Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The First Civilizations

Fifth grade students participated in hands on activities in Social Studies this week with the goal being that students would learn why humans formed societies. On two different days the students participated in activities at three different stations set up in the classroom. These stations were: Food, Shelter and Water. The first day of activities students worked as individuals and were given thirty minutes to complete all three stations which they needed to accomplish to be "survivors". Not surprisingly, we had no survivors! The second day of these same stations the rules changed a bit. Students worked in groups of four to accomplish the same tasks and because they worked as a group("society")the results were more positive! As a follow up we had a discussion of how working as a "society" enabled them to accomplish more tasks successfully. this exercises are the lead in to our next unit of study, Ancient Mesopotamia.

Next week we will be discussing Columbus and his impact on the natives he first encountered. We will talk about different points of view from his perspective and that of the natives after a read aloud of the beautifully illustrated book by Jane Yolen, Encounter.

Fall writing prompts have been scored and students are looking over their scores and generating a writing goal along with specific strategies to help them improve their writing. Students are finishing up their narrative pieces on their Dream Vacation by publishing them on their laptops. The piece will be put in their portfolio which you may look at during parent conferences later this month. The next project in writing will be a business letter for sixth grade and a friendly letter for fifth graders. Sixth graders are writing letters to area businesses requesting donations for their coffee house fundraiser.

NECAP testing continues next week on Tues.,Thur., and Friday with math being tested. Students should get plenty of sleep the nights before testing(especially after a long and perhaps busy weekend :) )

Enjoy the long weekend. I know I will!!

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