - Greetings and Goodbyes; Basic Conversation; the Spanish alphabet; and the Spanish speaking world. I schedule Spanish exams with students a give them a week to prepare helping them break it down a little each day. I have sent Spanish students an email with helpful links and review games to help them prepare. If your child is having trouble preparing, please encourage them to come and talk with me. Our Spanish website is up and running and can be found here. Because we use so many internet links each week, I will send those out to students as an email rather than posting to this site.
Spanish with Xandra
Students continue to work with Xandra on basic Spanish conversational vocabulary needed to be successful in the classroom. Ask your students to sing Puedo ir al Baño!
Art & Computer
Students have completed their eye projects, spending their final week with Kara learning about mixing skin tone paints, and using mirrors to view their irises before painting. This week they created Zentangle art using black sharpies to depict a layers using knowledge of line, shape, and value to create movement and emphasis.
In computer class with Carol, students continue to work on their keyboarding skills a bit each class meeting. Each ⅚ class has completed lessons on digital citizenship and are now working on a review of online research skills - including using keywords and reliable sources.