Today we learned all about the wildfires happening in Australia from our reporter of the week. It's scary stuff and it feels close to home since Colorado is wildfire territory in the summer. Right now, the stats are not looking good. There are 18 million acres on fire, 1,588 home destroyed, 28 people killed, and 5 firefighters killed. Australia is home to some pretty unique animals too, so scientists are keeping a close watch on animal populations. Fire causes include drought, thunderstorms, wind, and global warming. Our thoughts go out to everyone in Australia!
We are Moving West in writing, reading, and theme right now. It's so fun when everything connects. We've been learning how to read good sources, take quality notes, and now we'll be synthesizing it all into narratives and essays. Sometimes it takes a lot of background work to write a good paper, but we're feeling very proud of ourselves! And we're rocking partner work!
Check out these cool sources of information!
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Cutting Mobius strips in different ways yields all sorts of cool results.
In this math unit, we're learning to do big multiplication using partial products. Partial products simply means breaking your factors into extended form, multiplying each part by each part, and then adding the products together. In order to be successful with this method, we need to know our one digit multiplication facts and how to extend multiplication facts with the power of 10. Check out the examples below for clarification!
We've been working hard on our multiplication facts over here. We're using a program called Rocket Math. Each week we do a one minute timed test after some practice. We started with the 1s facts and now we move cumulatively at our own speed through the rest of them. To start the program we took a writing speed test. Everyone writes at different speeds, so we had to figure out how many multiplication problems we could reasonably answer (write) in a minute before we got started. We have to get that number for each fact before moving on.
Why is automaticity in math facts important?
"Automaticity with math facts is important because the whole point of learning math facts is to use them in service of higher and more complex math problems. We want students to be thinking about complex process, the problem-solving or the multi-step algorithm they are learning--not having to stop and ponder the answer to simple math facts. (Taking off their shoes and socks to count toes is a good indication that perhaps automaticity is not present!) . One characteristic of students who lack automaticity in math facts is that their math work is full of simple, easy-to-fix errors. We used to call these "careless errors." But these errors stem from not knowing math facts to automaticity." -Rocket Math
Why do multiplication facts have priority in fourth grade and up?
"Once children are in fourth grade it is critical that teachers make sure they memorize multiplication facts. Sadly, the students may only learn one operation to fluency. If so, multiplication facts have priority over addition and subtraction. Students have to immediately see the relationships between numbers in order to understand topics like equivalent fractions, reducing fractions, combining unlike fractions, as well as ratios." -Rocket Math
Today we explored the state of Colorado and the location of some of the mining towns we'll be studying. We worked with partners to use the latitude and longitude to locate the towns on the map. It's a good thing we just studied decimals, so we could figure out 37.9 and 108.2.
We used information (like the cards below) to locate and find different towns on the map!
Check out this fun video that we used to help understand latitude and longitude.
Every morning we do an estimation station. On Monday, we get the picture, and then each day afterwards we get a clue to help us narrow down our guess. The cool thing about this estimation station is that it was created by three of our very own students! Check it out!
(for the Gratitude Project)
Amazon Gift Cards
(for classroom and art supplies)