Updates for May

 

Good Morning Parents!

I have some updates below.  Please share with your student and let me know if you have any questions.  Please read the SOL updates carefully as there are many changes from previous years. 

SOLS:

  • The SOL schedule was sent home in a letter yesterday. Here are the dates:
    • Reading May 7th (Part 1) & May 8th (Part 2)
    • Math May 15th (Part 1) & May 16th (Part 2)
    • Science May 23rd (One Day)
  • SOLs will begin each day promptly at 8:30am. If your child is late on SOL days, they will not be permitted to enter the classroom until all students are done testing. They will be sent to the library to wait.  *Early birds should come to class on time the Reading and Science SOL days and should let their middle school teacher know they are taking the SOLs those dates.  They will take their Math SOL at the middle school.  Once you know the date, please let me know so I can expect them late that day. 
  • Please make sure your child has a restful night and a big breakfast. We will not have snack until after all students are done testing.
  • *NEW– We are not allowed to have snacks/treats before SOLs and are not allowed to have mints or gum. We are also not allowed to have words of encouragement or encouragement notes the day of SOL testing.  No phones, watches, Fitbit, fidgets, or other electronics are allowed in the classroom.  Please keep those items at home.  If they are in class they will be collected and removed from the testing environment.

SOL Review:

  • We have begun our Reading and Math SOL reviews in class. Reading is the most challenging to review for.  I need to emphasize to tell your students to take their time and go back and reread the passages as many times as they need to be sure they are choosing the correct answer.  The questioning tends to be tricky and they should be going back to reread the passage several times.
  • I have offered a reading sol practice opportunity on schoology under the reading folder. This is also an extra credit opportunity where the students can earn 5 points on their lowest reading grade for MP4.  Both the fiction and nonfiction practice are due on Monday 4/30.  I will be offering another reading extra credit opportunity this coming Friday 5/4.  It will be uploaded on Monday 4/30 evening and will be due on Monday May 7th
  • We have begun our Math SOL review and will continue for the next 2 weeks in class. Students already have the Math homework for the next two weeks and can work at their own pace as long as each assignment is completed on its due date.  For extra practice, students can go to schoology and under the homeroom folder there are websites for math practice.
  • We will begin our science review at the end of this week once we complete our Solar System 4th grade review. We will review science in class for 3 weeks.  For extra practice, students can go on schoology under the science folder to find SOL practice quizlets on all the SOLs for both 4th & 5th
  • * After the Science SOL on May 23rd, we will conclude with Science and spend the rest of the year on Social Studies.

Math Olympiad

  • We will have Math Olympiad May 3rd and the last one will be May 10th. Winners for the contest have been announced and the students will receive their awards at the Moving Up Ceremony on June 14th.  Congratulations to all our winners!  Thank you to all our volunteer parents!

Report cards will be send home on Monday 4/30

Graded folders will be sent home this week.  Last week we did not have many assessments to send home.

Grades for MP4 will be updated by Monday night. 

Have a great weekend!

Jamie Chambers

Race Cards: To help prepare for our Science SOL test that is quickly approaching (eek!), we will begin review all the 5th grade units through race cards. There will be given out for each student to borrow on a Friday & the quiz will be the next Thursday. This will serve 3 purposes: (1) it will help review the important vocabulary and facts for memorization to help prepare for the SOL test, (2) it will be grades for the (end of) 3rd 9 weeks & 4th 9 weeks for Science, & (3) the students who earn an 90% or better will earn extra recess on the Friday after their quiz!! A much needed break as we get into the SOL prep season for them to have another break from all their hard work & enjoy the beautiful warmer weather outside with their friends. The quizzes will be exactly what is on the cards with a word bank provided. The goal of these cards is to simply aid in memorizing all the vocabulary & facts for each 5th grade science unit. We will build on this in our in-class preparations to help them apply this information when answering SOL questions.

I also have attached the Updated 2017-2018 PTA Calendar and the

 

Inquiry-Based Learning due September 8th

Hello Again!  Thank you for all of you that responded to my last Inquiry-Based Learning Question.  You all did a great job!  If you go back to your google doc you can view my feedback and respond to any questions I may have posed to you. Remember if you answer any questions or made corrections you would like me to view, you need to share it again with me and place in the note that you are responding to the first question.

