Last week we discussed the purpose of writing, learned a helpful acronym, and created an anchor resource in our Interactive Notebooks on Persuade, Inform, Entertain (PIE). We also examined Character Traits. These are a description of a character on the “inside.” We looked at a Harrow, one of the protagonists from City of Ember, and described him as intelligent, brave, stubborn, thoughtful, angry, loyal, and more. The students were amazing in being very analytical and attributing both positive and negative character traits to one of their favorite characters.
We are on the last chapters of City of Ember. Next week we will be discussing Author’s Purpose and identifying the big themes (“thematic concepts”)and main ideas of this book as we wrap it up.
- Author’s Purpose - every writer has a purpose and point of view, every writing has a tone or attitude set. Recognizing the author’s purpose, point of view, or tone helps you understand the story. Basically, “Why did the author write this?”
- PIE (Entertain, Inform, Persuade!!)
- Theme - life lessons, meaning, moral, message about human life or human nature that author is trying to communicate through their work
- Author’s message - main idea, theme, or lesson Author wants to communicate
Persuasive Writing was introduced. We read an article on Debate! in Time for Kids on field trips. In order to prepare to read this article, we practiced reading the multi-syllable words in segments and then blending the segments together. We practiced reading some phrases pulled out of the article fluently. The students took the position that field trips are always educational and are a much better reward for hard work than any other type of reward. They would know!
Last week, we spent time discussing and diagramming different multiplication models; we reviewed multiplication and place value vocabulary, the rule of zeroes,
discussed and demonstrated the Commutative and Distributive properties of multiplication in preparation for this week's work on multi-digit multiplication.
Each student did individual work related to their interests and/or inspiration; Tommy and Will continued with space and air traffic control math; Bella was a long, long, long division machine and a finder of running paces; Dmitri looked at patterns in the number of equal multiplication combinations as an adjunct to the Commutative Property discussion and did some work on soccer stats.
After discussing number lines, timelines, units, increments, and the meaning of negative numbers, we took a detour back into number lines, this time with increments of time, and integers and translated an EEI written timeline to a Paleolithic Period timeline. We discuss rounding and estimation to support our calculations, and constructed of a very long paper timeline that will took form around the upper reaches of the classroom. We started in 2013 and counted back a decade to the time when the students were tiny. We then compressed our timeline into a century, and counted back by tens to 1913, then identified events that had occurred such as parents' births, important World War II battles, and the publication of the first crossword puzzle. Our third timeline represented a millennium, enough to go back to medieval England when the crown was constantly being fought over and claimed by the winner of the latest series of battles, Forkbeard of Sweden over Ethelred the Unready in 1013. All of this was designed to help gain a sense of the magnitude of the Stone Age timeline we built on Tuesday and Wednesday. In the end, each of us assembled and labeled fifty ten-thousand-year timelines into five (5) hundred-thousand-year timelines which, counting back from the beginning of the "Common Era", went back to 2.5 million years BCE when the first stone tools were used by our distant ancestor, Homo Habilis, tying back to our Paleolithic studies.
Out and About in the City reinforced our Paleolithic studies by showing the students how they too can connect with our surroundings to find herbs and seafood......
Students participated in a herb walk finding Lavender, Mint, Rosemary and Stevia. They experienced touched, smelled and tasted herbs from the garden. They also took the dried herbs from the garden and made Chamomile & Mint tea. They looked at the nutrient cycle from the national gardening association - learned about the life cycle of old plants, composting and new plants.
And, the big outing for the week was the great adventure near Chrissy Field foraging for eels, crabs and other delicacies! The fearless leader, Kirk from Seaforaging, showed the students how to cast, throw nets, and search under rocks for the SF Bay marine life. The photos illustrates the great fishing success! (No animals were harmed .... We released everything back to the Bay.)