Friday, October 2, 2015

Week of October 5th

Picture day is Tuesday, October 6th
If you haven't signed up for a conference time, please email me so I can pencil you in. 

Here's our plan for the week....

Math:  We're wrapping up our Place Value unit and will be testing Monday, October 5th.  Our next unit focuses on Multiplication and Division models.  Some of this will be a review from last year and we'll continue building on that foundation.  We'll also be spending some time in class practicing these facts but due to time constraints, kids need to practice these at home.  If you don't have flash cards at home, you can either buy them for pretty cheap or make them with index cards.  I'm more than willing to help make flash cards for kids if they study them at home.  Let me know...I have lots of little helpers that can help with this task.  I will also be introducing some multiplication strategies this month. This will help learning them a little easier. 

Language Arts:  In reading, we have been working on Story Elements.  We started by watching a couple Disney movie trailers and talking about those important elements.  The kiddos are great at finding these elements in a story, but now we're thinking more deeply about them.  When we're reading stories, we're trying to infer many of these story elements.  This week, we read a great book called The Other Side. There were so many places in the book where we were able to infer how the characters are feeling and what they were thinking.  Next week, I have a few fun activities to do with the class as we work through our reading strategies. 

We're making good progress on those reading logs!!  Thanks for being so diligent about this!  We have a classroom of readers and feels really awesome!  Today, we made small goals on our last week's reading logs and will be charting our progress in our data notebooks.  Our classroom goal is 150 minutes per week. In addition to this, I have started working on our Fountas and Pinnell testing.  I typically get through one student each day so this will take a few more weeks at least!  I'll be able to share this data with you at conferences later this month. 

In Writing, we're continuing to work through our personal narrative unit.  Before each unit, we do a pre-assessment and ten once we're finished with the unit, we do a post-assessment.  All the students should see a lot of growth from their before piece to their after piece.  Next week, we'll start digging a little deeper as we work on organization.  We'll be thinking of the end in mind as we learn a beginning, middle, and end strategy.  In addition to this, we'll be continuing to work on "hooking" our reader with strong introductions.  We'll have time to practice these strategies and should be able to finish at least one writing piece next week.  Details, revising, and editing will also be implemented along the way.

Social Studies:  We're continuing our study of the U.S. Government.  This week, we'll be delving deeper into the constitution and the three branches of government. 

Science:  We're continuing to make our way through the Electricity and Magnetism unit.  Our focus right now is Magnetism and we're learning about these concepts through hands on lessons. 

Friday, September 18, 2015

Week of September 21

Hello and thank you for visiting our classroom blog!  This will be a great resource so you can hear about the things we're learning in Room 12!  I typically update the blog every 2 weeks but I will always send out an email (on Friday) to let you know it's been updated with new curriculum.  Next week, I will be unveiling the blog to the students and they will be completing a web quest to help them learn how to navigate the blog.  I want this to be a useful tool for them too just in case they've forgotten to circle their homework in school. 

Next week at curriculum night, I will be going over many classroom procedures but since it's a little later this year, I want you to be aware of a few of them.  First, thank you for initialing your child's agenda each day.  In the morning, I go around and check to make sure the previous night's homework is finished.  If they have completed their homework from the previous night, I will stamp the agenda and that is an indication to you that your child is all caught up on their work.  If you notice that I've highlighted an assignment, this is to let you know that your child didn't have their homework that day.  I'll be going over more about this next week at curriculum night but I wanted you to be aware of this important morning procedure.  Also, I will be assigning homework everyday except Friday.  The weekends might be a chance for your child to do some extra reading or study their multiplication facts.

Here's what we'll be doing over the next 2 weeks...

Language Arts:  Next week, I will be handing out reading logs for the kids. I will hand out reading logs on Monday and I will collect them the following Monday.  We will also be tracking minutes in our data notebooks.  I will be stressing the importance of reading at home as well as in school and I will look for these logs every Monday. 

Over the next 2 weeks, I'll be incorporating several lessons and discussing things such as choosing "just right" books, setting reading goals, keeping our eyes and mind in the book, and we'll also set up a reading stamina chart.  Over the next few weeks, I will also be introducing a fun fluency activity for the kids called Fluency 1,000.  It's a great way to work on word accuracy while reading.  It only takes 5 minutes out of our Language Arts block too!  We get a lot of bang for our buck with this!  I will be doing more fluency lessons as weeks go on and incorporating that into my Reader's Workshop lessons every week.  Next week, I will also be starting F and P assessments with the class and discussing reading levels.  We are also starting our discussion of two important reading strategies...making connections and inferring.  We've talked about how making meaningful connections helps us understand how characters feel and ultimately understand the story better.  We'll be working more with inferences later next week as well. 

Math:  In Math, we've kicked off our Place Value unit and we're rolling right along.  In fourth grade, we get up through the millions in place value so those numbers have definitely grown since last year.  We're handling it though. :)  We've reviewed writing numbers in word form and expanded form.  Next week, we'll be building on what we've learned and will also be getting into rounding.  After that, we'll get back to multiplication comparisons. 

Social Studies:  Next week, we'll begin our study of the U.S. Government.  We'll be completing a fun lap book as we learn about the many government concepts.  There are many tricky vocabulary words in this unit so I'll be adding some fun activities to help the kids better understand all the lingo.    

Science:  We'll be starting Science next week as well.  We will be switching for Science and Social Studies and Mrs. Dew will be teaching science to the kids. Our first unit is Magnetism and Electricity which is always a favorite!  Our first investigation deals with exploring the properties of magnets and the students will be measuring the force of attraction between magnets.