April ended with students linking verbs, adverbs and prepositions in grammar, while building to more sophisticated paragraph writing. To bring a kinesthetic element to learning, we introduced games such as adverb charades, and art-adjective. Students created Madlibs for each other to do great re-writes of passages in Esperanza Rising.
Our classwork on sentence structure and parts of speech included white boarding and a color-coding system. To prepare for SPARK projects, we began writing formal letters of introduction and worked on proper email etiquette. Students mailed off letters to people they were interested in contacting for their SPARK project (including Jeff Bezos and Chef Gordon Ramsay).
Students started to add citations into writing assignments and focused on parts of words - prefixes, base words, root words, and suffixes. We learned the meanings of new prefixes at the start of each language arts period.
Students finished by writing two 5 paragraph essays, one as homework and the second to develop a show or skit, complete with hand made puppets and props. Both assignments demonstrated levels of fluency and improvements in creative writing. The assignment focused on appropriate language, good word choices, and strong descriptions.
Students continued with fractions, looking at problems that combine multiple step problems, including complex word problems. Students engaged with word problems by identifying key words and the clues they provide for the appropriate function to use in their solution. They used the key words to write word problems for one another. Students also saw connections between math and science in a data collection project.
In algebra students covered how to balance equations, the rules for multiplying and dividing negative and positive numbers. Hands on math built our students’ confidence when learning about negative numbers and basic algebra problems.
Perimeter and area were introduced. Students used blocks to build houses and fences and then measured perimeter with rulers. They learned what measures of area represent and then measured the classroom using 12x12 squares.
All students came up with review questions that they presented to the rest of the class. They reviewed their composition notebooks to come up their question. After everyone had a chance to work on each question, the person who presented the question retaught everyone the original concept.
Finally, ask an MCS student about their Sudoku strategy. They enjoy the idea that Sudoku is a “work out” for their brains.
In science we studied chemistry in more depth. We challenged students to think like chemical engineers and helped design a product using the least amount of chemicals possible. All science study involved the care and accuracy needed for practices of data collection. Other highlights:
Learning about food preservation and how chemicals can be used to preserve foods. Solubility and how it can change under different temperatures.
Mount Sutro area history and ecosystem – connected to their study of the SF Watershed ecosystem in the Presidio and beach.
The camera obscura and how it works.