Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Hope Your Agents Come Home Smiling

One of the things I hope as a teach is that when your student comes home he or she is happy and enjoying their learning journey in fifth grade! I remember getting off the bus, skipping home to tell my parent whatever exciting thing was going on in school. I also remember days where I threw my bag in the concrete and laid on the middle of the street kicking and screaming. Some days are obviously better than others. When I am absent I try to leave a comprehensive plan for my guest teachers to follow.  The past two days I hope your student came home happy! Do let him or her know I missed them very much while I was in Florida (I am currently sitting at the airport as I type this).

While I was out your agent had library and computer lab. I know several students worked on their reading comic, as I had some shared with me. I love the Google Drive because I get to stay in touch with students! I encourage you to ask your agent to show you his or her coming. The ones I have seen were rather impressive! Students had a chance to play math activities in the computer lab on Monday. I suggested Prodigy, Math Playground, Math Blaster, or ABC-Ya math. During reading this week they were exposed to a story about refugees in Passage to Freedom. In continuing our discussion of doing the right thing, students learned of the brave acts Mr. Sugihara did to save a lot of people! I suppose this was a timely story given the refugee stories in the news I happened to see last night.

In math we kicked off topic 6 in math, multiplying decimals. Students are familiar with the pattern of zeros that appears when a whole number is multiplied by a power of 10. For example, 100 x 2 = 2 x 100= 2 hundreds = 200. To multiply by 100 append two zeros. Remind students though, that appending zeros to the right of the decimal point does not change the value of the number. For example: 100 x 2 = 100 x 2.00 = 200. Multiplying by 100 moves the decimal point two places to the right. In this lesson, students learn to multiply decimals by 10, 100, or 1000 by applying to same rule. For example: 10 x 0.2 = 2; 100 x 0.2 = 100 x 0.20 = 20; and 1000 x 0.2 = 1000 x 0.200 = 200.

Today students had a science lesson on biodiversity. They discussed what it was and how it is changing. Students created an opinion article about biodiversity. They were asked to explain what biodiversity meant, as well as why it varies among ecosystems. Then they were invited to give their opinion on what they could do to help with the challenge of Biodiversity. I look forward to reading their work this week! I suggested using this site as a learning resource: 

Students had some time today to write thank you notes Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany. They were thanking them for donating the 3D printer to our classroom, which I hope to have up and running soon! Students were asked to think about what to thank the company for. Ideas I left for them to discuss were: print out solutions to problems, learn about a new technology tool, print out items they design in 3D, and learn more about shapes. They will be mailed to Donor’s Choose this week to deliver to the company.

During math today our lesson was on estimating the product of a decimal and whole number. Students were asked to think of real-world estimation situations in which it is better to overestimate. We considered time situations, for example, estimating how long it will take to complete a homework assignment or drive to an appointment. There are both examples of cases where an overestimate is safer. Tomorrow we will investigate number sense: decimal multiplication. Students have learned how to estimate the product of decimal factors. Comparing the relative size of two factors can also be used to think about the size of the product. For example, multiplying a whole number greater than 1 by a decimal less than once gives a product less than the whole number. Also, multiplying two decimals less than 1 gives a product less than one.

I hope your agent comes home today with a smile, or at least excited for my return tomorrow. You can let him or her know I spent the past few days inside because it was torrentially raining every day. My grandmother was very happy to spend some time with me, and I was happy to be there for her. All we have in life is time so best to spend it with family when we can. I also got to see a former agent who is a freshman at the University of Miami. He is doing great, and he loves his choice of school! I look forward to greeting your agent tomorrow morning!

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