*Today, students learned about the different job positions they will assume as we take on this Living Wall project. They will form "firms" that include the following positions : Project Manager, Public Relations, Horticulturist, Environmental Engineer, and Contractor. The kids rank ordered their preferences and I'm doing my best to give each student a job within their top three choices! I let them know that although they would be responsible for a specific job, that they will get to participate in other aspects of the project as well :)
2. Volunteer Call
*We would love to have parent volunteers available for PBL support. We will, for the most part, be working on PBL from 2:45-3:25 Monday through Thursday. Let me know if you are available!
*We don't have any volunteers during our reading block from 11:15-12:10. I would love to have volunteers to read with our kids. This can be you, friends, grandmas, grandpas, loving neighbors, or whoever is interested in reading with kids! We will have them sign-up as a volunteer and get our kids reading aloud to adults.
3. Reading Logs
*Yes, if your child has reported that we are not doing paper reading logs this week-they are correct!
However, they know that as always, they are expected to read at home for 30 minutes each day. As we integrate our new ST Math program we are considering a change in reading log (ST will be available at home and can be integrated as logging homework! See the ST post). It is also nice to change our routine for the second half of the year. Mr. Liner and I are working on a new reading log as we speak.
We are producing a unique non fiction writing piece to wrap up or non fiction unit. Students are producing a "Non Fiction Special Edition" publication on the theme of "Perseverance." They are giving an example from their own life, an example from a non fiction text read, and some are extending to give an example from a fictional story they have read. They will then compare and contrast their perseverance stories with their nonfiction story example. To wrap up the publication, they will synthesize what they have learned by writing their own definition of perseverance and explaining why this skill is important. This will incorporate a lot of reading and writing standards and has led to some great conversation in class.
5. ST Math
Have you heard about our new math program? ST Math is a game-based instructional software that we have adopted. This is a program to support our common core math instruction- and it is very cool. ST is language free. There are no instructions for games which challenges students to explore, test, and use problem solving to figure out game goals and strategy. The games begin simply and progressively increase in challenge. There is so much to say about ST math and I continue to learn more every day. I suggest you learn more by watching and reading the links below, and trying out ST math with your student!
-I will be blogging again this week with instructions on how to activate and start using ST Math at home. I will also give you tools for supporting your child at home. ST math is a great program to do together as it gives opportunity for great math conversation.
*Refer to the blog with instructions so that students can introduce the program to you at home this weekend!
6. Fact Fluency
We are hearing from our 4th and 5th grade teachers that our students would benefit from increased fact fluency! We are working hard in school and asking for your support at home, as well. We are using games, fact family (multi and div) fluency practices, multiplication animal practice sheets (ask kids about this), and XtraMath. XtraMath takes perseverance. Timed practices can be a bit stressful, but generally not harmful. Fact fluency is about being able to do quick computation without having to "do the math." This is one of the only times that we ask kids do do rote memorization. Students also will benefit from learning to use the right hand side number pad on a computer key board while they do Xtra Math, and from completing a daily practice.
*As always, we want students to be feeling success with programs. XtraMath is one method for helping to memorize facts. It also has a wonderful data tracking system for my use and gives award certificates for completion. I also encourage game play (check out Blue Highway Games!), songs, and good old flashcards. If XtraMath is proving to not be successful for a student, and strategies, discussions, and perseverance have been tried over the course of multiple sessions, we can find alternate programs! An app called "Quick Math" comes highly recommended and I encourage you to download and use!
How you can support at home:
-Have your child read aloud to you at least once this week!
- Talk or read about the Revolutionary War, Paul Revere, or American History in general! We spent a week studying a great article about the onset of this war. We have books all around the room and continue to make connections to our schema.
- Ask your student to tell you their personal perseverance story!
-Continue to establish a home work routine of reading and XtraMath (or fluency practice)
-Try ST math this weekend!