What’s Up At School

This page is for writers who may be looking for ideas for subjects that tie in with curriculum. I’ll provide a weekly update of what topics my kids are studying at school here in Houston, Texas.

Brandon – First Grade
ENGLISH/LANGUAGE ARTS: The class is beginning an author study on Jan Brett. The kids will be working on re-telling her stories and what elements make up a good story. The class is reading The Snowy Day. First grade is focusing on comprehension. One method they use is re-telling a story. Ask your child to re-tell you a story–you’ll be amazed at their version! The class will learn about Martin Luther King Jr.
SCIENCE: Starting the second big science unit of the year, soils. The class will explore different types of soils and its properties. Each student will have a soils folder where all of their work and discoveries will be kept. Students are investigating sand, clay, and humus.
SOCIAL STUDIES: The students will be learning about American symbols and their importance. Each student will make an American symbol riddle booklet. They are learning about maps and how to give and follow directions using them.

Jason – Fifth Grade
ENGLISH/LANGUAGE ARTS: The students will be learning and writing expository memoirs. (YIKES!)
SOCIAL STUDIES: The class is studying three prominent Loyalists (Thomas Hutchinson, Jonathan Boucher and John Murray) and three prominent Patriots (Ben Franklin, Mercy Otis Warren and Samuel Adams) during the Revolutionary War Era. The students will take part in a debate using the view points of both sides (read our review on the book George vs George).
SCIENCE: Students are learning about the concepts of weathering, erosion and deposition. The class is doing a landform project and will prepare a model, book, or Powerpoint presentation on the landform of their choice.
NOTE: The children are preparing for Texas’ standardized tests. 5th graders took “practice” tests on the subjects of math and reading. This is always a stressful time for kids and teachers!


5 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Stephen Aitken  |  January 8, 2010 at 3:51 am

    Does the subject of climate change come up in your curriculum at all? If so, what books does the teacher recommend for further reading?
    I enjoyed the book reviews.

    • 2. jennylbailey  |  January 14, 2010 at 12:48 pm

      Yes, they do study climate change. Their science book provides a unit on climate change and they use supplemental materials such as news reports of current events, Discovery United Streaming videos, and workbooks.

      • 3. Stephen Aitken  |  January 14, 2010 at 12:56 pm

        Thanks Jenny/Jason. News reports can of course be a bit tricky since they tend to sensationalize matters. However, some reporters are better than others and there are definitely some reputable and very knowledgeable science reporters out there.

    • 4. jennylbailey  |  January 16, 2010 at 4:40 pm

      Brandon’s teacher finally replied and 1st grade does not teach CC. They do discuss weather, habitats and their climate and landforms.

      • 5. Stephen Aitken  |  January 16, 2010 at 11:15 pm

        Thanks Jenny,
        I think that ABDO is breaking new ground having a GL3 series of PBs on climate change. I am thinking to suggest to Paul that the first title on Oceans be released right away rather than wait for the whole series. It is such an important topic.

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