# Traditions

Well…it finally arrived…everyone’s favorite holiday…Groundhog’s Day!

Teehee. Even though we enjoyed watching that cutie tell us that we are going to have six more weeks of winter, with a 40% accuracy rate, it was more about the tradition of Groundhog’s Day than actually celebrating it. These small traditions that create happy and lasting memories, hold a special place in our life as we grow older.

By pausing to engage in traditional activities, such as Groundhog’s Day, we are forced to look beyond ourselves to the world of others, reminding us of our connection to something larger than ourselves.

And indeed, we are working hard on making those connections…

What’s happening in Science:

This week in science, we began to investigate pathogens and other microbes. Scientists had an opportunity to investigate an epidemic simulation! One student in each cohort was “infected” with a new mysterious virus that gives you itchy, purple spots. The scientists had to use collaboration and deductive reasoning to figure out who was the person who infected the others. The epidemiologists were able to figure out the initial patient in both classes. Well done! We also learned how to utilize our new compound microscopes. We found some super exciting microbes in the brackish marsh water from the greenway. There was lots of excitement and disbelief that there were living things in the “clear” water!

What’s up in Math?

Fifth graders dove in and broke out the manipulatives to kick off module 4! Students explored how to find a fraction of a whole number by using counters and straws. They were able to make groups and define how much would be in each group based on the fraction required. For example ¾ of 24. First they divided 24 into 4 groups and found out that there were 6 counters in each group, then they used repeated addition to find ¾ of 24 is the of 3 groups of ¼ which, they then used to multiply 1/4 times 3, or 6 times 3 and came to the conclusion that ¾ of 24 is 18! We then celebrated getting the correct answer by recreating the funny stick figures on the presentation board!

Sixth graders wrapped up module 3 by finishing their 3rd topic, coordinate planes! They demonstrated their understanding of rational numbers, integers and their opposites, ordered pairs, and coordinate planes on their end-of-module assessment this week. Sixth graders took time to review and correct any misconceptions!

In Writing:

Writers used what we learned about character development last week to discuss themes and  character motives. They evaluated why authors include subtle details to have the characters develop throughout the plot of the story, and used their understanding to discover themes and lessons in stories. They have been using these conclusions to assist in their literary essay on “Raymond’s Run” by Toni Cade Bambara early on this week, then we discussed what it means to truly compare and contrast and how to use transition words to connect ideas.

Important Dates:

February 15-16- Winter Break: No School

February 24- Class Social

March 1-2 Conferences

March 29- April 6 Spring Break