It came as such a surprise to both my students and I that we are now in the month of March–in just a blink of an eye January and February are over! While March has just begun, we are off to a great start as we have accomplished and experienced so many things in such a short amount of time.
The Gr.5DD students enjoy seeing what their older counterparts are doing in Middle and Upper School. Recently, we had the opportunity to visit Mr. Persia’s Gr. 7 Physics class where they were testing out their Egg Drop Contraptions. Since the students had a chance to create their own contraptions at the beginning of the year, Gr. 5DD was very excited to see what the seventh graders came up with. The Gr. 7 students were asked to create contraptions that could protect an egg when dropped from a very high height–using only one bag full of toothpicks. My students were shocked and very curious to see how their contraptions would hold up. As the seventh graders dropped their contraptions one after another, the Gr.5DD class cheered and excitedly awaited the results. Only a handful of the contraptions protected the eggs. As Mr. Persia explained the reasons why some eggs survived while others didn’t, the best lesson the students learned from this experience is that scientists can only learn and grow through trial and error.
In Social Studies, the students have delved into the world of the Ancient Hebrews. A great way to get the students excited and engaged with the history of Ancient Hebrew was through the movie The Prince of Egypt. This gave the students a backstory of how and why the Hebrews were mistreated while they were settled in Egypt. It also highlighted the many similarities between the narrative of Abraham (the Father of the Hebrews) and Moses.
The students continue to amaze me with their perseverance and dedication in Math class. Despite the new concepts we have learned such as creating/drawing models of decimal quotient and products. In addition, students have worked on estimating the decimal products or quotients. While these new concepts can sometimes be tedious, I continuously observe the students working hard (during small-group conversations and whiteboard drills) and helping one another through these new sets of skills.
Questions to ask your kids:
1. Why would it be helpful to know how to read decimal numbers? Where would I come across decimals in my day-to-day life?
2. What type of real-life situations would require me to know how to estimate the decimal product or quotient?
3. Why is it important to be able to know the different parts of a division equation?
Time after time, the students of Gr. 5DD have shown me that they are curious and creative learners. As a result, the students had almost no trouble when it came to writing their Informational Essays. While this genre is nothing new to them, I challenged the students to stretch their writing, to be diligent when organizing their thoughts and to be conscientious with their grammar. Throughout the writing process each and every one of the students surprised me in one way or another–from their level of knowledge on their chosen topics to the way they clearly and thoughtfully expressed themselves on paper. While the road to publishing their Informational Essays was a long and taxing journey, the students finally made it to the finish line!
To top off a successful writing unit, I gave my students one final challenge–to present their written work to the students of Gr. 3.When I first mentioned to the students of this idea, the students initial responses was a class full of moaning and groaning. Some admitted that they were nervous to present their written works to other students while others were certain that their topics wouldn’t interest the third graders. However, on the day of their presentations the Gr. 5DD students were met by excited and enthusiastic Gr. 3 students. The Gr. 3 students had the opportunity to listen in on three different Informational Essays as well as ask the Gr. 5 students questions after their presentations. While the class was full of students and chatter, I could see the focus in the Gr. 3 students’ eyes as well as the joy and pride the Gr. 5 students had in sharing their written works. Before we big the third graders, we finished off with some reflecting. The Gr. 3 students mentioned some of their favorite topics as well as the new information they learned. The Gr. 5 students shared what they most enjoyed about their experience and what they could do to improve the next presentation they have. All in all, it is safe to say that the Informational Essay presentations were a great success!