ReadingWe are approaching the end of our study of non-fiction text. The kids are currently working in research teams studying a new extreme weather topic. The skills in this unit pertain to identifying text structures, overcoming tough words, tackling the hard parts of nonfiction text, evaluating sources, and writing about our topics by using evidence from the text. As they research their new extreme weather topic, the kids are using what they know about text structures to synthesize within and across multiple texts.
WritingAs the month of January comes to a close, so too will our unit on persuasive essay writing. Currently, the kids are writing their final persuasive piece. They chose a thesis that relates to an issue that either impacts kids their age or to a larger societal issue such as world hunger or homelessness. As they write their essays they are using a persuasive tone, transition words, adding research to strengthen their claims, and adding short personal stories or stories they have heard that relate to and support their thesis.
Our next writing unit, which we will begin toward the end of January, will be literary essay writing. This unit focuses on the strong connection between reading and writing. During the beginning of this unit the kids will learn to read literature closely. We will first notice the details in a text in order to appreciate the setting, objects, word choices, metaphors, and characters chosen by the author and why these are significant. From the very start of the unit, the kids will learn to write structured essays in which they will make and support claims. They will analyze text and use evidence from the text to support these claims.
MathIn January we will continue our math unit on multiplication and division with two digit numbers. This unit puts a large emphasis on word problems. The kids are learning a variety of different strategies to multiply such as solving a simpler problem first and the array method. In division, we are using the inverse operation of multiplication to find our quotient as well as using the partial quotient strategy. They will be assessed on their understanding of unit concepts by the end of the month. We will then move on to the study of measurement and shapes. As always, learning will be differentiated through small group instruction as well as extension activities that will challenge all students.
Social StudiesDuring the month of January, we will continue our study of Colorado History. We will be learning about the Gold Rushers, European Explorers, Fur Traders, Settlers, and Native Americans. Our study of these groups involves the analysis of the positive and negative impact each group made on the other group and how each group influenced our current culture. Ultimately, the kids will select which group of people they feel had the most influence on CO. They will then construct a persuasive essay using the skills they learned in our essay writing unit to persuade their classmates why they believe their selected group was the most influential.
Here is some important information from the PTO.