Important Notes for the month of November:
- There is still time to sign up for "Book Blogging @Bain over Break." Please take a moment to visit our main (home) page to take advantage of this unique opportunity!
- If you are still interested in being added to my email distribution list, please email me at email@example.com to let me know. I will gladly add you!
Math Maniacs & Brainiacs
Our math challenge groups are up and running! Our third, fourth, and fifth grade math "maniacs and brainiacs" meet once a week (every Friday) to participate in a challenge math workshop. This workshop period is set up in stations around the room and students move at their own pace to complete six stations. Each station explores a unique math concept at a higher-level and students learn and use problem-solving strategies to complete them. They work both independently and in groups to find answers to difficult problems. Activities are designed to be hands-on, engaging, and thought provoking. Students are encouraged to have academic discourse with peers to find solutions!
Across grade levels, TD students have been learning and practicing the art of writing succinctly. We have discussed the importance of developing a strong, vocabulary that will allow us to choose meaningful words with precision. Students have revisited and re-written previous text responses with this goal in mind (as evidenced in the example below).
So what I'm hearing you say is...
Across all grade levels, TD students have been establishing norms and routines for academic conversation in the TD room. Students are employing conversational moves and using questions stems to conduct more meaningful discussions. Currently we are focusing on elaborating, clarifying, and supporting with evidence while we speak to one another. We are also working VERY hard to train ourselves to be effective listeners while others speak so that we may process what others are saying, This helps us to respond to and build upon what we hear. This ability to converse effectively is a life skill that will benefit students both socially and academically. We know that in order for students to be truly college-and-career-ready, they MUST be able to speak and listen effectively.
During co-teaching in 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade students have engaged in focused conversations around the following topics:
- character's facing and reacting to trouble
- character's learning life lessons (that the reader can also learn)
- reading through a lens of interpretation and gathering evidence to build and revise theories
- finding central messages in text
- identifying implicit main ideas by examining chunks of text
The Perfect Toy
Third graders are currently in the middle of our "Perfect Toy" PBL. This project addresses all subject areas in the following ways:
- Reading-Students are reading a variety of non-fiction texts (infographics, articles, interviews, lists, etc) to learn about the history, production and sales of toys in America. They are also identifying factors that help to determine the "staying power" of certain toys that have been popular for generations.
- Writing-Students are taking what they have learned about the history and popularity of toys to design a "perfect toy.' They will write a commercial for this toy to appeal to a target audience of children.
- Math-Students are examining statistics, diagrams, and charts that show the sales figures for popular toys over the years.
- Social Studies-Students are identifying how history, social change and technology have impacted the design and manufacturing of toys over time. Using this information, they will also identify trends in toy-making and predict the future of toys.
- Science-Students are examining different types of toys and assessing their ability to help children develop cognitive and motor skills.
Old Salem Guide Book
4th grade students have been working diligently to complete their Old Salem Guide book for the spring field trip. They have researched, designed and created the pages that will become our guidebook. They have also submitted and voted upon the cover of our guidebook. Congratulations to Brianna Snell for her winning submission!
Book Clubs on Google Classroom
Fourth grade TD students are participating in "hybrid" book clubs with Mrs. Blackmon. These book clubs meet once per week (in person), but students engage in on-going discussion virtually through the Google Classroom. Mrs. Blackmon poses questions to the group via an online discussion board, and students answer and respond to their classmates. These critical-thinking questions cover a variety of topics including character, plot, setting, theme, genre, etc. They were created by the University of Connecticut gifted education department and they have proven to be very thought-provoking for our TD students!
TED talks @Bain Presentation Time
The research, writing, and rehearsal is finally over! This month we are presenting our TED talks in front of a live audience and they are being recorded. The focus is on preparedness, enthusiasm, and topic knowledge. After all students have completed their TED talks we will upload some of our favorites to this page (with parent permission of course).
Greek and Latin Root Study
"Did you know that approximately 70% of the english language is based in greek and latin roots?"
5th grade students are engaging in word study "rooted in" ancient times. We are studying such roots as "spec-, ped/pod-, and manu-" to develop vocabulary and word attack skills. Using a combination of resources including Caesar's English and Words on the Vine, students are working to complete activities ranging in difficulty from fifth to eighth grade. These activities are designed to be rigorous and develop critical thinking skills as they relate to vocabulary and language development.