This month is reading we are focusing on the comprehension strategy of making inferences. The focus of the modeled lesson is on how we can take our background knowledge on a topic, merge that “BK” with text clues, and then make an inference. The inference may pertain to the meaning of an unknown word and result in an inferred meaning. It may be an inference based on photographs, artifacts, or text features in nonfiction text. Additionally, students will be inferring to interpret the deeper meaning of language, as well as the big ideas and themes of nonfiction and fiction text. I will be looking for the kids to apply the strategies modeled as they work independently in Reading Workshop. They will use graphic organizers, sticky notes, and entries in their Reader’s Journal to demonstrate their application of and understanding of the strategy of making inferences. Lastly, the kiddos with be crafting written responses to their reading in which they will construct a well organized and detailed paragraph sharing what they learned from their reading.
The month of December finds the kids diving deeper into the process of persuasive essay writing. Throughout this two month unit the kids have learned how to use transition words and phrases to articulate and organize their thoughts, they have learned how to elaborate on the reasons they planned to support their theses, and how to support those reasons with detailed examples. As we round out this writing unit, the kids will learn how to write a counterclaim to make their argument more persuasive as well as how to finalize their essay with a call to action for the reader.
This month we find ourselves deep in the heart of Unit 3, Multiple Towers and Cluster Problems. As we complete our investigation of this unit, the students will examine the mathematical relationship that underlies the pattern they see when a number is multiplied by a multiple of 10. Additionally, they will develop strategies for solving multiplication problems with larger 2-digit numbers by breaking the problems apart in order to use number relationships that they know.
Some of you have expressed interest in supporting your child at home with the strategies we are using to multiply and divide. Prior to the week of Thanksgiving Break I sent an email home with links to videos and examples that you may use to support with this task. I also posted the links on the blog. I hope you find these helpful.
As we continue our study of Colorado History, the students will learn about various groups of people who have lived in or helped develop Colorado; the Native Americans, the European Explorers, the Fur Traders, Gold Rushers, and the early European Settlers. Our study of these groups will involve the analysis of the positive and negative impact each group made on the other group and how each group influenced our current culture. Ultimately, the kids will select which group of people they feel had the most influence on CO, and they will then construct a persuasive essay using the skills they learned in our current writing unit to persuade their classmates why they believe their selected group was the most influential.
Sustainable Traditions Project
With the spirit of giving in mind, this month we will learn about sustainable traditions. A sustainable tradition is a tradition that can be done each year. We will focus on sustainable traditions that “give back”. As we build background knowledge on this subject matter we will read various texts with real life examples. For instance, one article is about a 15 year old boy who started a group that gives new shoes to homeless children. Another is about an 11 year old boy from Utah whose lemonade stand profits purchase wheelchairs for people in developing countries.
The kids will explore how they can create holiday traditions with their family that can incorporate this spirit of giving back. For instance, the kids may choose to create a sustainable tradition in which each year they bake and decorate cookies with their family and they bring the cookies to a local nursing home to spread holiday cheer to the residents. Another example might be to gather their gently used and no longer played with toys and books, wrap them, and bring them to a local women’s shelter to share with the children there.
The kids will create a digital presentation for the class which you will be able to view at home through their gmail account. Each year I am amazed at the creativity the kids exhibit with this project. I have received a good deal of feedback over the years as many parents and kids have chosen to follow the plan created in school and have made it a tradition for their family. I hope you find it to be a good talking point for you and your family, regardless of whether or not you choose to partake in the tradition.