What's been going on in class?
Today the students enthusiastically greeted a new week of spelling and vocabulary words. (Well some did, I had one student tell me that he thinks doing the attached packet last week helped him on the spelling test, so there's a success!) After that I brought to the classes attention the fact that many of them had been failing to write their reading journal entries. This conversation led us right into reading/journal time. Afterwards we finished up a couple grammar sheets we started last Friday. I'll be having the kids read a book in groups over the next little while, so I had them write a paragraph explaining why they chose the book they chose, and then predicting what they believed would happen in the book. Also I finally got the spelling words up on spelling city, so the students can practice online now if they desire!
Today our schedule was very strange. We had a presentation from the people at the children's museum in Salt Lake. This presentation was in the morning, which means that we did literacy in the afternoon today. In class we listen to a radio piece from NPR about the debate of taking voting online or keeping it on paper. I asked the kids to raise there hands if there was something they didn't understand. The first time through, I think one person raised their hand. Then after it was done they all said, 'We didn't understand anything' So we tried it again, and well shoot! I was proud of the kids, they were asking the right questions and we had a pretty informative discussion! At was asked the question "What are republicans and democrats?" I answered that they were two organizations that people with similar philosophies join in order to support specific candidates. The follow up question was what are their philosophies. I told the kids the following " Republicans generally believe in lower taxes and less government, while Democrats generally want the government to do more, which requires more taxes. " Now I know that is an oversimplification, but I wanted you all to know what I said in case you disagree with me and wanted to answer those questions according to your own opinions. After that we worked on finishing the class's stories, and we had a little time for reading!
04NOV2019/MON/ DAY 51
The kids began the day by working on this week's spelling and vocabulary packet. Since they are now familiar with it's format, they started working with greater vigor this week. Afterwards I introduced them to the writing assignment for the week. The kids are to write a fiction story in one of the following three genres: mystery, science fiction, or fantasy. We've discussed the characteristics of these different genres in class and some of those characteristics should be shown in their story. The rough draft is due Wednesday and the final draft will be due Friday or Monday, this will depend on how wisely the kids are using their time. Each student also received a sheet explaining all of the parameters of this assignment.
Bang! And they're off into the second term. Wow time flies. This morning in literacy we started the day off with a review of the procedures I use in my class room. I tweaked some of them, and I also wanted to let the kids know that now term 2 has begun I am going to be more strict in requiring that we follow them. We passed out spelling lists for the week. The words are in a new format, they are based on latin and greek words, so the words were usually all be similar i.e. photograph, photosynthesis, photon etc. They also have a packet attached to them, The kids will be given enough to to finish in class (assuming they are working on it....so many may need to finish it at home.). This packet will be due on Wednesday's and the tests will again be on Friday's. I should be getting the words up on spelling city tonight at some point! We finished off the day with reading. On a side note I was very happy that upon grading the kids's reading journal to find that they have been reading a great quantity and a great variety of different books!
Well today was the big day. We started working on our end of term benchmark test. This test is designed to simulate state testing. The kids seem to be working at an appropriate rate, I don't think we've had any that simply rushed through it. We'll finish this tomorrow. Oh, also we did another simple worksheet on identifying the subject and predicate in sentences. Those who needed a break from testing read for 20 minutes before the end of the class, some just kept on trucking on the test!
Today we started off by working on another worksheet practicing identifying complete sentences. We finished our review of the practice test. Our main activity of the day consisted of the following: First the class was split into 2 groups. One group was assigned 4 pages to read in a book about rainforests and the other groups was assigned a different for pages. Their task was to write notes on the main ideas and vocabulary in their section. Then they partnered with someone who read other set of pages. Without books, but with their notes, they tried to teach each other about what they had read about. Then the students were given a quiz on the selection that they did not read. It was a bit rough for the kids, they weren't very familiar with taking notes for the purpose of teaching someone else. We'll practice again in a few day. The rest of the day was devoted to reading and journaling.
For Self start today I had the kids write about what duties they thought they would be able to take over for their teachers. It wasn't completely motivated by selfishness. After that we began correcting a practice test we took together yesterday. This test was taken to prepare the kids for next week actual benchmark test. Lastly the kids went to library and upon their return we had free reading.
We started by reviewing the spelling list for this week. I didn't want to get so focused on retaking spelling tests that we forgot to be ready for this week's test. After that review, we discussed a short story that we read a few days ago called 'Scout's Honor'. It's about 3 city boys who have never seen a forrest who decide to go camping. They believe they were prepared, but end up discovering how unprepared they are as they have some adventures that are less pleasant than they expected. At this point we had a fire drill interrupt class. (The kids did great, calm as cucumbers and listened to directions very well. They didn't even run back in when others were) We ended with free reading. I sure hope the kids are telling you all about what they are reading.
Alright, one week later....I guess it's baby steps to daily consistency! Today I proclaimed this week the week of redo and make up work. First priority was the kids who have not yet turned in their compare and contrast papers. I had them working with Mrs. McGroarty. Another group was working to add entries to their reading journals. The final group was studying the words for the spelling/vocab test on which they did the poorest. We will be retaking spelling tests all this week. If you are concerned about those grades then this is the week to fix it! Some of the kids even kept working during reading time!
Today we began class with a descriptive writing exercise. The kids chose 1 of 3 pictures to write about descriptively as if they were there. The goal was to give as many details as possible. We then shared some of the adjectives chosen and looked them up in a thesaurus. We saw all the myriad of words one can use to describe things! This led into a short discussion of similes and metaphors. Next was the computer lab where the kids were typing away at their 'This I Believe' essays. Essentially they are taking 1 or 2 of things things they believe and talking about why they believe it, why they think others would be benefitted if they also believed it. I won't lie it has been a tough one for the kids. Many are started to stretch themselves though! We finished class with independent reading time.