What the West Coast is Focusing On This Week…

Math:  This week in math we are MAPS testing on Tuesday from 10:15-11:45.  Students will have a break and snack before their test, and will be testing in small groups.  For the rest of the week, they will be working in groups of 3 on rounding numbers; logging into TenMarks.com and doing “Jam Session” problems/assignments (they should have brought a sheet home for you about TenMarks last Friday); working in small groups with Mr. Napoli on place value and rounding numbers.

Science:  In Science this week, we are picking up with what we learned on Friday, recognizing the elements of good experimental design.  This means identifying the different variables, constants, and groups in a well run experiment.  After working on identifying these elements, we will jump into designing our own experiments (this is what their favorite candy is for) using the scientific method.  One component of the scientific method is research so we will be combing through the ingredients of the candy and learning about what chemicals make up our favorite treats.  Since this is our first time working through the scientific method, and designing an experiment with fidelity, this activity will probably take us into next week.

Social Studies:  In Social Studies, this week we are finishing our first unit on how to “Read Like A Historian.”  We’ve already worked on the skill of previewing a text before reading.  Next, we will learn about how to use visuals to help determine meaning.  Finally, we will discover  how to use context clues to understand what they are reading.  The study of these skills will culminate in a unit assessment next week, before we jump into the origins of the universe and creation stories.

Balanced Literacy:  We are continuing to learn about the effectiveness of using the website, KidBlog, to enhance their writing and our instruction.  Students will be posting on their KidBlog twice a week.  They can post any time they want and even at home.  They are able to post on any topic of their choosing.  Please ask your child to see their blogs!  Additionally, Achieve is up and running!  Achieve is our nonfiction reading program where students are able to read at their Lexile (reading) level.  Students should be completing at least two articles a week with a score of 75% or better.  Also, we are starting our personal narratives.  Students wrote baseline timed pieces a few weeks back.  I am pulling small groups to talk about strengths and weaknesses in their writing from their baselines.  Next week, mini lessons will start on specific skills.  Lastly, we have our MAPS Language Usage test on Thursday, September 25 and our MAPS Reading test next Tuesday, September 30.

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