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BUES May 2022 Newsletter

  • Advanced Math and STEM

    Tier 2 Math  - Grades 4 and 5

    To all my Tier 2 and Tier 3 students, please remember to check the Tier 2 Math Google Classrooms. There are a variety of extension and enrichment opportunities to choose from. You’ll find activities involving all operations, as well as a variety of fun, logic and algebraic puzzles. Why not try a few during your intervention block, or anytime you’ve completed your work and are looking to grow your brain. Be sure to check for feedback after you’ve completed and turned in assignments. I’m looking forward to seeing all your hard work.

    Tier 3 Math 

    4th Grade: 

    We’re just nearing completion of At the Mall with Algebra: Working with Variables and Equations. This is an engaging unit focused on critical and creative problem solving and reasoning. Students learned to work with variables, write expressions and equations, and solve problems using inverse operations. They analyzed number tricks and learned to write an equation that would represent the rule of the trick. They explored the idea that variables can have a specific value rather than a changing value and used that knowledge to solve variable puzzles involving addition and multiplication. A variety of problem solving methods to determine unknowns were introduced and practiced. Among them were guess-and-test methods, organized lists, drawing diagrams and the substitution method. They are becoming great problem solvers. Next, we will be extending their knowledge of decimals and fractions to percent.

    5th Grade: 

    After wrapping up the fraction problem solving unit, students completed a challenging decimal division project. They were given a list with several multi-step decimal division problems. We worked together to make a plan to solve each of the problems from the  menu. Students then chose two problems and worked independently to find solutions.  They did a great job analyzing the problems, applying the strategies, and finding solutions. For the remainder of the year, we will be working with Order of Operations, Integers, and Combining Like TermsThey have already completed an interactive integer journal, which includes terms and definitions and operational procedures. It will be a great resource as we start to solve multi-step integer problems.

    Tier 3 STEM

    Grade 4:

    Our civil engineers are working on their final bridge project. They are building a Truss Bridge out of craft sticks and glue. The span must be level and stable and must support various weights without wobbling or collapsing. We’re all looking forward to testing the prototypes. Students also became researchers as part of this unit. They researched different types of bridges. Each student chose a famous bridge to research and shared their findings with the class.

     After finishing the Bridge Unit, our young architectural engineers will be making prototypes of ‘Tiny Houses’. They are designing and building a Tiny House, while applying geometry skills and determining area and perimeter of different items and sections of the house. The project focuses on design elements and using multiple problem solving skills. Geometry skills are being applied when they develop their own nets to create 3D furniture. I’m looking forward to seeing the results.

    Grade 5:

    Our young  automotive engineers studied Newton’s Laws of motion, while applying their design skills to build ‘Rubber Band Racers’, Balloon Powered Cars, and Motorized Propeller Cars.  They enjoyed racing them, and adjusted their designs as needed. 

    Students also  completed an engineering research project. To start, everyone chose 3 types of engineers and did some preliminary research on each. Then, they  chose one of the engineers  to research further,  and they presented their information to the class with a project of their choice.

    In class now, students are learning about the 6 simple machines. They’ve put together a simple machine booklet and have built pulleys and levers using K’Nex. For pulleys, they built a flagpole and a sailboat, and for levers, they built a wheelbarrow and a see-saw. During the automotive unit, they had plenty of experience with the wheel and axle. Students will be building their own Rube Goldberg machine combining several simple machines to solve a task.  I can’t wait to see what they come up with.

    Advanced ELA and FPS

    Tier 2 ELA

    Grades 4 & 5

    Tier 2 Google Classrooms with various enrichment and extension tasks, writing extensions, and School-Wide Enrichment bookmarks are available for students.  I look forward to seeing you all and reading your work! Stay tuned for some Reader’s Theater opportunities as the weather improves!

    Tier 3 Advanced ELA 

    Grade 4

    Fourth grade ELA groups are finishing up two novels, depending on the day they have Gateway.  Many thoroughly enjoyed the book, Inside out and Back Again by Thanhha Lai and are working on their choice projects now.  This book explored the Vietnam War, Vietnam culture and what it was like for refugee families in the US.  The second book is titled, Capture the Flag, by Kate Messner, and boasts a mysterious American flag heist during a blizzard.  Students are enjoying concocting reasoning and potential suspects for the heist.

    Grade 5

    Fifth grade groups are enjoying two novels: Brown Girl Dreaming, by Jacqueline Woodson, and The War that Saved My Life, by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley.  Both books take place in the past, and student groups are successfully identifying evidence of setting and character. 

    Tier 3 Future Problem Solving 

    Grade 4 & Grade 5

    Two FPS groups recently organized a school-wide food drive to benefit the St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantry.  The pantry serves 50-75 local families every week, so our efforts were much appreciated.  BUES collected 16 boxes of nonperishables for the pantry!

    Four BUES Students carry boxes of donated food  BUES FPS students and volunteer from food bank