Update

Hello,

This week in Math students took the Ch. 7.7 - 7.10 Quiz on Multiplying Fractions and Mixed Numbers. This included solving problems using an area model and rectangular graph. Applying knowledge of all solving steps were necessary to solve word problems. Students then began the 1st lesson on dividing whole numbers by fractions and vice-versa. This included a new way to divide in which you set both values to a common denominator and then divide the numerators to get the quotient. For instance, 4 divided by 1/2 can be re-written as 8/2 divided by 1/2 in which 8 divided by 1 is equal to 8. Finally, on Friday students will be working on solving problems called "Would You Rather?' in which students prove the better option between 2 scenarios.

This week in Science students created a Mineral Learning Poster in which they had to define the term mineral along with its 5 properties: luster, hardness, cleavage, streak, and color. Students were asked to draw pictures and use color in their presentation. Students are going to need to gather a rock from outside to bring in for a missing rock activity. Students will have to describe their rock so that classmates can properly identify it from a table of rocks.

The MCAS ELA seemed to go well and the next MCAS will be MATH during the 2nd week of May. I asked students to use lined paper to write a draft for the essay questions for revising and editing and noticed some students acted on the advice which I feel produces a better overall writing sample. While students were allowed chewing gum and hard candy, I also noticed regular candy coming in as well.

Enjoy the April Vacation Week!

Chris

Update

Hello,

This week in Math students students practiced multiplying mixed numbers using area models, the distributive property, and for proper scaling comparing values to a whole. The quiz review was given on Thursday in preparation of Tuesday's quiz. Students are encouraged to use their journal as a resource during classroom problem solving to recognize problems and how to solve them.
The Problem of the Week was due this Friday. Students also competed in groups to find products from rolling 3 whole number and 3 fraction dice.

This week in Science students read a rocks and minerals packet as a review to gain a basis of understanding of the 3 types of rocks in the rock cycle. Students viewed Moh's scale of mineral hardness as a guide for determining hardness for when we use mineral kits. Students learned the most popular monthly birthstones including the diamond for April. Students learned what minerals make up batteries, bikes, books, clothing, etc. Students also completed a scavenger hunt to discover what minerals can be found at home inside or out. Finally, students learned about non-living resources and how combining metals makes for a stronger metal called an alloy.

Next week students will take the MCAS ELA Sessions 1 and 2 on Wednesday and Thursday. Students will need to bring 1-2 reading books for when they are finished. We will begin testing at 8:30 and continue on up until 11:00. If a students is not finished at this time, he/she will be brought to another classroom to continue work and perhaps even bring back lunch until testing is completed.

Thanks,

Chris

Update

Hello,

This week in Math students practiced solving multiplication word problems involving fractions and whole numbers to prepare for the quiz. Students practiced the basics of converting improper fractions to mixed numbers and vice-versa. The skill of dividing out common factors continues to be very important in simplifying the factors for multiplication. The March Tic Tac Challenge was due today. A new Problem of the Week will be given on Monday.

This week in Science students discussed Earth's Layers and learned about the Rock Cycle involving 3 types of rocks: sedimentary, metamorphic, and igneous. We discussed how weather and elements cause erosion including a discussion about the Old Man in the Mountain. Students also read an article about the Deepest Hole Ever Dug Into Earth from sciencedaily.com. I would like to highly recommend the show "One Strange Rock" on Nat Geo narrated by Will Smith. Episode 1 dealt with how we actually can breath and the balance of our planet through a series of events that creates oxygen. Episodes 2 and 3 will describe how our planet was created through violence. This series will be re-run on cable and can probably be accessed through the Nat Geo App.

We are onto April!

Chris

Update

Greetings!

This week in Math students were introduced to multiplying fractions by both whole numbers and fractions. Students created area models and shaded the length and width horizontally and vertically to show a co-shaded region that represented the product. Everything ties together when students apply the skill of dividing out common factors to simplify the factors and multiply right to lowest terms. In a warm-up check-up students had to multiply 75/99 by 20/125 by 33/80 to get an answer of 1/20. Students could utilize the commutative property to rearrange the denominators to create corridors of fractions like 75/125 which are divisible by 25, 33/99 which are divisible by 33, and 20/80 which is divisible by 20. As a class we solved some word problems using modeling of bar diagrams to discover how many candies were sold before a holiday 5/8 of 400, on the holiday 1/5 of what was left, and how many were left over to be claimed as losses in a business.

This week in Science students read and responded in writing with 2-3 main takeaways from printed articles on sciencedaily.com. The articles are written for adults. The purpose is to challenge each reader to open their eyes to new vocabulary and discover what scientists/astronomers are wondering/discovering in the present moment. Articles included a look into the sun's future, a new brain chip, the first crayon, how neanderthals discovered glue, a million billion suns, etc. All 7 articles had catchy titles designed to hook you in with curiosity. I shared with each class the importance of using technology as an educational tool to learn new things whether it be in science, history, and anything else for that nature. It is a far better use of time than going on social media to read about what other people are doing. I asked what are as students doing to use your time properly?

We are onto Rocks and Minerals! Believe it or not, it is a fun unit!

Thanks,

Chris

Update

Greetings!

First of all I must say what a busy 2nd term it has been. After school help continues to be available on Monday and Wednesday afternoons until 3:00. Term 2 is closing on Thursday.

Lately in Math students have been working towards adding and subtracting mixed numbers including renaming when borrowing from a whole number becomes necessary. There is a lot going on in these seemingly short problems as students need to identify preferably the least common denominator, create equivalent fractions, see about renaming where a whole number is converted to a fraction using the denominator such as 8/8's, and simplifying the proper fraction or converting the improper fraction to a mixed number. Students have also identified differences in patterns in order to continue the pattern after identifying the rule such as adding or subtracting 3/5's. This is by far the most challenging chapter. There is far less entailed when multiplying and dividing fractions and mixed numbers. Students enjoyed seeing each other's Birthday Projects. There is no doubt the students who have consistently put forth effort are making the most gains and solving problems now that seemed so difficult back in the fall. It's a matter of staying with it, and believing you can do it! Day 2 and 3 of each lesson is where the concept 'sinks' in for all. Kudos!

Lately in Science students are completing the Solar System Unit. Next week students will read and respond to articles from sciencedaily.com that I printed back in late January. These are cutting edge updates of what is being discovered in the Solar System and beyond. Students have learned characteristics of each planet in the Solar System, the Sun and Moon, Asteroid Belt, and about the possibility of any planet supporting life. We viewed images of these planets from the site: SciTechUniverse.com We also discovered what is outside our Solar System and the comparison between our tiny Earth and Sun to Illium and Betelgeuse. What do we know about what is beyond and what will we aim to discover in our lifetime? Do little green people know that we exist? :) Will you be involved in any of these discoveries? As we viewed the timeline of events, theories, and beliefs over the past 20,000 years and consider the telescope was just invented recently, then aren't we at the beginning of time for discovering what's out there? I still can't believe Elon Musk put a race car with a mannequin driver (Starman) into space headed for Mars. Unfortunately, it is headed for the Asteroid Belt. It's amazing, and the best if yet to be!

Thanks,

Chris
 
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