These past two weeks have been filled with fun, collaboration and learning. In Math, we have finished the unit on fractions and decimals, and during Inspired Learning Day, the students were able to figure out the missing fractions under the Splats, or spots of "black ink" over a collection of fractions, where the students knew the final whole number and that under each splat there was the same amount. During our literacy block, we completed our group work and wrapped it up with an independent assessment on main idea and details, text structure and context clues. During writing, we have continued our trickster tale series with two more sessions with our writer in residence Motoko, and students have been able to add additional descriptive details, learning about the protagonist and antagonist, and how to defeat the antagonist using non-violent action, like using words, a potion or a game. During science, students have learned about sedimentary rocks and fossils, understanding how the earth has changed throughout different eras. These two weeks we have also enjoyed a day of Inspired Learning where students were able to collaborate with others and practice the Portrait of a Learner competencies. Students have shown how effective collaborators, solution seekers, and mindful learners they can be, helping JiJi engineer a Zip Line to go down a mountain and learning from the POL superheroes. Finally, during Valentine's Day, students exchanged valentines and enjoyed some extra snack time.
Take a look at these weeks' slide show.
Have a great February break!
I can't believe it has been two weeks since my last post. As you can imagine, we have been really busy in the classroom. All the students have engaged in deep learning and have showed their deep thinking and hardworking skills while taking the i-Ready reading assessment. Here are a few highlights of these two weeks.
In Math, the students have continued learning to write, name and understand decimals, and to convert fractions into decimal numbers. Students have also played a couple of math games to practice their decimal skills, and have used based ten pieces to understand the reasoning behind the decimal system.
During our Literacy block, I have continued meeting with small groups to work on using Context Clues to figure out the meaning of new words, and we have also learned and practiced understanding the different types of text structures. Students have become very proficient at giving extended and accurate open responses to questions about complex texts, showing their deep understanding of the story. Students have also had the chance to work on their independent reading and writing choices.
During our Writer in Residence weekly visit, students have worked on creating dialogue between their main characters and a secondary character, and learning about how to build suspense in their stories.
This week, we have also participated in World Read Aloud Day on February 1st, with the visit our our mystery reader Mrs. Busby, who read to the students the book "I Am Human: A Book of Empathy", written by Susan Verde and illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds, a sweet reminder that we all make mistakes, and that learning from our mistakes helps us understand and have empathy for others. We love to honor the power of Read Aloud by having a moment each day after lunch to read aloud one or two chapters of our book. We are currently reading "The Truth as Told by Mason Buttle", by Leslie Connor.
Finally during Science, we have been exploring if a mountain will last forever, learning about the effects of weathering and erosion on the rocks, and about root wedging and ice wedging. The students ran an experiment shaking sugar cubes 200 times, and writing the results and sharing their findings.
In the pictures you will also see your children being fantastic mentor to the kindergarteners in Mrs. Pilkington's class. Just listening to the kindergarteners answering the questions that my students pose about the books they are reading fills me with pride.
As a side note, I've given my students a couple of friendly lectures about using their school email to send messages to their friends during school hours, and about the importance of treating the classroom materials with respect. If you have some time this week, you might want to discuss these interesting topics with your child.
Take a look at this week's slide show!
Hello! My name is Esther Willinski, and I am a fourth grade teacher in Massachusetts. Join us in our journey through 4th grade!