Our class has been working with Mrs. Wright to understand the similarities and differences between artificial food dyes and natural dyes. The students worked with M&M's to remove dyes and use them as paint. the students learned how much better natural dyes are for us. Through a taste test, they determined that there wasn't a noticeable difference between natural and artificially dyed M&M's. Most of the students agreed that the naturally dyed M&M's tasted better, because they knew they weren't putting chemical dyes in their body when eating them. The students also had the opportunity to create some dyes using natural ingredients such as red cabbage, spinach, turmeric, to name a few. Next week, we will write persuasive letters to the Mars company explaining what we have learned about artificial food dyes, and telling why they should switch to natural dyes for all of their candy products.
We are working on our first expository, nonfiction writing piece. The students have decided on a topic they are an expert in, and they have written several subtopics. Today, the prepared to write their piece by first orally telling a partner everything they plan to teach the reader. This helps young writers organize their thoughts before writing.
We are focusing on identifying the main idea and supporting details in nonfiction texts. In this activity, the students worked in pairs to organize a mixed-up paragraph of information, by first identifying the main idea of the paragraph and then finding details that support each main idea.
Classifying information into Categories
A first step in understanding main idea and supporting details is to classify information into categories. Below, the students were given a list of words. They had to group similar items together, and then come up with a title for each group of items. Finally, they wrote main idea sentences for each category that stated how the items were connected.
We have started our multiplication and division unit by writing stories for fact family numbers. It is important that the students understand that multiplication is the repeated addition of equal groups, and that division is splitting a number into equal groups. We will spend a great deal of time recognizing and understanding the operations of multiplication and division over the next few months.