HERE'S WHAT HAPPENED LAST WEEK:
In math last week we finished up Unit 4, Division. Students solved place value puzzles, and reviewed division, magnitude estimates, and triangles. In addition, students played an exciting game of First to 100 using the Algebra Election gameboard!
Our study of nonfiction signposts continued last week, as we examined Extreme or Absolute Language, Numbers & Stats, Quoted Words, and Word Gaps.
Extreme or Absolute Language:
Extreme or Absolute Language makes an exaggerated, overblown, and probably untrue claim. It admits of no exceptions, and it seems to forbid doubt or questions. When readers spot this language, they will be alerted either to the strength of the author's feelings or to the possibility that the writer is exaggerating and may even be deceiving or misleading the reader.
In class, students learned that when you're reading and you notice the author uses language that leaves no doubt, exaggerates, or pushes to the limit, we should stop and ask ourselves, "Why did the author say it like that?" We learned that the answers will tell us something about the author's point of view or purpose. The author might even be exaggerating to make us think a certain way.
Numbers & Stats:
Authors use numbers and statistics to provide precision-or to avoid it. This signpost helps students make comparisons, draw conclusions, make inferences or generalizations, differentiate fact and opinion, identify details, recognize evidence, and understand the author's purpose or bias.
Students learned that when you're reading and you notice specific numbers, number words, or amounts, you should stop and ask yourself, "Why did the author use these numbers or amounts?"
Asking students to be alert for Quoted Words really means asking them to think about what was quoted and who was quoted. This helps students recognize the author's purpose, make inferences, draw conclusions, and identify point of view. Noticing who is quoted and what is quoted might also help students think about facts and opinions, see cause and effect relationships, make comparisons or contrasts, draw conclusions, infer, and think about the author's point of view, purpose, or bias.
In class we learned that when you're reading and you notice the author quoted a voice of authority, a personal perspective, or cited others' words, you should stop and ask yourself, "Why did the author quote or cite this person.
Our final signpost turns attention to the gap between the words authors use and what students know about those words. For many this gap is the critical problem in understanding nonfiction texts.
Students learned that when you're reading and the author uses a word or phrase you don't know, you should stop and ask yourself, "Do I know this word from someplace else?" or "Does this seem like technical talk for experts of this topic?" or "Can I find clues in the sentence to help me understand the word?"
The answers will help readers decide if they need to look the word up, or keep reading for more information.
We continued using our WEX time last week to work on our Personalized Learning projects. Students continued to move through the research process and document their findings. We also began reflecting on individual progress and gave feedback to peers as well!
Last week our Constitution unit came alive! To begin, students shared their Branches of Government projects with the class! Once again I was thoroughly impressed by the creativity and effort that went into each presentation. Next, our field trip to the courthouse was absolutely amazing! I can't think of a better way to see the branches (well at least two of them...) of government in action! Students loved speaking with attorneys, sheriffs/deputies, judges, probation officers, etc. first hand. They learned so much from the conversations and question/answer sessions with these professionals! Finally, our examination of the Bill of Rights began, first with an exploration and understanding of why the writers of the Constitution felt it was necessary to create these amendments to protect our rights. We split up into groups of three(ish) to research specific amendments and reach an understanding of what freedoms the amendment protects. Next week we will share this understanding with the class. In addition, Mr. Larson announced his proposed rules for Patton on Thursday. Beginning next week (or soon after) each group will find the proposed Patton Rule that violates the amendment they studied. Students will then be responsible for arguing against that rule.
THIS WEEK'S HIGHLIGHTS:
We will finish up Unit 4, Division. Students will take their final test on Tuesday. We'll spend the rest of the week completing logic puzzles and reviewing multiplication, fractions, and graphing!
Our nonfiction signpost study will come to an end this week. Students will examine the following strategies:
Possible Sentences, Somebody Wanted But So, Syntax Surgery, Genre Reformulation, and Poster.
We will continue working on our Personalized Learning Projects. Hopefully our research will be completed by the end of the week!
Our examination of the Bill Rights will continue this week as we learn more about specific amendments and prepare presentations for Mr. Larson.
Tuesday, 12/15.............................................Unit 4 Math Test (Anderle)
Wednesday, 12/16........................................Branches of Government Quiz
Thursday, 12/17............................................Choir Performance @ 7pm
Friday, 12/18.................................................Winter Break Begins @ 3:35pm