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BUES February 2023 Newsletter

  • Advanced Math News

    Tier 2 Math  

    Tier 2 and tier 3 students have been working hard completing assignments in the Tier 2 Gateway Math Google Classroom. During the month of January, students completed more than 150 assignments. Students who completed 3- 5 assignments in one week were given Math Rockstar Certificates. There is also a bulletin board displaying their accomplishments. Any student who completes 5 assignments can get a prize from the prize box. Great with your motivation and hard work. You are really honing your math skills. Keep up the good work!

    Tier 3 Math 

    4th Grade: 

    Our 4th Grade Tier 3 students have just completed the Factors, Multiples, and Leftovers Unit. They can now identify Prime, Composite, and Square numbers. They're able to use the inverse operations to solve multiplication and division problems. They understand that solving a division problem may not be the answer to the problem and that very often they have to interpret the remainder. The distributive, commutative, and associative properties of multiplication were helpful when students were asked to solve problems mentally. These skills will be useful as we move on to more challenging work. 

    We are now starting a unit called At the Mall with Algebra: Working with Variables and Equations. It is a fun and challenging unit designed to develop algebraic reasoning. As students learn about variables, equations, and expressions, they’ll use their number sense, logical reasoning and problem-solving strategies. Students are introduced to these concepts through interesting problem solving situations. They substitute variables to find solutions to expressions. They’ll be working backwards and using inverse operations to determine the value of a variable, and they’ll be using these strategies to solve puzzles and figure out the mathematics behind tricks.

    5th Grade: 

    Students are finishing up the fraction problem solving unit. Next, they will be working on a challenging decimal division project. They will be given a menu with several multi-step decimal division problems. Students will work together to solve appetizer, main course, and dessert problems. After finding the solutions,  they’ll choose a project to present their solutions to the class. We’re looking forward to their presentations in the next few weeks. Next on the agenda, we will be working with Order of Operations, Integers, and Combining Like Terms.

    Tier 3 STEM News

    Grade 4:

    Our 4th grade engineers have been busy researching different types of bridges  in order to be prepared for the different challenges in this unit. The first challenge is to build a bridge with only two pieces of paper and glue, which needs to  support the weight of 100 pennies. A few of the groups were successful and we discussed what made their designs successful. We also discussed how they could have improved their designs. The challenge they’re facing next is to build a bridge tower that will support different spans and loads. For this challenge, students will complete a budget to buy their materials. They will build and then test the towers. The last challenge of this unit will be to build a Truss Bridge using craft sticks and Elmer’s glue. For this challenge, students will have a $100,000  budget to buy the necessary supplies. Their bridge has to be level, sturdy and be able to support different weights. The most challenging part for students may be connecting the road and roof of the bridge to the side trusses. 

    Grade 5:  

    The 5th grade engineers just completed the Zipline challenge and Zipline racers challenge. Next, 5th graders will become automotive engineers and create ‘Rubber Band Racers’.  They will acquire background knowledge by researching the history of automobiles and studying Newton’s Laws of Motion. They’ll examine different designs of rubber band powered cars. Teams  of ‘engineers’ will work together to design and build their own rubber band cars using everyday items. The Rubber Band Racers have to travel in a straight line for a distance of at least 3 meters within a 1 meter wide track. The rubber band cars will be tested in the hallway. Results will be evaluated and teams will make changes to improve on their original design for a better outcome.

  • Advanced ELA News

    Tier 2 ELA

    Students in grades 4 and 5 have continued to work hard on the Tier 2 ELA Google Classroom!

    Grade 4

    4th grade students just finished their unit “Amazing Places”, which focuses on making connections across texts and using figurative language. Some of the enrichment and extension activities included researching amazing places like Mount Everest and the Sahara Desert, creating postcards from Death Valley, and discovering the cultural and historical significance of new foods. Students wrapped up the unit by explaining the importance of learning about new places and cultures and sharing what they have learned from the places they have visited.

    Grade 5

    Grade 5 students recently finished their unit “Nature’s Network’ which focused on the skills of telling stories, engaging in conversations, and determining importance. Students in the Tier 2 ELA Google Classroom had the opportunity to research sunfish as well as other unique ocean animals, construct food chains, research the impact of overfishing and learn about animals with symbiotic relationships. Students finished the unit out by explaining how nature and humans are truly connected through nature’s network!

    Tier 3 Advanced ELA 

    Grade 4

    In Tier 3 Advanced ELA, grade 4 students have been continuing on with the novel A Handful of Stars by Cynthia Lord. Students have been engaging in deep discussions and examining the themes of the novel which include friendship, loss, and overcoming adversity. We dove deeper into learning about the migrant worker experience while students composed beautiful haikus describing the blueberry barrens of Maine! We also examined question answer relationships and discovered how to create engaging literary questions and foster thoughtful conversations about the stories we read. We are nearing an end to our first novel and will soon begin our final project choice boards for A Handful of Stars.

    Grade 5

    In Tier 3 Advanced ELA, grade 5 students have been approaching the end of our first novel, Lucky Broken Girl. Students have been thinking deeply, asking questions, and discussing the themes of the novel which include perseverance, tragedy, and hope despite difficult circumstances. Students had the opportunity to deeply explore characters as they stepped out of their own perspective and wrote poetry from different character’s points of view. Students also honed their ability to make text to self, text to text, and text to world connections through reading the supplementary text Goodbye, Havana! Hola, New York! by Edie Colon. We will soon wrap up our first novel and finish with our final project choice boards for Lucky Broken Girl.