In Math, students are wrapping up the unit on fractions and decimals. The end-of-unit assessment will be given next week. The unit that follows focuses on estimating the products of double digit multiplication and solving those equations as well as starting a model of long division. The model we use is affectionately nicknamed the "sevens" model because the bracket with which most of us are familiar is elongated on the right side of the dividend. We use the left side for more traditional-looking division but the right side for keeping track using multiplication. The children will continue to solve double digit multiplication problems for homework but won't be bringing home long division for a few more weeks.
In Science, we are two experiments away from finishing our mini-unit on the States of Matter. It's a nice bridge between our Physical Science theme of Electricity & Magnetism and our Earth Science themes of Weather & Water Cycle. Today's experiment was a lot of fun for many. Ask the kids about having to lick a sugar cube!
Our semi-final project in the Persuasive Writing Unit is to write a multi-paragraph essay that persuades one's audience to change their thinking about a particular topic. To get to this point, we've read a few picture books, written letters to parents (Thank you for letting me know that some of them actually worked!), and held a debate.
Here, you see a few of the small groups pictured as they review the research on their topic. They'll identify pros and cons, prioritize their ideas, and plan their essays together.
The final project in this unit will be the persuasive letter they'll write to you filled with reasons to visit their states. You'll have an opportunity to view these during our Celebrate America event on May 23rd.
A number of fourth and fifth grade classes will participate in 20 minute yoga classes each week for eight weeks thanks to a grant written by the Molin/Nock counselor, Maggie Flaherty. Our class will be stretching, breathing and relaxing every Thursday morning. Comfortable clothes are recommended, nothing constricting.
The groundbreaking ceremony for the renovation project is this Tuesday, April 9th. Prior to that, it'll be busy around the building this weekend as staff whose workspaces are in phase one will begin to have their furniture and materials moved by the custodial staff. Because we're still in session during phase one, those teachers affected will move to new spaces within the school. (This classroom is not affected directly this school year.)
This afternoon, the class and I walked around to see where their Art and Wellness Explore teachers would be going. For further reference for them, I'm posting the new locations here:
Art with Mr. Ober on Day 6 - move from upstairs to space within TechEd area
Art with Mr. O'Dell on Day 2 - he'll come to our room with "art on a cart"
Music with Ms. Sokolowski on Day 3 - from the Music Room to the auditorium
Wellness with Mr. Murphy on Day 1 - moved to Music Room marked "M2"
Students are bringing home their report cards for the second term this afternoon. I reviewed the categories with them this morning then gave them their individual copies to preview. Because it's a standards-based report card and not written in "kid-speak", it's challenging for them to connect the work they're doing with the line items.
As in the first term, please sign the form provided so I know a parent has seen his or her child's report and return that to school as soon as possible.
With the Long Composition on Monday then English Language Arts, part one, on Wednesday, the children were fatigued but happy to have those sections finished. We'll resume testing this Tuesday, April 2nd, with the second part of English Language Arts.
Ms. Rossi sent out a memo this morning that the two sections of the Math MCAS exam will be on the 14
With St. Patrick's Day approaching, it's time for Limericks! We spent some time discussing the rhyme pattern and rhythm of this style of poetry then deconstructing student samples from previous classes. The variety of ideas and use of humor were great fun to read.
In the Common Core of Standards, fourth grade students are expected to write informational, narrative and persuasive pieces, in addition to our grade level outcome of a published book of poetry by year's end.
This class drafted informational essays in the fall during our tide pool unit. They are currently drafting and revising their personal narratives with peer and teacher support through conferences. Every Tuesday, students review different forms of poetry then create a few samples for publication
Finally, students have started writing a persuasive essay around the theme of changing or not changing the food served in the cafeteria. We've reviewed what it means to persuade, vocabulary that could be used and brainstormed points for each position. Eager to put their words out in the real world, they've been asking about whether they could submit their essays to the district's food services director. We're still discussing that but it is a marvelous idea!
For the MCAS Long Composition on March 19th, students are well-versed in writing at length on a topic, whether it will be informational, narrative or persuasive in nature.
Here is a map showing from which states we've received postcards as of the morning of March 1st. This week, we received a tremendous number of post cards from California and Maine. If the contest were about sheer volume, we would be doing well! Thank you for reaching out to family, friends, distant relatives and acquaintences to help our class' goal of winning the Great Post Card Chase!
Yesterday, we received our first postcard from a student's grandparents who winter in Florida. According to the hallway display, we're the second class to receive a postcard (Mrs. Smolski's class has received two.) Please follow the guidelines carefully as there are strict rules: the postcard has to be mailed directly to our school from the state, proven by its postmark; not mailed in an envelope to your home then brought to school, for example. Usually, I'm not a very competitive person but it's easy to get caught up in the excitement!