English Language Arts
To integrate our big idea of actions having consequences, students wrote New Year's Resolutions to show how their actions can positively effect their lives. Students worked in cooperative groups to identify specific ways each of our Core Values could be shown. Then the students identified areas that they individually wanted to improve upon and tied their goal to the appropriate Core Value. Students had to identify their personal goal and create a plan to help them reach their goal.
In Writing, we have been focusing on persuasive writing. We learned how to state our opinions and provide reasons and examples to support our opinions. We have been using the CUPS strategy to edit our own work and peer edit other’s work by checking for capitals, noun and verb usage, punctuation, and spelling. We have also been learning how to form and support our opinions with nonfiction texts. We are able to use actions and dialogue from text to support our opinions.
In ELA, we have continued our small guided reading groups. Groups have focused on CAFE strategies to improve their Comprehension, Accuracy, Fluency, and to Expand their vocabulary. Specific reading strategies we have focused on include identifying the main idea of texts while providing supportive details, retelling texts, making inferences, comparing and contrasting characters, analyzing how characters change overtime and identifying internal and external character traits.
Our essential questions that we have been exploring in Math are What does multiplication and division mean?, What is the importance of patterns in learning multiplication and division?, What strategies can be used to learn multiplication and division facts?, and How can multiplication and division facts with smaller numbers be applied to larger numbers? Students are also now applying their knowledge of multiplication and division to properties and equations. We stress that using models to represent these operations will help students more easily solve problems that require abstract reasoning.
Students have been connecting our Big Idea: Adaptation and our enduring Understanding: Change is inevitable, nothing ever stays the same and Actions have Consequences to our study of South Carolina history. We’ve looked closely at our essential questions such as: How war changed the lives of slaves in South Carolina Plantations? What role the Confederate submarine the H.L. Hunley had on the Civil War? How reconstruction affected South Carolina? How the Cotton Mills helped keep people afloat after war? As we continue to study the Civil War, we took a field trip to Frampton Plantation. Students were able to see first hand the confederate and union uniforms, the horses’ role during war, the types of weapons and how they were fired, different types of furs and what they were used for, and a relic of the Hunley. When students returned they sketched, labeled and created their own Hunley and explained how it impacted the Civil War. Recently we analyzed photos of mills and mill workers, ads and newspaper articles on Cotton Mills. Students were able to choose an activity such as: creating their own child labor schedules, making a persuasive poster convincing people to come work in the mills or integrating writing by analyzing a picture of mill workers and producing an informative, entertaining or persuasive (author’s purpose) writing piece.
This semester our Unit in Science was about Earth and Space.
We started to learn about the history of technology and inventions from when pottery was invented, when was the electricity discovered, and to today’s human genome and space shuttle!
We then explored within our planet and talked about the 3 category of rocks and their cycle. My students were fascinated by the different layers found beneath our feet, unleashing plate tectonics, mountains, volcano eruptions and earthquake. The important role erosion plays on our planet led us to talk about the weather and its consequences in our lives.
We also learned about the history of astronomy, why do we have seasons and how do the phases of the moon work.
Understanding what our solar system is made of and how does it functions was key to a better understanding of what our galaxy called the Milky Way is and also better realize how insignificant we are among billions of other galaxies within an ever expending universe.
My students could not stop asking questions. It was very exciting!These lessons were all supported with videos and hands-on experiments.