Right now, the class is in the middle of an interesting inquiry project.
Students in Grade 5 are working in groups of five, researching what it would have been like to live in ancient China, Egypt or Greece. Based on their research, each group is building a scale model of a fictional colony belonging to one of these civilizations and creating a Power Point presentation, BLOG or GLOG (graphic blog) to introduce their civilization and explain the various elements of their model. This is a Social Studies project, designed to complement the work on ancient civilizations our Grade 5 students are doing with Mrs. Torrey.
Students in Grade 6 are doing the same project, but their work is based on their current science unit (space). These students are working in groups of six, researching information about either Mars or the Moon and what humans would need to travel and live there. They are using this information to construct scale models of colonies that might exist in these two places, circa. 2030 (the year NASA hopes to take astronauts to Mars).
All group members must be involved in planning, research, construction and presentation of their project. In order to be cost-effective and environment-friendly, students are repurposing items from the school recycling bins to construct their models. Once the models and electronic descriptions are completed, each group will have an opportunity to present their work to the class.
Here are some photos of groups in action! (click on small photos to enlarge them).
We will post another update later, with pictures of the finished products.
"The Great Spring Reading Challenge" is a program Mrs. Black made up. Students are asked to read at home, time how long they read in minutes and record their minutes on a tracking sheet each day. There is a graph in our classroom to track the amount of minutes students have read. We update the graph each week.
The class chose some rewards to help us keep going. When a student passes 100, 250, 500, 750 and 1,000 minutes of home reading, that student can choose a reward. We have four choices for each reward level. Examples include a piece of candy, or a privilege such as sitting in Mrs. Black's twirly chair for 50 minutes, having a friend in for lunch, sitting at a desk of your choice for 100 minutes or wearing a hat in class for a day.
Our goal is to have each student do 1,000 minutes of home reading between Easter weekend and May 31st. If a student reads more than 1,000 minutes, that student gets a star behind his or her picture, goes back to zero, and starts up the chart again. If the whole class does a lot of reading, we will get a class reward such as a party (for 1,000 minutes) or a movie (750 minutes).
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During the month of March, the Grade 5's and the Grade 6's participated in a language activity called "100 Points." In the "100 Points" assignment students had to read a novel and then do writing and art projects depicting events that happened in the story. We loved all the fun choices this assignment gave us! Each project had a specific number of points (e.g. a bookmark with a picture from the book and five words that reminded us of the book was worth 10 points; an author biography was worth 40 points). If we did the assignments correctly we would earn full points, and if we reached 100 points we earned an A+. Here are some examples of the work students in our class did for this assignment (click on individual photos to enlarge them):