This week in our class, the students have been working on creating a Great Wall of Base Ten during math, and understanding place value with numbers to the 10,000. They have also been showing their strategies to solve multiplication equations. During reading workshop, students have been working on adding more information to our charts about character development of the main characters of several stories we have read in the classroom. How were the characters different at the end of the story compared to the beginning of the story? During Science, the students have been learning about the reason why some animals can see better in the dark, and why when we take pictures of them in the dark, their eyes glow. In Social Studies, we have been working on a reading comprehension passage to learn about the position of the United States in the world. We also had three students picked by Mrs. Gallagher to be part of the School Council, and we are very proud of them! On Wednesday, when we lost power, we got the perfect chance to read a couple of spooky stories before we were dismissed, and today we have had tons of fun building the best structure to hold a cauldron filled with candy corn.
Check this week's slideshow for some interesting moments of learning.
This week during our math block, students have been learning to measure different objects and materials using the metric system. Using centimeter rulers, the students have been measuring classroom materials and noticing that the length of the object doesn't change if we move the object to a different centimeter in our rulers, and that to find the length of the object they can either move to the 0 mark, or subtract the lowest centimeter from the highest one. Students have also learned to count centimeters when the objects land on halves. Using pan balances and scales, the students have found how many beans can fit in 100 grams, or the weight in grams of a certain amount of beans. Students have also weighed "bread" dough (clay) and found the measurement on the scale that marks the grams and kilograms. Finally, students have been pouring colored water from one container to another in quantities of 50 milliliters, 100 milliliters and 250 milliliters to get to one liter. The goal of these activities has been to understand the metric system and have some benchmark knowledge on the average quantity of different materials compared to their weight, mass, length and capacity.
During our reading workshop students have continued working with partners, groups or independently on the strategies already learned, as well as worked on updating the book logs, and learning about how readers relate to the characters of the stories that they read.
During writing workshop we have reviewed the different text features for informational pieces, and the students have had a chance to partner up to discuss how they will be using those text features in their own informational pieces, now that most of them have decided on the topic that they will be working on.
During science, we have extended last week's lesson on vision, and related it to our anchoring activity on how an owl catches a mouse.
Finally, we have started our Social Studies unit on maps and geography, learning about the location of the United States on a map of the world, about the equator and the prime meridian.
Regarding the Halloween celebration, all fourth grade classes will be working on a STEM challenge, and the students will be creating a Pumpkin decoration to express the meaning of a given word that students will have a chance to explore in the classroom. Please read the information about the Halloween celebration on the packet that is coming home today, or find the same information on the file attached.
This week's slide show is attached under the documents.
Have a great weekend!
These two short weeks in our class have been packed with learning. In math the students have been taking some checkpoint assessments, played more multiplication games, have practiced some math fluency with number strings and math talks, and have started dipping their feet on fractions and decimals.
During reading workshop, our small group guided reading practice has taken off, as well as our partner reading practice, and the students have learned and practiced some strategies to improve their fluency and comprehension, like "help or time" and "check for understanding". With the "help or time" strategy, students help each other correct their reading miscues by following along the reading of the same book, side by side, and pointing at the word their friend has mispronounced, offering to help with reading the word, or asking if they need time to figure the word out by themselves and try again. This non judgmental practice of reading improves students awareness of their own reading, and prepares them for self-correction and accuracy. With the "check for understanding" strategy, students focus on the comprehension of the story by stopping after a paragraph or page, closing the book, and using the arrow bookmark as a guide to ask questions that start with "what", "who", "when", "where" and "why", while the other students respond to the questions asked. This strategy prompts summarizing, comprehending, predicting and inferencing. During group work reading we use the same strategy, and I encourage the practice of new words by asking my students to build sentences with them. Other lessons that we have started this week have to do with practicing prosody by producing the correct musicality when reading out loud questions and exclamations, and by doing the adequate pauses after periods or commas. And finally, students have been recommending books to their friends during some periods between the group and independent work, so that other students get excited about reading new and different books.
During writing workshop, we have started our "informational piece" journey by talking about the things we know how to do well, or know a lot about, and by creating subtopics for a few of them, that will later become the headings or sections in our final pieces.
During science, we extended the lesson on muscles and skeleton by building a robot hand, and we started the lesson on eyes, light and vision by exploring a dissection of a cow's eye, and creating our own model of a human eye using a magnifying glass as a "cornea", and an index card as a "retina". The students could see how the outside trees and clouds were reflected on the cornea when passing through the lens.
And finally, the students have been working on exploring their strengths with the Thrively platform of which you will know more about.
Take a look at these two week's slideshow to see the students in action!
This is what we have been working on this week:
During math the students have learned three new games, practicing multiplication equations, adding partial products, splitting arrays in smaller pieces, and using a ratio table. We have also finished the Number Corner activities for the month, and we have ended the week reviewing some multiplication facts.
During reading, the students have started evaluating books, and some have started sharing with the class a brief summary of the book they wanted to recommend, the reason why they recommend it, and other interesting facts about it. We have added a checklist and a bucket for the recommended books, where the students can write their names and titles of the books they want to recommend, so that we can find a moment during our reading workshop for that. This week I have also been able to start working with small groups of 4 or 5 students in a guided reading setting, while the rest of the students read independently. We have been practicing the strategy "check for understanding", reading together the same book (in the group), stopping after each page, and generating questions and answers about what we just read. The students engagement has been fantastic!
In writing the students have been generating ideas about one chosen word, and shared with a partner.
During science, students have learned all about how muscles expand and contract to move parts of the body, and have created a model of a finger.
During mindfulness practice, the students have learned the main functions of three important parts of the brain: the prefrontal cortex, the amygdala and the hippocampus, and how when the amygdala feels there is a threat, either real or imaginary, it blocks the functions of the PFC and the hippocampus, and then we cannot make good decisions or retrieve information that we have learned before.
And finally, the students have been taking the ELA and Math assessments through the i-Ready platform.
Take a look at the slide show to see all the learning in action!
Hello! My name is Esther Willinski, and I am a fourth grade teacher in Massachusetts. Join us in our journey through 4th grade!