What a month! On Friday, when Alejandro told me he’d see me next month, I thought I managed to forget about a vacation until I remembered, it would be March on Monday.
I am so proud of the students this month. Here is a look back on what we did this month:
Reading – We have been reading in our Literature Circles. The students have been assigned roles to help in their discussions. I am so impressed with their ability to support each other and work together and hear about their reading. I’ve recorded their conversations at times and I’ve sat in on their reading. It is incredible to see students supporting each other and reinforcing their understanding at the same time. We will be wrapping up our Read Aloud and Lit Circles by next week so we can start our next Read Aloud with our new friends from Ottawa and we can start Book Clubs.
Writing – We looked at the organization trait this month. We worked on organizing events and using both Sequencing words and Transition words to help order our events in a logical order and make sure our paragraph still flowed well. Incredible work from the students on their life events. We are starting our narrative writing now. We looked at introduction exemplars and realized that the things that all of them had in common was that they introduced characters and settings. They also ended with the initial problem or event that set the story in motion. The kids have created character profiles to “Show not Tell” about who the character is from their actions. We have also worked on our setting frames to create a setting from our story. We will review the story mountain next week and start out introductions soon after.
Social Studies – We learned about finding key information from a source, summarizing it and retelling it in our own words. We have also learned about using a secondary source to back up our information from the textbook or to find additional information where there were no supporting details. Students are learning how to answer guiding questions for their research to explain how life is in their chosen region rather than listing facts. We are also working together to look at different ways of organizing our information so that it makes the most sense to us and the reader.
Math – Students completed the Multiplication and Division unit with Mr. Letendre this week and wrote their unit quiz. The biggest learning for some students was how to properly prepare for a unit test their results did not match their expectations. One big take away for students is to make sure they are doing their homework and taking advantage of supports given, such as learning lunch and review times. Reflections came home today with Mr. L’s marks and feedback. The kids will be starting their Geometry and Measurement units with Mr. L next week. Students have also continued to work through their Problems of the Week (POW) with Mr L and I. I am starting to see some very strong understanding of their learning. The focus of the POW is the reflection of their strategies and learning rather than the actual answer. I love getting to work with the kids and read their reflections. It helps me understand how they think. Mr. L returns feedback to the kids after each problem so the kids can review prior to starting the next one.
Science – As you may have heard, we have been doing Electricity. I took a new approach with this unit. We used the workbook more so as a guide of what we should cover rather than how we would be working. We did a lot of experiments, hands on demos and even created our our lab test by working through the scientific method. We will be wrapping up the unit with a quick checkup to make sure there is nothing I need to review with them prior to moving on to our next unit.
“Science – In science I tested different objects to see if they were conductors or insulators how I did that is I made a circuit then put my testable object In the middle. I did this by my self because my partner was away. I learned that many things are Insulators. Next time I would like to try different kinds of metals. I think my teachers taught me this because it was a fun way to learn science.” – Parker E
“Next is science, in science we are trying to figure out if are objects that we brought are either a conductor or a resistor. Its really easy and pretty cool. Me and my group did a candle and it was and intresting experiment to do. The candle holder was a conductor witch was cool. a conductor is when it lights up and a resistor (or insulator) is when it doesn’t light up.” – Stephen P
These quotes from the blog of our students shows me that the kids have a better understanding of how insulators and conductors work than if I was leading the instruction. In science I have taken the role of facilitator rather than teacher. This was a big risk that paid of huge.
Some other notable events in our classroom:
We have 3 new students in our class. Katana, Kieran and Nick. We’re so excited to have them as part of LC 5A. Katana has made herself right and home the past few weeks and we look forward to having Kieran and Nick who just joined us this week as part of our community!
Our Mystery Skype/Google Hangout with Shauna’s class from Ottawa was incredible! We are already getting set up to share some of our stories through our next Read Aloud and activities to follow.
We are so blessed to have Ms. Chiles who will be working with us on Mondays and Wednesdays starting in March. She is a student at the University of Alberta who graduates in December and is very excited to help facilitate all the important learning that we do in our class.
As always, here is our month in review from twitter as well.