I’m finding it hard to believe that we just finished the first week of February. Time is flying and the 4M Smarties have been busy! Students have been reading and preparing for their Andrew Clements Literature Circle meetings. These meeting continue to be a wonderful place for everyone to voice their opinions about the story. Their emotional reactions are what makes reading such an enjoyable pastime. They are digging in and showing that they care about the characters and what happens to them. I have been very impressed with their insights and enthusiasm. We will finish these novels next week.
We are also finishing up writing fantasy narratives about finding a magical sled. Students have worked on pre-writing by using a graphic organizer to plan their ideas, writing entertaining beginnings and descriptions that “show, don’t tell.” The stories have been fun to write and hopefully the current snowfall will inspire them!
Fractions have been the main focus in math for Unit 5. Students have learned to add and subtract fractions with like denominators as well as break down fractions into smaller fractional parts. They have also learned the “partial products” algorithm for multiplying larger numbers. Some students need to review multiplication facts to ensure accuracy in their work. We will have a Unit 5 math test next Friday, February 13th. A study guide will go home on Wednesday of next week.
Last week, students decorated shoe boxes and wired them with their knowledge of electrical circuits. This was a creative and challenging way for them to show what they had learned. Third grade classes came to visit and were very impressed with what our class had created. Next Wednesday there will be a science test on electrical circuits. Students have a study guide in their homework folder to review and prepare.
Kerry Donaghey has joined the 4M Smarties for her teaching practicum through UMass/ Boston. She will be working in our classroom until the beginning of May. We are so happy to have her with us as she completes this important step in her certification to become a classroom teacher.
Northeast states and capitals tests will be sent home on Monday. Every few weeks, students will be asked to memorize the capitals, states and postal abbreviations for a new region. They should save their flash cards for a cumulative test at the end of the year about all 50 states.
I already made many purchases with the Barnes and Noble gift card I received over the holidays. I bought five different logic games to use in math, new copies of some Andrew Clements books and copies of books by author Gregory Mone, who will be visiting the 4th grade on March 15th. Thank you again for your generosity.
Next Thursday, the 4th grade will celebrate Chinese New Year with a day of activities centered around the Chinese culture. This is always a special day for the students and a great way to wrap up our study of China.
Students are welcome to bring in Valentines on Friday and I will give them time to hand them out. No food or candy with the Valentines, please. I will send home a class list on Monday.
Ask a Fourth Grader!
* What's happening in your book by Andrew Clements?
* What's the difference between a series circuit and a parallel circuit?
* Can you demonstrate the "Countdown to Calm?" When could you use it?
* What is a reflex angle?