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!