Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Virtual Field Trip

Fifth and sixth graders took a virtual field trip(via video conferencing) to the New York Hall of Science located in Queens, New York. This museum is an interactive hands-on museum you may want to visit if the opportunity arises. The focus of our conference was demonstrations involving chemistry with the objective of observing and identifying phases and changes of matter. Ask your child about the experiments they observed and what the cause and effects were. After vacation students will begin a unit on Matter in science class.

The theme of our reading after vacation will be prejudice. Students will read novels sharing this common theme. Students will be involved in higher level thinking as they analyze actual events in history dealing with civil rights and comparing them to events in a realistic fiction novel.

Working with fractions will continue as well. Students will be practicing converting fractions to decimals and percents and vice versa. Problems involving finding a percentage will also be covered. Try to point out how determining percentages can be useful to you as a consumer. Examples may be sales with a certain percentage off or buying food items and checking percentages of certain ingredients such as sugar.

Egyptian scrapbooks have been started and students will continue with this project for a couple of more weeks after the break. In addition to working on note taking and research skills we have been working on "tools" to use when creating a written and visual project. Examples of the tools are the use of guide lines and straight edges, centering, letter size, color/space, spell checking, font style and size, etc.

Spelling and Daily Language Review will begin when we return to school on January 3rd. Students will once again have graded spelling homework on Thursdays.

Best wishes for a healthy and happy New Year!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Mid Quarter Reports

Mid Quarter reports have been sent home in your child's Friday Folder. Please review it,sign and return it. If you have any questions or concerns please call me here at school. I am available to take calls mornings at 8 (except for Wednesdays) and after 3.

On Monday students will be given a descriptor of a social studies project, Egyptian Scrapbook. We will work on it during class time but after the holidays there may be some work done at home to complete the project. If this should be the case I will send home a written note with a descriptor of the project and the final due date. Students will be researching information using a variety of resources. We will be working on note taking skills, siting sources for a bibliography, paraphrasing and visual presentation.

In math we are working with fractions. Whenever possible please point out how you use fractions in your daily life(cooking, measuring , etc) as it helps the students to understand the need to learn these concepts in every day life. If your child likes to cook, and so many of us are cooking a lot this time of year, have him/her calculate the fractions in a recipe when you might be doubling the ingredients.

Persuasive writing used in advertising has been our latest topic in writing. Students have learned about different persuasive techniques used and have analyzed adds to find examples of these techniques. Students have just started creating an advertisement for their favorite toy( present or past). One requirement in their selection was that they were to choose a nonelectric toy! Wow!! So many children were dismayed by this requirement but they rose to the challenge.

Nina Roth-Wells visited the classroom on Wednesday and did a presentation on Hanuka. She shared a beautiful picture book with us and discussed the meaning behind this celebration. Eli recited a Hebrew prayer that is used as part of the celebration. Children played a dreidel game and were given their own dreidel to take home and play with their families. We all learned something new about Hanukkah !

Remember, our winter concert is Thursday, December 16th! Come and enjoy the beautiful music.