Class activities for Monday, September 17

Spelling: None today. We used this time to discuss some class expectations and what types of topics that are fine to discuss. Romantic topics are inappropriate for a workplace and distract from our main task of making our brains smarter. I’ve asked the class to help with this to keep us focused and not distracted on side issues.

Cursive: Ten cursive sentences, seven or more words each, are due Friday. 

Reading: We read two realistic fiction stories today about people that recognized a need and did something to help out.

Writing: We talked about adding details to writing to prove what the writer is saying. For example, if the writer says a ride was exciting, prove it with some action or talking! If a gift was great, prove it! If a haunted house was scary, prove it with visual details and creepy sounds. Details make the writing more realistic.

Students also continued drafting their personal narrative today. Your student should be finishing the ending today. With this first piece of writing, a half page is the suggested minimum, but students may need to write more to make the story feel finished. A personal narrative is due Monday, September 24.  Homework is to continue drafting for 15 minutes and to finish drafting with a beginning, middle, and ending.

Math: None today due to art. Homework is to practice math for 15 minutes using MobyMax or Khan Academy.

Science: None today due to extra social studies.

Social Studies: Today was Constitution Day. We reviewed the Bill of Rights and how important the constitution is. Then we watched a short movie called Future Fright: Losing the Bill of Rights. It was about a future America and what it would be like without the Bill of Rights. Needless to say, it was terrible. The people did not have freedom of speech, freedom of the press, the right to protest or assembly, the right to a speedy trial. They had cruel punishments and lost all freedom. The movie dramatically showed why our constitution is so important.

Character Strength: We are learning about curiosity this week.

Notes:

Our Mission:
All students in Room 130 will do their best and get ready for 6th grade.

Homework and Missing Assignments

You cannot allow your children to remain indifferent about their homework. If they develop such an unmotivated approach to learning, they are likely to have problems handling the “real world” as well.

The quote above, from the book Homework Without Tears, reminds us of the importance of homework.

If your student is having a problem with completing work, you may want to consider one of the suggestions from this book: to set up a Daily Homework Time.

The idea is to have fourth graders expect to work for 40 minutes every night (fifth graders work 50 minutes), even if there is no “official” homework. When no homework is assigned from school, students work on other academic activities to practice, extend or enrich their studies in school, such as practicing cursive, working on math facts, or exploring the Internet to find out more information about the current science topic. When students understand that they will work for 40-50 minutes on homework every night, they will be less likely to argue, procrastinate, or “forget” their work.

And what happens if students refuse to do their work during Daily Homework Time, choosing just to sit there or work slowly? Well, the student has a choice. He can complete the work, or sit at his desk without TV, music, video games, computer, phone or any other privilege. Once he knows that you mean business, the work will get done.

Find more information about homework and missing assignments on the Homework Policy page. I also have copies of Homework Without Tears if you would like to borrow one. Here’s a sample schedule of daily homework time and more information.

Originally posted 2009-10-09 17:26:15. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Class activities for Thursday, September 13

Spelling: We practiced spelling compound words today. We noticed that compound words at just two words stuck together. The trick is to spell the first word, then spell the second word right after the first. The spellings never change.

Cursive: Ten cursive sentences, seven or more words each, are due Friday. This week’s assignment will be due next Friday. Looking for some cursive practice pages to kick start things? The Cursive page has some.

Reading: None today due to extra time with science.

Writing: We talked about focusing on a short time in a piece of writing. Instead of writing about a whole vacation, or even a whole day, focus on just a short time. Students that try to write about too much time end up leaving out important details. File this under: less is more.

Students also continued drafting their personal narrative today. Your student should be about half done with their draft at this point. With this first piece of writing, a half page is the suggested minimum, but students may need to write more to make the story feel finished. A personal narrative is due Monday, September 24.  Homework is to continue drafting for 15 minutes.

Also, students are able to use their chromebook for writing even without an internet connection. To do this, your student will need to sign in, then search for Google Drive, using the search button or pressing the app drawer button in the corner of the screen.

Math: None today due to art. Homework is to practice math for 15 minutes using MobyMax or Khan Academy.

Science: We finished a pretest about how to restore a damaged ecosystem. We also used a simulation to test what happens to an ecosystem when it gets out of balance by removing an organism.

Social Studies: We read a little about how the first American Indians migrated from Asia.

Character Strength: This week we are reviewing the #OtherPeopleMatter mindset this week. This is about five things:

  1. Look for the good in others.
  2. Know your words and actions affect others.
  3. Cheer for the success of others.
  4. Support others when they struggle.
  5. Give others your attention.

Notes:

Our Mission:
All students in Room 130 will do their best and get ready for 6th grade.

A simple way to boost responsibility

File:2010-07-20 Black windup alarm clock face.jpgResponsibility is something on the mind of both parents and students. Parents want their students to be more responsible, and students are always asking for more options to make their own choices and take charge of their life more.

One simple tool can help both parents and students: an alarm clock.

This isn’t earth shattering! Get your student their own alarm clock and have them manage it, setting it for the appropriate time in the morning to take up. It’s a great way to teach responsibility. Maybe they’ll even forget to set it one time and you can teach them the consequences. Mistakes are a good teacher and right now the consequences are a lot smaller than oversleeping for work one day.

Parents, don’t be the alarm clock! This is an area your student can grow responsibility in. And while you’re at it, make sure your student’s bedtime and wake up time is allowing them 10 hours of sleep a night or so. This will give your student the brainpower they need to focus and learn through the day. We all know how it feels to try to get work done when we are feeling groggy.

Class activities for Wednesday, September 12

Spelling: Today was a preview of words that will show up on the upcoming spelling test. Here are the spelling words for the year. Each test will have 20 words from this list. See the Spelling page for more details on how spelling will work this year.

Cursive: Ten cursive sentences, seven or more words each, are due Friday. This week’s assignment will be due next Friday. Looking for some cursive practice pages to kick start things? The Cursive page has some.

Reading: Today students completed a STAR Reading test.

Writing: We talked about focusing in writing. It’s too hard to write about a whole vacation or a long period of time. A writer can’t write about everything. The trick is to focus on the best part. For example, a student might want to write about Christmas break, but focus on the best part by zooming in on the best part: Christmas break –> New Year’s Day –> watching a movie at night –> the last 20 minutes of the moving when the ball is dropping. Focusing on the best part will let the writer spend their time and energy on the parts that matter most.

Students also started drafting their personal narrative today. Your student should have their draft started in Google Docs. Have them get their chromebook and show you what they have done so far. A personal narrative is due Monday, September 24.  Homework is continue drafting for 15 minutes.

Math: We started our topic about place value by practicing at MobyMax Math. Homework is to practice math for 15 minutes using MobyMax or Khan Academy.

Science: We started a pretest about how to restore a damaged ecosystem.

Social Studies: None today due to extra writing.

Character Strength: This week we are reviewing the #OtherPeopleMatter mindset this week. This is about five things:

  1. Look for the good in others.
  2. Know your words and actions affect others.
  3. Cheer for the success of others.
  4. Support others when they struggle.
  5. Give others your attention.

Notes:

Our Mission:
All students in Room 130 will do their best and get ready for 6th grade.