During this full week of work students have been working with Models of Multiplication, using tiles to make area models and representing the models on paper to make posters with all the factors of a number. Additionally, students have played Splat! where two teams compete for the biggest amount of points by adding the products at the end of a round.
During reading workshop, students have learned to find text features on informational and fiction texts, and have compared different types of informational and fiction books. During writing, the students have continued gathering ideas by looking at the things they are good at, and making more lists out of some of those ideas. Also today we have been looking at "what's in a name", thinking about their first names, middle names, family names and pet names and the stories behind them. On Social Studies we have looked at the heroic story of the men and women that used their boats to rescue people fleeing from the area near the World Trade Center during the 9/11 attacks. And finally, last week we received the visit of Elba, this year's Spanish Aide that will be working with us on Mondays and Tuesdays. Take a look at this week's slideshow!
One more week comes to an end. This week the students had the chance to solve some multiplication word problems together, working with a partner and in a small group with me. We have also learned about problem strings, where a series of related multiplication equations show a repeated pattern, and one equation can be used to solve the next. Through discussions and sharing strategies, the students have shown flexible thinking and problem solving skills. In our reading workshop, students have been able to choose their own books, thinking about the "just right" books for each of us, and about the topics that we like to read about, and sharing with the classroom so that we know each other a little better as readers. The students have also practiced thinking and talking about the books, writing their thoughts about their books as they read independently, and sharing later during assembly. We've also started our writing workshop, gathering ideas in our notebooks, that are the seeds for future stories. The students are growing their reading and writing stamina, and are following the routines with great attention and responsibility. Our community of learners is off to a great start!
We did it! The first "week" is finished, and even with a delay today, we were able to get some work done! Most of the time we have been going through routines and procedures in the classroom. We have talked about transitions, appropriate behavior in the line and in the hall, and today we have been practicing for the first time some independent reading. The students have been modeling what to do and what not to do when we are reading independently, so we've had a few laughs. During our math session called "The number corner" we have been working on noticing and wondering about strange symbols in the markers for the day, a mystery that has everybody excited to learn more. We have also been working on the number line, skip counting by multiples of 2, and finally today, we have been working on understanding a word problem. We've also had some time to introduce our mindfulness/growth mindset session that will take place daily during the 15 minutes of transition between recess and the special. Some students have also had a chance to share their fantastic and adventurous stories of the summer. Thank you for helping your child gathering all the fabulous artifacts. And finally we have started to fill in our "All about me" poster. Not a bad use of the time if you ask me! They have been excellent listeners, have followed directions very well, and have participated a lot during these two days of school. I think we've had a lot of fun this short week.
Have a great long weekend!
This week during math our scientists have been working on classifying quadrilaterals, fractions of a whole, fractions bigger than a whole, and multiplication facts. In Science they have been learning all about the different climates of the world. During Language Arts, they have kept their writing skills on fire: you can almost see smoke coming from those pencils, that is how much they are writing, confidence levels rising as they answer more and more open response questions successfully. Ask them anything about text features, character traits, compare and contrast or cause and effect, these scientists have an answer. We have also started analyzing poetry, learning to read between the lines, getting the deeper meaning of some poems. These scientists are using their investigation skills to the fullest and sharing beautiful insights. The enthusiasm for learning and the perseverance they are showing are incredible to see. There is no doubt in my mind that, regardless how difficult the state exams will be, our scientists will work tirelessly to show their best knowledge and skills, and for that I am extremely proud.
This week and a half at the lab, during Science our scientists have been having a lot of fun learning about and predicting the weather, based on the observation of clouds. They have also learned how a cloud is formed, what is lightning, what is pressure, and how to read a weather map.
During Social Studies the scientists have been building a map of the New England States and have learned about their shapes and capitals with our New England playdoh project.
During math we have started working on fractions of a whole, and during Language Arts, we have continued practicing the open response question, this time focusing on character traits.
Last Friday, our scientists have also been tutoring their friends in second grade.
Take a look at this week's slide show.
Enjoy the break!
For the past two weeks the scientists have been building their writing stamina, practicing open response questions after reading a passage, staying on topic, giving tons of evidence from the story, and commenting on the evidence. These scientists are getting the hang of it, and are consistently becoming more confident in their abilities to write essays and respond with comprehension. Last week we worked on text features and this week we are working on how characters interact and care for each other.
In Math, the scientists keep on making strides on their multiplication facts and adding more cool lights to their fingers, through exciting 4 minute sprints. They have also concluded the unit on division strategies and finished their tests pretty successfully! This week, we have even got started on fractions! What a better way to get started with that than with a perfectly divided brownie sheet in fifteen equal parts? This was just a happy coincidence when one of our scientists celebrated his birthday on the first day of fraction learning.
Also, during science, the scientists are learning all about cloud formation and how to predict stormy weather.
