Monthly Archives: February 2014

Periodic Table

This past week in Physical Science, our fifth graders were introduced to the periodic table. To understand the organization of the table, our students color coded their own verison of the periodic table grouping elements into the following groups: metals, nonmetals, metalloids, and artificial elements.

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Once students understood the organization of the periodic table, the students created a foldable summarizing the characteristics of metals, nonmetals, and metalloids. Check out some of the samples below.

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Research Writing

As you know, our “little writers” have jumped into the world of research writing. Below you will find an outline of the students’ journey throughout this unit.

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Day 1 – Research Writing Intro.

Before beginning the process of research writing, the students analyzed a sample research report, in order to understand the expectations for their own report.

Day 2 – Choosing a Topic

To get started with this unit, our “little writers” brainstormed three potential topics and explained why they wanted to learn more about each topic. Based on their explantaions, the best topic was chosen for them.

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Day 3 – Questioning

Students began to frame their essays by developing questions to guide their research.

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Day 4 – Citing Sources

As a way to prepare for the research phase of this unit, our “little writers” learned how to site various sources. Using a graphic organizer, students worked in pairs to practice citing a non-fiction book and an online article.

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Day 5 – Plagiarism

As a way to understand the concept of plagiarism, our students viewed a BrainPop video. Following the short video, the students recieved and recited a check-list for ways to avoid plagiarism. With the checklist in hand, our students can successfully begin their research.

Day 6 – Gathering Research

To begin the research process, our fifth graders were given Research Graphic Organizers. As the students read through their sources, they will record imformation gathered onto this graphic organizer. Check out some of the completed Research Graphic Organizers below.

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Day 7 – Outline

To begin structuring their research papers, our writers constructed an outline. During the drafting stage of the writing process, our students used their outlines to direct them through their writing. Check out some sample outlines below.

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Days 8-10 – Drafting

Using their Research Graphic Organizer and outline, our students tackled the drafting stage of the writing process. As each student drafted a paragraph of their research paper, I also drafted my own paper. Check out below the Research Paper Bulletin Board the students referred to for assistance, along with other pictures that illustrate the drafting stage.

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Days 11-12 – Peer Conferencing

Through peer conferences, our students worked with each other in an effort to revise and edit the research papers. Below are some pictures illustrating peer conferences in action.

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Days 13-15 – Typing

Nearing the end of the writing process, our students typed their Research Papers! Check out how productive they are in the pictures below.

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Days 16-18 – Bibliography

As our writers near the end of the writing process, they learned how to construct a bibliography. To assist students in writing their bibliography, they used the reference sheet below.

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Day 19 – Publishing

As a way to celebrate our writing, the fifth graders shared their reports in small groups. What great fun we had listening to our peer’s work and learning about their topics!

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Density Lab

This past week, the students participated in a lab to explore ways to calculate density. In order to achieve the objective for this lab, students measured the mass and volume of various items. Then using an equation, the students calculated the density of each item. Check out the photos below of our “little scientists” participating in the lab.

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Below is the lab sheet the students used to record their data.

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Orange Experiment – Ally & Sofia

While learning about density and bouyancy this week in Science, the students started a discussion about oranges. One student proposed that an unpeeled orange would sink, and a peeled orange would float. To test this theory, Ally and Sofia carried out an experiment for 5B. As a result of the experiment, the fifth graders learned that an unpeeled orange really does sink, while a peeled orange floats. Can you guess why? Ask your child for the explanation!

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Guided Reading — Reading Strategies

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Week 1 – Connecting and Predicting

Although our “readers” have had much practice with these skills during our novel study on Shiloh, we took the time to review the importance of making connections and predictions.

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As the students listened to the story Fly Away Home, read aloud, the students made predictions and connections to the text.

To further practice these strategies, the students used their independent novels to make predictions and connections! They even made predictions as to what their Guided Reading novels will be about!

Week 2 – Inferring

During the second week of Guided Reading, our “readers” learned about inferring. After listening to the story, How Many Days to America: A Thanksgiving Story, the class worked together making inferences on various quotes from the text.

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To further practice this strategy, the students used their Guided Reading novels to make inferences!

Week 3 – Questioning

During the third week of Guided Reading, our “readers” learned about questioning. Using the story, The Stranger, the students asked questions before, during, and after the story was read.

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To further practice this strategy, the students used their Guided Reading novels to record questions before, during, and after reading their assigned chapters. The pictures below show samples of question logs kept by the students.

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Week 4 – Monitoring & Clarifying

During the fourth week of Guided Reading, our “readers” learned strategies for monitoring and clarifying as they read. Using the story, Jumangi, the students monitored their comprehension and used “fix-it” strategies to clear up any confusion.

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To further practice this strategy, the students used their Guided Reading novels to actively monitor and clarify their comprehension. The pictures below show samples of the “Monitoring & Clarifying” logs kept by the students.

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Week 5 – Visualizing

During the fifth week of Guided Reading, our “readers” learned how to visualize a story. After listening to The Seashore Book read aloud, the students used their background knowledge to construct mental images of the story.

After verbally sharing out their mental images, our students were asked to read the following quote from the text, and illustrate their mental image. Check out some of the illustartions below.

Quote: “You lie down in the hot noonday sun now, and it feels warm as a big soft cat covering you.”

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To further practice this skill, our “readers” actively made mental images as they read their Guided Reading novel. The pictures below show samples of some of the visualizations students made as they read independently.

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Week 6 – Summarizing

During the sixth week of Guided Reading, our “readers” revisited the strategy of summarizing. After listening to Smoky Night read aloud, the students worked together to summarize the story.

Through the use of the “Somebody…Wanted…But…Then… So…” framework and their knowledge of story elements, the students were able to construct a cohesive summary.

 

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To further practice this skill, our “readers” summarized their assigned chapters by illustrating and explaining the main idea of each chapter. The pictures below show samples of some of the summaries students made after they read independently.

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Week 7 – Synthesizing

During the final week of Guided Reading, our “readers” were introduced to the reading strategy known as synthesis. In a nutshell, when students synthesize, they apply all the other reading strategies, in order to formulate new meaning. After listening to The Giving Tree read aloud, the students discussed the themes of the story and how these themes changed their thinking.

After finishing their guided reading novels, students answered the questions pictured below to help them synthesize what they read. What great conversation we had when the responses to these questions were discussed!

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