What are we learning?
Our math program is work shop style, meaning that much of your child's math time will be spent working on his or her individual math goals. I am currrently in the process of completing our mid-year math screener. Students who have mastered their goals from the beginning of the year will be moving on to new goals laster this month. If you have questions, you can, of course contact me.
Although much of your child's math instruction is at his/her level, we are still responsible for providing instruction of the 4th grade Common Core Standards. These standards are taught to all 4th graders across the country. We utilize Math Investigations as a resource for these standards. Each day, there is a whole group mini lesson (often from Investigations Math). After each mini lesson, there is some kind of practice. This may be a work sheet, game, or another in class activity. After your child completes the practice for the whole group mini lesson and activity, he/she will move on to working on his/her individual math goals by choosing an activity from their math menu. They may also be meeting with me one on one or in a small group during this time.
Investigations Unit 5: In this unit, students will be working on adding and subtracting multi-digits. Students will learn a variety of strategies for addition and subtraction, and YES, they WILL be learning the standard algorithm, just the way we learned it! Now that they are 4th graders and have a solid understanding of place value, it's time to introduce them to this shortcut. We really emphasize to students that there are some strategies that work better for certain numbers and other strategies work better for other numbers. They should always choose the strategy that works best for THEM. They have many tools in their tool box, there is no "wrong" or "right" tool for a job. But, there are "best" tools for the job.
At home: Students should continue to work on practicing multiplication facts using the flash cards for "combinations they are working on. I highly encourage all students to spend a little time on Front Row math at home every evening. This is a great way for students to receive practice in their weakest areas. They may also use any of the math resources on the links section of this website, as well as the resources on Moodle.
Reading: We are currently reading for 30 minutes per day in class. We are have been working on summarizing text, asking and answering questions while, reading, and making connections.
At home: I suggest that students spend at least 20 minutes per day in joyful reading. They may read to themselves, to a family member, or, parents can read to your kids. Reading at home is important, but, do what you can to make it fun. Reading as a family will help your child grow as a reader if it's something they can look forward to every day.
We are working hard on writing narratives. Students are using story arcs to plan scenes, they worked hard to develop characters including inside and outside traits, struggles, and motivations. We are currently working on meeting 4th grade expectations by SHOWING instead of TELLING in our writing. We are practicing this throughout our pieces. Ask your child what his/her goal is for show, don't tell in writing.
Social Studies: We have been exploring geography. Students have studied questions geographers ask including absolute and relative location, physical and human characteristics of the United States.
Science: Mrs. Kinnisten will teach science to my class this year. Please visit her web site for more information