In language arts, we finished our study of Trouble River and used our maps of the book/river to write complete summaries of the book. We worked on the map as we read the book, writing a one-sentence summary of each chapter. For the full summary, we wove these together and examined the use of transition words. We've also been studying figurative language, which author Betsy Byars uses masterfully in her novel. Students created their own books of figurative language and included some examples in their Trouble River summaries.
This week, we'll continue to work with nonfiction and elements of drama. We'll also revisit subject and predicate as we study different types of sentences. For independent work, students have a vocabulary unit; they'll skip the passage portion as it's a short week.
We're finishing our exploration of energy, force, and motion with student-created plans for building contraptions that project our toy cars the furthest without directly touching them. Style points given for how many different objects and forces are used. Think Mousetrap: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pk1ue1tolFc.
We'll finish our study of Texas tribes and will test over Ch. 3 and add the tribes to our Texas map.
We've completed our first indepth examination of multiplication strategies and are exploring division. It's critical student master multiplication facts. They should be able to automatically recall facts through 12 (no skip counting, finger counting, etc.,) plus be able to quickly use mental math for facts 13-15. We review and test these at school, but students must be practicing daily at home. Look under the links section for websites to practice with (freerice.com is a favorite).
And with all that said and done, we'll celebrate the conclusion of the first semester and the arrival of winter break with a classroom party on Thursday beginning at 1:45. Please join us.