Our first week of 5th grade math allowed for my class and Lynn's class to come together for a collaborative learning opportunity called The Marshmallow Challenge. The students worked in teams to create a free-standing structure; in doing so, they came away with valuable learning around teamwork, time management, and structural stability. We have settled into two smaller groups now that formal lessons have begun, though we expect to come together as a group periodically throughout the year for special projects. There may also be a need to move students from one class to another. Lynn and I are in daily contact with each other about students and curricular planning so this can happen with ease, should there be a need.
Our focus has now shifted to our first unit of study, place value and decimal fractions. To date, our learning has covered place value, decimal and fraction equivalents, multiplying and dividing by powers of ten and a bit of rounding. You may notice that your child is drawing place value charts, tape diagrams, and vertical number lines to help them explain/support their thinking. A consistent theme of this math class is to explain mathematical processes pictorially and not to just use short-cuts without the understanding. It is delightful to see students making connections and explaining their thinking during our brief time together thus far.
We will have our first mid-module assessment next week. We will use a study guide to help our students prepare for the first assessment as a class.