As this was the second day of the school year, we started to get more into our daily routine. Today, classes switched for the first time as I welcomed Ms. Eiger’s class while my class had her for math. Classes are for an hour at a time so I had to move quickly with introductions and going over expectations.
Literacy will be divided into two portions: reading and writing. For the first two weeks, we will be focusing on the Launching Literacy Unit, which goes over good strategies to use while reading as well as getting them into the literacy mindset. After that, we will shift our focus to realistic fiction and I will begin doing rotations.
Rotations? The students will be separated into 5-6 groups, and each group will have its weekly rotations schedule where they will go to different stations. One station will be meeting with me in their small group but others will involve reading independently (that’s why I have those nice chairs in the corner), reading to each other, comprehension activities, etc. Essentially, all but one of the stations will require students to be responsible and independent.
Writing will also be an introduction over a two week period. I actually have always enjoyed teaching writing since students get to write about things that are meaningful for themselves.
What we did in literacy was to set up the notebooks for reading and writing. We discussed the concept of agency in which one can set and achieve a goal with enough determination. In writing, each class came up with four expectations for their writing communities.
In science, we didn’t do an experiment but instead focused on scientific thinking and looking for fallacies (errors/flaws) in logic. The students had a warm-up in which three statements making faulty claims were shown to them. Their task was to read each statement and determine the flaws in the claim.
Here are the statements and an explanation in parentheses:
Then, we did an activity called Dihydrogen Monoxide. Each student was given a handout with a brief article on the connection between dihydrogen monoxide and cancer. After reading over the text, the class was surveyed to see if dihydrogen monoxide should be banned or not and why. Most voted for the ban. Then, I revealed to them that dihydrogen monoxide is really nothing more than a different name for water! H2O = di (2) hydrogen mono (1) oxide (oxygen). Then, the class was asked to think about why they chose the ban, especially since all of text was technically true. We then talked about how people can be led into false beliefs based on inaccurate information. We also discussed pseudoscience.
The final activity was another faulty statement for them to ponder.
“Misti claims that eating too much sugar can cause a lot of health problems. Ha! Her favorite place to eat is Taco Bell! Why should I believe someone who likes to eat at THAT place every now and then???” Basically, the idea was that how a person is, is irrelevant to the stated facts.