The first full week has come to an end, and our fourth graders have been really busy learning.
This week, during math, the students have been practicing multiplication and division strategies, while collaborating with partners and sharing with the whole classroom. The students have been solving word problems showing their understanding while using skip counting on the number line, and ratio tables, area models and tile arrays. The students have followed the guidelines that we agreed on to keep a safe and welcoming environment as a community of learners, using math vocabulary, negotiating disagreements, supporting each other and staying focused on the task at hand. The students have also practiced math vocabulary with our Math Pop game, and worked on addition, subtraction and multiplication during morning practice.
During Daily 5, this week we have introduced the choice called "Work on Writing" as independent practice, but connected to our Writing Workshop and our Thinking Journal routine. Students have been able to choose what to work on every round, either read to self, read to someone or work on writing. Setting weekly goals for reading has kept my students laser focused and committed to their reading, as they get to know themselves as learners. With guidance, some students are challenging themselves to read chapter books on topics of interest. We have also practiced a couple of strategies when reading with a partner, like "I read, you read", and "Coaching or time". Students are also tracking their Daily 5 choices on a chart.
On our 20 minute block between specials and recess, the students have learned one mindfulness practice called "mindful bodies", where they become aware of their body posture with straight but relaxed spine, relaxed shoulders, feet on the floor, and hands on their laps or heart or bellies. In that posture, students practice slow breathing exercises to check in with themselves, and help their nervous system to calm down. Just a few minutes helps us reset and get back to work. Students learn to be more in tune with their bodies. Throughout the week, we have also used this time to write on our Thinking Journal about the pets that we have or we would like to have, a skill that we would like to improve this year, and one person that we are thankful for and why.
During Science, the students have been exploring their engineering skills through the construction of a robotic hand. Students have learned about bones, tendons and muscles and have followed a step by step process of inquiry and hands on activities. I am sure that you have seen this project already. It was so much fun to see their enthusiasm, and to hear the many questions that came up with this project. We have quite a group of scientists in this class!
Finally, the whole class has been able to enjoy an extra 20 minute recess because they earned 20 points through collaboration and excellent behavior in the hall and in transitions.
Great job, class!
Hello! My name is Esther Willinski, and I am a fourth grade teacher in Massachusetts. Join us in our journey through 4th grade!