What's New in Room 200

Writing

02/21 Students are currently involved in writing their compare and contrast essays. Students began by researching either two states, two animals, or two fractured fairy tales and then constructed a matrix with the information gathered.  Next, the students constructed a writing pillar to organize their subtopics and supporting details before beginning the writing process. All work is located in Google Classroom.


 12/13  Students have just completed their research essays!  We will be publishing these essays in booklet form for students to keep and share.  We are currently involved in a mini-unit based on the book Snowflake Bentley. This book portrays the life of Wilson Bentley who was passionate about photographing snow crystals in the mid 1800s.  Many people thought he was crazy. He never gave up and became an expert who was recognized by scientists all over the world. 

Currently, students are working on a mini writing assignment where they choose an alternate title for the book and justify their choice with evidence from the text.  Students will also be creating a journal entry as if they were a character in the book.

 11/26  Our due date for the research paper has been moved to December 7.  


11/06  Students have been collecting notes  for our research paper due the week of Thanksgiving.  Students were able to choose a state, country, or animal for this project.

We will have a note check for a grade on 11/07.  We will collect and redistribute the note cards so students may begin to write their papers on 11/08. 

Social Studies

12/14  We are currently studying the Midwest and Western States!  Our test for the Southern states locations will be this Friday, December 15.  Our test on the Midwest will be next Wednesday, December 20.  After break, we will finish with the West and then move onto the Southwest region.


 11/26  At this point, we have finished with "location", and are finishing with "place" this week.  Our studies will move us forward into the theme of "region."  We will be memorizing the location of the continents and oceans and then move forward to the Northeast region of the United States. 

Students will have a quiz on the location of the continents and oceans on December 5, and on the Northeast state locations on December 8. We have been practicing these skills for awhile now, and students have a variety of study aids at their disposal.  We have flash cards, dry-erase maps, paper maps, and games.  Sheppardsoftware.com is an awesome place to study state locations!

 

11/06  Quarter two takes us into social studies.  We are currently studying geography which will be followed by the age of exploration, later in the quarter.  At the moment, students are learning the five themes of geography and basic mapping skills.  We are focused on absolute and relative location this week.  This will  be followed by "place" where we will be studying land forms and human characteristics that make a place unique.  After "place", we will be studying regions.

As part of our "region" studies, students will begin to memorize the names and locations of the 50 states, one region at a time.  Students will be tested on their knowledge of the regions and the states within those regions.

sheppardsoftware.com is a place students can go to practice learning the states by region.  Practice at home using blank maps (I can provide) is also a great idea.



Science

02/21  Students are currently finishing up the Unit, Earth, Sun, and Moon.  They have been keeping moon journals on the phases of the moon each night, participating in exploratory stations, watching NASA videos, and participating in discussion. We are currently working on our projects which are due on February 27, and our unit test will be March 2.  Students have completed planning sheets, have the essential questions, and evaluation requirements. We will have a review for the test on February 28.  A review sheet will be coming home.  Our next unit will be an exploration of the five senses.


 10/13  Our unit on sound is in full swing.  Students have been participating in exploratory labs on sound waves, amplitude, and pitch. Next week, we will begin construction of musical instruments made from recycled materials.  Students are encouraged to bring in washed items that they can use themselves or donate to others for construction purposes.  Every student designs and constructs an instrument that can be adjusted for volume and pitch.  We will have approximately five class days to work.  This will be followed by a day or two for presentations.  We will then have a review for our test on the sound unit.  Our test is scheduled for November 3.  November 6, we will be studying U.S. geography as we begin our first quarter of social studies.  Science will return for quarter three.

 

9/21 Yesterday, we began working on our Google Slide presentations on light.  Every students is working with one or more other students and creating six slides each.  This is an in class project with five periods given in which to complete the assignment.  I have been very impressed with the students' research and planning thus far.  Students will present for their classmates on 9/27. Our end of the unit review will be given on 9/28, and a short unit test. on 9/29.

Students are currently involved in our light unit in science.  We have been conducting labs and exploratory activities looking at how we see color and classifying objects as transparent, translucent, and opaque.  We will be exploring the properties of refraction and reflection very soon!


Writing


10/13  We have just completed our first essay in writing.  The personal essay allowed for student choice of topic, and thesis.  Student essays and teacher comments can be found in Google Classroom.  On Tuesday, October 17, students will begin research on an animal, state, or country of their choice that they will write about in our second unit.



9/21  In writing, students are currently involved in writing a personal essay about an important memory.  We have read short examples by different authors with very different styles.  At the moment, students are busy writing their introductory paragraphs.  We are focusing on writing a great "hook" and supporting sentences that can later be expanded into additional paragraphs.  This essay will eventually be five paragraphs in length and should convey important "messages" chosen by each student.
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