7 students are already almost halfway through the academic year! Time certainly
flies. As a new calendar year begins, students will be asked to consider new
academic goals that they will have for the second semester when we come back in
February. It is important for students to begin thinking of these goals now, so
that they will already have them in mind when the new semester begins. I hope
to encourage students to create detailed goals that address current challenges for
them. I encourage parents to help them in this step as well.
Students have certainly done well to take on academic challenges in various tones of writing throughout the semester. They finished creating their brochures with informative and persuasive text for our most recent literature unit. It seems that the practice they had in research class to create a brochure about Canada allowed them to achieve further success in their writing goals for our literature project, a brochure providing information to the public regarding a global issue of each student’s choice. The class will participate in their next public speaking presentations in the first full week of January, as we will miss two Literature classes due to the holidays. The week of January 6-10 will also be our “Finals Week,” so please take note that students will be preparing for the finals with mock exams during the previous week. There will be three finals, one for each subject of Grammar, Social Studies, and Science, and they will take place within the regularly scheduled time of each class.
We have completed our science unit over Survival, and we have begun a new unit, Adaptation. Students did an excellent job of categorizing ways in which living things have adapted in order to survive. Many adaptations surprised students; they were even able to observe our own rhinoceros beetle larvae and how it responds to its environment, as well as plants that have adapted to grow in the water. In social studies, students have learned much more about the British colonies which existed in America. As the initial stepping stones for the ultimate formation of the United States, we have discussed the impact that Pilgrims and Puritans had on the conception of democracy.
Students have done much better correcting spelling words and definitions upon initially writing them; however, we are still focusing on the necessity to always spell them correctly when writing spelling sentences for homework, as they can simply be copied from the same notebook page. Regarding grammar, we have put a heavy focus on subject/verb agreement and agreement regarding singular/plural nouns recently. This topic includes knowing how to properly spell the forms as well. The he/she/it form has given students the most difficulty in this task, so we will continue practice in the area.
We continue striving towards improvement in communication and interpersonal skills, which can often be difficult for students. As writing sometimes seems more concrete to them in its structure and efficiency, we are beginning a new practice of writing a private note to a classmate about feelings when there is a conflict. I hope that this practice will allow students to resolve personal conflicts efficiently, allow for privacy, and also help students practice writing with social language.