December Den BLOG Fifth Grade: TINY BUT MIGHTY

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Hidalgo DECEMBER Den Blog 2017 

We have had another wonderful month! It is a festive time, focusing on lights, miracles and the blessings that surround us all…Along with you all, I was amazed at the breadth and depth of the fifth grade Portolfio Day presentations. Hopefully you all felt that you were able to take a glimpse into your child’s learning experience here, as well as were able to feel their passion from the fifth grade learning!

The students have loved being food chemists and trying their hands at molecular gastronomy!  Please look at Facebook posts where you can see the amazingly rich experience the students had at DAI DUE where they learned about chemical process, nixtamalization, or the making of corn tortillas. Who knew they were packed with nutrients? Yesterday, students used vinegar and AGAR to turn a liquid into small gelatinous balls using a molecular gastronomy technique known as  spherification. We are excited about our upcoming field-trip to THE ODD DUCK where topics of presentation revolved will revolve around the scientific principles of the 1st law of thermodynamics: the heat stored in the massive brick oven from the night before will transfer that energy to the bread without the need for any additional, outside energy.  The second major principal will be fermentation: The yeast and bacteria breaking down the carbohydrates into co2 and alcohol.  We will talk about proteins and how energy transfers from the heated brick to the cold loaves, the backbone of all cooking.  Ultimately, we will talk about how a raw product is transformed through heat energy into a cooked product via chemical restructuring. Stay tuned for other fun food-science photos documenting our learning this week on the AJA Facebook page.

Students are almost finished with TOWERS FALLING, which coupled perfectly with our 5th grade focus on the United States and the stories that have created OUR American narrative. Students have truly enjoyed the text, delving into complicated topics that deal with resilience, awareness and the power of courage and community! Additionally, using the C-E-R diagram (Claim-Evidence-Response) students are able to use textual evidence to support their findings.

Students are hard at work now on their math projects, where they have some creative space to use their knowledge of fractions. The following are their project themes:

*Fractional Mystery with Ice-cream

*Fraction Scavenger Hunt

*Fraction Games

*Cooking with Fractions (How can we make 1/4 , ½, 1/3, double or triple recipes effectively?)
After the break we will begin learning about our democratic system, our constitution and connect this learning with our yearlong theme of social justice. Additionally, we will begin our ROBOTICS unit with PLTW, where your children will add the additional layer to their student profile: ROBOTIC ENGINEER!

May your holidays be filled with time for friends and family, and space to appreciate that which brings you joy!

With love of learning and excitement for the possibilities,


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