March 3rd, 2009
Spelling: Today was a preview of upcoming spelling words.
Cursive: Ten cursive sentences, seven or more words each, are due Fridays.
Reading: Today was a discussion day in Literature Circles.
Writing: Students had a prewriting conference with a partner about these 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
Students also continued to draft their persuasive letter. Homework is to finish the draft of the letter, using the Checklist for Good Writers as a guide. 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 estimated measurements in centimeters using their personal references. Also, based on MiniQuiz scores, some students received a page to practice subtraction of decimals. This page is due Friday, and there is a place for a parent to sign. You can check SnapGrades to see if your student is working on this assignment.
Science: Students learned that moving electricity produces magnetism. They then used a coiled wire wrapped around a steel rivet to magnetize the rivet, making a magnet. Tomorrow we will learn how to make the magnet stronger.
Social Studies: Students completed a test today over the Underground Railroad.
- Yellow magnets: 2
- Orange magnets: 0
- Red magnets: 0
- STAR Awards: 0
- Magnets moved this week (goal: 10): 5
- Hours with no yellow magnets (record: 58): 0
- Days with no orange magnets (record: 39; previous score: 10): 2
Check your student’s Personal and Social Growth grade at SnapGrades to see if your student moved their magnet.