4th/5th: Week of Dec 4

General News

We are officially in “crunch time” to finish up projects a’plenty across all content areas. We are looking forward to putting it all together for POP in a few weeks!

Reading/Writing Update

We were busy bees in ELA this week with many projects on our to-do lists. We made covers for our biographies, finished up our family tree projects about the Birchbark house, and read chapter 7 and 8 of our books while completing comprehension questions and vocabulary for the book as we read. Ms. Ansley was doing reading check-ins all week so gammas were largely independent during ELA this week and showed a lot of maturity and work skills managing all of these different projects and staying on task independently!

Math Update

Both groups in math completed miniature “check-ins” on specific skills covered this quarter. (We’ve had a lot of absences so we’ll continue to finish these up next week as students return to class.) Year 1 kids played a few different fraction games to review: Fab-A-Diffy- a math pentathlon fraction game and a variation of “War” helping kids convert between decimals and fractions. We also created fractional number lines out of cash register paper rolls so kids could better understand the relationship between mixed numbers and improper fractions. Our multi-digit multiplication check-in showed kids need more work with fact fluency and/or careful counting as many kids were “off” by just one digit here and there! They understand the steps of the algorithm but need more practice with those pesky facts. Year 2 students studied the steep skill of subtracting with fractions WITH unlike denominators and regrouping. This is a beast of a skill and they handled it swimmingly. (Please remember your child can always visit the Whippermathers page for tutorials, especially if he/she missed instruction due to illness or just needs an old-fashioned confidence boost!)

Theme Update

On Monday we did an Inca mythbusters activity where Gammas used sources to read about different facets of Inca life and used them to either prove or bust a myth. On Tuesday they got together in teams used their creativity to present what they learned to the class; there were skits, comics, interviews, puppet shows, and more! On Wednesday we investigated the Maya and read different theories about why their extremely advanced civilization suddenly disappeared. Gammas then wrote a report on what they thought led to the demise of Maya civilization. At week’s end, we polled the Gammas on their top choices for POP committee via a short survey, then worked together in small groups to brainstorm on a collaborative Padlet. Group members gave ideas for each topic and come Monday, we’ll split into committees and begin making room design decisions. It’s a really fun (fast-moving!) time of the year.

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