The grade 5s are continuing with their descriptive writing. Yesterday I reread the description of Mr. Twit’s dirty beard from The Twits by Roald Dahl. We talked about how good descriptive writing allows the reader to create a vivid picture in their minds. This is the reading strategy visualizing. Good readers visualize what they read. Good writers create vivid pictures for their readers. In order to do that they use effective and specific verbs, adverbs, nouns and adjectives. Here are some drawings of Mr. Twit’s dirty beard. The students drew as I read the description:
Today the class looked at the grade 5 expectations for writing from the Ontario Curriculum. They highlighted the expectations that they thought applied to descriptive writing. Tomorrow we will co-create success criteria for our descriptive writing. Then we will look at the paragraph we wrote last week and we will revise it to match our success criteria. Here are the students reading (there is some sophisticated vocabulary as it is written for teachers) the actual curriculum document and highlighting the expectations they will use. I was very proud of their thought process today.
The grade 4s & 5s are working on subtraction right now. I have given both classes problems to solve that involve subtraction. I have told them that they can only use the subtraction algorithm (the procedure most of us learned in school) if they are able to explain it. So far I have found that very few can explain the algorithm, they can explain the steps that they are taking, but they cannot explain the algorithm. As a result, I have asked them to solve the problem in different ways. Here is an example of students who solved it using expanded form. This problem did not require regrouping (borrowing is the inaccurate term most of us learned). Tomorrow I will post more student work and explanations of their strategies. I will also post about how I am trying to get them to figure out what is going on when they have to subtract with regrouping.