This week in Social Studies and Reading, your explorers have been learning all about Japanese culture through fables, videos, and PowerPoint Presentations. They specifically studied Shintoism, the architecture of Shinto shrines, the architecture of traditional Japanese homes, and the Japanese language. Each day, we read a Japanese fable to gather information about the architecture, government, religion, family structures, and clothing. We learned that traditional homes are designed to open up to nature. They are built with natural substances such as wood, bamboo, and straw mats. The walls and doors are even made out of paper, so the room sizes can be changeable. Also, family and friends will gather around a low table and sit on a floor cushion for meals. Ask your student if they’d like to live in a traditional Japanese home!
Fractions, fractions, and more fractions! Your 5th grade number-crunchers have learned almost everything there is to know about fractions this year, and this week is no exception. While we have already learned how to order fractions, compare fractions, find common denominators, and write fractions as decimals, there is still so much more to learn. Our focus this week was on adding and subtraction mixed numerals. Mixed numerals are numbers with a combination of whole numbers and a fraction. In order to add or subtract them, students must first make sure the denominators are alike, then perform the operation on the whole numbers, and lastly perform the operation on the fractions. We used a combination of direct instruction, diagrams, and games to perfect this skill.
On Friday, 4th and 5th grade has a special treat! We had TWO study trips and Mrs. Anne Wil and I dubbed it “Space Day”! In the morning, Andy Cohen brought his portable planetarium to the school and set it up in the library. In our first session, we learned about the phases of the moon, how the tides are created, and what solar and lunar eclipses are. In our second session, the focus was on the sun, stars, constellations, and milky way. Your young astronomers asked some incredibly thoughtful questions, and Mr. Cohen was impressed with their abundance of background knowledge!
Friday afternoon, we ventured out to the Gaillard Center for the Above and Beyond Exhibit put on by Boeing. Here, your curious scientists were able to participate in flight simulations and learn about the future of earth and space flight. Ask your child what their favorite part of Space Day was!