Upper Primary Cottage News
January 2018 Curriculum Newsletter
Level 6 Math and Science
Katherine (Wade) Coppinger
In math, students are continuing their lessons while working on a new set of stations for our new year. Our new stations focus on skills like area, perimeter, volume, fractions, patterns, symmetry, mental math, and calculator computation. We also have two science related stations where students are going on a rock hunt identifying igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic rocks. They are also learning about specific rocks and minerals by their characteristics and functions.
In science, we have had an exciting start to the new year. We have started a new unit about rocks and minerals in preparation for Earthshine. Students have defined soil and are now studying chemical and physical weathering. Rob Carmichael also came to share some really cool animals with us. The kids had a blast and were able to pet a baby sloth. In STEM, students created structures with pipe cleaners and aluminum foil.
Alice Revenig '98
The new year is off to a great start in Level 6 Language Arts and Social Studies. The students are enjoying reading Matilda, My Side of the Mountain, and Esperanza Rising in Literature Circle. We are concentrating on producing high quality work for literature circle and some students have elected to complete and share their work on Google Drive. During our Writers’ Tune-Up time, we have continued to talk about capitalization and punctuation and have recently been focusing on comma usage. We are still trying to make these important writing mechanics a writing habit. Writer’s Workshop has been meeting on Wednesday and Thursday afternoons and is a favorite time of students. They have been writing some very original stories and are finding their voices as authors.
We have begun our stories of the events leading up to the Revolutionary War in Social Studies. The students are engaged and excited as we discuss all of the different events that led up to this pivotal time in our nation’s history. As a part of our study we have been reading I Survived the American Revolution as a class. Once we complete the book we will be “attending” a digital field trip organized by Scholastic and the author.
Please help your student remember that they need to be reading at least 20 minutes each night and need to pass six Accelerated Reader tests in the spring semester. In addition, word study lists are given on Mondays and the tests take place on Fridays. Literature Circle homework is most frequently due on Tuesdays and Thursdays. This semester is shaping up to be a great one!
Level 7 Math and Science
In math we continued to work on individual plans. In place of stations this month the students have had a series of “thinker task packets”. Each packet has a different type of critical thinking strategy whether it is figuring out different attributes, logic, money, and codes. They have been challenging and fun at the same time. In basics we focused on fraction concepts such as equivalent fractions, simplest form, and changing fractions to decimals.
We have started our Food and Nutrition Study. We have focused on learning what the seven nutrients are and why they are important or not necessary for our bodies. At this time we are conducting a “fat” test on different foods we enjoy. Ms. Mayo has also been involved teaching them measurement concepts for when they start cooking with her in February. Every Thursday two level 7’s will go to the cafeteria in the morning and help Chef John with prep work for lunch. This is always a favorite with the Food and Nutrition lessons.
We have had one STEM activity in January and the kids loved it. They worked with partners and were given a long sheet of aluminum foil and 18 colorful pipe cleaners. Their challenge was to create something that we would all recognize what is was using only those materials. They did a great job!!
We are wrapping up our study of the Civil War. We have had some insightful discussions about the rights of all people and the impact of issues that were present during the 1800s on our lives today. The students learned about Martin Luther King, Jr.’s life and his involvement in the Civil Rights movement. We also discussed the reasons the Civil War and the Civil Rights movement are comparable. We are doing lots of creative writing and are focusing on the editing process. Using peer editing and self-editing, students are working to use correct punctuation and capitalization, include interesting descriptions, and substitute quality words for more every day words.