I just wanted to let you know about a few activities/events that are upcoming in our classroom. This will give you an opportunity to ask your child about what they learned or if they had any fun while doing them!
- We just finished our Revolutionary War unit where we participated in a tug-of-war that demonstrated (metaphorically) how the war was won by the Americans. I uploaded some photos onto the blog for you to check out. We also prepared extremely short skits where students acted out portions of the Declaration of Independence in order to make it more understandable for children. These videos are on the blog as well. (paulsolarz.weebly.com)
- We'll be finishing up our Elections unit by watching the Presidential Inauguration in class tomorrow. I think the students had some fun learning about the basics of presidential elections (Electoral College, Political Parties, etc.) and will now be learning about our nation's constitution and government in our newest social studies unit. By the way, this unit is our special unit where I teach, textbook strategies, note-taking strategies, test-taking strategies, and study strategies. It will look very old-fashioned, but I will be reading each chapter with the kids and helping them understand all of the concepts as we discuss them as a class. Students will have homework in this just about every other day, so if you are able to follow their progress in their "We the People" packets, that would be really appreciated. At the end of each packet, students will take a formal test. I will help them learn to study for each test and analyze their mistakes on the tests. That being said, these tests are hard and are meant to help students learn how to study. This will hopefully prepare students for their time in middle school and high school.
- A short Erin's Law lesson will be taught in class next Tuesday by our social workers. I sent a blog post out with a link to what that is if you weren't sure.
- MAP Test results will be coming home next Friday (1/27/17). I have not seen the results of these yet, but please remember that it is just a moment in time and that grades fluctuate up and down depending on dozens of factors. They are just one assessment I use when determining what is taught in the coming months.
- We have started Mystery Skype! This is pretty exciting to the kids! Mystery Skype is a 45-60 minute critical thinking challenge that a class takes part in while Skyping with another class somewhere else in the world. Our students' goal is to guess the other school's location (country, state, city, school name) before they guess ours. We do this by asking yes and no questions. So far, we've only practiced against me, but we should be Skyping one classroom per week for the next couple months. It's a great way to connect with students from around the world!
- The Book Fair is coming up (students are previewing books next Tuesday) - This is a great way to support our PTA and get books into your child's hands. That being said, I have WAY too many books, so please don't buy any for our classroom! Thanks in advance! :)
- We are going to the Museum of Science and Industry on February 2nd.
- Finally, the students will be participating one (or more) fun national contests starting next week. They all focus on inventing and solving problems through creative thinking. Feel free to ask your child next week about it!
Hope all is well with everyone - talk soon!
Paul A. Solarz
5th Grade Teacher
Westgate Elementary School
500 S Dwyer
Arlington Heights, IL 60005