We started the week learning a little about the culture and geography of Appalachia. This region is the setting for our first novel, Shiloh, by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor. Students looked at photographs and discussed the mood they created. We also listened to a short video that highlighted the dialect of the area. For this novel, we will be practicing taking notes about our thoughts while reading and writing organized written responses. We will also form Literature Circles where groups will meet and discuss their ideas with their classmates.
As you probably know, there are some very persuasive kids in our class! They brainstormed fun things to do in Hingham and then wrote persuasive letters trying to convince a friend to visit. The letters ended with a "call to action" asking their friend to make a plan or book a flight!
We completed two assessments this week: spelling and reading. There was growth for most students in spelling and I will make adjustments and reorganize the words we are studying to reflect the new results. We also completed a mid-year reading assessment that will provide data for our reading strategies groups.
Division is the name of the game in math this week! I introduced the partial quotients algorithm and we practiced for a few days. We will continue to practice this method and then I will introduce the traditional algorithm at the end of next week. As we have done in the past, students will practice two methods and then select one to master. I know that most parents are not familiar with partial quotients, so I will add a link below about how it works. As your 4th grader to explain it to you and give it a try yourself!
I spent the early release Wednesday with other grade 3-5 teachers in town talking about engineering in the science curriculum. Happily, we already have many opportunities for our 4th graders to use their creativity and tinkering skills to build, reflect and rebuild. Our Foster 4th grade team was able to share our Invention Convention, the Physics Olympics and the PTO-sponsored visit from the Museum of Science as examples of how our students are engaging in engineering activities throughout the year. The generous class gift I received in December has also helped us add to our engineering opportunities! I purchased KEVA blocks and students have been building amazing structures together during our indoor recesses this week! Thank you!
4M is visiting the Asian Art exhibits at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston on Wednesday, January 14th. This trip is a great opportunity for us to see bronze, porcelain and pottery from China and also examine the importance of nature in their artwork. Thank you to the PTO for sponsoring this trip! A permission slip is going home today. I would like the children to dress appropriately for a museum visit and they must also bring a bagged lunch that day. We can bring 1-2 chaperones on this trip. If you are interested, send me an email or write me a note in the Comments section below. All chaperones must have passed a CORI check.
Ask a Fourth Grader!
* What is a "call to action" in persuasive writing?
* How do you troubleshoot an electrical circuit that won't light?
* What do you know about life in Appalachia?