Vance AIG Newsletter
AIG District News
First of all, Welcome 3rd grade parents and families!! I'm glad you're here!
This is the year that AIG departments across the state have to write, submit to the School Board for approval before being send to the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction for completion. Two areas out of our six standards are being revised and that is the Student Identification and their services.
Our department is working diligently to write this new plan and we are excited about the new ideas we have been working on. A big thanks to those parents, who have contributed their time and energy during our district Advisory Group meetings.
I will share with you the plan in a few months!
If you have any questions, please let me know! I like talking AIG!!
5th Grade AIG
Levering/Hardy's home room:
We are currently reading the realistic fiction by Gary Paulsen called Popcorn Days and Buttermilk Nights. Do not let the title fool you. This novel is about a young boy who has to overcome personal obstacles to find the real him. Gary Paulsen is a master at foreshadowing, metaphors and character development. I live for our conversations on this book and it's characters. The kids have such an insight on why Carly (the main character) acts the way he does and responds to the situations he gets himself in...truly amazing conversations!!
Ballenger's home room:
We are reading the fantasy book, Gregor the Overlander by Suzanne Collins. We have just started and they already cannot stop reading it. That is one issue we are working on, reading so fast you miss the "little things" the author is saying. This book is also about a boy who is trying to figure out life, although through a fantasy approach, there are situations we can relate to.
Advance Study Group in Math:
If they haven't come home complaining about his class I haven't done my job! :) I have given them the Wheel of Torture...completing a spoke of a wheel with addition, subtraction, multiplication and division, all using an algorithm, old school fashion. To ease the "torture" if they complete a spoke correctly I reward them with a piece of gum. All problems are lengthy and require them to use this "new" method they are not used to using. No longer can we use arrays, or the Big 7 to complete this work...Old School all the way!! ALL of them are now proficient in this strategy and see the efficiency in this method.
Rube Goldberg!!! We have lived and learned from using these machines! More than just gravity, levers, force and simple machines, but teamwork, frustration and how to deal with that, as well as trying an idea, seeing if it works and if it doesn't going back to the drawing board to reassess! Watching them is a blessing! I've tried the blog to show you our progress, but alas the "advertisements" on youtube have been less than favorable and now I'm back to the drawing board! I'll keep you informed as best I can! The projects we are working on will be displayed during STEAM week April 11-15th, with the big finale on parent night!
Here is the blog link:http://vance5thrubegoldbergunit.blogspot.com/?_sm_au_=iVVRFq0k0SS5106H
Boy oh boy!! We have missed so many Mondays for this class and I miss them terribly! I'm going to make up some classes during lunch to remedy this problem! They have finished up their Super Hero Comic unit and we are waiting to start our next unit by working with the book Zoom.
4th Grade AIG
We are currently reading the historical fiction book Taffy of Torpedo Junction. The wonderful thing about this book is that is takes place in North Carolina! Although the topic is World War II, the character Taffy is a Nancy Drew incarnate. We are learning to separate the fiction from the historical fiction and how an author weaves them together.
The historical fiction book they are reading is Number the Stars, also a World War II based novel. The book is told from a 10 year old perspective on what life was like in Denmark during the war. The characterization in this book has taught us the reliance and determination from the characters and their situations during this time.
Advanced Subject Grouping in Math
We are currently working on a number of different things. In their math folders are clue pages, where they have to figure out the clues to find the target number, Super Star math (a problem solving curriculum) and math challenges from Math Olympiad. When they come in, I give them the choice of what they want to work on for the day. I set up "office hours" and if they need any assistance I'm open!
We are getting ready to start a new unit called Create your own Country. The first step is to understand the branches of Government. I will be using a webquest for the students to work with partners to complete this "scavenger hunt." Here is the link to the webquest: http://zunal.com/webquest.php?w=310502
After the students complete the Branches of Government webquest, they will complete the project in a google classroom format. They are more than welcome to work on this project at home too, but it is NOT required! They have to create things like: country's name, geography, climate, natural resources, plants and animals, flag and a map to name a few. This is an interdisciplinary unit branching off of their classroom learning.
I have made an executive decision with this group and have merged CSG into ESG. Due to adding my 3rd grade classes, their class time was getting too short for my liking. Therefore, CSG now meets with the ESG class and they are working on the above assignment too. Next year, this will not be the case, as they will get their own time, but for now this is what they are doing. If you have ANY questions, please let me know!
3rd Grade AIG
All groups are working on a nonfiction article based on an enigma about the Nazca Lines in Peru. Here is a link to the video: http://www.crystalinks.com/nazca.html I used to introduce them to the topic.
The topic alone has created amazing conversations about the theories behind this enigma. We will continue reading about enigmas throughout the year.
Advanced Subject Grouping in Math
For my class each student has a math folder in which I add various activities to work on as a math warm up for the first 10 minutes of class. Activities include Super Star Math, Math Challenges from Math Olympiad, and multiplication activities. After the warm up, we will be working on multiplication speed, the game I have Who has, and other team based math problems. Our next activity is called Face Factory. Based on the pricing page of noses, mouths, etc...students have to create the least valued face and the most expensive face.
We are working on Zoom books. Please ask your child about the Zoom book! The premise is zooming out from an original picture until you have created a microscopic world. It's like the idea behind Google Earth. The students are creating their own "zoom." This book lends itself, to many conversations about perspective, the micro world, how small we/things really are, and the list goes on!! They will be taking the Zoom books home after we are done! Here is a video of the book: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JMhUujrN4iU
Problem solving using toothpicks!! Did they try this with you at home?? This is a visual activity we are working on by eliminating toothpicks from a design to create new shapes. Seems easy, but it's not! The conversations and lessons we are learning are endless. A big conversation last week, was what to do when we become so frustrated (I modeled this first becoming frustrated myself) we don't want to finish. Their insight and help to get ME through this process was amazing. They kept rooting me on, telling me to try it another way, take a breathing break, etc... Sooo very helpful! I turned this lesson back around and made them try it, while I rooted them on with the same advice they gave me!