Our main unit of study for December and January is the fabulous ancient history of China. We are currently finishing a project on how geographical features such as the Himalayan Mountains, Gobi Desert, and major rivers such as the Yellow and Yangtze Rivers impacted where early human settlements were established. Students designed relief maps of China and used data/evidence on elevation, temperature ranges, vegetation, and precipitation to support critical-thinking statements. Students then will be writing one final paragraph supporting why early human settlements developed along the North China Plain. The second unit of study will focus on the development of three schools of thought in ancient China: confucianism, daoism, and legalism. Students will work in groups and complete lessons focused on understanding the principles of each school of thought and why it was adopted in ancient China. The final unit of study will focus on two famous leaders and their impact on China. Students will design paper scrolls highlighting Emperor Qin’s accomplishments in unifying China during the Qin dynasty, and the decisions of Han Wudi, during the Han dynasty, introducing China to the rest of the world. If there is time, we will take a look at the myriad of inventions the Chinese created and gave to the world.
We have been busy working on Integers and the Coordinate Plane. The students are finishing Unit 2 and will begin Unit 3. The focus of Unit 3 is expressions and equations. Student will write, interpret and use expressions and equations. They will also understand how to use variables in expressions, equations, and inequalities as they solve one-step and two-step equations. If your son/daughter needs extra support in mathematics please encourage them to come to my classroom during break time or lunch time. I am happy to work with them one on one to help them understand the concepts presented during class. Thank you for all of your support this year working with your son/daughter on the new common core math program.
We have been reading a book together in class, Maroo of the Winter Caves. This fictional story of an Ice Age family depicts the struggles and adventures of two heroic kids who, with their adopted dog, take a great risk to save their family. While working our way through their adventure, we are becoming experts on more than a dozen ELEMENTS of LITERATURE. We are busy taking notes, studying vocabulary, and as a final product, will be creating a website and writing about the literary elements we have found in the book. Stay tuned for news about Maroo and her family as their story continues to unfold!
We have been studying the scientific practices through the germination experiment. Students will conclude their experiment and present their results to the class. After that we will move to the water unit. There will be a study trip to the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco on Wednesday, January 21. We will need at least 12 parent chaperons. Please contact Mr. Pham if you would like to help with this field trip.