Update: Thanks to Paul Smith for the video posting tip. We've updated the video stream so there are no possible unsavoury (we used the British spelling for Paul!) links.
It was a nice day, as usual. We started with our spelling test. Those look pretty good: they should be on the Gradebook by this weekend. We then went to the library where Mrs. Koneff started sharing this year’s candidates for the California Young Reader medal. Students will listen to all three of the books, and they will vote on their choice at the end of next month. Students are continuing to work on their I-Search papers on their disease or medical career, and many checked out or renewed books on this topic.
Returning to the classroom we began a narrative writing assignment. I challenged the students to create a sequel to “The Bridge Dancers” which imagined what life would be like a few years in the future for Callie and Maisie. They were allowed to add other characters and change the setting, but they had to be sure that they had a problem and a solution in the story, as well as using dialogue. We will be sharing these in small groups on Monday and then writing final drafts. I look forward to seeing what they have written. I am sure it will be quite creative.
After recess – irritatingly shortened because our clock is now five minutes off – we corrected and discussed the math homework. I collected the other assignments. We had some time to finish the run-through of Gold Dust or Bust that we started Wednesday.
After lunch we started our Science Friday activities. Our investigations this week continued to focus on magnets and magnetism. First, were asked to hang a magnet from a string and to find the direction in which these pointed. They took this seriously, as you can see from the picture below.
The students quickly figured out that they had made a simple compass. So I passed out compasses to them and had them discover how magnets could affect the workings of a compass. Watch this short video and listen to them explore this.The students were then given white cardboard boxes. They taped magnets to the inside of the box and then practiced using a variety of detectors, including iron filings, to discover where in the box the magnets were located. Groups traded boxes and determined where the magnets were in each box without opening the box. It was noisy but pretty fun. In the picture below, you can see a washer sticking to the box on the right bottom where the magnet is hidden in the box.
After we finished our explorations, we discussed our finding and read a short chapter in the FOSS Science book. There are some fun activities in the book which students can do at home to explore these concepts further.
We finished the day with a brief discussion of factor trees, and students had an opportunity to start early on some homework.
Homework: Do “Find Prime Factors,” Math, pages 302-303 and “Find a Pattern,” page 305.
Some students will still need more work on the rough draft of their “Bridge Dancers” sequel story.