,This week my students have been working full speed ahead! In math they have been playing "Racing Fractions", by finding different ways to add fractions with a different denominator and to get to the end of different number lines first. Students have also been introduced to decimal counting, how to write decimals with numbers and fractions, and how to name decimals. Students have been forming decimals using mats, strips and units of the base ten pieces. During our guided reading group sessions, students have learned how to compare and contrast two different types of avalanches by grouping the comparable topics, we have also worked together to find the main idea of the story, and investigated causes and effects in the text. Students have also been introduced to the different types of Context Clues when finding difficult or interesting words, using the acronym "I.D.E.A.S." Inferring, finding the Definition in the text, finding the Explanations, or finding Antonyms or Synonyms. During their independent reading rounds, students have continued working on different choices for reading and writing. During our Trickster Tales writing block, our Writer in Residence Motoko has guided our students in choosing one major natural disaster for their stories, and describing it using the 5 senses. In the afternoon, we have continued reading The Truth as Told by Mason Buttle by Leslie Connor, and we have explored the different types of lava during our Science unit on the Birth of Rocks. Students have been hypothesizing about why some volcanos have a cone shape and others a shield shape, and how the consistency of the lava affects the type and form of the volcano.
Take a look at this week's slideshow!
Another week full of interesting activities is coming to an end. This week the students have continued comparing fractions with different denominators, and creating equations with fractions. During reading we have been working in guided reading groups, learning comparing and contrasting strategies in our close reading of complex texts journey, while the rest of the students worked on their different choices of Daily 5. Their reading and writing stamina has grown so much from the beginning of the year! On Wednesday, Motoko worked with our students on the second session of the trickster tales, and students were able to get their stories started by completing a paragraph with their main character and setting. Students have also been working on a school wide writing prompt on a favorite memory. In Science, students have discovered the pattern of the Ring of Fire by combining the continent maps that we worked on last week. And as a cherry on top, my students have been able to read to Mrs. Pilkington's and Mrs. Smith's students in Kindergarten. Your children are the most caring, responsible and knowledgable mentors. The little ones had a blast, and my students felt so proud of their work. It was such a cute thing to witness! Take a look at this week's slide show :)
One short week into the new year, and my students have already done so much. The holiday break seems to have had a good effect on their motivation to learn, because they have been incredibly focused and engaged this week.
In Math, we have been exploring fractions on the geoboards and finding equivalent fractions. We've also explored several geoboard regions that represent a different fractions, and how we can express those fractions using addition or subtraction of other fractions with different denominator. Our rounds of Daily 5 choices and independent reading practice have started with the introduction of close reading strategies of short complex texts. I have assigned my students into new groups, and we are working on simple steps that will help them find deeper meaning in the stories, and organize their thinking. In one of the steps, students have to learn to use annotation marks to circle important passages, make connections, or underline confusing words. Each layer of reading uncovers different levels of comprehension, from key ideas and details, through the structure of the text, to finally integrate the ideas from the text. We read and analyze together, we talk about the passage and we answer the questions using the RACE method that the kids know very well by now. In Writing, we are super excited to have our writer in residence, Motoko, a Japanese story teller that will be with our fourth graders for 10 weeks to guide our students to write "trickster" tales. Her storytelling skills kept us all completely engaged in the folktales that she narrated. You could not hear a pin drop. During the first session we started with an assembly in the cafeteria, and Motoko came to our class at 11:05 when she gave our students different stories to read in groups and present to the whole class, while finding the "trickster" in the tale and the lesson learned. We can't wait for our second session!
Finally during Science, we have started exploring if a volcano could erupt where we live, and students have been finding volcanos in different continents, using coordinates in maps, that we will put together to find the pattern of The Ring of Fire.
And finally, as a highlight, because we reached 20 points for positive behavior and participation, the students got to enjoy their board game time this afternoon, and read under forts during Daily 5.
Fantastic focus and participation throughout the week!
Take a look at this week's slideshow!
Hello! My name is Esther Willinski, and I am a fourth grade teacher in Massachusetts. Join us in our journey through 4th grade!