Wednesday, January 6, 2016

New Experiences and Google Cardboard all in a day!

We have had two more math lesson in the algebra topic. Yesterday we discussed simplifying expressions. This lesson continued with basic algebraic skills by teaching students the use of the order of operations to simplify and solve expressions. Because in basic math students are asked to solve expressions written horizontally by going from left to right, many students may have initial trouble grasping the needs for a hierarchy of mathematical operations. Memorizing the order of operations is not always easy for students. One of the most common ways to help students memorize this is PEMDAS. This acronym reinforces the concept of which operations come first. In lesson 4 we evaluated expressions. When addition and subtraction are combined with multiplication and, order of operations must be applied with care. Brackets and parentheses make expressions more complex. Order of operations allows mathematicians to perform complex calculations consistently with ambiguity.  

We will be starting a new chapter book during literature circles. Students are working towards creating a social media packet to hand in. I am excited to bring this book to our agents as none of them have read it and most are interested in historical fiction. The Indian School is a short book with HUGE lessons. Students had no knowledge of the Indian Mission Schools that existed where Native American children learned to live like white boys and girls. Students will learn what it is like to have a cultural shift. Read more about the book below (excerpt taken from Scholastic):

When shy, ten-year-old Lucy comes to live with her aunt and uncle at their mission school, she’ s surprised at the number of harsh rules and restrictions imposed on the children. Why, she wonders, should the Indians have to do all the changing? And why is her aunt so strict with them? Then a girl called Raven runs away in protest, and Lucy knows she must overcome her timidity and stand up to her aunt— no matter what the consequences. Once again Gloria Whelan has taken a chapter from our past and transformed it into gripping, accessible, historically accurate fiction. 1996 ‘ Pick of the Lists’ (ABA)

I look forward to having rich conversations with our agents about the topics in this book. We are also continuing to read aloud Crunch. Students are enjoying the story very much and cannot believe how a gas shortage affects so many things!

Your agent might have come home letting you know we had some new gadgets in our classroom. Rumors are true! We have 2 I pod touches and Google Cardboard! Thanks to the many Donor’s who supported my last Donor’s Choose project our agents will be able to use these devices to run our classroom robots and go on some virtual reality expeditions! Things have changed since I was a kid! Remember the image on the left? Students now have the image on the right! Using new tech tools and old device was created into something new and exciting!

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