Time is flying.  We've been busy in room 221--reading, studying author's tricks, comparing points of view, and learning to observe small details.  Here's a summary of our week:

Language Arts
·         In reader’s workshop, we discussed what makes a good book blog entry, how to respond to other students’ blog, how to think while we’re reading (we created a class book code), and how to create a book wish list.
·         The best way to become a stronger reader is to read more!  Each student should be reading for 30 minutes each night.  A parent or other adult needs to initial the students’ 100 Book Challenge log every day. 
·         In writers’ workshop, we discussed “mentor authors,” or authors who inspire us.  We each selected an author that we’d like to study and learn more about.  Authors have tricks (author’s craft) that they use to make their writing sparkle.  Both growing authors and published authors continually read published stories and look for author’s craft.  This week, we looked for “words that work,” or phrases that really capture our attention as readers.

·         This week we worked on finishing our observation and measurement study.  We learned about quantitative (using numbers) and qualitative (using the five senses) observations.  We also did a fantastic job learning how to calibrate the triple beam balance, how to calculate the weight of an object to the nearest gram, and how to find the length and width of an object in centimeters or millimeters.  We discussed how scientists use the metric system because it’s based on the number 10—so it’s easier to use!
·         There will be a science quiz on Thursday, September 2.  Look for the study guide to come home on Monday.
·         We’ll begin discussing the science fair next week.

Social Studies
·         We continued discussing Christopher Columbus’s “discovery” of North America.  As we read the book Encounter by Jane Yolen, we discussed what the Native Americans and Columbus’s explorers may have been thinking, and how the two groups had different perspectives (view points) of the situation.
·         We began discussing the Spanish conquistadors.  Cortez was known as a great conquer, but he was also greedy.  His conquest led to the destruction of one of the greatest nations of the time—the mighty Aztecs.  Most would have thought the Aztecs were undefeatable, but the Native Americans were shocked by the horses and weapons Cortez and his men had.  Sadly for the natives, Cortez was able to conquer Montezuma and the Aztecs, and the Spanish took over all of Mexico.  The Spanish had a different perspective, of course.  They viewed Cortez as a great hero.

3/28/2012 12:26:51 pm

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