One highlight of the week was the visit of a mystery reader, who got the scientists engaged in the book "Un caso grave the rayas", a story about a girl that starts getting color stripes when she doesn't follow her heart for fear of being judged by others. Our mystery reader's prosody and clarifications always keep our scientists completely hooked to the storytelling.
And as the other highlight of these two weeks, our scientists have become reading tutors of Sra. Hidalgo's class, having each an assigned student (or two) to work on fluency and comprehension strategies that our scientists are experts on. Last Friday, after the tutoring session, we had some time to debrief, and it was fantastic to hear the insights about their students. These scientists were pretty tuned into their students' needs, and have guided them with compassion, patience and care. We can't wait for the next session.
Take a look at the pictures :)
The scientists have been doing investigations about division, playing with amounts of objects and separating them into equal groups. In the morning lab they have also continued noticing and wondering about equal groups using arrays of different shapes and sizes. The scientists are also on the second week of multiplication sprints, where they are tested on their multiplication fact knowledge in sprints of 60 questions in 4 minutes, and guess what? All of them have already mastered the 2s! Take a look at the pictures to see their glowing fingers :)
During Language Arts, the scientists have gotten their feet wet into writing in English, getting ready for Open Response with two types of questions: rewriting a story from another character's point of view, and explaining how the author uses text features to help the reader understand the story. They have also been working on cause and effect, and compare and contrast.
Finally, in Science, we have just started learning about animal traits by investigating the characteristics we see in fossils using the Mystery Science unit.
Here is the slide show from these past two weeks.
The scientist have started the new year strong in their resolutions of learning and investigating. This month we are wrapping up multiplication strategies that these scientists master, and we will move onto division during the upcoming weeks. We will also start with the multiplication facts challenges next week as well, so get your memory muscles ready to get those facts in those fantastic brains! During Language Arts, we have switched our focus TEMPORARILY on getting ready for ELA MCAS that will take place at the end of March. So far we have been learning all about Author's Purpose, that is as easy as PIE ( please ask your scientist what this means), Cause and Effect, and we have started getting our feet wet on Parts of the Speech. To get the anxiety down for testing, we have continued practicing Mindfulness techniques, this time using the Mindful Schools curriculum of which I am attending online classes. This curriculum also comes with a mindful journal that we are adding to our own. The conversations regarding reading and math content are very rich and interesting, showing that our scientists are incorporating the PORTRAIT OF A LEARNER skills, and are getting ready for any challenging situation. I couldn't be prouder of them. Finally, this week we have also participated in a district wide Inspired Learning Day of which you have probably have heard a lot. It was a very enthusiastic and energized day where the students had a chance to collaborate with other kids from different grades, and lear new and interesting things.
Enjoy the weekend!
It has been ages since the last post from our learning lab. Our investigators have been solving some engineering problems assembling a solar powered fan, finishing more books, and working on equal groups, arrays and multiplications on the number line. Also, the wonderful volunteers that we have in our lab, have helped with the assembly and with very creative crafts and activities during the party. So thank you all for your invaluable help.
Take a look at the pictures and enjoy the long weekend!
On Wednesday, September 25th I, along with our Technology coordinator and our tech specialist, attended a workshop from Project Lead The Way (PLTW) and Mass STEM Hub, a program of the One8 Foundation to learn about this year's STEM week Challenge and bring it to my scientists in our lab, and eventually to other classes. The STEM Week Challenge, this year centered on the theme of Zero Waste gives students the opportunity to tackle real-world sustainability problems that organizations such as TD Garden, DELL Technologies, and the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) face today. During the workshop we could gather materials to work on the challenge for third to fifth grade, Zero Energy Waste, that through different activities guides the students to learn about six different energy sources: oil, coal, natural gas, solar, hydropower and wind, and helps them understand about renewable and nonrenewable energies, and ends with the assembly of a solar powered fan, and the creation of an engineered prototype using recycled materials. Since the challenge combines one of my favorite topics with the innovation of technology, I couldn't but take the challenge and bring it to my scientists, that are as enthusiastic as me to help care for the environment and our precious resources. As usual, I couldn't be prouder of them, as they show me again and again their love of learning and their enthusiasm for challenges. We are currently working on Activities 1 and 2 of the challenge, "Straight to the Source", and "Knowledge is Power", and we will go on to assembling the solar powered fan on the, hopefully, next sunny day coming up.
But the work of the scientist doesn't finish there. They have been very busy during our math routines, conversations and games, completely engaged in mathematical conundrums that with great thinking, we encountered. Oh boy the growth mindset of these innovators, never giving up, and being so brave while sharing roadblocks with the rest of the class.
Check out these past weeks' slideshow.
Hola! My name is Esther Willinski, and I am a Spanish Immersion teacher in Massachusetts. Join us in our journey through 4th grade!