So, what have been up to this week?
Geometric work in math: measuring and identifying angles, sorting polygons using geometric properties and proper vocabulary.
Reading: First we followed up on a summarizing activity from last week, and then we were introduced to the idea of signposts. ‘Signposts’ are signals in a text that readers can use to determine which parts they need to pay close attention to (as outlined in a resource called Close Reading). Quickly summarized, the ‘signs’ include: characters facing a Tough Question, Contrast/Contradiction (when a character does something out of character), Memory Moment (a pause in the action for remembering/flashback), Again and Again ( a repeated action, phrase or image), Words of the Wiser (a character receiving advice from another character, usually older), and, an A HA moment, when a character makes a realization. With author Kenneth Oppel scheduled to visit our school in April, students have been asked to select one of his books to read, looking for signposts along the way. Today they formed their own groups, and met to set a reading goal for when they meet next. Commitments were written in their agendas.
Writing: In addition to working on a draft of a style of their own choosing, students have been working to strengthen their skills at writing complex sentences. In writing warm ups, students are given a few informational sentences about an issue, work to combine the ideas to form a complex sentence, and then offer their opinion on the issue.
Social Studies: Weeks ago, we came across a statistic about the number of plastic straws that were being used and found within the oceans. We generated some questions at the time and wondered if there was anything we could do to help. Knowing I only see the class for a portion of each day, I looked for ways we could incorporate their interest into our day, and be accountable to the curriculum. Since we are generating questions, researching a variety of sources to find answers, looking at ways governments and non governmental groups are addressing environmental issues, and, locating places in the world that have already taken action, Social Studies is an ideal ‘ávenue’ for our wonders . In addition to researching, we are designing ways we might take action ourselves. We generated a list of restaurants in Waterdown, wanting to ask them how many straws they use in a day/week. A few students have already taken the initiative to gather some data, which we will be using for further calculations. The challenge is on for others to do the same. We also placed a cup in each of the classes in our school, to get an idea of the number of straws thrown into our garbage bins each day. We’re not sure how far we will get with our plans, but are excited by the possibilities.
Reminder: Last skating day tomorrow!