Our class was well overdue for a reward party (In fact, they are close to earning a second one. This week, we took the time to play some word games.
Continuing lessons about speleology and bats bring us to our final classification project. Students split pictures of bats into two divisions: Microchiroptera and Megachiroptera. Now, it is time for all students to memorize their parts for the upcoming tours of Hoggatt Cave.
We have begun a new faze in our Math instruction. From time to time, students will have the opportunity to become the teacher, guiding their classmates - or allowing classmates to guide them - through problems at the SMART Board. Our hope is to increase their ability to talk in front of people and their ability to accurately communicate a process.
Students are often called upon to read "chorally".
That is, they read together simultaneously as a group.
Repeating this practice assists young readers with reading fluency -
the speed, accuracy, and inflection of oral reading.
Why not, since it's called "choral" reading anyway, actually read the chorus of a song?
On Friday, those in our class, who have not received an office referral in the last month, participated in a special scientific discovery. A friend of mine from high school in an engineer for NASA in Huntsville, Alabama. Returning to work following the recent government shutdown, he and his colleagues found there was more than enough work waiting for them.
One such example is the top secret mission to a previously-unknown planet just outside our solar system. A probe launched 20 or 30 years ago finally reached the planet, but could not land on the strange soil there. Instead, the rocket hovered and collected a sample of the soil, and "hyperspaced" it back to Earth.
With the volume of backed-up work, NASA needed to make an alternative plan to report on the planet's unusual soil and propose possible new vehicles that might land on the planet's surface. Quick studies by innocent fourth graders in Joplin, Missouri seemed an appropriate choice. After all, who would suspect?
NASA wanted to know if this soil was a solid or a liquid, and it turns out it had properties of both states of matter. Indeed, this was a unique, non-Newtonian substance! What possible vehicle could land on such without sinking?
Now that you have read of our investigation,
please promise not to reveal this top secret information to anyone,
domestic or international.
When we break apart the skills involved in reading comprehension, we are constantly amazed at how many skills there really are. We use the same skills when we watch TV shows, listen to music, and view advertisements.
They are everywhere: in magazines, in newspapers, on the radio, at the movie theater, and on television. It is important that we protect ourselves from marketing "tricks", which are intended to "hook" the viewers/readers/
listeners. Perhaps the product is cheaply made. Maybe it isn't as it appears. Is it worth the price? Is it something you need? Let's dive right in to a commercial and hone our reading skills along the way.
Here is a commercial that was quite effective with its public service message.
For more information about these six reading skills, see Reading Like a Reader.
The latest news about our community safe room and school gymnasium is that the four walls are up and the roof is on. From the door of our hallway, we are watching the construction of the rear corridor. This week, there has been quite a bit of drilling into our outer wall, installation of steel reinforcements, and pouring concrete to form the foundational walls of the corridor that will connect the school's main building with the safe room.
Our class was fortunate to hear a mini-concert and musical presentation from the Linden String Quartet, on Wednesday. These talented musicians came to our school from Cleveland, Ohio. They have performed for events in important venues including the Kennedy Center, and are performing in a free concert at Ozark Christian College, 7pm, Thursday. Please take the time out to attend this event with your child, and enjoy a classy event with these world-class performers. They come to Joplin as a result of the work of Pro Musica.
We have a long way to go in developing the tour for Hoggatt Cave. Students were handed their individual parts a week ago, and they are supposed to have been memorizing their lines.
The latest additions to the cave are pictured above. Scroll over the pictures for more information, or click to enlarge.
A couple of Hoggatteer alumni came through recently to check up on me. Last week, during parent conferences, I was thrilled to see SAHARA come through. SAHARA is an eighth grader and is becoming a beautiful young lady.
Then on Monday, CHRIS visited at the end of the day. CHRIS has been a part of the work force for a couple of years now, and will always hold a special place in this teacher's heart.
A little closer to home, PAIGE is a fifth grader at our school. Even when she has so much of which to be proud, she remains humble. Recently she was elected to the position of secretary-treasurer for the Cecil Floyd Student Council. She is also one of the school's eLeaders, a group of fifth grade students who can assist teachers with minor technology issues.
PAIGE, CHRIS, SAHARA, and others are what make teaching so satisfying.
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