This week in Math, we have been closing up the unit on fractions and decimals, working on a pre-test with a partner, reviewing and evaluating our answers to assess what skills we still need to work on, and completing a post-assessment independently. During reading, we are making connections to our learning in Science by reading a book on volcanoes in Spanish, asking questions, finding evidence in the story to respond, tuning into interesting words, and summarizing what we read. During science, we have continued our learning on weathering and erosion by making an experiment that explains what happens to rocks that are tumbled down a hill. In the experiment we have used sugar cubes with sharp edges, colored the edges of one of the cubes with marker, kept another cube as a control group, and shaken the the first colored cube and a few other inside of a container for 5x40 times, checking what happens to the cubes after every count. During writing, we have started a unit on poetry, first learning about the meaning of poetry, then writing a few poems on our poetry notebooks and reflecting on them. And during Social Studies, we have started looking into contrasting theories about the origins of the First Peoples of North America. Take a look at this week's short slide show!
This week in our class, the students have been busy catching up and finishing up work. In math, we have finished the chapter on fractions and decimals, and today they have been working with a partner on a pre-assessment to analyze the results next week before the independent post-assessment. That way the students will have a chance to understand their successes and areas of challenge, and learn what they can do to overcome those little gaps in their learning. During reading, we have finished learning about personal narrative in Spanish, and alternatively, we have been working on reading all about volcanoes in small guided reading groups and as a whole group class, learning important vocabulary like "cenizas", "polvo", "laderas", "erupcionar", to have a deeper comprehension during our science practice in the afternoon. Since Mystery Science has created the choice of listening to the videos in Spanish, we have increased our time in Spanish as well. But that hasn't been the only fun part, check out the slide show to see your children experimenting with two different types of "lava", thick and thin lava, learning about which one comes from a cone volcano, and which one from a shield volcano. This week we have also made the connection to the anchor lesson that we started a few weeks ago, to figure out how a group of prehistoric animals died, and how their body structures were preserved in the form or fossils. Also, the students have been sharpening their multiplication facts with Xtra math, and kept on getting more puzzles in STMath. And finally, I am happy to announce that some students have published their personal narrative pieces, that you can access in the "author's showcase" page of this website. The rest of the pieces will be published soon, so stay tuned!
Have a fantastic weekend!
Two productive weeks are coming to an end. During our math blocks we have been making progress with fractions, and started our journey in understanding decimals. How would you write and say parts of one hundred in Spanish? My students have learned the difference between "centésimas" and "décimas", and how to relate that to money. During our investigations, the students have been using ten base blocks, dimes and pennies to show quantities smaller than one whole, also comparing them to the right fraction expressions. During Number Corner, the students have been also investigating different types of lines, different types of angles, and how to understand story problems. Using the strategy of "numberless problems", the students get to investigate the story that the problem shows, without getting caught in doing something with the numbers right away, because the numbers are blacked out. Then, discussions are generated, what is happening in the story?, what is the problem asking?, what type of equations we might be able to use and why? Once the students get a good understanding of the story, it is time to show the numbers and do the equations. The conversations generated are very engaging and interesting, some students even start to use pictures to explain the story, like real mathematicians do!
During reading block, we have continued learning about personal narrative, identifying how authors show their feelings in their stories, learning how we should quote and paraphrase when we are responding to reading, and describing the reactions of the characters to events in the story to understand how the characters evolve.
On writing, we have been working on narrowing our focus to a very small event, zooming in to describe it with detail, and we have been learning the difference between "telling" and "showing", practicing imagining small details to use in our writing, like how to describe feeling excited, or scared, describing the setting, writing our thinking process in that moment, and adding dialogue whenever we think about what the people in our story was saying at that moment.
On read aloud day, we read "All Are Welcome" by Alexandra Penfold, as a school wide event, and during 100 day, students created number lines with 100/4 and 100/2, and worked on other activities of their choice.
Take a look at this week's pictures!
This week in our classroom:
In math we have been working with adding and comparing fractions and finding equivalent fractions. During number corner, we have continued finding the area in square units of different geometric shapes, and adding three quarters of a dollar at a time to find the final amount of money. We have also been working on multi-step division number problems.
