Week 15

Dear Families,

The fifth grade writers are proud of their work, and through creating their personal narratives, have developed an understanding of the writer’s process. After discussing ways to generate ideas, writers drafted their stories. Soon after, revisions were underway with a focus on the heart of their story, as well as the arc, or sequence of their story. We are now humming along through the editing process. Some of the children wanted clarification regarding the difference between revising and editing. Revising has to do with taking a look at our writing with a new set of eyes and making changes to our content, while editing focuses on the mechanics of our writing. 

With that, mini-lessons over the last few days have covered comma use: compound and complex sentences, dialogue, and commas in a series. Writers were also reminded of subject-verb agreement and consistent verb tense. During writing time, the room is buzzing with active conversations around the appropriate use of a comma.  

As we continue to prepare for our Invention Convention, children were introduced to the term scientific induction or the idea of drawing a conclusion through the process of reasoning, or in this case, “guess and check.” They were given a number puzzle to solve with a partner, a pen, and a piece of lined paper. A major component of the task was to show each step of the problem-solving process and use the previous attempt as a means of refining their next attempt. In addition to testing the children’s problem-skills, the activity also tested their perseverance and abilities to work past frustration. 

The challenge: Determine a ten-digit number where the first digit tells how many zeros are in the entire number, the second digit tells how many ones are in the entire number, the third digit tells how many twos are in the entire number, and so on, until the tenth digit tells how many nines are in the entire number.

In math, we spent the week exploring different ways to add and subtract fractions with unlike denominators. The class looked at money and clock faces to identify common denominators, created a scale map, and played a game Racing Fractions.

All the best,

Kurt and Sari