Friday, October 3, 2014

Friday: Post CAT 4, Albion Hills, Sentences Part 1, Fractions, and back to work!

I am very pleased to say that the Albion Hills trip was a success and a lot of fun for the Grade 7 students.  As a teacher, it was great to get to know the other students in the other classes.  I will post a few photos from the trip once I make a short list of the items.


The Grade 8s have moved ahead with some of our in class work.  They spent the three school days with their other homeroom teacher and I will be spending the next few days getting caught up with our Math and Language work in Room 52.

The homework assigned to the students, last Friday, was a completion of the Internet game review sheet and a letter to Mr. P (me).  A number of students did not complete this.  I am being somewhat lenient with the Grade 7s, due to their absence.  As for the Grade 8s, it should have been done.

 As for the letter, the students were given a guide to follow.  Even though this letter is not being evaluated (graded), the guide I gave was an anchor chart or a Success Criteria to help guide the students.  I have noticed that a number of students do not seem to be following this chart and simply writing a letter with the intention of getting it done and out of the way.


Today, Friday, I had the students come in and get to work on looking at another New York Times inference exercise.  Here is the image for this week:


Details about the program, and the image, can be located at the following link:
http://learning.blogs.nytimes.com/category/lesson-plans/whats-going-on-in-this-picture/

The Success Criteria for this exercise was established last year.  I am going to post the image and I will also model a response, over the weekend, for the students to see.



As we move into a unit of writing that will be graded, I will be emphasizing the importance of following the guidelines established in class.  We will begin with the smallest unit of writing -- sentences -- and build from there.  Like the unit we are working on in Math, I believe that starting from the basics and building from there is key to building a sense of competence and confidence.

I will use several YouTube videos to assist and supplement our look at sentences.  There are a lot of learning opportunities on YouTube in a wide range of subject areas and I try to select the videos that are informative, but not too overwhelming.  Here is a basic one on the four basic sentences:

Along with other available videos on YouTube, other interactive lessons on the Promethean Board, and a lot of writing practice, it is my intention to develop competent writers in Room 52.  You would be amazed to see how many students in Grade 8 who have still not mastered the writing skills they were expected to learn by Grade 4!

The next stage of sentence writing will look at the three main sentence types:  Simple, Compound, and Complex.  Once again, here is a video.   The purpose, of course, of learning these types of sentences is to have the skills to write a full paragraph with a variety of sentence types:



When we are dealing with Compound Sentences, a helpful acronym to remember is this one:

This screenshot image was taken from the following site:  http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-UmhPwRJKn-8/UeMvcP5y1wI/AAAAAAAAAyc/AXMbIhWYgFA/s1600/Fanboys%20postersmall.jpg



The Math we will be doing will also be shifting.  It will remain on the topic of fractions, but will require the students to become more competent in understanding their multiplication tables (I may have mentioned this already).  Before we get there, we will do a review of the different ways of adding and subtracting fractions we have learned about before a test.  As for now, the method we will be looking at today is summarized on this page:


Here are a series of  humourous video clips from the 1990s Math TV show called Square One Math.  I will use this as a sort of refresher for jumping back into Mathematics instruction.


In the following video, it introduces the concepts of decimals and percentages.  They are all part of the fraction family, but something I have not taught yet.  I don't like to be in the habit of introducing work that overwhelms the students, so I followed up this video by asking for information from the image below this video.


I began with the number in the middle and asked the students if they could read what it means.  I wrote their responses down and explained how they relate to the other two representations.

I will keep this image in my pocket for some future lesson.





For the Grade 7s, the lesson ended with piecing together some of our knowledge and completing some questions on the Promethean Board.













A student, who I will not identify (heh, heh) demonstrated how to solve a similar Math question on the side chalkboard.  This student proclaims to not like Math, but I actually think they are developing a talent for it:



On a completely different note, there are two bits of information of interest to both groups and one for the Grade 8s.

Sub lunch on October 23.  Forms due on October 10.
Homework

1. Page 12 Math sheet.  Do your calculations on the sheet

2.  3 types of sentences in your Language notebook (Simple, Compound, Complex).  

Hints:  Here is a photo of a poster I have up on the wall.  Also, use the sheet I handed out with the three types of sentences.


Enjoy your weekend.

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