March 31st, 2023
Emily, Pepper and Abby S. - In math we are doing time measurements, and length measurements. We are also working on strategies. The strategy we are using is number line. The reason why we are using this method is because we can’t use the Standard Algorithm to add/subtract time right because if we use the Standard Algorithm we would not get the right answer. If we use Standard Algorithm we would have to change sixty seconds into one hundred seconds and that would mess up the whole thing.
We are talking about two different types of milestone measurements; Time and length. When we are talking about time we are using milestones like: decades, centuries, years, months, weeks, days, hours, minutes, and seconds. One the other hand when we are talking about measuring length, we use these types of words: Kilometers, meters, centimeters, millimeters, feet, inches.
We’ve also talked about some the highest, deepest and longest places on earth like the Nile or Mississippi River. Anyways, we are all having lots of fun with these new measurements.
Emmy, Abby Z and Breanna - In book fair we went to the library to buy books, posters and bookmarks.
We are learning how to use the app TestNav, we learned the controls and the tools. TestNav is the app we will be using to do MCAS next week. Yesterday we had a practice test for MCAS. Today we tried organizing our own schedule at our own time doing the things that we wanted to do. Mrs. Willinski gave us two lists, one of Must Do's and another of Can Do's, and we had time to plan and organize what to do first, second, and next. We could work with a partner or independently.
March 24, 2023 - Student Blog
Here are this week's learning adventures through the voice of my students:
(Abby S., Pepper and Emily) In social studies we have been learning about the Vikings: a group of Norse explorers, traders, warriors and hunters from Scandinavia. We watched a video with lots of information about the Vikings. Norse is an old language that the Vikings spoke in around 100 C.E. (C.E means Current era).
The video also told about a Viking named Erik the Red who lived in Iceland. He got into a fight with his neighbor over furniture! Can you believe that? And that act resulted in the death of a few people people, and because Erik was involved he got exiled which means he basically got banned from the country (Iceland). But when Erik died, his son Leif Erikson (like Erik’s son) went back to their home country Iceland. That’s all we know about the Vikings right now but we have a lot more to learn and we will keep updating you soon!
(Abby Z., Emmy and Brianna) On daily 5 we've been working on poetry and figurative language. In Figurative language we've been learning about Simile. It means comparing using like/as. We also have been learning about metaphor, and allieration. Metaphor means compares without using like/as. Alliteration means first sounds repeat. In daily 5 we have been working on word work, The words for this week are absorb, strategy, directly, and sequence. On Friday we have to do an assessment on the four words every week. Every day Mrs. Willinski gives us five options to choose from. There’s read to self, read to someone, work on writing, listen to reading. We do it on Epic and there’s word work we have already told you about word work and there’s nothing much for listen to reading. Work on writing is when we can do personal narrative. Personal narrative is when we can write what we have experienced in life. We are writing poems in poetry and reading poetry.
(Sam, Cora, Joshua and Cam) In math we have also been doing a new math game called “Roll and Subtract.” What you do in the game is, you roll three dice and choose what order the numbers are in. Then you subtract that from 1000. The goal of the game is to get closest to 0 without going into the negatives. Today (Friday) we had a checkpoint. It was a review of the strategies and type of equations we’ve been practicing in math.
Take a look at this week's pictures!
Have a great weekend.
Sometimes things happen that make us rethink the way we are doing things, and what look like disasters turn out into beautiful things. This is what happened today. After spending about 40 minutes writing my blog post this morning, I hit the publish button and the whole post disappeared, gone! I tried refreshing the page, and for ten frustrating minutes I went back and forth on the drafts to see if I could recover the post. To no avail. So I put it aside, and slowly an idea started forming in my mind: What if I asked my students to write the newsletter? After all, I am surrounded by amazing writers! Why am I doing all the work? So I posted the questions to my students, and after explaining to them what the work would entail, and that this was a volunteer activity, ten of my students raised their hands enthusiastically! So with further ado, here is this week's summary, explained through my students' voices:
Math Blog, by Emmy, Bree and Abby Z.
In math we have been learning different strategies to solve addition and subtraction problems. One of the strategies we have been learning and using is "give and take". Give and take is a simple strategy to use because you take a quantity from one of the numbers to get to a friendly number, and subtract from the other number. We practiced the standard algorithm and adding on the number line. Some of the words we practiced are expanded form, algorithm, number line, and give and take. Number corner is a calendar we use that includes math, right now we have used a input and output numbers where you have to use two different equations that have to go through two times and come out as a different number.
Social Studies, by Cora, Sam and Lilly.
In social studies the class has been learning about Early European Exploration and Conquest and how they traveled and discovered North America, what they discovered, and what their maps looked like. We did an assignment on Google Classroom and we looked at some of the ships that they used to travel across the sea and we looked at the places they sailed.
We’ve been learning about historians in social studies. Historians use Primary Sources to explain their findings. Historians use maps and other historical documents or sources that provide evidence.
