Monday, August 27, 2012

Monday Fun-Day! (Day 2)

My second day at Gideons ES was just as wonderful as the first!  I am happy to be there and I think that feeling will continue!  
     Today, I found out that students are to wear blue and white uniforms to school Mondays - Thursdays and have their own choice of clothing on Fridays.  I also discovered that Teachers are to wear the school colors on Mondays and Wednesdays.  (My CT apologized for forgetting to inform me!)  All of the students were cheerful, as usual, and thus the week began with a positive feeling.

    The Standards and Essential Questions for this week:
        How does the setting affect a character's traits?
Math:  CCOA1
        What is the difference between an expression and an equation?
Science:  S5L3
        How are structures of a plant and animal cell similar and different?
Social Studies:  SS5CG1
        How does the bill of rights influence freedoms you have today?

Book of the Week:  I, Dred Scott

     The day began with ELA.  To kick off ELA, students were given a worksheet with their spelling words on it.  We reviewed the words together and discussed those the students felt were most difficult.  After discussion, the sheet was assigned as Home Work.  To transition into reading, Mr.Mitchell asked questions about some of the spelling words that would be found in the reading selection.  As students turned to the story (Sleds on Boston Common) they were asked to review the picture below the title.  Mr.Mitchell asked students to make inferences and to draw conclusions about the picture.  He also asked students to recall information, about the American Revolution, that they learned in fourth grade.  Many students were happy to share the facts and examples they remembered about this topic.  By asking students to recall information, it was a good way to connect past learning experiences.
     While the story was read aloud, brief pauses were taken to ask thought provoking questions about the text.  By giving real world examples, with student names, the class was very intrigued and enjoyed participating in the discussion.  When the story was at an appropriate stopping point, the focus turned to completing their creative writing projects from last week.  Students used their pre-writing maps to produce a rough draft of their persuasive creative writing letter.  The use of the pre-writing map helped all of the students to create a properly formatted letter.  I walked around the room to help students correct errors with spelling, grammar, and sentence structure.  I encourage them to use a dictionary or thesaurus so they could try and revise their writings by themselves.  I also encouraged students to trade with one of their friends and check their work.  After all students revised their letter, they sat them aside to finish the final draft tomorrow. 
     The subject of focus then changed to Mathematics.  The major topics were factors, powers, and exponents.  Students began with an informal assessment using a Jeopardy type game on the Smart Board.  After a short review, Mr.Mitchell and I passed out a Place Value and Powers of Ten worksheet.  We reviewed the powers of ten and discussed the patterns that can be found when using them.  Math was cut a bit short today because we had an unexpected trip to the library, for AR sign up and testing, and it was the first day of Spanish instruction.  I did not realize how these two trips took a great deal of time out of our instruction.  This is the first week for Specials and after calculating time taken out for them, not much is really left for in depth learning on each core subject.  Some days Social Studies, ELA, or Science will be cut short and it will not be positive for student learning.  However, I can not say that students should not go to Specials because I believe they are also necessary for a well rounded, intellectually competent student.  I just wish there was more time in the day for instruction!!!!

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