Today was a day of three endings: the week, the month (last school day in October), and the 1st quarter. It is difficult to believe that the first quarter has ended and we are now ¼ of the way into the school year. The next two months are among the shortest of the school year. November and December will quickly come and go and before we know it, it will be a new year.
The weekly parent email has been sent out. As I mentioned before, I try to hold off as long as I can since there are times when we will get a late notification from the office about adding something important to our emails. I usually hit "Send" around 4:00, right before I pick up my students from specials.
The field trip money was due today and unfortunately, I will not be able to collect any money on Tuesday. We are under a deadline to turn in money to JA Biztown and this was the last day we were able to collect.
If I do not have your child's permission form, I can send another one home for you to fill out as long as I get it before the 11th, which is when we go.
In literacy, we continued with the five new Caesar's English words and then time was devoted for students to apply for their JA Biztown jobs.
In math, we focused on two and three digit multiplication. I will be going over the lattice method on Tuesday and area models on Wednesday. Thursday will have a mini-lesson on the Japanese method and after that, students are free to use whichever method that they are most comfortable with using. Thursday and Friday will also be devoted to long division. Reviewing multiplication and division as well as using both for problem solving will round out the month of November. December will be about area and perimeter of squares, rectangles, and regular polygons (all sides are congruent, or equal in length).
In science we had a special activity in the spirit of Halloween and autumn in general.
I'm going to make this entry short since I have conferences this afternoon.
Also, I had some sort of technical glitch (the story of this year so far) and the video that I recorded was lost in cyberspace.
We are beginning the new lesson in Caesar's English with a new set of words to learn. Most students did well on the quiz and all parents should have been contacted about their child's performance by now. I am currently working on a new online quiz to help students prepare. Here are the new words:
Serene - calm, clear and peaceful
Acute - sharp
Grotesque - weird-looking
Condescend - to act superior to someone else
Odious - repulsive, repugnant, hateful
For JA Biztown, my class voted on the our class' candidate for Mayor of JA Biztown. The actual election will be on Tuesday, November 1st.
In math, we are into our multiplication unit with using the traditional algorithm to solve 2x2 and 2x3 digit problems. I will likely move ahead of schedule and teach (or review for some) the lattice method of multiplying.
The answer is 103 since there are two sides more than the number of the step. For example, the first step is 1 and it is a triangle, which has 3 sides. 3 is two more than two.
In science, we began the second part of the unit with a focus on minerals. Students did a warm-up first....
The answer to number one is to place glass between Hard and Shiny. Glass isn't easy to break with one's hands. The answer to number two is Liquid #5. The heavier and more dense liquids will naturally sink to the bottom.
Then, they took the following notes:
Mineral - a solid and non living substance that occurs naturally and has a crystal structure. Minerals are formed from lava cooling.
Hardness - the ability of a mineral to resist being scratched. It is the most reliable means of identifying one mineral from another.
Color - the color appearance of a mineral
Luster - the ability of a mineral to reflect light
Cleavage - the way a mineral breaks along a plane of weakness
Streak - the powdery line left behind by a mineral after being scraped
Texture - the outer appearance and feel of a mineral
Mohs' Scale of Hardness - a ten point scale used to measure the relative hardness of a mineral by its resistance to scratching
I also showed them a simple Mohs Scale:
Our schedule was slightly different today but it did not affect academics in the slightest. Our specials schedule was switched with Thursday's so instead of going to the STEM lab the class went to music. Thursday my class will go to STEM. This was due to something with the special area teachers. The students still get the content but just on different days.\
Literacy's focus shifted to nonfictional text so I used a passage from the Storyworks magazine from Scholastic.
In math, we began the unit on multiplication and division by going over the traditional algorithm in which the numbers are lined up vertically by place value. In other words, it is the way most people learned. I started out with multiplying a one digit number by a three or four digit number and then moved to 2 x 2. Students were then paired up and each pair was given four ten-sided dice. Two of the dice were joined to make a two-digit number on the top and the other two for the bottom. Students then multiplied both numbers to get a product.
In science we tested the heat conductivity of copper, steel, and aluminum.