Greetings from Tr. Devon!
It’s hard to believe fall is in full swing and the winter months are creeping up! We have done a lot of fun things so far in 4th/5th and I look forward to what the rest of the year brings.
In Language Arts, we are reading The Green Book by Jill Paton Walsh. The book begins thus: "Father said, "We can take very little with us." Only one book each. Father, Joe, Sarah, and Pattie, and lots of other families, are leaving a dying earth on one of the last escape ships. They are headed for a far planet that they know almost nothing about, hoping it can sustain human life. The main character, Pattie, is so young that she will not be able to remember the Earth. But being the youngest, she gets to name the new planet--"Shine," she calls it, a planet where all the plant life sparkles like glass.
How will they build with mineral laden wood they cannot saw? How will they survive, when their rabbits die from eating the glassy grass, and their wheat shines like diamonds? How will they build a community--what will be valued, and why? And then, when they meet other living beings, how will they co-exist?
One step they take in building a life together is to share their books. Joe's copy of Robinson Crusoe is not in great demand (there are multiple copies), nor is Sarah's copy of The Pony Club Rides Again. Many people would have swapped things for a chance to read Father's technology book, but he won't let it out of his sight--he clings to it as his passport toward becoming the new elite of their community. But it is Pattie's book, the "green book" of the title that becomes the most important. Its pages are blank, and her older siblings had mocked her choice. But in the end, this is the book that will tell the new story the colonists are creating. It is no longer empty, but "full of writing, very large and round and shaky."
Every time I read this book with the students we have wonderful discussions over what book they would take with them to planet Shine. If you were only allowed one book – what would it be? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know!
In grammar class students are focusing on marking punctuation; specifically end punctuation, commas, semicolons and colons. Choosing the correct end punctuation is a basic step in punctuating your writing as a fifth grader. To start we are reviewing the uses of the period, the question mark, and the exclamation point. We will then move on to using commas in a series, between independent clauses, between items in dates, to set off phrases and clauses, and in conjunction with appositives.
In Social Studies we will be working on our Explorers unit and studying different types of maps in geography. In our Explorers unit we learn that Christopher Columbus reached the Americas in 1492. The Europeans that followed him came in search of new riches for their countries. Many Native Americans lost their land, freedom and lives. By the early 1600s, the English, French, and Dutch each had their own settlements which eventually became the first American colonies. We see that out of these many explorations and changes came the world we know today. Students will complete a research project on an explorer to share with the class.
In Science we are concluding our unit about the characteristics of living things and how animals and plants are classified. Students have discovered how organisms grow and reproduce and how traits are passed from one generation to the next. Students also explored adaptations and discovered adaptations that allow plants and animals to live in water and on land. Finally, students will discover what makes up an ecosystem and describe how energy moves through an ecosystem. This unit leads us into our study of owls, complete with an owl pellet dissection!
Important Dates for November:
Important Dates for December:
Important Dates for January:
ON GOING FOURTH/FIFTH GRADE PROJECTS
This year, in conjunction with Learning Pathways, the fourth/fifth graders are continuing with the independent study project that was started two years ago. An independent study is a student-centered project that involves students working individually to investigate self-selected topics. These topics are connected to the curriculum and the students’ personal interests. Differentiating the curriculum remains at the center of our continued initiative – Learning Pathways. An independent study project is the most effective strategy to use in addressing the needs of all learners in the group. It provides an opportunity for students to study topics of interest in-depth while learning and practicing a variety of skills.
An independent study meets the needs, readiness, interests and learning preferences of students. It also allows students to experience learning beyond the classroom and encourages independence. Additionally, it teaches research skills and improves reading, writing and presentation skills. The semester-long project provides opportunity and time to explore in- depth topics. The fourth/fifth graders came to school in September with a chosen topic to study, and hit the ground running on their research and planning. Stay tuned for a timeline of due dates.
The goal of having the student’s conduct an independent study project was to:
The outcome of the independent study project is to create a formal writing piece at the completion of this assignment, as well as a presentation that reflects the child’s learning preference.
Stemming from our all-school theme, Celebrating You and Me, during the 2009-2010 school year, International Week has traditionally been a time for the Goshen community to come together to honor and celebrate the diverse families we have here within our student body. Former alum, Jonathan K., said it best when asked why we have International Week, "We have International Week to learn about cultures other than ours, to have fun, and to understand other country's people, food, and traditions." This year's International Week will take place on Monday, April 25th - Thursday, April 28th, and is the culmination of the studients' yearlong study of three focus countries. This year students are focusing on Guatemala, Philippines, and South Korea. International Week will be filled with guest speakers, activities and quite often culinary treats! International Week concludes with the One World Cafe, an on campus potluck featuring the cuisine of the countries studied, music and other activities.
Fouth/Fifth Graders will specifically be focusing on GUATEMALA throughout the school year!
FIFTH GRADE RESOURCES:
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