Upper Primary (Grades 4 and 5) Cottage News
November / December / January
Level 6 Math and Science
Level 6 students will continue to work on individual plans that include daily textbook pages, weekly stations, and weekly math skills assignments in a basics workbook.
In December, for Basics, we spent a lot of time reading and interpreting fun holiday graphs. In January and February, we have focused on fraction concepts. Level 6 students started with identifying the difference between factors and multiples and are now working towards learning more about fractions. We have studied equivalent fractions, simplifying fractions, and adding/subtracting fractions.
Currently in class, the station work includes calculator computation, fraction tiles, tangrams, area and perimeter, pentomino patterns, rocks and minerals, angle measurement, and telling time.
In science, we have had some fun beginning our Rock and Minerals unit. Students worked with Hershey Bar and Snickers to help determine the difference between rocks and minerals. We are now using the various properties to help us identify minerals. Several hands on lessons are coming up where we will test each of the seven different properties.
In Stem, students had a lot of fun building various Christmas structures out of toothpicks and spiced gumdrops. They had to be strategic figuring out the best way for the structure to stand on its own. We also studied service dogs and how they can be trained to complete many different tasks. Students learned about a particular service dog and presented to the class how and what they do to help us. To celebrate this cold weather, we have started a snowflake unit. For stem, students are creating various types of snowflakes based on lines of symmetry in 6,8, and 12 points snowflakes.
Level 6 Language Arts and Social Studies
We have had a very busy few months in L6! November was spent with a study of Native Americans. We worked in groups to create a book on different Native tribes. Each group became an expert and had to follow a rubric in order to teach the class what was learned. The final books and presentations were phenomenal and I was so proud of all they learned! We ended December with a fantastic map study. We made holiday maps and used dictionaries as references to learn different types of landforms. These were then drawn onto a map in the shape of different holiday themes. There was great collaboration and discussion during this time. We are currently learning about Colonization.
The kids are learning to read a textbook, answer questions, and take notes in a more formal classroom experience. Their notes will be put to good use when we have a unit test to wrap everything up! We also enjoyed reading another “choose your adventure” book about Colonial America. It was a great way to put history in perspective and the kids really enjoyed it! I am so excited to see the kids tackle each unit with excitement!
In Language Arts we have had an intense focus on reading non-fictional texts for comprehension, using context clues, and citing text evidence. We are learning the importance of reading for understanding and answering questions completely (not just answering the first part of a question!). We have also been learning about using quotation marks and commas correctly, helping verbs, and relative pronouns and adverbs. We are about to learn about subjects and predicates. Keep studying your spelling and vocabulary words each week!
We are about to shift our focus to root words and making sure we really understand the words we are learning to spell. Don’t forget to check grades each week on www.spellingcity.com!
Level 7 MathLevel 7 students continued to work on individual plans throughout November, December, and January. Most chapters have focused on fraction concepts including addition, subtraction, and multiplication. A new concept introduced was multiplying decimals.
Station work also continued in November and December. They included exponents, tangrams, geoboards, IXL, and science stations. In January we took a break from stations and focused on critical thinking packets. Each packet was different and was intended to enrich and extend problem solving and critical thinking skills in a variety of challenging activities.
Level 7 Science
In November and December we finished up our unit on Magnetism and Electricity. The students spent lots of time experimenting with open and closed circuits and electromagnets. It ended with a fun Friday afternoon with Ben Roy for the Science Zone showing us lots of fun hands on experiments.
In January we started our always anticipated Food and Nutrition unit. At this point we have performed a fat test on several different popular foods. Ms. Mayo has worked with the students on recipes. They made their own recipe for a grilled cheese, and then worked in groups to make chocolate chip cookies following a recipe. There are lots of great activities to look forward to with this unit!
Our STEM activities included defying gravity with hanging magnets, coding with Christmas words, building the sturdiest towers with gumdrops and toothpicks, as well as some activities from our Scholastic Super Science magazine.
Level 7 Language Arts and Social Studies
Level 7 is making great progress. We have worked on answering questions in our literature circle assignments and are also working on point of view, characterization, and summarizing. We have also been spending time focusing on parts of speech. We have been diagramming sentences and have made great progress in using diagrams to identify the part of speech a word plays in a sentence.
In social studies we spent time studying Native American Tribes from the Southeastern region of the United States. Our studies culminated in group projects on different tribes and a wonderful field trip to Red Clay State Park. We are currently in the middle of our studies of the colonization of the United States and are looking forward to moving into our studies of Colonial Williamsburg soon.