Tuesday, May 7, 2013

May 7, 2013

Upcoming Dates
May 6-10 Student Council Sells Bears
May 9 - Austin Field Trip - Arrival to school at 6:45AM
May 10 - Northeast States Test
May 10 - Toro from the Texans comes to visit MDE
May 13-17 - Talent Show Week
May 20-24 - Cultural Arts Week
May 24 - 50 States Test over all 50 states
May 27 - Memorial Day Holiday - No school
May 28 - Famous Texans Presentation here in the class room at 2:15.

We have read lots of Por Quoi stories that explain natural phenomenon. The students are writing Por Quoi stories where they are explaining with their own ideas a natural phenomenon.  For example: How the cheetah got its spots.

The students have chosen their own topic about something that actually exists in nature, and they are working in groups to write a book about their topic. They are typing the pages of their book, and then they will print it. Then, they will create their own illustrations. One lucky student from each group will get to take home their book, once we have shared them with our class.

We started new book clubs.  The students are reading and discussing together in their book clubs. Each student is making his/her own scrapbook about their book.  The students are choosing from a variety of activities. An activity is completed after 2-3 chapters have been read and a response is written about each activity.

We are working on our Dream Rooms.  The students are applying learned measurement skills, as well as other math skills, for this project.  The students are also creating a theme for their room and shopping to find furniture and decorations for it.  They are also keeping track of how much money they spend from their budget of $5,000.  

We have been learning about animals, habitats, ecosystems, and biomes. We will continue this topic, this week.  On Friday, we will Skype with a naturalist from the Arboretum, who will talk to the kids about our current topic of study.

Social Studies
Each student has chosen his/her Famous Texan and the research is underway.  The kids are learning all kinds of information about his/her person.  Each student will dress up as his/her Famous Texan for the presentation. Our class will present our Famous Texans on May 28th at 2:15.
We hope you all can make it to see the presentations.

Friday, April 5, 2013

April 5, 2013

Upcoming Dates
April 12 - Geometry Test
April 19- Vocabulary Test 12
April 23- Math STAAR Test
April 24 - Reading STAAR Test
April 29 - Holiday

We finished up our last review for our Writing STAAR Test.  We took the test on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week.

We have been talking about theme in fiction writing and how to decide the best word choice to describe the theme. We reviewed the Elements of a Drama. Then, the students worked together in groups to produce a play. We used our Storyworks magazine and the students could choose from "Stone Soup" or "The Great and Powerful Oz". All groups chose the Oz play.

We have been learning all things Geometry. We have studied types of lines and angles.  The students have also learned attributes of 2D and 3D shapes. Stations have continued also, where the students are either working with me on needed help with a skill, working independently on an assignment, working in a group to play a math game to review a past skill, or working independently on a game on the Ipads or Netbooks to practice math skills.

We have been learning about magnetism and electricity.  We have learned about the types of materials that will stick to a magnet such as iron or steel.  Parallel and Series circuits with electricity have also been a topic of discussion to figure out the difference between the two and actually working in groups to make these types of circuits.

Social Studies
We have finished our study of the Texas Revolution and all the battles involved.  Our next topic was learning about how Texas became a state and all the trials and tribulations that were experienced.  Some Texans wanted to become part of the US and others did not.  Of course as we know today, we did become a state of the United States.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Friday, Feb. 8, 2013

Upcoming Dates
Feb. 12 - Math Benchmark
Feb. 13 - Reading Benchmark
Feb. 14 - Valentine's Day Party
Feb. 15 - Vocabulary Test Lesson 10

We took a practice Writing STAAR test, and the students have been receiving their scores for the Narrative papers. We have been discussing ways for the students to make their papers better, and then the students are working on a copy of the original paper to make changes.  We have also looked at the editing and revision portion of the test. This part tests the students over revising and editing skills.  The students have to read a story and make changes in it.  Then, they have to answer revising and editing multiple choice questions about it.

We have been reading paired texts and comparing and contrasting them.  For example,  we read a nonfiction story about plant hunters and then we read a fiction story about aliens. We talked about the similarities and differences about how the stories were written and the characteristics of each.  The students are working in book clubs with a fiction book.  They completed an activity comparing and contrasting themselves with a character from the book. 

We have learned about temperature and the Celsius and Fahrenheit scales.  We have moved into measurement and we have studied mass and weight and the difference between the two.  The students learned how to convert between different amounts of measurements as well.  For example, 48oz.= ___lbs.

We have finished presenting our States of Matter projects.  We talked about density and the students participated in a Coke/Diet Coke experiment. Which one floated and why? Ask your child about these.

