and wrote 2009 on the daily schedule today! Whoopsy. Luckily, I have very observent students and they promptly alerted me of the error, some of them even before they took their seats! At least I am comforted to know they really are paying close attention to the schedule. I figure that I’ll be writing 2010 consistently come March or so. I always seem to take a while to make the transition.
Today we learned a little about New Years celebrations and the history of New Year’s Resolutions. The students read a selection about New Year’s celebrations going back to the Babylonian calendars which recognized New Year’s Day in what we now call March at the start of Spring. We read about how the calendar was changed over time by the Roman Emperors, until Julius Caesar shifted it the final time. We then read a short selection on Janus, a mythological character believed by the Romans to have 2 faces on opposite sides of his head. Partially in recognition of looking both forward and backward at this time in the year, and partially in honor of Janus as a symbol of gates and beginnings, people began to make resolutions in January. We will carry on this tradition ourselves, as we write our own essays on New Year’s Resolutions. We will begin the writing process tomorrow, and we will spend a little time delving into 5 paragraph expository essay formats as we write.
Today we began our new unit on fractions. We had some discussions about the parts of fractions, definitions of fractions, and real world applications of fractions. We then spent a little time modeling fractions with arrays. Tomorrow we will take a closer look at something called Unit Fractions, and the students will learn some strategies for utilizing Unit Fractions to solve a variety of types of mathematical problems. You can learn a little more about Unit Fractions and why they are so important for building number sense around fractions at this website.
Today marks our 1 week point until the big field trip to the Marin Headlands. Come this time next week, your children will be miles away, hiking, exploring, and having a great time! I passed out more copies of the equipment list, so please start gathering together any supplies that you need. Today I was able to get into the emergency container out back and pull out some of the boxes of donated gear from North Face. Wow! We have a ton of fleeces, and a handful of rain jackets, down jackets, hats, gloves, 2 sleeping bags, and 2 extra backpacks. We will send home a notice tomorrow asking if you need supplies, or if you have extra supplies you would like to loan out. I will be available most days this week after school, and will stick around for extended hours on Wednesday prior to the PTA meeting to loan out items. I’m hoping the weather will remain like it is today, but we will also want to be prepared.
- Vocabulary: Complete Sort
- Mathematics: Study Link 5-1
- Reading: Read for 25 minutes and fill out predictions in Reading Log.
Who is this strange looking 2-faced guy, and why is he the picture accompanying the first post of the year 2009? Why it’s Janus of course, the Roman god of gates, doors, beginnings, and endings. Today in class we spent a little time learning about Janus and how his name eventually came to mark the new year, resolutions, and the month January. We also spoke some about making New Year’s resolutions and began a writing project based on incorporating resolutions into an essay in the form of an extended metaphor. We will be working on developing the essay over the course of this week in writing.
In Math today we began our unit on fractions with an activity documenting what people did over vacation by creating three circle venn diagrams and identifying different fractions within them. Over the next couple weeks, we will delve into fractions, decimals, and percents. A unit-opening family letter will be sent home tomorrow.
Reading homework for students with an active reading book in Literature Circles is to skim through their books to refresh themselves on what they have read so far. In class we discussed strategies for quick and successful skimming, and I sent home a page with a few pointers to help them out.
- Language Arts: Lit Circle Groups – skim through what you have read so far in your group, complete a timeline or character description to bring to group tomorrow.
- Mathematics: Practice Set 28. Don’t forget to show your work and attach any extra paper you used.
- Other: Finish writing rules for the resolution pre-writing if it was not finished in class.
- Reading: Read for 20 minutes and fill out pink reading log.
(Edit: It appears that I forgot to hit the submit button last night and when I went to check if I had any messages on the blog this morning I realized I didn’t publish the post.)
Did you know that the word Wednesday has roots of its etymology that date back to the Norse god Odin? After the Roman emperor Constantine set a 7 day calendar with names based on Roman gods, some of the names were changed by Germanic tribes. Among those changed was Diēs Mercuriī, or Mercury’s Day, to Wodensday. If you speak Spanish you will notice the similarity of the Roman name to Miercoles. Many students in the class are quite enthusiastic about learning Mythology, and might be interested to check out a brief explanation of the English names for the days of the week on Encyclopedia Mythica.
Today the students continued on their Limericks and began working on illustrations while I conferenced with individual students to help with revisions. After we finish the limericks, we will be putting the poems together in a collection, and each student will get a copy to keep.
In Mathematics, we worked through some word problems involving long division. We rewrote problems as open number sentences with variables, created graphical representations of the problems, applied division algorithms to find solutions, and then interpreted the remainder in relation to its meaning in the actual problem. For homework tonight, students will evaluate two more problems. Please make sure they follow each step and show their work on an additional paper or on the back.
- Language Arts: Vocabulary Sentences/ Stories with 6 words from the week’s vocabulary list. Focus on silent and sounded consonants.
- Mathematics: Study Link – Division Number Stories with Remainders.
- Reading: Read for 20 minutes and write in Pink Reading Log.