Sunday, October 23, 2016

Week of October 24

Thank you to all the parents who took time to meet during parent teacher conferences! It came up in a couple of meetings that it would be good to have printed out copies of students' vocabulary lists for the week so students could study them at home.  I have printed out two copies of each student's list so they can have a hard copy here at school and one for their homework folder.  It is most important for students to understand the meanings of these words, but in some of the program practice they also have to spell the word.  So if you want to challenge them to spell the words, as well as know the definition, you can.

This week we will have make up times for the students who missed Star 360 testing.  Students will take a Number Corner Check Up 1 assessment to see what kind of growth they are showing in what they have learned in Number Corner. (This is the supplemental part of Grade 4 math that I teach them.) They took a baseline assessment earlier in the year, so this will show how they are progressing.

Also, the fourth graders have had fun learning how to make graphs using Microsoft Excel.  They will all be printed out this week and added to their science notebooks.  We will use the graphs to interpret our scientific experiment and results. Our bubble unit will conclude this week and we will be beginning our Light unit on Thursday.  This upcoming unit will be filled with science and engineering concepts.  The first time I taught this unit, it was eye-opening how many misconceptions children of this age have about light.  It is thrilling to have them discover concepts about the behavior of light and how it all works!

Monday, October 17, 2016

Week of October 17

Students will be assessed this week in our district assessment called Star 360 to get a baseline score for this school year.  They will be assessed each trimester in both reading and math in order to track their progress.  In our Leveled Literacy Reading Program, students are regularly assessed to check comprehension, fluency, and accuracy.  Star 360 provides specific skill areas that need attention for individual students.  The results of both of these assessments will appear on their report cards in November.

Last week we created 3 different bubble recipes and students had the opportunity to test each of them to see which bubble concoction created the largest bubbles.  We are in the process of collecting all our data and creating graphs in order to interpret our results.  Fourth graders will be using Microsoft Excel to add their data to a spreadsheet then learn how to transform it into a bar graph.

We are continuing to work on developing our sense of community and working together.  Some days are more challenging than others, as several of us need to learn to manage our own behavior rather than keeping track of others and all that they may or may not be doing.

Progress is being made in learning our times tables, but I ask all families to please help your child learn these facts as it will be crucial and beneficial in moving them forward in math.

Below are a few pics of our most recent bubble adventures.



Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Week of October 11, 2016

Week of October 11:
Today students altered our original giant bubble recipe trying to answer the question, "What ingredient will make the bubbles larger?"  Some of the students felt more soap would do the trick, while others thought more cornstarch was needed.  As a class we split into two groups; one group changed one variable adding quadruple the amount of soap, and the second group added quadruple the amount of cornstarch.  Results are pending and we'll let you know our results next week. Predictions will be made on Thursday and we will attempt to measure our largest bubbles. Stay tuned...

We are continuing to memorize our multiplication facts and any work you can do with your child at home would be greatly appreciated.  We have a mastery chart here at school and are working on a group of facts each week or two using YouTube videos, bal-a-vis-x balls, and chanting memorization skills. Currently most students are working on mastery of 3's or 4's, but some are already working on their 6's.  These skills are essential tools allowing students to have fluency in their mathematical thinking as they think about number relationships and begin working with larger numbers.

I look forward to meeting with you all next week during parent/teacher conferences.  You should have received a notification in the mail.  If you need to change your day or time, please call Lisa Blair and she can reschedule for you.


Monday, October 3, 2016

Week of October 3, 2016

Although it is a four day week, we have lots of learning ahead of us. The fourth graders are enjoying our reading program called LLI (Leveled Literacy Intervention).  The program offers students excellent book choices that are informative and exciting to read.  Each week, students engage in learning opportunities that include; comprehension activities, word study, and integrated writing lessons.

In math, (number corner) we are working on skills that students are now recognizing as skills they are working on in math with Mrs. Stringer too. They recognize ratio tables and are just beginning to become fluent in their use.  Our new calendar will focus on learning about money and coin equivalence written as fractions and decimals. Bridges does a great job introducing these concepts in a way that makes sense to children. During conferences, you will be able to view the work your child is doing in the classroom.

In science, we will be talking about the engineering process and actively using this process as we begin making our own bubble solutions.  Science meetings, testing our products, and redesigning will all be a part of our week this week.  Math skills will be used extensively as we reduce the size of our solutions.  Last week students made bubble strings with straws to create large tubular bubbles.  We also discovered that dish detergent that was not the "ultra" concentrated type made better, stretchier, and longer lasting bubbles.

 Just a reminder that all Meadow Farms materials are due on Tuesday of this week.  Thank you all for your efforts in helping with our sale.