Each morning this week, Cooper School students came together for whole-school morning meeting to learn about winter holidays, with a focus on the music of each respective tradition. On Monday, Ms. Franci taught everyone about the history and traditions of Hanukkah, and we listened to two traditional songs. On Tuesday, Mr. Noah taught Cooper School students about Kwanzaa, and students listened to traditional East African music, which is a centerpiece of the holiday. On Wednesday, Ms. Allison recounted the Christmas story and discussed how many Christmas carols retell its elements. On Thursday, Ms. Anne Wil taught about St. Lucia’s day, and the traditional song that is sung by the children’s procession in Sweden. On Friday, Ms. Marsha told students about the ancient traditions of the Winter Solstice, and how music connects to the holiday. What holidays do you celebrate with your family?
This week, your growing scientists continued their education of how to design an appropriate experiment. Using paper cup lifeboats, 5th graders identified all the variables that could affect the number of passengers (pennies) a lifeboat could hold. They brainstormed that the size of the boat, the condition of the seas, and the way passengers were loaded might affect the number of passengers each lifeboat could hold. Our important work this week was to design a controlled experiment, standardizing every variable other than the independent variable that was to be changed. At the end of the investigation, the independent variable and dependent variable were plotted on a line graph.
Our study of Westward Expansion has come to an end in Reading Workshop. Your readers have spent weeks studying this time in history, analyzing events from different perspectives, and looking at key aspects of nonfiction text structure. I am amazed at all the knowledge they’ve gained in such a short amount of time. They will be using this knowledge to fuel their writing during their current historical fiction writing unit with Mrs. Anne Wil. Ask your child what the most interesting thing they’ve learned so far is