MRS. DALTON'S CLASSROOM WEBSITE
Thank you to all the parents that took the time to come and have lunch with their child! Sorry I only got around to take pictures of a few of you. We are so thankful for you!
Empty Bowls! Stop Hunger Now!
and our 8th Grade Buddies!
It is the night that we get to show off all of the work we have been doing this semester.
In social studies we are learning about the Road to Revolution. Students summarized the causes of the American Revolution, including Britain’s passage of the Stamp Act, the Tea Act, and the Intolerable Acts; the rebellion of the colonists; and the writing of the Declaration of Independence. The solution was for the angry colonists to form the Sons of Liberty. Students discovered the true meaning of No Taxation Without Representation. Students also compared the perspectives of South Carolinians during the American Revolution, including Patriots, Loyalists, women, enslaved and free Africans, and Native Americans. Then they observed the battles of the Revolutionary War such as The Battle of Charles Town, King’s Mountain, Cowpens, and Eutaw Springs and how the British wanted to take over the Southern Colonies. They learned the war ended with the Battle of Yorktown and the Treaty of Paris.
Our first unit is on Physical Science. Students got excited about the overview of the branches of science and how science has changed our world. We defined that Matter is everything that is around us and that has a mass and takes space. We then introduced the 3 forms of matter Solid, Liquid and Gas. We backed up our statement by making many predictions and doing all kinds of experiments. We compared our predictions to the results. My students were amazed and they learned so much by doing…and they loved it! The highlight of our experiments was the launch of a rocket! Using a plastic water bottle three tongue depressors and the small cork the student had to build their own Rockets. The full was vinegar, the retardant was tissue paper, and the reactor was baking soda. We show them what the final product look like but we never gave them any directions. The idea was for them to try once, observe and reflect upon what happened and why it happened. Then, based on their result, they had to modify their rocket hoping for a better second launch!
In Math, we now have a good understanding of Multiplication and Division. We can solve these problems by using a variety of strategies such as drawing equal groups, arrays, or related addition/subtraction. We are also learning how to use a multiplication table and the patterns that exist within them. We will be starting our quick math drills again after Thanksgiving Break with a focus of Multiplication and Division.
Why are we teaching multiplication and division together? Because right from the start we can save time and tears. Who would turn down such a bargain? It’s like buying one and getting one free. Or getting two for the price (in this case, the effort) of one. Learning multiplication facts and immediately applying that knowledge to related division facts is one step on the path to success in getting the facts memorized. The sad fact that so many students do not have basic facts at their command speaks to the problems that exist. The way basic facts are traditionally taught obviously is not effective for a large number of students. Teaching multiplication and division together right from the start helps to avoid those erroneous paths of thinking. Some students inherently grasp this similarity in basic multiplication and division facts, and for them memorization is a breeze. The fact that many children do not possess this inherent ability has nothing to do with intelligence or lack thereof. It has to do with learning styles. Everybody can learn and learn well. That’s part of what makes teaching so exciting!
In Writing, we finished our personal narrative unit and jumped right into writing fictional narratives! We had a blast creating our characters as we learned how to describe our characters' internal and external characteristics. We then learned how to create and describe the settings of our stories by stating what we see, hear, and smell in our stories. We learned how to create and decipher between different types of conflict including character vs character, character vs self, and character vs nature and then how to create solutions to solve our problems! We used the narrative writing checklists as a guide to check our work for elements of fictional narratives and to determine personal goals of what we should work on next.
In Reading, we have been working hard in our small guided reading groups. We have been locating evidence in text and using the text and our own knowledge and experiences to answer questions. We have been analyzing character traits and how characters change throughout a story. We have been identifying the main idea of stories and details that support the main ideas. We have also been exploring cause and effect relationships.
In Grammar, we have been learning and continuously reviewing nous, proper nouns, verbs, verb tenses, adjectives, synonyms, antonyms, commas, prefixes, and suffixes. We have been integrating our grammar skills into our reading and writing everyday!
In reading we are studying plays,