This week in Math we have continued investigating remainders, and reviewed how to handle those remainders, and what are the division strategies that we have used. Students have also played the games "More or Less Multiplication", where they had to multiply three digits using the associative property, and "Remainders Win" to practice finding the remainders . On Thursday the students have been working on a pre-assessment of the unit and today we have reviewed that pre-assessment to reflect on the challenges and successes of our learning.
During Reading, the students that chose to present in front of an audience, presented their book reports on an informational book. Also they got a chance to read a different type of informational pieces, two magazine articles of the Scholastic magazine "Ahora", and answering questions about them. On one about the island of Rapa Nui, the students had to answer to questions about the location of the island and their natural resources. On another article, students read about the holiday traditions of a girl from Argentina, and they had to write a short essay talking about their own traditions in Spanish.
During our "Fancy Day", students worked on a Science lesson, finding out about why turkeys wear their fancy feathers and what is a wattle and a snoot. Students also put together a wobbly turkey using some supplies.
During Writing workshop, I have continued my daily conferences with my students to go through the editing process of their informational pieces, and I can tell that they will be ready to be published pretty soon. I will add their pieces to my website so that you can have a spot for giving positive feedback to your child's piece, and if you have extra time, maybe to other students' pieces.
Take a look at this week's slideshow!
This week during Math we have been taking a look at the variety of multiplication strategies that we have learned so far, and we have introduced division with remainders. We read the book "A Remainder of One" buy Elinor J. Pinczes that illustrates the fact that a little soldier bug is always left out when his squadron of 25 makes formations of 2, 3 and 4 lines, until finally he comes to the realization that making 5 rows of 5 is the perfect formation that makes the organized and tidy queen really happy. The students created the different formations with 25 tiles before I could reveal that there was always a remainder of one, so it was a fantastic introduction of the concept of division with remainders. On the days after we worked on division problems with remainders and what to do with those remainders, as sometimes they could be split even further if we were talking about dollar amounts, slices of pizza, and other times we needed to provide extra containers for those remainders, like extra cars for children going to a swimming competition, or extra pages for trading cards.
During Reading Workshops to conclude the lessons learned about informational reading, the students are completing a book report on one informational book of their choice, that the will also have to either present to the whole class in person, or create a video of that presentation just for me if presenting in front of the class sounds intimidating to them. The written book report covers questions about the different characteristics of informational text.
During Writing Workshop I've had a chance to finalize a first full round of student/teacher interviews to help with the edition of my students' informational pieces that are coming along very nicely. Students have also worked on adding an introduction and editing punctuation and spelling.
And during Social Studies, students have worked on finalizing their physical and political maps of America that will be soon ready for display.
Finally on Thursday we went to collaborate and mentor Kindergarteners in Sra. Ibañez's class to help them create chains with patterns of two color beads to count by twos and fives. Not surprisingly, this collaboration is becoming a favorite for both grades. Mrs. Gallagher paid us a visit and was really impressed with the quality of mentorship of my students.
Take a look at this week's slideshow.
This week during Math, the students have been working with multiplication story problems, using all the strategies that we have learned and practiced already: ratio tables, arrays, and using base ten sets. The students have also started using coin values as another strategy to aide multiplication, counting in dimes or quarters can be a helpful visual aide to use friendly numbers. The students have also participating in some math games as a class or in small groups.
During our Reading Workshop, the students have been learning how authors use specific vocabulary related to the topic of their informational books, and how they give definitions either inside of the text, or in the glossary. Students have also learned about finding the main idea and details of a section, and how the authors fluently move from one subtopic to the next, frequently introducing the next subtopic at the end of each section so that the readers have a cohesive understanding of the topic at hand. The students have been practicing close reading to have a deeper understanding of the process of reading and writing informational pieces.
Next, the students have been applying similar lessons to their writing pieces, and I have been able to start one on one meetings with my students to respond to their writing questions and to start the editing process. I am looking forward to publish their pieces, although we still have some work to do. I will keep you posted.
During Science, the students have been working on a final project to reflect the lessons learned on muscles and skeleton, vision and the nervous system, and explore these topics on a new animal.
And to give you a couple of highlights that show the good heartedness of my students, your children, I just wanted to mention how proud I am of working with students that rise up to the occasion to mentor kindergarteners, that make their job to make a new student who doesn't speak English to feel welcome and to have friends to play with. They are such great kids! I don't have many pictures for this week, but here are a few.
Have a great weekend!
Just take a look at these fantastic teachers! Students worked with kindergarteners in Sra. Ibañez's class today on composing and decomposing numbers. The patience, dedication, preparation and care that they have shown is fantastic. The kindergarteners were completely engaged with the activities and listened to their personal tutor ask them questions in Spanish. What a beautiful collaboration and a great opportunity for my students to see things from the point of view of a teacher. Sra. Ibañez, Sra. Camara, Elba and I were delighted to see the amazing work they were doing. Enjoy the slideshow and have a great Thanksgiving break!
These two weeks in our classroom, the students have been busy building and sketching multiplication arrays, playing multiplication and division games, adding more cups to a gallon, counting elapsed time, and building ratio tables to practice multiplication of two digits by one and by two digits, and multiplications with multiples of 10. Additionally, students have continued their practice in STMath, and started another journey in a different digital platform called Xtramath, where they drill their addition, subtraction, multiplication and division facts.
During Reading Workshop, the students have continued learning about informational texts, making a list of their interests and discovering the hidden treasures of our classroom library, determining the main idea and important details to understand the author's message, and comparing two informational texts on the same topic to increase their learning. They have participated in guided group reading, partner and independent reading throughout the week.
During Writing Workshop, the students have considered all the facts surrounding their informational piece to deliver accurate information to their readers, they have also considered the specific vocabulary related to their topic of choice, and how to include the definition of that new vocabulary in their pieces, so that readers get complete understanding of their topic.
During Science, students have been learning all about the nervous system, how the body receives information, and how the information reaches the brain and it is processed, checking their reflexes with a few fun activities.
During Social Studies, the students have been coloring the different countries of the continent of America.
And during Growth Mindset and Mindfulness practice time, the students have learned about the messages that we give ourselves that show a fixed mindset, how we all have a mix of growth and fixed mindset, and how it is important to become aware of that without judgment. We have read a couple of fun picture books to illustrate the topic.
I don't have many pictures of these two weeks, but here are the few I took.
Have a great and restful weekend!
This week in our classroom...
During regular math time, the students have been learning about the metric system, using base ten pieces to create arrays and find the area of rectangles. During Number Corner, the students have been reviewing elapsed time to the 5 minutes, and investigating about liquid capacity with cups, quarts and gallons. They have also worked with additions using the number line, and have created numbers in the ten thousands using 5 digits and comparing their numbers with their partner's.
During reading, the students have been reviewing the different vocabulary words in Spanish for informational features, as well as what they are for and where to find them in their expository books. They have also been comparing two different informational books on the same topic to find commonalities and differences between them.
During writing, The students have started building up slideshows for their informational pieces, creating the title page and the table of contents, and narrowing their topic.
During our mindfulness practice, the students have been learning the differences between a fixed mindset and a growth mindset, and have been looking at the different areas where our mindsets are one or the other.
And finally, during social studies, the students have started creating a map of North and South America, and marking the areas of Natural features.
Take a look at this week's highlights.
Have a great weekend!
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!
Hola! My name is Esther Willinski, and I am a Spanish Immersion teacher in Massachusetts. Join us in our journey through 4th grade!