Sunday, 8 April 2018

What's Coming this Week

We have been working hard in math learning about fractions and decimals. As part of this unit, we learn about calculating percent, as well as ratio and rates. We learn that a percent is simply another way to express a fraction, which is always out of 100. I show students how to change a fraction into a decimal by dividing the top number by the bottom, and then multiplying by 100 to make it a percent. Also, we learn that we can use equivalent fractions to turn a fraction into a percent. For example, 4/5 can be made into 80/100 by multiplying the numerator and denominator by 20, which makes 80%.

We will continue practicing percent this week by learning how to find the percent of a number, for example what is 80% of $20. Students need to simply multiply $20 by 0.8 in order to determine the amount. We will also be looking at how to find the original amount when given a percent - for example, $15 is 75% of what amount? In this case, students need to divide the two amounts (i.e. $15 / 0.75).

Later in the week we will be learning about what a ratio is and relating them to fractions and decimals as well. Finally, we will be learning about what a rate is and practicing many questions to explore this concept.

In language, we are getting ready for EQAO, which is occurring towards the the end of May. We will be reading some selections from old tests and practicing how to respond to reading questions in as much depth as possible. The two selections we will read this week are an info-fiction piece and a poetry piece. In the process of reading these, we will learn about some of the features and characteristics of each of these types of writing.

One way that can help students to respond to text in depth is to use a system called ROPES. This method is an anagram to help students remember the important elements to use in a response:

  • R - restate the question
  • O - opinion or answer
  • P - proof from the text
  • E - another example from the text
  • S - Summarize, or explain how your examples relate to your answer (why are they good examples?)
We have been practicing this method all year, and while it doesn't guarantee an adequate response, it does help students to have a place to start when answering questions. 

We will also be writing some persuasive paragraphs this week. We wrote one last week, and learned how to write with some greater detail when only writing a single paragraph. Most of the writing sample we have done this year have been longer, and the EQAO testing often asks students to write a single paragraph that has sufficient detail, so we will practice this a little longer before moving on to longer pieces for review.

In Science, we have been learning about Space for the grade 6's and Conservation of energy for the 5's. This week, I hope to finish covering the major concepts and have students begin a project to wrap up the unit and show their learning. We will have a unit test once the project is complete. These projects will be finished at school, and not assigned for homework.

In music, we have been learning about some famous composers, the instrument families, and have begun learning how to play the recorder. We will be continuing to learn the recorder until the end of the school year.

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