March 4th, 2010
Spelling: None today due to extra time with writing.
Cursive: Ten cursive sentences, seven or more words each, are due on Fridays.
Reading: Today was a reading day in Literature Circles. Some groups worked on determining importance as a reading strategy.
Writing: Today was a publishing day for students. Students worked on their persuasive letter in the computer lab. Here is more information about this project, and here’s a checklist to help with writing the letter. This piece will be due Friday, March 5. Homework is to spend some time planning their novel (see below) using the My Novel Planning page that was given to students previously.
Novel Writing Project
The final piece of the 3rd Marking Period 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 1,000-3,500 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 8 and it will be due on March 26; 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 worked in partners to coach each other and correct missed MiniQuiz problems about adding and subtracting decimals.
Science: Students were introduced to the Globe at Night project. This is a family project involving observing the sky near your home and looking at the amount of light pollution in your area. Light pollution causes problems with human health and safety, wasting energy, losing dark skies for observing stars, and disrupting animal behavior. Students received instructions about this project today in class; here is more information about this project:
- Students have from March 4-16 to complete their observation
- Students should observe the sky between 7-10 pm, and need to let their eyes adjust to the darkness for about 10 minutes before making the observation
- Students are looking for the constellation Orion in order make their observation
- Help with finding the latitude and longitude of your viewing location can be found here
- Students will turn in their record sheet for their grade (see handout from class, or look here)
- All the details, and a record sheet, can be found here
- Help with finding Orion in the sky can be found here and here
- Visit Globe at Night for complete details
- Other free resources to help with this project:
Social Studies: None due to a class hearing screening and extra time with science.
- Yellow magnets: 1
- Orange magnets: 0
- Red magnets: 0
- STAR Awards: 0
- Magnets moved this week (goal: 10): 9
- Spring Parent Teacher Conferences are March 23-26. Sign up, view or edit your time by visiting shortlinks.mrhowd.com/conferences
- Check out our class calendar to stay up-to-date.
- View grades, assignments, and attendance at SnapGrades.
Every student in Room 130 leaves improved and prepared for 5th grade.