Mrs. Brutcher's January Newsletter
BIG IDEA: ADAPTATION
Enduring Understanding: Actions Have Consequences
Essential Questions: What causes war and what are the consequences?
How is our planet evolving over time?
To share our love during the holidays, we worked alongside our 6th grade buddies to make treat bags for the children in our local CAPA (Child Abuse Prevention Association) program. We collected items, decorated cards, and decorated and filled treat bags.
In reading, we have been working in small groups based on our reading and word work individual needs. We have participated in novel studies and have explored main idea, supporting details, internal and external characteristics, and plot. We have just started exploring the different text structures authors use to write. We just finished up learning about descriptive writing which includes writing on a topic, providing details to support the topic, and using adjectives and adverbs to describe or "spice up" our writing. We also identified different texts with this text structure. We are becoming experts with finding evidence in text and working so hard to improve our reading accuracy, fluency, and comprehension! We are learning to LOVE reading!
In writing, we have focused on opinion writing! We learned how to state our opinion and how to provide reasons and examples to support our opinions. We used the OREO graphic organizer to help organize our thoughts with multiple topics. We will soon be taking pieces of our writing through the editing/publishing process. We have enjoyed learning how to be persuasive as we try to persuade our readers to agree with our opinions!
In Math, we have completed our study of multiplication and division. Students are working towards memorizing their times tables. You may be curious as to why your child needs to memorize the times tables? Just like learning to walk before you can run, learning multiplication and memorizing the times tables are building blocks for other math topics taught in school – higher learning such as division, long multiplication, fractions and algebra. Students who have not memorized the times tables will find these levels of math much more difficult than they need to be. There is no time to pull out a calculator or to take 20 seconds to work out a math strategy before coming up with the answer. Students who have not mastered their tables will very often fall behind in math (and other subjects that use math) and begin to loose confidence. All because they did not memorize the times tables! Memorizing can be facilitated by concentrating, rehearsal and memorization techniques. Remember to focus your limited time on the facts that need to be learned. By removing the facts they already know and by learning the reciprocal facts together (i.e., 6x7 and 7x6), there are surprisingly few left to memorize. Review all facts occasionally to make sure they have been retained in long-term memory. Music, stories and visual associations can help with retention.
We have also learned about the associative property and writing and evaluating expressions! The students enjoyed learning the order of operations using the sentence, "Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally!" We learned to solve numbers in parenthesis first, followed by exponents, multiplication and division, and then addition and subtraction!
Students are now being introduced to fractions! We learned about unit fractions and parts of wholes and sets. We also learned how to label fractions on number lines.
During our Earth-Space Science Unit, we have been studying technology, inventions, rocks, volcanoes, earth movement, and the solar system. Students were fascinated by the different layers found beneath our feet, unleashing plate tectonics, mountains, volcano eruptions and earthquakes. The important role erosion plays on our planet led us to learn about the weather and its consequences in our lives. Understanding what our solar system is made of and how it functions was key to a better understanding of what our galaxy called the Milky Way is and how insignificant we are among billions of other galaxies within an ever expending universe.
In Social Studies we have been studying the causes of the American Revolution, including Britain’s passage of the Stamp, Tea, and Intolerable Acts; the rebellion of the colonists; and the writing of the Declaration of Independence. We have compared the perspectives of South Carolinians during the American Revolution, including Patriots, Loyalists, women, enslaved and free Africans, and Native Americans. We also studied the effects of the American Revolution which included the establishment of state and national governments. Lastly, we outlined the structure of state government, including the branches of government (legislative, executive, and judicial), the representative bodies of each branch (general assembly, governor, and supreme court), and the basic powers of each branch. This week we summarized the development of slavery in antebellum South Carolina, including the invention of the cotton gin and the subsequent expansion of and economic dependence on slavery.