Reading: During the first few weeks, we will launch “Readers’ Workshop” in order for the readers to know how to successfully choose just right books, talk or “buzz” about books, interact with the text as they read utilizing the reading strategies good readers use while reading: predicting, visualizing, connecting, clarifying, questioning, summarizing and evaluating. We will continue to develop these skills throughout the year with individual, small group, and whole class instruction. Each student will use his/her reading notebook, which will be housed on their iPad, to record the books they read, mini-lesson information, and reading responses to their independent and small group reading.
Each student will also complete a DRA, Developmental Reading Assessment, and will be working with me in small book clubs.
Below is a handout on some suggested topics and questions to ask your child, to continue to foster their growth as readers at home.
Writing: Throughout the next few weeks, “Writers’ Workshop” will be set up in our classroom. The students are very familiar with this process as it is a proven method through which writers develop that our school utilizes for instruction and learning.
Each young writer will write numerous narrative drafts using a variety of prewriting strategies. After a few weeks, each will choose a narrative draft that s/he would like to work with for a couple of weeks. Using mentor texts and mini-lessons, the writers will be engaged in the revision process in order to improve the piece for the 6 Traits of writing: ideas, organization, word choice, voice, sentence fluency, and conventions. Ultimately, the students will publish their narratives.
Our general curriculum is guided by the Common Core State Standards for Math.
Introductory unit –
The purpose of the first ten days is to establish math routines and expectations that will prepare students for the common core classroom.It also provides lessons that allow students to develop number sense concepts within the structure of the CCSS Math Practices.
Unit 1 – Whole Number and Decimal Fraction Place Value
Area of foci:
- Multiplicative Patterns on the Place Value Chart
- Decimal fractions and place value patterns
- Place value and rounding decimals fractions
- Adding and subtracting decimals
Unit 2 – Mulit-Digit Whole Number and Decimal Operations
Area of foci:
Mental Strategies for Multi-Digit Whole Number Multiplication
The Standard Algorithm for Multi-Digit Whole Number Multiplication
- Decimal Multi-Digit Multiplication
- Measurement Word Problems with Whole Number and Decimal Multiplication
- Mental Strategies for Multi-Digit Whole Number Division
- Partial Quotients and Multi-Digit Whole Number Division
- Partial Quotients and Multi-Digit Decimal Division
- Measurement Word Problems with Multi-Digit Division
Science: Living Systems
Our current unit is “Living Systems.” The investigations covered in this unit are:
- Systems – Understanding what systems are.
- Nutrient Systems – How plants and animals get nutrients.
- Transport Systems – How cells in plants and animals get what they need to survive.
- Sensory Systems – The role of sensory and motor neurons that allow animals to communicate and move.
Social Studies: Civilizations
Our first social studies unit is “Civilizations.” The students will learn about several early civilizations and discover how they developed using the “cultural universals” to inquire: Basic Needs, Belief System, Communication, Economy, Technology, Government, Family Structure, Education, and Leisure. The physical geography and environment are analyzed as they directly impacted how a culture developed. After exploring similarities and differences between several civilizations and discovering what caused a civilization to flourish or decline, the learners will present to a group of “nomads” where and how to create a successful civilization.
Students learn and practice a variety of skills and strategies to help them better understand nonfiction texts. Students learn how to “pre-read” a nonfiction text by looking at the organisation of it, identify key topics and subtopics, and preview visuals. The readers also look at text structure, such as compare/contrast, cause/effect, or a sequence in a process. They each learn to recognise if it’s fact or opinion, identify the main idea and supporting details, draw conclusions, and evaluate the author’s purpose.
Fantasy Book Clubs
Lastly, the students will be diving into fantasy books. They will begin reading independently as we explore the different elements of fantasy, and then move into book clubs to deepen their literary discussions and understanding.
I am From Poetry
Students explore poetry by creating poems about what makes them who they are. A big focus during this unit is to use figurative language (similes, metaphors, hyperboles…) and sensory details to bring their words to life.
Students will start to piece together their own memoir. Starting off just drafting stories that are important to them, they will begin to pull out the themes or recurring ideas that they notice. Using this theme, they will create a piece or collection of pieces that will be their memoir. This unit dives deeper into narrative like writing, by having students analyze who they are, and how they are going to show their readers their ideas.
Unit 5: “Division.”
As the title implies, it’s all about learning various strategies to divide. A main focus is to use our knowledge of basic facts and how our base ten number system works to help us divide efficiently and accurately. The areas of foci are:
- To review multiplication and division facts and to apply basic facts to division with 1-digit divisors
- To review and practice the partial-quotients division algorithm with whole numbers
- To use the partial-quotients algorithm to divide decimals by whole numbers
- To practice solving division number stories and interpreting the remainder
Unit 6:“Fractions: Adding and Subtracting”
The main purpose of Unit 6 is to review and practice adding and subtracting fractions. The areas of foci are:
- Add and subtract like denominators
- Estimate fractions to the nearest ½
- Finding equivalent fractions
- Add and subtract unlike denominator fractions
- Add and subtract mixed numbers
- Solve addition and subtraction word problems
Earth and Sun
Our current unit is “Earth and Sun.” Utilizing scientific inquiry, learners complete the unit with a study of our planet that focuses on the Earth’s atmosphere; its roles and influence. Furthermore students will explore weather and weather variables.
Movers and Shakers
Students explore a variety of people who have shaped the lives of people around them, or around the world. They will grow an understanding about what has caused others to take action, such as social and political environments, and what influenced these people to take action.
Students will take action themselves in some way. For the final assessment, they will give a speech demonstrating that they are a Mover and Shaker because of an action that they took. They will reinforce their ideas from research that they conduct about a role model Mover and Shaker.