Wednesday, February 10, 2016

What's Happening in Science?

Our new unit will be focusing on weather and climate. We have started off experimenting with salt water and what happens during the evaporation process. By the end of the unit, students will be expected to explain how the Sun and the ocean interact in the water cycle, as well as being able to differentiate between weather and climate. 

Within the unit, students will observe weather changes by looking at data. This data will include air temperature, wind direction, and precipitation with the addition of using weather maps, weather symbols, and map keys. Students will also recognize that the Sun is the light and heat source that gives energy for the water cycle. 

Our focus question for this unit is: What recognizable patterns exist in the natural world?

What's Happening in Math?

Good morning, 

I just wanted to give you a quick update to what we will be doing in math for this unit of study. We are currently working on multiplying and dividing decimals. 

When it comes to introducing how to teach this concept, students first will be encouraged to make sense of the math by the use of estimation. Students are to ask themselves what is reasonable, rather than solving the problem with the algorithm (multiplying the numbers by each other and counting how many digits were behind the decimal). You are welcome to work with your child at home with this as a checking strategy. 

For example, if you were to multiply .5 X 9, you could think about what is half of 9. In addition, you could round the 9 to a landmark number, such as 10, then think of what is half of 10. You then might think that your actual answer should be around your estimate of 5. When arriving to the actual answer after finding an estimate, the learner would then multiply normally by removing the decimal places (5 X 9) and they would arrive at the answer of 45. They are then to ask themselves "what is .5 X 9?" "Would my answer of 45 be reasonable or would my answer be much less?" "Where would it make sense to place the decimal according to my estimate?"

By using this strategy, students are given the opportunity to make sense of the math by understanding the purpose of mathematical processing. Please check the calendar and student planners for when the math test for this unit is scheduled.