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January

In later elementary we’re learning more about how time management and transitions work!  With several large projects in various stages and the return to school after two weeks at home it has been a learning opportunity for all.

In language arts we’re getting busy learning how persuasive essays work.  This topic is just being introduced and students are going to be picking their topics and forming their thesis statements in the coming week.  From there, they’ll begin to build their supporting evidence, organize and research, as needed.  Look for these at the spring curriculum celebration!

In literature we’re launching into tall tales, myths, legends, fables and folklore.  As a class students are going to be reading Jerry Spinelli’s fictional legend Maniac Magee while independently exploring other books and stories that capture these oral traditions.  Eventually all students will choose one specific story, memorize the elements and retell it in first person while dressed as the main character.  They will then perform their retelling in front of their class.  This project is a lot of fun!

Ecosystems, organisms and how we sense our environment are filling the minds of the 4/5 science students!  They have been hard at work during the last few weeks creating a slide show which is persuasive in nature.  They have taken what they learned in their square foot survey of the field and applied it to a simulation, the premise being that a developer is interested in building housing in the fields around the school.  They were to act as scientific counsel and inform the community (rest of the class) about whether or not they felt that building housing around the school was a great idea.  Many want to share their presentation at curriculum celebration, so look for them on Jan 15th, in the cafeteria.

We are wrapping up presentations, and starting a short set of lessons on how we take in information via energy in our environment.  How the brain works as well as the mechanics of the eye will also be studied.  We have the opportunity to do a dissection project with Sandi Little, DVM,, a 4/5 parent.  This will be coming up January 20th, as of now.  If you are interested in assisting supervise this fantastic experience, please feel free to let Cheryl know.  We’ll be taking on the subjects of matter and mechanics (chemistry and physics) after we complete this unit!  More hands-on fun to come!!
In 4/5 Social Studies we are moving forward from learning about the geography, climate, and resources of the states in the eastern United States, into the history of the 13 colonies.  Our goals of learning include: understanding the push and pull factors of immigration, the outcomes of certain groups settling and particular regions, and then what elements of society and government led to the ultimate termination of the colonies dependence on Great Britain.

Students will be creating an interactive notebook that will help them understand timelines of events, as well as cause and effect factors of this time period.  Should be pretty fun creating all of these for them!
This week the students also made their choices of which state they would like to study for their State Report project.  This is a rather large project that will be started now, have several major element deadlines in the next couple of months, and then be put together to be on display for Curriculum Celebration in May.  I’ll let you know when I have the project rubric up on the website.  More information will be available there and in the Feb HBoN.

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