October 4, 2010

We have been moving along nicely in our study of systems.  The students have completed their terrariums and aquariums.  They have used the computer program called Inspiration to create webs of their ecosystems.  We have discussed the two types of relationships occuring in the habitats: dependent (when only one partner needs the other) and interdependent (when both partners need each other).  The students webbed and linked these two types of relationships in Inspiration (look for scores to post this week in Snapgrades).  This week, the students will join the terrarium with the aquarium to complete our ecosystem.  We will begin learning about 3 types of pollutants: acid rain, road salt, and overfertilization.  We will simulate these pollutants in our extra ecosystems that do not contain animals.

Our independent reading program is well under way.  Please check your child’s reading file to see his/her calendar of scheduled daily readings.  The students have completed two reading response journal entries.  I have collected them to score and return.  The students complete the response journals every Tuesday and Thursday.  They are due every Friday.  Last week, we focused on identifying and flagging moral issues in our independent reading novels.  Today, the students shared the moral issues they flagged last week.

During writers’ workshop last week, we worked on essay writing.  We are focusing on how to organize our ideas into topics for essays.

We finished our study of social scientists last week in social studies, and we have begun mastering our map reading skills.  The students are working on several geography challenges in which they are learning to use the global grid (lines of latitude and longitude), the compass rose, and specialty maps in order to analyze the regions of the united states.

FYI:
Don’t forget to turn in your Fun Run pledges by this Wednesday!