Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Latitude and Longitude

Every year I am amazed at how easy it is to teach latitude and longitude and how hard it is for the kids to actually use. We started learning about it today and did a bunch of practice together but when the kids went out on their own (actually with partners) they really struggled. We will be working on this concept for the next three days. The way I showed the kids to remember is that latitude is like climbing a ladder and longitude lines are really loooooong. Tomorrow we will be doing more activities and we will be using a different set of desk maps to help us. I hope that the kids remembered to take their social studies books home since we don’t send the desk maps.

In math square numbers were the topic for the day. It seemed like the kids picked up on it really quickly, which is good because that is a huge foundation for some of the stuff we will do later. Exponents are easily confused by the kids, they often think that they just multiply the base number times the exponent. This is incorrect. You actually take the base number times itself the number of times that the exponent says. For square numbers this isn’t too hard to remember but when we get into bigger exponents it gets tough.

Another big topic of discussion today was turning work in. It seems like today and yesterday we have had a lot of no name work, or worked turned in without being completed or without attaching evaluation forms. Much of this is just beginning of the year mistakes so I’m not too worried about it. If it continues next week, then I will become more concerned. I am firmly convinced that students that turn in all their work will do very will in fifth grade. Those that have a lot of missing assignments have low grades. A zero in the grade book really hurts a grade. I will be going over how grading works on Thursday night at Parent Information Evening. If I haven’t mentioned it, Parent Information Evening is on Thursday night. I highly encourage everyone to come that night.

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