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!