4th/5th: Week of Sept 25

General News

Don’t forget to sign-up for parent conferences on Monday, October 16th. To prepare, we’d love to have you answer a quick survey to let us know what Gamma topics you’d most like to focus on during the conference. (We will be doing a LOT of talking that day and want to be sure we stay focused on your most valued topics!)

Reading/Writing Update

At the beginning of the week we spent time learning the important art of getting and giving feedback as writers. We talked about the essence of creating a positive feedback culture in the classroom and used sentence starters like “I like… I wish… I wonder…” to give meaningful feedback to classmates. It is always smart to get another pair of fresh eyes on your writing! Then, we got busy, busy, busy typing away on our autobiographies! For some Gamma kiddos this was a familiar process, for other’s we had to learn a lot of new skills like signing into our google accounts, opening a new document, and practicing our typing skills. This is an indispensable skill that will be crucial for the rest of our school year (and modern life)! It is also a key part of getting Gamma’s middle school ready!

Math Update

This week in math we took our first “check-in” which is just a chance for us to see how kiddos are doing with specific skills during independent practice. We continued working on our “Candy Shop” projects (multiplying whole numbers in Year 1 and decimals in Year 2) Year 1 students’ instruction was an introduction to the wonderful world of decimals. We learned how whole numbers can be divided into tenths and hundredths (and we used decimal models to ‘show’ this so kids could understand why tenths are MORE than thousandths!) Year 2 students practiced adding and subtracting with decimals (we use a cringy cheer to remember the contrast between this operation and multiplication.) Even though this is a 5th grade skill, we actually learned this last year when this power group was ahead of the game so really it was a re-introduction to the wonderful world of adding and subtracting money.

Theme Update

Our journey to Shipe Park left us with three days of theme and we had quite a nice time learning about exothermic and endothermic reactions and polarity. Both topics included hands-on labs that proved to be quite engaging for the kiddos (and teachers, too!) In addition to the thrill of the magic science of chemistry, the labs have proven to be excellent practice in following directions in a step-set. Additionally, slowing down to follow more complicated instructions has been great practice for all!

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