Our Big Idea this year is Adaptation. We have been talking about how we all have to adapt to being in a new grade with a new teacher. We are spending a lot of time getting to know one another and creating our school “family.”
In Math, we started off the year exploring how numbers can be expressed, ordered, and compared. Students can now write multi-digit numbers, use place value to compare, order, and round numbers as well as describe number patterns. We then learned how place value can help add larger numbers. Addition properties such as (the commutative, associative, and identity) helps to add numbers more easily. We also explored how to round numbers to estimate sums to check to see if our answer was reasonable. We are now solving multi digit addition and subtraction problems (and how to add to check your answer) with regrouping! Estimation and mental math strategies and are important to learn because they can be used to check your work! Students do quick math or fast facts everyday to improve math fluency. When we are computing such big problems this really helps with accuracy and ease of solving such big problems. We have also been learning how to solve word problems using different strategies to decide which operation to use. Looking for key words and making sense of problems by drawing them out really help students to make a plan of how to solve. Students are also using computer programs for challenge work and remediation and are encouraged to do these at home as well to further their understanding. Programs we use are iXL and Dreambox.
We have spent the first few weeks so school building our reading and writing routines and procedures. We have worked to build our reading stamina through independent reading, buddy reading and read alouds. In reading, we have been learning to check our understanding of text we read and learning strategies to to decode unknown words including cross checking the pictures with the words and asking ourselves if what we are reading makes sense. We are working to build our own menu of strategies for students to choose from to support their reading comprehension accuracy, fluency, and increase our vocabulary. Students have been exploring with answering “right-there” and “author and me” questions with text. Students have been using texts to prove their answers while also learning to restate questions/prompts in their answers. In writing, we have been building our stamina through free writes! We have also been exploring writing fictional narratives. We learned how to organize our writing by including a beginning, middle, and end. In our beginning, we learned how to hook our readers, develop main characters, and introduce settings while using sensory details. We learned how the middle of our writing is the “meat” of our writing and how events can be told in sequential order using transitional words and phrases. We also learned how to use adjectives and dialogue to spice up our writing. For our endings, we learned how to close our stories and how to include conclusions that show how the characters changed throughout the story and also lessons learned.
In Social Studies we started off the year learning about South Carolina's six regions and four major rivers. We have also learned about the American Indians of South Carolina and how they interact with their physical environment, the Spanish and French explorers and their attempts to settle in South Carolina.
Our first Unit in Sciencerelates to physical science, so we started by introducing the 3 main branches of science. Physical science is the study of matter and energy. Life science is the study of life and all living things and Earth and Space science is the study of Earth and what it's made of. Space science is the study of other planets and our star, the Sun. As any good scientist who explores observations and answer questions we learned how to follow the 6 rigorous steps of the Scientific Method. We tested different metallic objects reaction to magnets! Matter is everywhere around us and is anything that has mass and takes space. It comes in 3 forms: solid, liquid and gas. Through the way of different observations and many experiments in class, we evidenced just that! What a great fun that was. Below students are conducting a sound wave experiment using string and a water barrier experiment using a penny and water.