In Reading, we have been talking about how authors connect the beginning and the end of their stories, how the characters create contrast in the narrative, and how figurative and descriptive language makes the reading richer and more interesting.
In writing, we have been organizing the sequence of our stories to have a clear picture of what we want to talk about. And in Science we have had a great surprise since Mystery Science videos are now completely in Spanish!!! We have been learning about whether a volcano could pop up in our back yard, and have found the volcanos in a World Map that make the Ring of Fire.
During this week students have also been been taking the iReady test in both English Language Arts and Math, although we will need another day next week to get it finished.
And finally we have celebrated kindness week with fun outfits and reading a bunch of books on kindness and good manners.
Take a look at this week's slideshow. The kids are having a blast playing board games!
Have a cozy snowy weekend! Hopefully nobody will lose power :)
This week during Math, we have been learning a lot about fractions, like equivalent fractions, improper fractions and mixed numbers, adding fractions with the same denominator and with different denominator. We have played games and used manipulatives to see how many objects make a fraction of a group.
During Spanish reading, we have been learning about the audience, understanding that authors think about the people that will be reading their books, and make sure their vocabulary and topics are appropriate for that audience. We have also learned about the sequence of the story, and how the author expresses their feelings in the voice of their characters. Since those are the same lessons that we are going to apply to our personal narrative writing, looking at what other authors are doing can guide us in our writing.
In Writing we have been exploring how to stretch our narration, so that we don't reveal all the important information first, but start building up tension in the story to keep the attention of the reader.
And on Science, we have started a new unit titled The Birth of Rocks, with an anchor phenomenon about an interesting fossil site in Nebraska.
Finally, we have been decorating our door for Kindness Week with the message "Kindness is a Universal Language", and we will be doing the following activities next week:
Kindness Spirit Week
Monday, January 24 : Kicking off Kindness: Wear crazy socks or mismatched shoes
Tuesday, January 25: “Be the Sunshine on Someone’s Cloudy Day” - Wear bright colors
Wednesday, January 26: Hats off to kindness - Wear a hat to school
Thursday, January 27: Team Kindness: Wear your favorite sport gear or school colors
Friday, January 28: Dream” of Kindness - pajama day (Because it has been a while since my students had a reward for their behavior, I think this would be a good time to do something fun, so with the fourth grade teachers, we have decided to do a board game and bring your special snack day for the afternoon)
Throughout the Kindness Challenge week of January 24 - 28 we will be collecting items for the Food Pantry, see the flyer here for more information.
Take a look at this week's slideshow and at our Kindness Door.
Have a great weekend!
as aThis week during Math students have been introduced to fractions, dividing strips of papers, paper pizzas and dollars into different pieces and amounts to share.
Then, for the most part, we have been working on finishing up the informational pieces, and participating in a fun engineering project. During this STEM project, the students had to build a structure resembling a Holiday Tree, using gum drops and toothpicks. Let's say that the hardest part of the project was resisting the urge to eat the gumdrops :).
On Wednesday the students brought in their Party in a Box boxes and voted for the most creative and the most colorful, and picked a number that corresponded to the number of the gift they would get. A lot of creativity and cheer was shared this day. We were also visited by the Nipmuc Jazz Band and Chorus that entertained us with a beautiful performance of Christmas songs, and finally today, our fourth graders are getting the chance to be the ones on the "stage" (separated three feet apart in the gym floor) and perform for the rest of the school, one grade at a time.
Also this week we've had a special visitor, my Goddaughter Emma is studying in a boarding school in Woodstock, Connecticut, as an exchange students, and is spending the Christmas break with us. She is a sophomore there and her holiday break started this week already, so she has come with me to school to help out in the class. Needless to say that my students have flocked to her! She has been of great help this week and I am happy that my students have been able to speak in Spanish with her. Elba has also been able to return this week as well!
I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of you for being so kind, generous and supportive. I absolutely adore all the generous and thoughtful gifts I have received. Thank you so much, you are so kind! Take a look a this week's slideshow.
Have a great holiday break and enjoy some rest and relaxation. See you in 2022!
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!
Hello! My name is Esther Willinski, and I am a fourth grade teacher in Massachusetts. Join us in our journey through 4th grade!