Friday, September 29, 2017

So long, September!

And there we go.... September has come and gone and we welcome October in on Sunday.
It sure seems that once school starts life goes pretty fast!

All children's MAP scores have been entered into Khan Academy and all of them know how to access their MAP Recommended Practice via the search box on Khan.  This has been such a great new and easier way for me to assign work specifically at the level they are at in all the math domains.  Further differentiation will be done in the classroom through small groups and through using the math binder.  Please try to spend some time each week on Khan Academy as homework.  My goal is for students to get in 60 minutes a week through home and school.  This should be very easy to do as we have a few minutes almost daily that we spend on it at school.  Our math class consists of a mini lesson, book pages, math binder work and Khan Academy.  Daily I meet with some students to confer one on one or with a small group for an extra mini lesson topic.  Every other lesson, I will be adding some supplemental work for all especially in geometry which is lacking in our book and probably our other focus will be fractions (Numbers and Operations).  

You should have access by now to your child's MAP data through Skyward.  I will also provide this for you at conferences. 

We spent some time talking about scientists.  We talked about what scientists do and we talked about different areas of science.  We had a great article about Grizzlies in our Scholastic News which we started on Thursday.  (I usually do a Scholastic News or Science Spin on Fridays or last day of the week.  These are filled with high interest current events.)

Next week we'll talk about why we study history as we prepare for our field trip on Friday. Students need to dress for the weather and bring a bag lunch and beverage unless they order one from school four days in advance.

Thursday there will be a fire safety presentation at our school.  

Please make sure you go online and sign up for a parent teacher conference (October 10, 12, and 13 with your homeroom teacher.  The other teacher will be providing something in writing for you to let you know how your child is doing.  Should you then want to schedule a conference with them, you can do so by contacting them.  Those conferences would, most likely, have to be scheduled for the next week.  (No school on Friday, October 13.)

Looking ahead:  Halloween Party on Early Release Day, October 26.  I could use another room parent for my homeroom!  No school on Friday, October 27.  

Sunday, September 24, 2017

The first days of ... autumn??

Here is a video students watched as part of learning about our brain and talking about having a growth mindset as we kicked off our fourth grade year! (See previous post.)

Reminder to check my Google + Profile as there are a few photos from when we visited our buddies in my homeroom.  Photos appear there now and then from various activities.  I also am able to post a few photos right as things are developing during our days through Class Dojo so please join there and if you haven't yet, please enter your email here at this blog so you'll be emailed when new posts appear.

You should have received a note about our first field trip coming up on Friday, October 6 at the Wade House Historical Site.  Look online for photos about this great historical spot.  Please pay for this activity online through Skyward.  A school lunch order form was also included.  The kitchen will provide a sack lunch for your child which will be put in a cooler for us to take with if you order.  You must order at least four days in advance of the trip.  

The hot days have been unbearable in our rooms as they get even hotter than the outside temps.  We take breaks in cool spots now and then and we're careful to stay hydrated.  It is very difficult for us to focus on learning with the stuffy, hot rooms!

As noted in our Wolfpack news that you receive, it is time to sign up for conferences. Please do so by going online.  

We look forward to our first assembly this upcoming week.  
No school on Friday, September 29.  Teacher Professional Development day.

Brain Jump with Ned the Neuron: Challenges Grow Your Brain

Friday, September 15, 2017

Our studies this week....

We continued to look into information about hurricanes in an effort to understand extreme weather and have empathy for the struggles people are facing as they were displaced and then return to clean up what is left.

In social studies, we have been working on mapping skills.  
We have reviewed different types of maps as well as parts of maps such as title, key, legend, scale, compass rose and intermediate directions.
We are also reviewing landforms.  We'll soon direct our studies to Wisconsin and the unique landforms we have due to glacier formation.  

We've checked to see if we know the continents and oceans so we know where in the world is this hurricane happening... and where in the world is Wisconsin!  

In math, we have been reviewing our multiplication facts involving x 4 and x 8 (double double, and double, double, double).  Don't understand that? Ask your child how to use this method to multiplying 4 x 28 or 8 x 32.
We then extended that knowledge to do something like 16 x 15.
We will also discuss multiplying by tens.  If we know what 1 x 7 is, we should easily be able to do 10 x 7.  We continue to work with place value as well to understand that each digit increases by a power of ten as we move along a multiple digit number.

MAP testing is almost done.  I am able to like closely to Khan Academy using the MAP scores to pinpoint exact areas that students need work on.  Please help your child reach the goal of 20 minutes on Khan at least 3 times a week.  In addition, there will be time here at school to work on it as well.  I get a weekly printout of the minutes spent and a Dojo ticket will be given to those that meet this weekly goal. 

We will meet our buddies on Friday, September 15 (today).  We are excited about that and we will do an interview activity to get to know each other better. 

We're planning our first field trip for Friday, October 6 to the Wade House.  I'm in the process of booking the bus and getting that quote so I can then get a parent note out.  Payment can be made online through Skyward.

Some people mentioned trouble with making an online Scholastic Book Order using the code I gave.  That was the right code but I did "refresh" my activity so I'm hoping that will work now. 

We've had some lovely days outside, but warm weather in our classrooms but we've been doing a great job in spite of it!  What a great group of kiddos!  I'm enjoying getting to know them all!

Friday, September 8, 2017

Moving Along in Math

   Our first module in math is reading and writing six digit numbers.  We are learning to "represent" them in a variety of ways - on an abacus, using digits, writing the words and writing it out in expanded form.  
   Our math binders have been put together and provide us all with work at our level, extra practice where we need it and challenges to make us really think!  We have a section of brain teasers and a section of resources.  We'll continue to expand this as we move on.
   We are all signed up in Khan Academy and I am asking all students to work 20 minutes 3 times a week on Khan Academy at home as math homework.  I am able to assign specific tasks to students helping them where they need practice at whatever level they are at.  Khan Academy has work in connection with Stafford University and supports our MAP testing (Measures of Academic Progress).  Paper homework will come home now and then and may be different for different students depending on each student's need.  Every other lesson in our math book has two extra supporting pages of various math problems and topics.  We were all expecting these pages to be perforated so we could easily send them home but this is not the case!  When books come home you may also see some work that I have crossed out for students.  This is yet another way I am differentiating and individualizing instruction.  
   Our MAP testing will be completed within the next week, enabling me to review data and work to individualize instruction.  I'll provide you with this information as well.  
    We will work together to write in our Assignment Notebooks daily.  However, I will not be walking around the room and checking each student's book daily.  Please do ask to see the book daily and sign or initial.  If you want to send a note, students know to bring the book up to me to see.  If there is a consistent problem of a student not writing in the book, I will ask them to show it to me daily and I can initial to show that I saw it.  We are working to encourage our fourth graders to be responsible for themselves! Together, as a team, we can coax this along as the year progresses. 

Welcome to an exciting year of learning!

We are off to a fantastic start for our last year of learning at GES!  This blog will give me an opportunity to connect with you regarding the learning going on in our classroom. 
This is a fantastic group of students and I am excited to get to spend this memorable year with them.  I have been in the GES building for about 16 years, so it is a bittersweet time thinking about leaving the building, however, we are headed to new and exciting places!

Creatures have inhabited our room!

Learning About Metamorphoses We have mealworms to watch.  They are the larva of the darkling beetle. We also have two cups o...