This week we worked on writing prompts as a way to connect with aspects of our identity and what matters to us. They included creating a list of rules for being us at this age, describing moments when we were happiest and imagining our lives as a video game and ascribing points to the things that bring us joy, whether that was based on experiences or overcoming obstacles. We will channel these into our work on our 6 Word Memoirs.
In Science, we began our exploration of water by examining our ideas about the distribution of water on Earth. The students estimated the percentage of water found in the following:
- Ice Caps and Glaciers
- Rivers, Lakes and Streams
- The Atmosphere
They then worked in groups to represent their mental models visually by taking a cup of water and distributing amongst cups representing the categories above. After doing so, the students also distinguished between water we can drink and water we can’t.
When Michelle and I revealed the actual distribution cries of shock and disbelief rang out especially when seeing how little of the Earth’s water was drinkable. This helped illustrate how precious of a resource our drinking water is and the importance of protecting it.
We continued reading The Little Prince focusing on the different reading roles that the students will be taking on as they read. These include the following:
- Reporter – Summarizing
- Profiler – Character Analysis
- Curator – Finding Interesting or Confusing Words or Phrases
- Detective – Asking Questions and Making Connections
This work will help them continue to develop their skills as readers. We will also be collaborating with Imogen on our work with The Little Prince with more details to follow.
In math, we continued our Singapore work as well as multiplication facts. Fact automaticity is practiced by learning to recognize patterns and ways to use facts they know to figure out ones they don’t. We also practice in groups naming facts, trying to get as many in a row as possible. The students always get a chance to practice being successful with the ones they miss. We also discussed the Commutative Property as it relates to multiplication and how it reduces the number of facts they have to practice.
The students also took on a series of folding challenges with origami paper. They were asked to create squares and triangles of various sizes (fractions of a whole) as well as different orientations. The two triangles folded couldn’t be congruent. The other important piece was that students had to convince each other that they had actually satisfied the challenge. For example, when asked to make a square 1/4 the size of the original, the students had to describe what made it a square and what made it 1/4 the size of the original. This allowed them to practice making arguments using mathematical reasoning.