Monday, January 30, 2012


Welcome back after a nice weekend, folks!  It sure was beautiful and I hope you had some time to enjoy it :)

We are still studying informational text structures, but this week, we are learning about the "Cause & Effect" structure which looks at what happens and why it happens and we also look to identify signal words in a passage that may clue us in to this specific structure...kind of like a cheat sheet!  To introduce the concept, we first watched a very funny video (click HERE).  The students were guided in identifying the following things from the video and then from an example text: 
Cause- why something happens
Effect- what happens as a result of a cause
Clue Words: why, cause, because, therefore, as a result, effect, so, so that, since, reason

Example: If you accidentally drop a glass and it falls to the floor, the glass will break.
Cause: dropping the glass
Effect: the glass breaking
Next, we looked at a Science article because Science texts often use cause and effect to explain why things happen in nature, so we read a paragraph about Isaac Newton and his discovery as to why the oceans have tides.  Then, we determined:
             Cause: The gravitational pull of the moon
             Effect: The ocean bulges out toward the moon
            Clue Word: causes
Next, we played a "Cause & Effect" game and read an article about The Boston Tea Party, identifying the cause of probably the most famous "tea party" ever.  Finally, the students got into groups and were able to begin their activities and projects for the week.  Since we are studying the skill of "Cause and Effect", they were be researching an endangered animal, identifying the cause(s) of the animal's endangerment and creating a brochure to show these findings. 
HOMEWORK: Vocabulary words were passed out!  This week, our words are from LESSON 8.  Click the link to go to the Wordly Wise website (these are for Mr. Harman and my reading classes - Ms. Schrader and Ms. Frederick have THESE WORDS from Book 2, Lesson 4). 
Thus, students MUST finish Exercise 1 vocabulary practice.
ALSO, students MUST finish the "cause & effect" reading and question practice pages (2 pages, front and back, stapled). 
our WOW! Words for this week (1.30.12 - 2.3.12) are:
NOTE: MY class has recently started their Literature Circle Roles.  I assigned the roles LAST Monday and had them due Thursday, but extended the due date to today to ensure whole class completion, but had over TEN (yes...10...YIKES!) STILL NOT do their roles!  Ahhhh!!!  A group CANNOT function without equal effort from all group members.  I talked with the students about responsibility and accountability and my expectations for such smart students to have their work completed...this Thursday, I will accept NO excuses and expect ALL to have their work done. 

We used the Hershey's Fraction book (by Jerry Palotta) to learn about parts of a whole and equivalent fractions.  Students even got to eat their delicious manipulatives at the end of the book!
HOMEWORK: for Ms. Frederick's class, you MUST complete the questions on the coinciding fractions sheet!

Ms. Frederick worked with the students on identifying ways that heat is produced and describing how it travels.

We are moving past the prewriting stage and using our 4-square organizers to draft rough drafts of the topics at hand.  Today, I modeled using this prewriting and turning it into paragraphs.  The topic I modeled was "4H camp is the best field trip!".

Have a terrific night and Happy Birthday, Chloe (from Ms. Schrader's class) and Tristan (from Ms. Frederick's class!).  We love you both and hope you had special days!!!
Mrs. Thomas

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