Now for the last question(s) which will be due on September 8th.  You will be given this assignment as part of your homework assignments for the first week of school and you will be given some time in class to work on it.  If you want to get a head start, go for it! This last questions will be a required assignment that will count as a grade for MP1.

Question(s) #3-    Many times Inquiry-Based learning is a time for you to have choice and control in your learning.  This is your time!!!

  1. I would like you to think about something you wonder about or INQUIRE about. I want you to come up with an essential question that lets me know what your inquiry- based question is and what you will be researching.
  2. For this question I would like you to write it in paragraph format so I can see your sentence structure and paragraph format skills.  Remember that first impressions mean everything!  Be sure to proofread your work and remember capitalization and punctuation and do not start with pronouns.  I will also encourage you to be sure to create WOW openings and closings for each paragraph.
  3. Who? What? When? Where? How? and Why?  You will use these 6 questions again to inquire about your essential question you created which should include your topic.  You are required to answer all 6 questions in your written response.  Remember do NOT put the questions in the paragraph just write explaining the who, what, where , when, how and why that revolve around your topic. 
  1. You are required to write at least 1 paragraph which includes 5-7 sentences.  You can do more but remember to separate your paragraphs.  I don’t want one huge 15 sentence paragraph.
  • Remember my example a few weeks back(look at first entry on blog for what is Inquiry-based learning) I had a wonder about hot dogs. I could use this for an assignment like this.  I could say my essential question is – Why is a hot dog a hot dog?  Then answer the 6 questions by researching all about the hot dog.

I look forward to reading your responses.  Remember to google share with me and I will be sure to add comments and feedback.

 

 

Inquiry-Based Learning

Hello!  Thank you for all of you that responded to my last Inquiry-Based Learning Question.  You all did a great job!  If you go back to your google doc you can view my feedback and respond to any questions I may have posed to you. Remember if you answer any questions or made corrections you would like me to view, you need to share it again with me and place in the note that you are responding to the first question.

Now for the next question(s) which will be due on August 28th.  On August 28th I will post the last question that will be due in September and that last questions will be a required assignment that will count as a grade for MP1.

Question(s) #2-    If you are not aware, we are expecting to see an unusual once in a life time solar eclipse on August 21, 2017.  Due to this extraordinary event, the inquiry-based question will be focused on the expected solar eclipse.

For this question I would like you to write it in paragraph format so I can see your sentence structure and paragraph format skills.  Remember that first impressions mean everything!  Be sure to proofread your work and remember capitalization and punctuation and do not start with pronouns.  I will also encourage you to be sure to create WOW openings and closings for each paragraph.

Who? What? When? Where? How? and Why?  

Have you heard of these questions?  We will use these 6 questions to inquire about the solar eclipse.  I will list the questions relating to our topic that you will need to research.  I am listing the questions to help you organize your research but please remember that you need to answer all 6 questions in paragraph format without adding the who?, what?, etc.  You also do not need to write your paragraph and sentences in the order of the posed questions.  For example, starting with the answer to the who? part might not seem right or fit into your introduction.

Remember all the questions below relate to the solar eclipse we are expecting 8/21/17.

Who will be able to view the solar eclipse on 8/21/17?

What is a solar eclipse?  Are there different kinds of solar eclipses?

When will the solar eclipse be able to be seen?  

Where will you be able to see the solar eclipse? 

How often does a solar eclipse occur?  How should you view the solar eclipse?  Are there safety concerns?  

Why is a solar eclipse viewed as an important event in scientific history?  

**Notice there are many questions.  Once you research the answers, you should be able to create a strong paragraph or multiple paragraphs to explain your answers.

I look forward to reading your responses.  Remember to google share with me and I will be sure to add comments and feedback.

 

 

Inquiry-Based Learning

Happy August! I hope you are enjoying your summer.  I cannot believe there is one month left before we return to school.  I must admit that I have already begun planning for the school year and look forward to working with you all this year.  I hope you have been reading this summer and perhaps you began with the book I gave you in your summer slide packet.  As a reminder, if you are traveling or super busy this summer and do not get the opportunity to work on the summer slide packet, you have until September 29, 2017 to complete it while still earning the extra credit.  Now for the Inquiry-based learning questions…

I want to apologize for not posting it sooner.  I did not anticipate that the county would be performing maintenance on Word Press the program we use to upload our blogs.  For that reason, I was unable to post until today.  Luckily, we have one month left and plenty of time to get a few in. 

