October Curriculum Update

This summary of what students at each grade level will be learning this month was put together by Hazel Wolf staff. Thank you!

Kindergarteners will be very busy this month! In writing, we will explore letter-sound relationships when we write stories. We will learn the correct pencil grip and strengthen our hand muscles through songs and exercises. In reading, we will learn to make text-to-self connections and to answer questions about stories. Also, we will build our reading stamina as we prepare to begin literacy centers. In science, we will explore the puzzling phenomenon of puddles. Students will think about what happens to the water in a puddle (where does it come from and where does it go?). In math, we will order, compare, and classify objects. Finally, all kindergarteners will participate in daily class meetings focused on community building and problem solving.

1st Grade
In the month of October the 1st grade students will work on many exciting projects! In science they will begin their yearlong gardening program. They will also work on the pilot science units that are our district’s first large attempt to try on the practices of the Next Generation Science Standards. In the first unit the students will be presented with a puzzling phenomenon and guided to construct scientific models (drawings that demonstrate their understanding of a system.) The work they do on their models will be based on evidence from their own life experience, discourse that occurs in their classroom community, as well as experiential activities and read alouds. All K-2 students will explore the question, “Where did the water in the puddle go?” In English Language Arts our 1st graders will continue to develop the routines and procedures that will enable them to work productively to grow as readers and writers over the course of the year. The teachers will do reading assessments to determine students’ reading levels so that they can provide targeted instruction in small groups and one-on-one. In math, the students will continue to strengthen their foundational understanding by practicing addition and subtraction math facts and problem-solving with numbers to 10.

2nd Grade
Greetings everyone! Socially this month, our second graders are working on team-building and getting to know each other. They are learning to listen with intention, and are creating shared norms for working and playing together.

In literacy, we are getting started with working independently as readers and writers. We are learning to make connections with our text, to answer questions about key details in text, and to think about characters’ feelings. In writing, we’re learning how to get ideas and share in a writing community.

In science, all 2nd graders are participating in the K-2 shared study of puddles. We are observing and questioning the phenomena of disappearing puddles. Students will participate in shared research and experiments as we construct and revise models to explain the processes that are involved.

In 3rd grade math, we’re learning the foundations of multiplication, and beginning to master facts 2-5 and 10.

In 2nd grade math students are building fluency with snap fact strategies. We are learning to think flexibly about numbers; decomposing numbers into 10s and 1s and composing new number combinations to make problem solving easier. We will soon jump into problem solving with larger numbers within the context of measurement.

3rd Grade
Wow, what a great start to the new year. Third grade has sure been busy. Our new social and emotional curriculum has ensured that the students got off to a productive and thoughtful start. We have thought carefully about the wolf pack pact and examined the behaviors and attitudes will help us achieve our goals.

In reading we have been using the strategy of visualizing the people, places, and events that an author may describe. Our focus is on deeper comprehension of the text. We are also thinking about the words authors choose and how those words affect our thinking.

We have begun to write by using various tools to generate ideas and stimulate our thoughts. One strategy, quick writes, allows students to gather lots of ideas without spending too much time considering or self-editing their ideas. Later students will choose an idea to elaborate into a longer piece of writing. As the year goes on we will work on developing our writing into more polished pieces using revision and editing.

Our first science unit, Plant Growth and Development, will be starting the last week of September. The students get to observe the life cycle of a plant from seed to seed. We even use bees to pollinate the blossoms. Finding Urban Nature (FUN) is a Seattle Audubon curriculum that all third graders have the opportunity to participate in. Students will be investigating nature on the school grounds in small groups led by teachers and parent volunteers for five weeks this fall.

4th Grade
This month in science, 4th grade students will continue to explore the phenomenon of a floating train. Students are working to build their understanding of how and why the train moves and consider whether it would be a good idea to build a floating train here in Seattle. During Making Meaning, students will go from studying text features to using questioning in non-fiction text. In Being a Writer, students will learn the parts of the writing process and begin to write personal narratives about their own lives. Math will cover place value up to 1 million, including rounding, adding and subtracting and multi-digit multiplication. We are also working with a social emotional literacy curriculum, Caring School Community, and will be having regular class meetings.