Social Studies
The students created their own newspaper for the time of 1800s. Each student had to create a title and date for the newspaper that depicted the time period.  Then, he/she had to think of questions that they would want to ask for an interview, for one of the people during this time, and then using what has been learned about the person, create answers that the person would possibly say to the questions. Next, each student created 2 advertisements and a current event, all that could be during the 1800s. On the back, a picture was drawn and a letter written to Stephen F. Austin persuading him to let them come to his colony.

Monday, December 3, 2012

December 3, 2012

Upcoming Dates
Dec. 6 - Southwest and West States Test
Dec. 6 - Choir Holiday Performance - 8:30 AM , 2:00 AM, and 6:15 PM
(Please check with Mrs. Dixon if you have any questions regrading this performance.)
Dec. 7 - Spelling Test
Dec. 14 - Vocabulary Test Lesson 7
Dec. 20 - Winter Parties
Dec. 21 - Noon Dismissal
Dec. 24-Jan. 7 - Winter Break
Jan. 8 - Back to school from Winter Break

We have been working on Expository Writing, which is nonfiction writing.  We have worked on coming up with a central idea and then finding ideas to support it together. The students and I have written a paper together using this idea: My dad is important to my family because he supports us. Everyone had lots of great ideas to contribute to our paper. Next, the students will look at their own brainstormed topics and will choose one to begin drafting their own Expository paper.  Once the drafts are completed, the students will revise and edit, and then write a final copy.

We have been reading many nonfiction articles and finding different text features such as: Table of Contents, Index, Glossary, Headings/Titles, Subheadings/Subtitles, Types of Print, Photographs/Pictures, Captions/Labels, Information Boxes/Sidebars, Charts/Graphs, Diagrams, Maps, and Timelines.
The students have been working through the articles to identify these text features.

The students are working in book club groups with fiction books.  The students are reading together and discussing the content.  They are making Text to Text, Text to Self, and Text to World connections as well as discovering new vocabulary, setting, characters, problem and solution.

We have spent lots of time with multiplication and division. We have talked about representations with pictures, model drawing, using the algorithm, and problem solving with these skills.  The students took a test over these skills on Nov. 30.

We have been working in stations reviewing past skills and working on problem solving.  Some students have been working with me to have some reteaching on skills they have struggled with in the past.  

Our topic of study has been land forms on the surface of the earth. Then we moved into learning about how the earth changes through volcanoes erupting,  the plates moving below the earth to cause earthquakes, weathering, and erosion. The students worked in groups to create a comic strip about our changing Earth.
The students had to choose an idea.  Some chose volcanoes, so their comic strip had to show what was learned about volcanoes and somehow come up with a comic strip idea to convey this topic.

Social Studies
We have been studying Native Americans of Texas.  The students have learned the location for each in Texas, type of home, whether or not they traded with others, food methods and government. We read and filled in a chart about the Caddo, Karankawa, Jumano, and Comanche.  We read about others, but these were the ones we focused on for the chart as a way to record information.

Monday, October 29, 2012

October 30, 2012

Upcoming Dates:
Individual Picture Money Due - Wednesday, Oct. 31
Spelling Test - Friday, Nov. 2
Vocabulary Test Lesson 5 - Nov. 9
Class Pictures - Friday, Nov. 2
Fall Book Fair - Nov. 12-16
Thanksgiving Break - Nov. 21-23

We started our study of Poetry.  We have discussed different characteristics of poetry such as the idea that  a poem can rhyme or it does not have rhyme, that it looks different than other writing, and that any topic could be used for the idea of a poem. We learned the difference between free verse and lyric poetry. The students are working to write their own poems.

We are reading poetry in class.  We have read all different types and some were funny and silly and others were more serious.  
The students are also working in Book Clubs reading nonfiction books and practicing their note taking strategy.  These notes will be used to write a summary about the nonfiction book.

We are continuing with Bar Graphs, and the students have learned how to gather information and make a bar graph from it.  The students will also be using their addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division skills as we read bar graphs to solve problem solving problems.

The students are finishing up a project about the Water Cycle.  We have discussed all the parts that occur in the water cycle, including the definitions of each and the fact that the sun plays a major role in starting the evaporation part of the cycle. Once the evaporation happens, then the rest of the water cycle occurs. 

Social Studies
We are working on our culminating project for the Regions of Texas. Each student has chosen a region and is in the process of making a travel brochure.  The students will use the chart that each has filled in to help them with the information that will be put onto the brochure.