11-7 or 7-11?

Well, it is November 7 and not July 11, so I guess we don’t get free Slurpees at 7-Eleven.  At least we can enjoy looking at the yummy Slurpee at the right and get a free one in a little bit over 8 months small-7e-day-slurpee-cup! 🙂  Regardless, here is our weekly blog post.

  • Conversation Starters
  • Blogging for Fifth Graders
  • Math Strategies
  • Fiction Text Features Assignment
  • Common Core Connection
  • Our Class Pet
  • Questions for You!

Conversation Starters:

  • Tell me about the fiction text features you have discussed this week.  Why are these features important to remember as a reader?
  • Explain the clock model to solve 1/4 + 1/2 + 3/4.  How can this model help you as a mathematician?
  • Explain the money model to solve 1/4 + 1/2 + 3/4. How can this model help you as a mathematician?
  • During math this week, you explored Maria’s Puppy Snack Mix.  The regular bag of snack mix was 1 1/2 cups made up of 3/4 cup crunchies, 1/2 cup nuggets, and 1/4 cup chopped meat.  What is the combination of crunches, nuggets and chopped meat in a 3 cup bag?  How about a 12 cup bag?  1 cup bag?  1/4 cup bag?  Show me your thinking.
  • What did you learn this week as you wrote your first blog post?  Show me your blog and the thoughtful comments you wrote on other blogs.
  • Almost 2 weeks after being introduced to our reading challenge, how are you feeling about it?  How can I support you as a reader?

Blogging for Fifth Graders:  Well, well, well . . . our classroom blog site is officially here!  Yay! You can check out many of our published blog posts at: http://www.kidblog.org/msturkensclass  when you have a moment.  Blog posts are an excellent way for children to practice and improve their literacy skills in a real-life situation and to learn from other writers simultaneously.  Additionally, blogs are an excellent way for fifth graders to observe and reflect on their own skills as a writer in order to grow throughout the school year.   Of course we will continue to produce “traditional” writing pieces in the classroom by selecting a seed from our Writer’s Notebook and taking it through the writing process.  Blogs are simply another way to incorporate writing into your fifth grader’s life.   Please check out the photo below to see some of our fifth grade bloggers!

Excitement on day 3 of blogging in our classroom.

Math Strategies:  This week, we worked on investigations to solve problems using addition and subtraction with fractions.  Some of the models we discussed include the:

  • clock model
  • money model
  • ratio table
  • double number line

All of these models are helpful to use in order to support addition and subtraction of fractions for all learners.  Please continue to work with your child on adding and subtracting fractions with each of these models.  It is of utmost importance that we (everyone working with child mathematicians) don’t teach children to only convert fractions to using a common denominator but rather to guide children to truly understand and explain the math behind the numbers.  If you are not familar with the models listed above, please ask your child to teach you!  Then, you can look below for an explanation of the first three models and a photo of the fourth model (the double number line).  There’s even a photo of some happy mathematicians too!

models

models.2

photo-17

Our happy mathematicians couldn't resist posing with our double number line!
Our happy mathematicians couldn’t resist posing with our double number line!

Fiction Text Features Assignment: Today we read a book together called Chicken Sunday.  Wow, what an incredible book!  After reading this book together, the children were given a job to demonstrate their understanding of fiction text features in a digital format on their iPad.  You can read the assignment below and then beneath that, you will see photos of some fifth graders while they used their iPads to document their smart thinking!

chicken sunda

Three fifth graders recording their thinking about fiction text features on their iPads.
Three fifth graders recording their thinking about fiction text features on their iPads.
Check out this smart thinker!
Check out this smart thinker!

Common Core ConnectionI found another really great resource for us both that gives an overview of the Common Core Standards in fifth grade and what we can do to support your fifth grader.  Check out this short four page document by clicking here to read about explicit ways to push your fifth grader’s thinking to the next level.

Our Class Pet: Below, you will see a photo of our beloved turtle, Bradford.  Last week, I asked a turtle expert visit our classroom (when the children weren’t there) to teach me how to better care for our class pet.  Throughout our conversation, the expert and I decided it was best to move the aquarium to a new location in our classroom.  In the new location, it appears that Bradford is liking his new home because he is swimming and basking in the “sunlight” more often.  Plus, now we can look at him at eye level . . . as you can see from the photo below!

"Hello!  My name is Bradford!"
“Hello! My name is Bradford!”

Questions for You!: With all of our work on blogs in our classroom this past week, I thought it would be helpful to solicit responses from you about what you look for in a blog.  Please post a comment below to teach us how to write better blogs.  Thanks!

  • What makes a high-quality fifth grade blog post, in your opinion?  Please be specific about the components that make a blog enjoyable and easy for you to read.
  • When reading a blog from a fifth grader, what are some topics you enjoy reading about?
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4 thoughts on “11-7 or 7-11?

  1. Hi Ms. Turken,

    First, I have to say that I really like the math models the students are using! I think the “Clock” model is my favorite because I am a visual learner.

    On another subject, Jadyn and I had a fun time at the Kirkwood Library this week picking out historical fiction books. It’s not a genre that Jadyn thought she would like, but with the help of the Children’s Librarian, she found several she thought she would definitely enjoy. Just in case anyone needs some suggestions, following are the ones we brought home (there are multiple copies of each):

    “Fever 1793″ by Laurie Halse Anderson, which has won several literary awards
    “Hattie Big Sky” by Kirby Larson, a New York Times bestseller
    “Bread and Roses, Too” by Katherine Paterson
    “Walking on Air” by Kelly Easton
    “Countdown” by Deborah Wiles

    Just curious, have you taken a poll of each person’s favorite genre(s)? I think it would be fun to discover how many kids add new genres to his/her list at the end of the year. In fact, you could utilize fractions and ratios to come up with the results!

    1. Good evening Jan!
      Thank you for your post to our blog.
      I am so glad to hear that you enjoyed the models for fractions because I know this has been confusing to many fifth graders and families. I agree, it’s helpful to have a visual model . . . sometimes I think it’s just hard to make the connection with changing 1 hour and 45 minutes (for example) to 1 3/4.
      Also, I am so happy to hear that you and Jadyn found many historical fiction books! Fun! And, as for your idea of taking a poll of the genres, I haven’t done that and would also be interested to compare the preferences now and at the end of the year after the challenge is completed. Thanks for the wonderful suggestion!
      Have a great week!
      Sincerely,
      Ms. Turken

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