Today my fabulous grade level and I talked a little bit about notebooks and our expectations for our students. So I pulled out last year's notebooks to see of the work we did last year and which activities I'd like to do again to challenge students.
For this one, we were working on text structure and how it impacts a story (RL 5.5)
So I had students glue in 1/2 sized sheets of a reader's theater script (I believe from a scholastic workbook). We looked at the structural elements and dissected the script. My students did a really great job at realizing there is more to reader's theater and drama than just simply the dialogue.
Next, here's an example of some of our Greek and Latin word work.
We do a few Greek and Latin roots a week, go over the word's meaning, examples and non examples, then decompose multisyllabic words to determine the word's meaning.
We also look at Common Core Exemplars, as with the poem New Colossus
Here we practiced a close read and were trying to determine meaning. This poem did pose a bit of a challenge for my students because they were unfamiliar with harbors and the layout of New York City, but they did a good job with scaffolded instruction.
I like to type up the poems for them and have them glue/tape the pages in their notebook. While this uses more paper, it allows me to spend more time facilitating discussions and they don't have to mindlessly copy the whole poem. Instead, they can talk about the poem instead of just writing it.
Here we are just starting a unit with a K/W/L chart.
(K: what I think I know about the topic, W: what I want to learn and L: what I learned (for after the unit) )
We also do a LOT of circle maps in fifth grade to help us organize our thinking.
Lastly for reading,
We do a lot of highlighting and recording our thinking both on the passage and in thinking maps below. I stress metacognition and that good readers are thinking critically while reading.
In math, we glue in our thinking sheets...a lot.
I also provide them with guided notes:
It helps keep everything organized and requires them to show their thinking multiple ways or with different strategies. This helps them work on their number sense and aligns with the 8 math practices.
For science, much of our material is provided with FOSS kits. However, I like to go beyond the provided information and do an extension unit on land forms such as volcanoes.
We watch video clips from Discovery Education and do a lot of exploring. I also provide copies of notes for students, but they must fill in the missing information.
This really helps with my ELL students and students with IEPs. They can focus on the content and key words without getting lost with copying all the information. Plus, it leaves more time for discussions and they're still held accountable for paying attention.