We had a lot of fun painting Easter eggs with out reading buddies!
In our new science kit, we are studying 4 types of nutrients in foods, how to test for them and why we need them in our diet. We have so far learned how to test for starch and glucose. In this kit we are also learning how to be careful scientists, making sure to avoid cross contamination by putting the correct foods in each testing tray, using multiple toothpick, and the right spoon for each food. We are also learning that sometimes we need to redo a test when our results don't match up with the rest of the class.
It is always fun to read and discuss a book with a friend. In reading right now the fifth graders are doing just that. We have started literature circles, each member of the group is responsible for one part of the group discussion about their book. For our first literature circle all students are reading the same book Pink and Say by Patricia Polacco. Every Tuesday and Thursdays groups have been meeting to discuss the section they read. There are 4 parts to out group discussions. We have the discussion director who is in charge of leading the discussion, they have to write 6 questions about their section. We have the word wizard who is in charge of finding new vocabulary or interesting words from the sections. The third role is blogger, they have to take the role of one of the characters and write a diary entry about the sections they read. The last job we will be doing as a whole class, visual recorder, we will be making an avatar to look as close as we can to one of the characters to summarize the import events that took place in the story. Students have a list of meeting dates and what role they are responsible for. Students are placing their roles online using a website I created so there is not papers to hand in. They are also grading themselves each meeting, and I am also grading them as I walk around observing them. After this book, we will be starting another group where students will get to select 2 or 3 books they want to read and then I will place them in one of those groups.
We completed our Einstein kit on Motion and Design just before Spring break. The final task was for each group to complete a challenge where they would have to use everything they have learned about how things move to design a car for a specific challenge. Each one had a different challenge with different requirements. It was not easy and some wanted to quit when they couldn't see a way to solving it. I am happy to say with a lot of hard work, trial and error and starting from the beginning all groups did complete their challenge.
For the past two weeks, the students have been working on creating a magazine on a topic of their choice. With in this magazine the students had to include specific nonfiction features and it had to contain an article written in one of the 5 different types on nonfiction writing. This was not an easy task and they all worked very hard in completing this project. We had a variety of animals, sports figures and one on art.
Do you remember PEMDAS? Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally. We are working on solving multi operation expressions. Today we listened and danced to the order of operation shuffle. Students know almost all of the steps, we just need to remember to multiply and divide from left to right and then add and subtract from left to right.
It's getting close to our biggest fund raiser of the year. You can see all the items that have been donates by following the Auction facebook page. Each class is also putting together a class basket, if you can please send your donation to school. Today the students made their thumb print plate which will be auctioned off.
The students had a great time on our field trip. Our first stop was at NWTC where students from Michigan Tech came and performed over 60 different science experiments. Students got the chance to go around and check out the different experiments that looked interesting to them, all from different fields of science. Some of the labs students only got to observe what happened, when they were using fire or other materials like liquid nitrogen for safety reason but they were still cool. Of course there were ones that involved food and those where a big hit, like dragon's breath where they got graham crackers that make it look like there where breathing smoke. I think some of the big hits where the human bowling and the oobleck.
At the Wildlife Sanctuary the students got to learn about and meet a fox snake, skunk and a short eared owl.
The students are just a little over half way done with our second Einstien kit, Motion and Design. In this kits students are exploring how to make a vehical move using differnt types of force. They first used a falling weight system that hooked up to the front of their vehical and the other end hung off the side of a table. They started with one weight and added more on to make it move. They discovered the more weights they added the farther their car moved. They then began experimenting with rubber band power and figured out that winding the band around the moveable axle made the car go forward. They also learned avout potential and kenetic energy, when they wond the band that stored energy and when they let go that released the energy making the vehical go. This kit the students have to really work on team work, there is a lit of work and everyone needs to do their part to make their lab sucseful. We have been keeping track of all the ways they know on how to make the vehical move fast and slow, they will use this information to help them complete a final challenge at the end of the kit.
This week we have been focusing on nonfiction text features. We spent 2 days going over the definitions of each and how they help readers. Students then had to search through nonfiction resources to find example.