5th Grade
ELA – Building Community and Establishing Reading and Writing Norms (through the week of October 9th)
During the first two units of both Reading and Writing, students begin the important work of building collaborative literacy communities. Students hear and discuss stories, make text connections, and begin the processes of IDR (Individualized Daily Reading) and Silent Writing. Socially, students learn the procedures for gathering for read alouds and lessons, participating in accountable partner talk, and working in a responsible way to support a productive learning environment. The Units of Study through the first half of October are The Reading Community and Using Text Features (units 1 and 2), and The Writing Community and The Writing Process (units 1 and 2).

Science – Balancing Forces (through October)
With this new NGSS aligned unit, students explore forces that are acting around them in everyday life. Students learn about and discuss balanced and unbalanced forces through explanatory modeling, student discourse, reading and writing information text, and hands on investigations. Students will apply their learning while researching real-world and Seattle-based problems.

5th grade Math
Unit 1 – Place Value review and solidification of 4th grade standards.
Unit 2 – Whole Number Multiplication and Division

6th grade Math for 5th graders
Unit 1 – Place Value review for adding and subtracting decimals.
Unit 2 – Multiplying and Dividing Decimals

Middle School Math
6th Grade Math – we are working on our second unit focused on multiplying and dividing decimals. We also continue our Problem Solving Fridays where students are introduced to a new problem solving strategy in order to develop a toolkit of strategies to apply to different situations. As a reminder, I post every assignment and any additional home communications and calendar reminders on Schoology as well as in class so you and your child can always access the lastest information. For more information about accessing Schoology, have your child talk with Ms. Fournier or their Language Arts teacher.

7th Grade Math – we are working on negative numbers. They are working hard to apply them to whole numbers, fractions, and decimals. We will be using Football (GO Hawks!) to help us understand how negative numbers work in our world.

8th Grade Math – We have been reviewing the Distributive Property, Order of Operations, simplifying expressions and solving one-step equations. We are now working on solving multi-step equations in mathematical problems and in real-world contexts. We will be finishing up this first chapter next week and assessing our understanding at the end of the month.

In Algebra we have just finished our first unit focused on fraction computation with exponents, taught through the fascinating lens of fractals! In addition to helping us discover recursive routines, patterns, and recall using exponents with fractions, fractals can be great fun to try to draw. An optional extension project was handed out last week and posted on Schoology in which students try their hand at creating their own fractal. Completed projects are due next week and will be posted in the hallway outside room 304. As a reminder, I post every assignment and any additional home communications and calendar reminders on Schoology as well as in class so you and your child can always access the lastest information. For more information about accessing Schoology, have your child talk with Ms. Fournier or their Language Arts teacher.

In Geometry we are deep into investigating the differences between Inductive Reasoning and Deductive reasoning, and trying to use our newly defined terms and understanding of Geometric objects to begin writing deductive proofs of conjectures we discover inductively. This is a very exciting time that can also be quite challenging as it is the first time many students have had to think and visualize in such a logical way. At this point we are focused on describing the deductive argument and possibly putting it into an algebraic proof; formal proof writing will come later. As a reminder, I post every assignment and any additional home communications and calendar reminders on Schoology as well as in class so you and your child can always access the latest information. For more information about accessing Schoology, have your child talk with Ms. Fournier or their Language Arts teacher.

MS LA and SS
Students in 7th grade Language Arts are learning how to craft monologues. In addition to reading a number of mentor texts, students are learning strategies for magnifying a moment and literary devices to help them describe their scenes with vivid sensory details.

Students in 7/8 Social Studies are learning about the Push and Pull Factors that cause groups of people to migrate. They are studying these in relationship to the Europeans that were drawn to settle in the Americas, as well as the Natives who were already here. They are studying the movements that resulted from these interactions.



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