Thursday, October 8, 2015

Weeks of Sept 28th and October 5th

We are busy, busy, busy in the classroom!

Projects: The past two weeks we have been learning about physical properties, chemical properties and chemical reactions. Students have participated in some fun learning labs, using household items to identify the different types of properties. We have lots of new vocabulary under our belt and have even participated in some simple experiments. So far, much to the disappointment of the class, we have not blown anything up yet!

6th Reading and Social Studies: We are focusing on the 13 colonies and working on a final project of creating an informational poster for each region: New England, Middle and Southern colonies. Students are enthralled with the story of Jamestown featured in the fictional novel Blood on the River.

6th Writing: Each week we focus on learning and practicing aspects of grammar. Our focus has been comma use, transitions and prepositions. We are learning to organize writing through chronological and sequential order. They had to write directions to a place in the school and see if their partner could follow the written directions. A few ran into walls, but it was a great learning tool.

8th Writing: This class is lively and love to stay active. The past two weeks they have been learning to write directions for games, using sequential order. They love to play a game I taught them called, "On the Other Hand, It's Murder", which they quickly shortened to Murder. They learned to play it, then had to write directions on how to play it. I shared the directions they wrote with other groups of people who had never played the game to see if the directions were understandable. Some were, but some discovered it is easier to tell it than write it. Soon I hope to close that gap. They also had to put a puzzle together with partners without speaking. Afterward, they wrote a paragraph explaining the best way to put a puzzle together. These engaging activities have taught them to be aware of detail. They are learning to be clear, precise and more sophisticated in language use. This is a great way to improve transition use, as well.

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