Jenny's Weekly Update 1-23-14

posted Jan 23, 2014, 10:59 AM by Cynthia Friedman
My apologies for not sending out a newsletter last week! Let’s get right to it. 

Last week students were introduced to the Scientific Method. We began by defining terms related to the method and most students have now completed our Penny Experiment to see which solution (water, water and soap, or vinegar and salt) will clean the pennies best. We had fun last Friday when we reviewed the parts of the Scientific Method by watching a Mythbusters episode. 

Next week we will have the S.P.I.C.E. group, from U of O, coming to teach our kids more about the Scientific Method process and how to develop a quality science project for our upcoming science fair in March. 

In math we have been covering a variety of concepts depending on which group your student is in. Some students are busy converting simple word problems into equations, while others are exploring multiple ways to solve multi-digit division problems (ask them about the Area Model, Big 7, or traditional Long Division). Still others are studying the world of fractions. You remember finding the least common denominator right?! 

What’s the purpose (expository, persuasive, entertaining, or informative)? Over the past two weeks we have been deciding whether a written piece is one of the above four writing styles, and also exploring some of the features that nonfiction texts have to offer. 

Our words this week centered around MLK Jr. and the Civil Rights Movement. Students were asked to define the words and use them in a paragraph. 

Last week we practiced organizing a paragraph using the Jane Schaffer technique. This model follows some simple rules:
1) TS - Topic Sentence: Introduce your topic.
2) CD - Concrete Detail: Tell us a fact or example.
3) CM - 2 Commentary sentences: Write about your own thoughts or opinions on the topic.
4) CS - Closing Sentence: Wrap up your paragraph by summarizing what you wrote. 

As you can see we are quite busy! Please encourage your student to explore any of these areas outside of class.  

Thank you, Jenny, Adriene & Room 7