Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Using paragraph answers, analysing bread and...all those microorganisms

This morning, after Spelling Bingo, we read two more chapters of our class novel, The Pinballs. I then modelled how to write an informative paragraph to answer one of the questions students have been asked to answer in relation to the novel. Students all have a set of these questions but they can be viewed in an early blog entry at:
Students had input and we wrote a response to question 1. looking closely at the character of Harvey. Students have been asked to plan and answer this question again in relation to either Carlie or Thomas J.  and to make their argument convincing. Homework on Wednesday night will be to complete a few of the questions on this contract. I have suggested students use their Writer's Notebook to plan an approach.
Microorganisms Display
The main focus of the day, however, was on our Marvellous Microorganisms  science unit. There is a display at the front of the room which I would like students to take a close look at, and to read the descriptors which accompany the photos. There is also a basket of some pretty interesting reading in the basket in front of this display, all to do with the topic. Our other class novel is There is a Worm on My Eyeball , and we read the introduction today and completed a maths task based on some of the contents.

Following recess, and after  the grade six students returned from a thirty-minute plus meeting with the the P.E teacher, we began our first Science investigation. It is all about closely analysing different types of bread looking at features such as texture, odour, taste, appearance, and ingredients. Students put their findings into a table and drew and labelled diagrams, and I am glad to say they worked extremely conscientiously on this. One student, who previously showed little interest in anything, completely blew me away with his industriousness. I hope we are on a good thing here. Students worked in small groups and had roles and responsibilities. Much of our investigation work in Science will be done in this way.
Examining bread samples
Following the lunch break,  we did a mathematics activity looking at the difference between a linear centimetre and a square centimetre, and students looked at the approximate number of microorganism that live on a square centimetre of different parts of our body. Pretty scary stuff! They were asked to look for mathematical relationships between the different numbers and to explain their thinking mathematically. Tonight's homework is to finish this activity.

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