Second graders have become immersed in ancient civilizations. Students in Mrs. Dombey’ s and Mrs. Alexander’s classes have developed their understanding of the ancient civilizations of Egypt and China through the use of parts of the William & Mary units. Through the units they have worked on understanding the needs of a civilization and how those needs affected its people. We continued with our grade level theme of SYSTEMS and considered how the generalizations apply to those ancient civilizations, for example- many systems are made up of smaller systems. In Language Arts, we have continued to explore Junior Great Books, analyzing the vocabulary an author selects and viewing literature through multiple perspectives.
Students in Mrs. Monte’s and Mrs. Miralles’ class have undertaken a problem based learning unit-entitled the Red Wolf Unit. Students were hooked when a letter arrived for them from a local park ranger. The park ranger found lost red wolf cubs and asked for their help as to what to do for these endangered pups. Students were then challenged with the exploration of the relationships between plant, animal, and human life cycles in science while considering the economic relationship to their choice as well. Through this unit students continued to explore the grade level theme of STRUCTURES thinking about how a structure may be influenced by other structures.
Mrs. Hemmrich’ s fourth grade class has continued to challenge themselves on many fronts. During their science unit on Force and Motion, students were given the task of creating a Rube Goldberg design. A Rube Goldberg design is a complicated construction developed to perform a simple operation. The task given to the students was to get a golf ball into a hole. Students used their understanding of force, motion, and energy to construct their Rube Goldberg designs, while discovering how their grade level theme of RELATIONSHIPS applied to their understanding of these scientific concepts. In Language Arts, students began the study of Literary Reflections, a William and Mary base unit. Through this students will reflect on how change affects people and their relationships as well as their world. At this time, students have started to read The Secret Garden as well as an additional novel based upon their own interest.
Students in Mrs. Kling’s and Mrs. Nutt’s fifth grade classes have continued to expand their mathematical thinking and reasoning by working on Math Exemplars. While working on exemplars, students apply previous mathematical knowledge to real word problems demonstrating their reasoning and strategies. In addition, students must articulate their understanding by writing and orally communicating with ours as well. In Language Arts, students have been encouraged to look at themselves as authors through William and Mary’s unit entitled Autobiographies and Memoirs. Reading the autobiography- Boy: Tales of Childhood, students then have been reading selected other works by Roald Dahl, based upon their interest, and comparing and analyzing how his childhood affected him as a writer. Students will then be creating their own literature based upon their experiences.