News from Room 305
January 15, 2016
CDT Test next Thursday, Jan 21
Your child will be taking an online test next week called the CDT (Classroom Diagnostic Tool) in math. The state has released this test to allow schools to experience a test that will be similar to the state MAP (Missouri Assessment Program) test. This online assessment will give our students and staff an opportunity to sharpen the saw before our MAP test in April.
We're continuing to progress through Chapter 5: Dividing Decimals. On Monday, students used compatible numbers (knowledge of multiplication/division facts) to estimate decimal division problems. I typically use this method more often than traditional rounding while out shopping. For example, to solve $144.15 / 31, I would say that 31 is about 30. Then I would I think of multiples of three. 15 is close to 14, so I would think of $144.15 as about $150. Then mentally, I can calculate $150 / 30 = 5. This method also comes in handy while solving long division problems with two digit divisors, which is how we used it on Tuesday and Wednesday. On Thursday and Friday, students used manipulatives to investigate dividing a decimal by a decimal. After beginning with the same about each time (3.0), students solved problems where the divisor progressively became larger. First they put 3.0 in groups of 0.2, then in groups of 0.3, 0.5, 0.6, 1, and 1.5. As students did this, they noticed that the quotients were getting smaller. They determined that the smaller the amount put in each group, the more groups there will be. The reason this can be such a stumbling block for students is because when they have done division in the past, the quotient (answer) is always smaller than the dividend (the number you begin with) or the answer was the same when divided by 1. This is because they have always division with numbers that are larger than 1. If the divisor is less than 1, then the answer will be larger than the dividend.
If your child has not yet achieved 100% multiplication/division fact fluency, please have him/her continue to use Reflex Math nightly.
E/LA & Social Studies
Students read "Unite or Die," a readers' theatre based upon a children's book. In this play, students acted as delegates from each of the new states, which debated on the structure of the new government. Using Ben's Guide to US Government, students learned about the functions of each of the three branches.
On Monday, we focused on the Moon. Students did a close read of the poem "Moon" by Myra Cohn Livingston. They jotted their noticings and questions while I read the poem aloud. Students used background knowledge and context to put the meaning together. Later in the day, I read aloud One Giant Leap by Robert Burleigh. Students quickly put together the references to the moon landing in the poem we had previously read. Using lamps or flashlights and tennis balls, students were able to model the moon phases.
Later in the week, students explored the planets using a NASA kids website and created a model of the distances between the Sun and the planets using squares of toilet paper. They were surprised to see how "close" in the inner planets were to each other compared to the outer planets.
Today, students read about stars and constellations. Using a website showing a real-time map of constellations over Kansas City, they were able to track how the constellations appeared to change location throughout the day. They realized though, this apparent movement is because of Earth's rotation.
Student groups wrapped up their Project Lead the Way (PLTW) Module 1 this week. The module ended with a scenario where students had to remove hazardous materials (blocks) from a disaster site while avoiding the water within a two minute time frame. Students did an amazing job using teamwork, problem solving, and perseverance to complete this module. I'm so proud of their work!
Students watched a short video produced from NASA on November 30, 2015, which showed current robots that NASA engineers are working on to explore the Moon's poles, aid astronauts on the International Space Station, and to possibly in-habit a station on Mars. After watching, students wrote a comparison paragraph between the processes that NASA's engineers used to create their robots and the processes that they used when designing theirs for PLTW.
Next Week's Specials' Calendar:
Tuesday, Jan 19 - Day 2: PE
Wednesday, Jan 20 - Day 3: Art
Thursday, Jan 21 - Day 4: Library
Friday, Jan 22 - Day 1: Music
1/18- NO SCHOOL- Martin Luther King Day
2/5- Family Trivia Night
2/3 CiCi’s Pizza Night, 4:30-8:00 pm
2/8 through 2/11 Scholastic Book fair
2/9-Parent/Teacher Conferences, afternoon
2/10-Valentine Parties, 2:05-2:40 pm
2/11 All Pro Dads 7:10 AM - LGIR
2/11-Early Release, 12:50 Parent/Teacher Conferences
2/12- NO SCHOOL
2/15- NO SCHOOL- President’s Day
2/18-Papa John’s Night