On this last school day of April, our week draws to a close. Also, we are in the time of the school year that I refer to as "lasts." May is the last "normal" month in the school year. Why? It is the final month that is devoted to teaching (science, at least) and in the sense that there aren't many distractions. It is also the last full month. Once we enter June, it will be about last minute review, testing, and the closing out of the year.
The last two weeks have been devoted heavily to a literacy focus and content review by using the STEMscopes books that we are piloting. Today I decided to not do the STEMscopes writing activity. We started off with a warm-up after independent reading.
Today's focus shifted towards the social studies aspect. I gave the class time to finish their pirate projects and assigned a page in the book. While we will be doing notes and science next week, there are still some social studies assignments that I need to get in before grades get turned in for the progress reports that go out next Friday.
Today was also the 4th grade performance. I have to say, they did a fabulous job (like they did with everything else this year!) and made me proud! It also made me sad too because my time with this wonderful group of kids is coming to an end before long. I also have to say, I was pretty impressed with their impression of Ode to Joy from Beethoven's 9th Symphony.
The weekly parent email was sent out today. In it, I mentioned that the online practice test for the ecosystems unit test (Tuesday, May 10th) will go live on Monday. It will again be set up to where they can take it as many times as needed and should be able to review their answers too.
Today was a continuation of before so I am going to keep this entry brief. Tomorrow students should be finishing their pirate project and the performance is tomorrow at 3:00.
While it has little to do with us, the 5th graders left for their trip to Charleston so our hallway and cafeteria are so eerily quiet. This is something that my students can look forward to a year from now barring and unforeseen changes.
As I had mentioned a few times before, the last week and this week are devoted heavily towards literacy by using the STEMscopes books. Not only are they practicing good reading comprehension skills, they are also getting a review of the content since everything in that book is nonfiction text.
We also continued working on finishing up the pirate project for social studies.
Friday at 3:00 is the 4th grade performance in the gym/multipurpose room. 4th graders practiced today during specials.
I just realized that after this week, there are only six more weeks remaining in the school year! While it does seem that time flew by, I can also feel the length of this year too. With the year slowly but surely drawing to its inevitable close, the emphasis is now placed more on review. The big exception is in science where we still have to cover conservation in the current ecosystems unit and hit the microbiology unit next.
Since EOG's are about a month and a half away, the math mock EOG is next Thursday (May 5th). This too will be under EOG conditions where students will not switch classes except for specials.
What is different about this test is that the students have gotten used to being in individual desks lined up in traditional rows. This is for the real testing which requires it so I figured that I might as well just do it earlier and let them acclimate rather than surprise them.
The similarities are that no posters or charts will be taken down or covered up and the lunch and recess schedule is the same.
This will definitely not be the case for the actual days of testing. Lunch will be moved up and the schedule will be more loose in the sense that classes that have completely finished up with testing will likely be able to go to lunch. That was how it was done last year but one never knows since things change.
I will continue to keep reviewing through the daily warm-ups:
Another Monday has come and gone and this Monday was originally a teacher workday turned make-up day due to the snow. I am glad to have made it up today and have a four day long Memorial Day Weekend rather than the opposite.
This week is going to be a continuation of the literacy focus that we were doing last week. Next week it will change but I do need the students to be using their STEMscopes books since we are piloting the program.
The warm-ups are starting to have about ten questions since I want to both reinforce the current content (ecosystems) as well as review the older material.
In social studies, the students are beginning to finish up with the pirate project. Also, the 4th grade musical performance is going to be this Friday at 3:00 pm.