November 8

Up-coming Dates:

  • Friday, November 9–Popcorn Day
  • Tuesday, November 13–Kindness Day
  • Monday-Saturday, November 19-24–International Week
  • Friday, November 23–International Parade–WEAR NATIONAL DRESS
  • Friday, November 23–EARLY RELEASE–Dismissal is at 11:30 a.m.
  • Saturday, November 24–International Winter Bazar–Boxes of Hope DUE
  • Wednesday and Thursday, November 28-29–Kids’ Life the Musical 5:00 p.m. in the SPAH

What have we been studying?

With the overall central idea being “Investigations allow for a deeper understanding of our world,” here is how we have been learning this throughout all of our subjects:

We are finishing up our math unit on multiplication. The test is tomorrow. Task cards for review are on Teams. Next week we will start investigating what division means. As we go into our division unit, please DO NOT teach your child the standard algorithm. Fifth grade is the final year to really solidify the CONCEPT of division, especially as we start to divide decimals. Our goal is to understand WHAT division is and be able to record it in a way that makes sense based on CONCRETE examples. The standard algorithm has it’s place, but not until AFTER the conceptual understanding is firmly in place. Thank you for your support in this.

Please read the Unit 3 Newsletter for ways to help your child develop the concept of division.

In reading, we have been investigating the text structures of nonfiction. We are now comparing and contrasting two different texts based on their topics and text structures. Next week we will be working on finding the main idea and details of a text in order to write a summary. As your child reads at home, please ask them what the main idea is. This should be stated in a sentence form. (“How dogs eat” is a title, not a main idea. “Dogs are messy eaters.” is a main idea.)

In writing, we have drafted the three body paragraphs for our investigator research booklets. Each student picked an investigator and found out what was investigated, why they investigated, and what the consequences of the investigation were. Next week we finish drafting the booklet and start revising.

In science, we just finished a week long investigation into the Case of the Missing Millionaire. (see below) We’re now getting back into investigating the properties of matter, discovering whether heating or cooling an object changes its mass or properties, and whether mixing two substances together creates a new substance.

Shenzhen Museum

As a final tie-in to our previous Unit of Inquiry, grade 5 students visited the Shenzhen Museum to find evidence of different human-made systems in Shenzhen and how they have changed over time. Students were asked to find photographic evidence of such systems as money and trade, art and architecture, agriculture, religion, and communication. Then students had to work in their groups to evaluate and select the most meaningful photos for each system. Besides being educational, it was just a really fun experience for all!

The Case of the Missing Millionaire

As part of our PYP Unit of Inquiry on investigation, students got the opportunity to pretend to be forensic scientists and use evidence to determine the answer to what could be a murder mystery!

We began by examining the crime scene up on Level 5. Students then collected the evidence and carefully recorded information about each piece they found.

We began setting up a clue board and then went back to the evidence to conduct some crime labs or forensic tests to give us more information.

On Monday, students conducted 5 different crime labs:

1. Brown Stain test = Students did a simple chromatography test to determine if the stain on a paper towel was from a felt pen or food coloring.

2. Cola test = Students used pH (or litmus) paper to determine if anything had been added to the victim, Felix’s, cola.

3. Fingerprint test = Students examined fingerprints on Alfredo’s and Felix’s cups.

4. Smell test = Students smelled the colognes/perfumes of four of the suspects to determine which was the one they found on the torn towel at the crime scene.

5. Thread test = Students burned both cotton and wool threads and examined how they burned in order to identify mystery threads found at the crime scene.

On Tuesday, students conducted the 5 remaining crime labs:

6. DNA testing = Student examined the DNA of all the suspects and the victim to determine whose hair was in the comb at the crime scene.

7. Ice cube test = Students used the pH paper again to determine if anything had been added to the melted ice cubes found at the crime scene.

8. Secret Note = Students had to piece together a torn up note and then identify the writer based on handwriting samples.

9. Powder study = Students added drops of iodine to 5 different powders to identify the powder found on the shoes of two of the suspects.

10. Tape lift test = Students did a tape lift on all of the suspects’ clothes to find evidence such as grass, human hair, dog hair, wool, and cotton thread. Does the evidence match with what they said they had been doing?

Students then had to look at all of the evidence and decide what happened to Felix. Who did it? Ask your child to find out.

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