Well, the first day back was a busy one. We started the day with some grammar review. I am disappointed that most of my class still does not know the eight parts of speech. We will continue to work on this! I had them identify what the eight parts of speech are, write a sentence, identifying the given part of speech and tomorrow they will make an illustration for each part. Maybe some visualization techniques will help them to remember.
We began literature circles today. It took much longer than I expected to get the children organized. Most seemed happy with their groups and novels. I am having the high group read Mudshark by Gary Paulsen. I just love that author!! My two middle groups are reading Shiloh and Holes and my low group will be working on Esperanza Rising. I tried to match ability groups with Lexile scores, since that is what the common core is heading towards. My high group thought they had the easiest book because it is the shortest! Wait till they try to figure out themes and character development!!!!
In social studies we picked an important person to research. I actually had a list of people and the students picked a slip with a name on it and that was the person they were assigned. I can't believe that they didn't know people like John F. Kennedy, Winston Churchill and FDR. UGH! Anyway, for this project they will be gathering some information about birth, country of origin and achievements and then they will write a short essay about their person. As a class, we will construct a timeline and each student will place their person on the timeline according to major achievements. Did I mention this is an illustrated timeline!! To top it off, we will make pop bottle people to represent our person! I found that cute idea on Pinterest!!!
Common Core has a focus on research in sixth grade, but not necessarily long research projects. This is a mini-research project that I feel meets the requirements of the Common Core.
Finally, we practiced a choral reading for Martin Luther King Jr. day. I still do not have all the parts finalized but I think after a few more read throughs tomorrow I will be able to assign all the parts and begin practice in earnest.
In math we started our unit on multiplication and division of decimals. We started slow with a review of estimating. I can't believe the number of students who have forgotten how to estimate, not to mention those that needed to ask what a product and a quotient were! Do you feel my pain???
In science, we finished our science fair papers and discussed any questions they had on finishing their display boards that are due on Friday. Anybody want to make a wager on how many DON'T bring it in on Friday!!!
We are finishing our unit on ancient Egypt in social studies. The students are working on second drafts of their informative essays, final copies of their group illustrated dictionaries and newspaper articles on their topics of research. I expect to have trifold boards completed for Open House at the end of the month. Wish me luck!!
Whew, it was a busy day! And I still have 3 more to go. For those of you who don't go back until tomorrow, I envy your 3 day week!