Civilizations Presentations

Over the past month, 5a students have been hard at work becoming experts on ancient civilizations so that they could help a group of nomads set up their very own settlement. By using the cultural universals (the necessities for successful civilization) students gathered facts, and began to pull out their ideas to share with the nomads about how to set up their civilization. One of the reasons this project forces students to use complex thinking skills is because students cannot just regurgitate information, but instead have to analyze and evaluate the information they learned.

Your child will be coming home today or Friday with a checklist to help them evaluate their presentation skills. Please feel free to help them by letting them practice in front of you, and by giving them feedback. Below are pictures of the students practicing for their presentations, which will take place on Monday and Tuesday.


Writing Buddies

Today, 5A students had a special opportunity to work with 2A learners to improve their writing. Since we just finished our small moment/narrative unit and 2nd grade is currently working on their small moment stories, 5A students were able to share their stories with their buddies, and help them add details to the heart of their story. We ended the activity with 5A students sharing a sentence or two that their buddies added to their writing.

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Personal Narrative Immersion

IMG_1151To start our new writing unit, students spent some time familiarizing themselves with personal narratives. Learners read a variety of books, and pulled out traits that they noticed. Afterward, we came together to share the characteristics we noticed. This will help us as we move forward, to begin writing our own small moment stories.

Pre-Writing Strategies

Students have been learning about how writers take ideas through the writing process. On Monday we focused on how we use pre-writing strategies to help plan our writing. We talked about a variety of strategies we use, and how we often have to use more than one to plan out our story. Below is a collage of the students working on their writing, using pre-writing strategies to help plan their pieces.


Final Reading Buddies

This week, we met with our reading buddies one last time. We use this to reflect on the reasons we thought that reading buddies were important. Together, we brainstormed different ways that reading buddies have helped us grow as learners. Then, with our buddies, we typed a blog post. IMG_1048

Persuasive Essays

Students will be choosing an environmental issue, researching to become an expert about their issue, and then writing a persuasive essay trying to convince readers of their point of view. In order to better understand persuasive essay structures and techniques, students conducted a chalk talk, pulling out ideas about observations they made about 6 different mentor texts. Students focused on leads, transitions, endings, organization and persuasive technique when pulling out ideas. Students then pulled the 4 most important notes and shared with the class. This activity served as a great way for students to see how persuasive essays are written, as well as to get an idea of what we already know about the genre. PhotoGrid_1428642612320

Note Taking

5C students chose a Mover and Shaker that they wanted to become an expert about. They will use their knowledge to create an interview to show how and why their person is/was a Mover and Shaker.

In order to become an expert, students must research to gather information. Ms. Blase helped generate strategies to take notes and paraphrase information, so that they best understand what they read, and are not plagiarizing. Students worked together on paragraphs about Harriet Tubman to practice the strategies. Below are pictures of them in action.


Publishing Party

5th Grade students have been hard at work, writing their autobiographies, and today, we shared them with parents and peers! Thank you all that came, read our stories and gave us stars. Below are some pictures of our publishing party.

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Walk About for Autobiographies

This morning, Grade 5 students conducted a walk about to share and improve our autobiographies in writing. Students had two tasks, to use their expertise in autobiographical writing to help improve other students’ writing, and to pick up ideas to add to their own.

Students gave feedback and compliments in the form of stars and wishes, where they focused on being positive and specific.

Below are some pictures of the walk about.PhotoGrid_1422405082936