February 27th, 2009
Spelling: Students completed the second achievement test today. The achievement spelling tests measure class spelling growth over time. Results will be reported here as soon as they are available.
Cursive: Ten cursive sentences, seven or more words each, are due Fridays. This week’s assignment is due Monday due to today’s spelling test.
Reading: Today was a discussion day in Literature Circles. Students also completed an informational reading test.
Writing: Students were given an overview and checklist to use for their persuasive letter to the editor project (see links below). They also started planning their letter, focusing on these parts of a persuasive letter:
- Decide what you think about the issue
- Include Core Democratic Value(s) that match your position
- Define the Core Democratic Value(s)
- Explain how your Core Democratic Value(s) match your position
- Include data to match your position
- Explain how your data matches your position
- Restate how you feel about the issue
Novel Writing Project
Our piece due March 27 will be our final fiction project of the year. Students will write a novel. You read that right. Each student will write their own novel, with a word goal minimum of 1,500-3,000 words, based on their reading level (each student’s minimum writing goal is equal to their reading level multiplied by 500). The novels will be written in Google Docs (docs.mrhowd.com) to make use of the word count feature. Final novels will be uploaded to lulu.com and published as paperback books, which can be purchased for reasonable prices. So yes, students will actually write and publish their own novels. This project is based on the National Novel Writing Month Young Writers program. Here are more details:
- We will start this project in class on March 9 and it will be due on March 27; however, students can begin early.
- This is our final fiction project; the novel can be any type of fiction story (mystery, science fiction, fantasy, realistic, historical, etc.)
- We will be working in the computer lab most days, using docs.mrhowd.com to type the novel. Students can also work on this from any internet-connected computer outside of school.
- Students might want to start thinking now about how they will use a computer afterschool if they need to, and if they will go to the library, use a home computer, or use a friend or family member’s computer.
- If friends and family would like to order a paperback version of the book, we will upload the final texts to lulu.com. Most books will cost between $5 and $10.
- A big portion of this grade will be if students complete their own, personal word count goal.
Math: We reviewed decimal addition and subtraction today. First, students used these websites to practice:
Later, students reviewed their decimals addition and subtraction MiniQuiz with a math coach (a student who achieved a top grade on the quiz). Results showed that the class still needed to practice this skill. You might want to write a few decimal addition and subtraction problems for your student to solve and see how they are doing with this skill.
Science: Students completed an experiment today to identify electrical conductors and insulators. Homework is to finish the experiment worksheet, if not done in class.
Social Studies: We reviewed Michigan’s role in helping slaves escape on the Underground Railroad and watched a Dear America movie about the Underground Railroad.
- Yellow magnets: 1
- Orange magnets: 1
- Red magnets: 0
- STAR Awards: 0
- Magnets moved this week (goal: 10): 4
- Hours with no yellow magnets (record: 58): 0
- Days with no orange magnets (record: 39; previous score: 10): 0
Check your student’s Personal and Social Growth grade at SnapGrades to see if your student moved their magnet.