So… What is Inquiry-based Learning?  Have you done it before?  What is its purpose?  How will this help me with my academic career?  Sounds like some essential questions, right?  They actually are but like most essential questions, once you break them down they are really not as difficult as they may seem at first.  So let’s break them down and get started with our first challenge.

What is Inquiry-Based Learning?  Breaking down the question we can see that learning is familiar to us all and we know what that is.  Inquiry has to do with questioning and wondering and “based” added to it simply means having to do with.  So we have learning that has to do with questioning.  So simple right?!  A question is posed whether given to you or you have come up with it yourself because you inquired about something you thought of in your daily life.  It can be as simple as you are at a BBQ and you try a hot dog.  You start thinking to yourself what an interesting food.  Who invented this?  How did they come up with the process?  Why in the world did they call it a hot dog??? Have these types of thoughts come into your mind before about anything?  I think like this all the time.  Certain things might spark my interest and I begin to think deeper about it so I can gain a better understanding. That brings us to the next question.

Have you done Inquiry-Based Learning before?    YES!!!  Look at the highlight sentence above.  Don’t we do this all the time in school?  I know that much of our curriculum is what educators have deemed important for you to learn and master by the end of that grade level but often times you are given the opportunity to think deeper so you can gain a better understanding to certain things that might spark your interest. 

What is the purpose of Inquiry-Based Learning?  The purpose is to create an opportunity for active learning where you are in control of your learning and need to use skills that you have learned to solve a question or problem.  I could simply lecture you or create a power point on the hot dog and explain it all to you but you would then lose so much.  First of all, if it was your thought/wonder/question wouldn’t you want to find out the answer or at least try?

How will Inquiry-Based learning help with my academic career?  With Inquiry-based learning you apply your knowledge of problem solving skills which is an important life skill.  You utilize research and reasoning skills while you are focusing on finding the answer to the inquiry you began with.  You are many times given the choice on what topic you want to inquire about which allows you to be completely invested and interested in following through with the challenge and finding the answer!  You can also teach or share with others what you have found out through the process which is something you will need to do all throughout life.  The presentation piece of your inquiry is also important because the way you present your findings will show if you truly applied the skills needed to successfully answer the question and if you fully understood the process and purpose.

You all have done this before!!  Your teachers, parents, coaches might not have used the words inquiry-based learning but trust me you have done this. Now is your opportunity to show me how well you can read my explanation, work on the inquiry-based questions and present your findings in a way that tells me you clearly understood the process and can problem solve to find solutions.  All of these skills you will utilize this year in class so this is a perfect time to practice.

Below is the first posed question.  You will read the question, research and problem solve through it to find an answer.  You will then reply back to me your findings in a short written explanation.  I know it is summer but remember that I expect quality writing as you are all above a 5th grade level.  That means you are writing in complete sentences while remembering punctuation and capitalization.  Try not to start more than one sentence with pronouns and capitalize I!! (Two pet peeves of mine) If you don’t know what a pet peeve is then inquire!! Look it up and research and gain the knowledge of something new today!  Sounds like Inquiry-Based Learning!!!

The first question will stay posted until August 14th and then I will post the 2nd question.  At that point I will not accept additional responses to the first question.  So you have about 2 weeks to respond to me for each question.  On August 28th, I will post the final question and this will be due on September 7th.  The last question will be the only requirement that must be met but I encourage you all to do all of the questions.  I look forward to seeing your responses and interacting with you virtually.  To respond to the question, you will need to email me or a share with me a google doc.  To use the google doc method you will need to remember your login to your drive, create a new doc, type your response to me and share the google doc with me using my email address below.  Many of you will need to ask your parents if you can use their email to respond to me.  I will respond back to you within the two-week period and I will give you feedback and may ask you questions in return.  The email and google doc is the best way to secure your research findings and allow you to get individualized attention.  jchambers@henrico.k12.va.us

Question 1-

We still have one more month until we return to school while there are several schools across our nation that didn’t even get a summer break.  Educational institutions have been talking for years about the possibility of year round school while only a few have taken the initiative to actually do it.  What school districts across our nation actually have year round school and what are the pros and cons of year round school? 

* Notice that one question creates a domino effect where more follow so easily.  This is common and encouraged with inquiry-based learning.