Our fifth grade scientist have learned quite a lot about magnification and how to use a hand lens and a microscope to get an up close view of different specimens. We started out this kit using a hand lens and other clear and curved objects to magnify newsprint. Students learned that a cylinder can be used two different ways to view the print but only one way will enlarge the newspaper helping them understand that an object has to be clear and curved in order to magnify an object. We are right now working with light microscopes practicing how to bring both flat and 3 denominational object into focus and drawing what we see. We discovered that you not only have to focus the eye piece but also adjust the amount of light to get the best view. Soon the students will be using these skills to find the tiniest part of any living thing a cell.
In math we have been working on learning how to multiply and divide fractions. We know that when we multiply a fraction by a fraction our product will always be less than the factors and when we multiply by a mixed number or whole number our product will always be larger then the fraction but less than the mixed or whole number. It took us a little time but now most students are comfortable with cross simplifying which make it much easier to simplify our products. Students are taking their test today.
We are starting something new in reading. Today was out first meeting day for literature circles. Literature circles are groups of students reading the same where each person is responsible for completing a different role for the discussion. For this round of literature circles we have the roles of word wizard who finds and explains words from the assigned chapters, discussion director who writes questions for the groups to discuss, Literary luminary who finds important sections of the assigned reading to discuss with the group and blogger who writes a passage from the point of view of one of the characters about the assigned chapters. Students complete their roles online using a classroom wiki. Each student has their own login and password and they can complete their jobs at home or in school. Today was our first meeting day and for being something new the students did quite well.