March 4th, 2009
Spelling: None today due to library.
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 determining importance as a reading strategy.
Writing: As a class, we wrote a sample letter about not wearing Heeleys in school, making sure to include all these features:
- 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 should be revising their drafted letter by now. 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: We started measuring to the nearest millimeter (12.3 cm, 5.7 cm, 23 mm, 17 mm). We also practiced converting between metric units:
- 100 cm = 1 m
- 150 cm = 1.5 m
- 10 mm = 1 cm
- 12 mm = 1.2 cm
- 4 cm = 40 mm
- 5.3 cm = 53 mm
This seemed to be a struggle for much of the class. We’ll continue to work on converting metric units, but you might want to work with your student at home on this skill.
Reminder: The decimals subtraction review page given to some students 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 tested how the number of coils of an electromagnet affected its strength. Homework is to finish a graph of experiment results and a Response Sheet about electrical circuits, if not finished in class.
Social Studies: None today due to library.
- Yellow magnets: 2
- Orange magnets: 0
- Red magnets: 0
- STAR Awards: 0
- Magnets moved this week (goal: 10): 6
- Hours with no yellow magnets (record: 58): 6
- Days with no orange magnets (record: 39; previous score: 10): 3
Check your student’s Personal and Social Growth grade at SnapGrades to see if your student moved their magnet.