March 2nd, 2009
Spelling: None today. Students used this time to design “book covers” for their favorite books; this is a school-wide project and the signs will be placed on lockers. Homework is to finish the book cover if not done in class.
Cursive: Ten cursive sentences, seven or more words each, are due Fridays.
Reading: Today was a reading day in Literature Circles. Some groups worked on making inferences as a reading strategy.
Writing: We discussed the features 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
Homework is to finish the prewriting section of the Checklist for Good Writers and to start drafting the letter. I told students to plan on writing a full page at the minimum.
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: Students took another MiniQuiz over decimal addition and subtraction after we practiced this skill more last week. We also made personal references for centimeters (wide of a finger) and meters (up to my hip bone; varies for students). Homework is to finish Math Boxes 4.8.
Science: We noticed that metals are electrical conductors and non-metals are usually insulators. Exceptions to this rule are graphite (carbon) and salt water. Both are not good conductors, but will conduct electricity if the connection is good and the amount of electricity is high enough.
Social Studies: We took notes in our minibooks about the Underground Railroad. We will have a test tomorrow over the Underground Railroad.
- Yellow magnets: 3
- Orange magnets: 0
- Red magnets: 0
- STAR Awards: 0
- Magnets moved this week (goal: 10): 3
- Hours with no yellow magnets (record: 58): 0
- Days with no orange magnets (record: 39; previous score: 10): 1
Check your student’s Personal and Social Growth grade at SnapGrades to see if your student moved their magnet.