Class activities for Monday, March 8

Spelling: Students worked on completing their Words to Learn lists started last week. Other students practiced their spelling words.

Cursive: Ten cursive sentences, seven or more words each, are due on Fridays.

Reading: Today was a discussion day in Literature Circles.

Writing: Today was  a prewriting day students to continue to plan their novel. Here is more about this project:

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 ( to make use of the word count feature. Final novels will be uploaded to 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 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 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: None today due to an assembly about Energy Efficiency.

The Think! Energy assembly was sponsored by Consumers Energy and the National Energy Foundation, and taught students to be aware of the energy they use and to think about how to use less. Each student received a box of materials to use at home to become more energy efficient, including:

  • A low-flow shower head,
  • Two CFL lightbulbs,
  • A low-flow attachment for the kitchen sink,
  • A thermometer to test the temperature of hot water or the refrigerator, and,
  • A shower timer to try to help everyone take five-minute showers.

Students also brought home a survey form that they can complete with their families. If 80% of the class brings the form back, our class receives a $100 minigrant to use for class supplies!

Science: We learned that the earth is four times larger than the moon. We also talked about the fact that there are craters on earth, even though there are more craters on the moon. The Barringer Meteor Crater is one famous earth-bound crater.

Also, the Globe at Night project has begun and is due March 17; 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: We held a class meeting during this time. The class has been struggling with these behaviors:

  • Teasing and name-calling (both in person and via email and chat messages);
  • Accessing the email accounts of other students;
  • Trying to scare each other with the old “Bloody Mary” story; and,
  • Stealing from other students, especially during times of the day when students are sitting at the desks of other students.

Most of this boils down to…what are students going to spend their energy on? We all have only so much energy to spend learning and helping, or hurting and distracting. “Whatever is true, noble, right, lovely, admirable, pure, excellent, praiseworthy–think about such things.” Because…”out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks.”

We are going to have a regular class meeting for the near future in order to try to keep some of these hurtful behaviors from becoming habits or patterns.

Behavior Update:

  • Yellow magnets: 1
  • Orange magnets: 0
  • Red magnets: 0
  • STAR Awards: 0
  • Magnets moved this week (goal: 10): 1

Check your student’s Personal and Social Growth grade at SnapGrades to see if your student moved their magnet. Need help with SnapGrades? Notes:

Our Mission:
Every student in Room 130 leaves improved and prepared for 5th grade.

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