We’ve also been learning about Vikings and what they did in the past. On a Google assignment we’ve learned about the Viking alphabet, Viking gods, and Viking currency. We’ve been working on Early European Exploration and Conquest this week in social studies.
Daily 5 by Abby S. Emily and Pepper
In daily five we are working on vocabulary and poetry. If the students choose to work on vocabulary they have a choice of doing independently or with a friend, they can either work on cootie catcher (aka a fortune teller), a sheet of our vocabulary words for the week, or a postcard. The postcard is were they write to Mrs.Willinski about a word of their choice from the vocabulary sheet. They also get to draw a picture of what the word means. In the letter they have to put a greeting, a part of speech, definition, synonym and antonym of the word, and a closing. The sheet of vocabulary is a sheet of our words for the week that include: Vertical, Peer, Criticize, and Succeed. There are also a few questions about the different words, we also have a mini assessment at the end of the week.
Some other options they have are: read to self, read with a friend, read on Epic, listen to an audiobook on Epic, work on writing, work on word work, and trickster tales. The teacher also calls about 3-5 students to work with her (usually to read a passage or answer some questions about that passage).
In poetry we are wondering and talking about different types and meanings of poems. We’ve also talked about things we know about poetry like: sometimes they rhyme, sometimes they have a meaning that might be a bit deep. And it might be a poem for non violently protest. Some people are asking things like. What is the history of poetry? Where do authors get their inspiration? How many different types of poetry are there? We have read a couple different poems and think about the different meanings of the different poems. We will keep learning about different poems and keep on reading them. Mrs. Willinski always makes it fun!
Writing with Motoko is very hard but we all enjoy it very much. I think most of us became inspired to write after one or two visits from Motoko. In Motoko’s class we are writing a short story about a trickster who ends up saving a village from a mysterious creature that was causing a natural disaster. Some of us are writing on our iPads because we are finished with our story so we have to make our final print on our iPads.
As you can see, these are amazing posts. I am so thrilled with the result that I have decided that it will be a permanent feature from now on. Now, I would really appreciate it if you could please comment on the blog post, if you can spare a minute. A short positive comment will motivate my co-editors, and it will make their day. They have been so excited in the process of writing the blog post, and I have witnessed amazing collaboration skills. Having a real audience that responds to their writing will do wonders!
We are looking forward to hearing from you all!
Mrs. Willinski's Class
March 3rd, 2023
Getting back to the routine hasn't been much of a challenge for my students. Since Monday my students have shown that they can work hard and enjoy learning as well.
In math the students have brushed off their addition and rounding skills, and have practiced reading numbers through a couple of math games and some whiteboard practice. With the game "Target One Thousand" students had to add two three-digit numbers to get the closest possible to one thousand. In the game "Add, Round and Compare", students find the difference between the sum of two three-digit numbers, and the sum of the same three-digit numbers rounded to the nearest hundred. It's amazing that just by making math a game, or involving a little friendly competition, the students work on important math skills without giving it a second thought. We have also created a gigantic one million mat-mat-mat for our classroom display. All the students collaborated in cutting, glueing and organizing the mat.
During reading, this week we have been reviewing the different text features that show up in informational texts, and how they help readers understand the information given. Students have also continued making the choices for their independent reading practice. Like I said before, they got back to our reading routine flawlessly, and it fills my heart with pride when I sit at a table during the rotations to work with a small group, and I look around and see students completely engaged in their independent or partner reading. During small group reading, I've had a chance to set reading goals with each of my students for the next few weeks. Some of the reading goals are: working on more "read to self" throughout the week, find and quote evidence when answering to open response questions about a text, or restate the questions. The enthusiasm for books is palpable, I frequently hear references to the books that they are reading at off times, during snack or dismissal. I see students picking new books because their friends have read that book before and raved about it. I see the progress they are making in their chapter books, how the words "I finished this book, can I go to the lending library?" happen daily. It even made me so happy yesterday that my students yelled at me for stopping our read aloud after two chapters that left us in shock and wanting to know more. But hearing their predictions about what will happen next, or the connections to the stories we have read before makes it all worth it. The deep reading processes that happen in the brain when we read are an essential part of reading, and the sense of being a community of readers is just something that I greatly treasure.
During writing, we continue our series of "trickster tales" with our writer in residence Motoko. This week Motoko has taught our students how to write the scene where the main character defeats the mysterious creature by using a non-violent method. The students could choose between using words (a song or a poem to tame the creature), using a magic potion, or challenge the creature to a game. The stories are coming along beautifully!
During science, students have learned about the cause of landslides due to erosion, root wedging and ice wedging, and we have been brainstorming engineering ideas to save a town from a landslide, or to prevent it in the first place.
Finally, the students have shown their great mentoring skills when reading with the kindergarteners in Mrs. Pilkington's and Mrs. Smith's class during Dr. Seuss' birthday (Read Across America Day).
This week I have been slow at taking pictures, but here are a few.
Have a great weekend!
Hello! My name is Esther Willinski, and I am a fourth grade teacher in Massachusetts. Join us in our journey through 4th grade!