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Friday, March 15, 2013

Water Cycle, Spam, Geometry, Book Clubs...Oh My!

  This has been one busy week.  The students have been learning up a storm.  In reading class students have begun to form book clubs. They are in the process of setting up the rituals, regulations, and rules for their groups. Next week they will be writing constitutions for their clubs.  To say that the kids are excited is an understatement. They will be diving into historical fiction novels.  This has been a new world for them lately, and they are loving stepping back into time and learning about historical events through fiction stories.
  In math class we've been focusing on geometry. This is like learning an entirely new language. There is a great deal of vocabulary that goes along with this area of mathematics.  Besides the many names of shapes, there is also all the terms that reference angles, lines, parts of a circle, movement and spatial relationships.  This can be overwhelming for the students. We have a huge wall of vocabulary in the front of the room. I encourage you to talk with your child about what they are doing in math.  Help them to use the vocabulary outside of class and these words will become part of their internal dictionary. 
  In science we are finishing up our most recent unit on matter, the water cycle, weather.  This week we spent a great deal of time learning about the earth's water and how it cycles from the planet, to the clouds, and back again.  We currently have a mini atmosphere of cups of water sealed in plastic bags hanging from our classroom window. Next week students should be able to see the entire water cycle take place.
  Today we spent some more time discussing technology smarts.  Our focus was on spam.  Students know so much already about their email accounts and the dangerous world that is at their finger tips.  However, there were many misconceptions about what they could open and what they couldn't.  Hopefully today's lesson helped.  Students are in the process of writing Spam songs/raps to teach other students what they can do if faced with spam.  We will finish these up next week and share with the class.

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