Monthly Archives: November 2014
The dates of the second round of MAP testing have been set. This is the same assessment that produced student achievement data that was shared at fall conferences. By doing this, we will be able to measure student academic growth since September.
Monday, December 8
4th grade reading / 5th grade math
Tuesday, December 9
5th grade reading/ 4th grade math
Thursday, December 11
Finish up day
Monday, December 15
4th/5th grade language (Reed’s class)
Tuesday, December 16
4th/5th grade language (Evers’ class)
Thursday, December 18
Finish up day
For the past several weeks, our 4th and 5th graders have been working on a project about oil spill cleanup. The first phase of the project involved students conducting pH samples to determine the sources of pollution in the fictional town named Greentown. After gathering and analyzing data, students developed presentations for the Greentown city council to identify the sources of the pollution and recommendations for further action.
The next part of the project has been for students to use the engineering design process to design, implement, evaluate, and improve a process for cleaning an oil spill so that the oil has the least impact on the surrounding ecosystem. After some study about ecosystems, students tested different tools to use for oil spill clean up. Their observations were shared between both classes, and using that information, each student group developed a plan for oil removal in a simulated river. Students were given a budget of $20 million dollars in the planning process. Student groups carried out their plans and then tested their clean up process effectiveness using special tools. From this, students earned an overall score for effectiveness and being cost efficient.
The next step will be to analyze today’s work and develop a plan to improve upon their first design. A big thank you to all parents who donated goggles, volunteered to prepare materials this fall, and help out with the activity. This would not have happened without your help.
One of our school improvement goals is to emphasize vocabulary at a deeper level in all content areas. In our fourth grade math class, Dr. Mears has been working with our students twice a week in understanding math vocabulary words using a variety of methods. This week our students engaged in a hands-on approach to model 4th grade vocabulary such as patterns, place value, factors, equal, product multiples, expressions and equations.
Our fifth graders have been working on close reading strategies this fall. This week they are reading STEM-related articles about innovations about solar energy and how the city of Houston has engaged in an energy conservation initiative since 2008. After reading and working through both articles, our 5th graders are analyze both articles for similarities and differences about the author’s point-of-view and author’s purpose.