What's New in Room 200

Welcome Families to the 2018 - 2019 school year!  

September 9, 2018

We are off and running in science with the Next Generation Science Standards.  Our first investigation has been based around the phenomenon known as the Super Blue Blood Moon which occurred in January of this year.  Students have been working in small groups building models to demonstrate what they believe caused this rare event. By the end of the quarter, they should be able to positively identify the roles of Earth, Moon, and the Sun in our solar system.

In writing, we have begun our year by writing ten unusual or special facts about ourselves and then creating a "Guess Who" for others to figure out our identities. These projects will be on display on the hallway bulletin board.  All fifth grade students participated.  We will begin work on designing our writers' notebooks and our online grammar program "No Red Ink."

September 19, 2018

The four states of matter have been the topic of discussion in science this week.  Aside from making models, we have also been discussing the role of nuclear fusion in the creation of heat and light from our sun and other stars.  We have had the opportunity to watch videos from NASA that demonstrate how atoms collide to create the most abundant form of matter in our universe! (Ask your child about this form!) Please remind your child to view and sketch the phases of the moon until October 11 when we will have completed a complete phase.

In writing, students have been generating lists of small moments with someone special, "first" and "last" moments that stand out in their minds.  Each student will pick something from the list to write as a personal narrative.  We will be using the workshop approach to writing this year, so students will have the opportunity to conference, draft, revise, edit, and publish a number of pieces with support from peers and Mrs. Smith.  Students have just set personal writing goals for themselves based on what has been difficult for them in the past, but what they feel they are ready to overcome this year. Ask your child to share his/her writing journal with you, or if they prefer to type, a Google Doc they have started.

October 3, 2018

In science, we have been investigating the reasons for the seasons.  Students have been conducting investigations with lights and thermometers, watching videos, and participating in demonstrations to show what they have learned.  Key ideas include revolution, rotation, axis, inclination (tilt), direct sun and indirect sun.  Next, we will be exploring why sunsets and sunrises appear red at times and the particles that make this happen.  Students will finish their moon observations on October 11, and turn in their moon journals on October 12.

Students in writing have been continuing to generate ideas for personal narratives and practicing strategies to help them do this.  We have looked at mentor texts and evaluated them according to the grade 5 checklist we use for writing.  This should help students to evaluate their own work as we move toward taking one piece and bringing it through the entire workshop process to publishing.  Ask your student what he/she is going to write their personal narrative about.  Encourage them to "take the reader along for the ride" rather than summarizing a day in their life.  


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