Happy World Kindness Day!
Important Upcoming Dates:
What have we been studying?
Our central idea for our “How the World Works” transdisciplinary theme has been “Investigations allow for a deeper understanding of our world.” Throughout all of our subjects, we have been delving deeper into the following investigations:
We just finished our math unit on multiplication. We have just started investigating what division means. 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. After ensuring firm understanding of the concept, we will solidify and practice our usage of the standard algorithm along with other methods to check / prove our work.
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 will finish drafting the booklet and start revising.
In science, we just finished a week long investigation into the Case of the Missing Millionaire. As part of our PYP Unit of Inquiry on “How the World Works” centered around the related concept of 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 at 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.
Last week, students conducted the following 10 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.
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?
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. 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.