Monday, December 13, 2010

Another busy day!

Today was another in a series of whirlwind days we have had lately in our class. I introduced the binder we will be using to catalog Country Profiles, something some students have already begun to do in their spare time. We also inaugurated a classroom Art Gallery that I am encouraging students to fill up. Each student will have 1 piece at a time in the Gallery, and can replace it whenever they have something new. We began a new chapter in Math (graphing, data processing) and carried out some fun activities to model why this skill is both important and relevant on a daily basis.

I didn't get a chance to begin the video-editing, because Gym was extended this morning. Mme Tapper has been taking the Grade 4's out as a group over the last couple of weeks, since the gym has been in use for a multitude of Christmas Concerts. I hope to start video editing tomorrow, with a lofty goal of having it finished before Christmas. On the topic of Christmas, we made stockings today in an effort to further decorate the classroom. Nice work!

Book Reports are due on Friday, but I already have a couple turned in. I encourage students to bring Book Reports in as soon as they are complete, so that they can "get them out of the way" by presenting early if they wish. This also provides a good model for students who have yet to finish theirs up. I continue to be amazed by the calibre of work that I am seeing, especially the level at which students are incorporating the pointers I have given and the new skills they have learned.

Letters to Santa will be ready for final drafts on Wednesday, as our Process Writing goes into 1st draft stage tomorrow. If students are falling behind in this process or I think they could use some extra support, I will send them home with their current draft to work on a bit. The intention is to give more time to generate content and review their work, so don't worry about it being perfect.

Today's lesson in Religion was about the origins, traditions and meaning of Hanukkah. Rather than just read from the text, I decided to set up stations in class with different books on the topic. Some were stories, others were basic informational texts, and others were more challenging reference books. I had students go from station to station, and jot down as much information as they could in the form of a web. Judging by the excitement and discussion during the process as well as the end results, I plan on doing this a bit more often! I was happy to hear students reading to each other, correcting pronunciation, elaborating on thoughts and giving direction when needed. We will do the same thing for Ramadan and Christmas later in the week.

We are 2/3 of the way through our unit on digestion, but I don't think we will finish it completely before Christmas. I want to finish studying the process and components of digestion before Christmas, then talk about Nutrition in depth in early January. The evaluation for this unit will take the form of a presentation that incorporates elements like a song, poem or piece of theatre. Students have been commenting on their enjoyment of the games I posted last week, and I have been seeing the results in their familiarity with the topic.

I have decided to conduct a test to assess knowledge of the terminology and basic processes in our habitats unit. As mentioned before, we have reviewed and discussed this at length and I don't anticipate any problems. That being said, I will send home a study guide tomorrow to help students prepare. On the test, I will provide word lists and other choices. Still with Science, students will also be bringing home a survey about habitat loss and pollution that they have compiled as a class. They will each have 5 copies of the survey, and I will also send each parent a digital copy if you wish to email it to family/friends. The data gathered will form the basis for a project in math, and conclude our final requirements in Science before Christmas.

I know this is a lot of information, but I feel like I have been neglecting the blog as of late. Enjoy the holiday season, and let me know if you have any questions. In the meantime, here is a multiplication game to capitalize on the great work students did on patterns/factors last unit. It covers up some content on the right sidebar, but if you need to access links, just view an archived blog post that doesn't take up so much space.

**Please note: Multiplication game has been removed, since a glitch was redirecting things off the blog. I will post another one ASAP! **

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