Notes from The Learning Lab

A Switch to Nonfiction

Reading Workshop


This week, we made a switch in our reading focus from fiction to nonfiction. This doesn't mean that students will be reading no fiction, it simply means that our teaching minilessons and small group work will mainly focus on nonfiction strategies and skills.

The American Revolution has been the focus of our nonfiction reading this week. Students have read digital and paper articles about different times during this important period of American history.

Readers can choose either fiction or nonfiction for independent books so they also have voice and choice about their personal reading.

Nonfiction Talk

Thanks for watching...Fact Not Fiction!

American Revolution Talk
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A Nonfiction Response Style Ma'am
Independent Book Talks

Writing Workshop

This week's workshop had variety. At the beginning of the week, writers shared their stories that were turned in as a "published" piece the Friday before Winter Break. Writers met in small groups and passed their stories around and gave each other feedback and praise.

We then started some free choice writing because writers should always have back up writing going on in their notebooks. We did a writing marathon where students wrote about topics generated by students that were drawn at random. Writers also had the opportunity to free write anything-nonfiction, poetry, fiction, and so on.

Each day we warmed up as writers with a quick write such as 3 for 3 (powerful 3 word phrases) and creating alliteration rhymes (tongue twisters that all begin with the same or mostly the same letters).

Finally, our study of nonfiction began with students identifying interests for nonfiction. Writers began researching and experimenting with topics that would spark excitement and curiosity. It was a great week of writing!

Fiction Feedback
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Nonfiction Articles
Writing Talk

Math Workshop

Kimmel (5th grade math)- Mathematicians this week studied various graphs, identified landmarks (median, mean, mode, maximum, minimum, range), and even looked at size change factors in population. See videos below for more details.

Jones (6th grade math)- Students started a new unit on geometry. We learned about various kinds of angles, measured using a half and full circle protractor, and started math projects. Each Friday will be dedicated to a working on math projects. See videos below

5th Grade Math

More Graphing
Math Review

6th Grade Math

Geometry Interview
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Class Family Stuff