Weekly Update

The students have been hard at work all this week. We are finishing up a number of units as we head toward the last week of the marking period. Look for report cards to come home on December 6th.

In writing this week we put the finishing touches on our published realistic fiction piece. The students also wrote an “On Demand” fiction piece to show me all that they learned. Next week we will have an “essay boot camp.” Students will be learning how to write a personal essay, we will begin by talking about thesis statements and examples that support our thesis.  We also had a little fun writing a “Please Don’t Eat Me” piece from the point of view of a turkey.  Students have brought home a turkey to disguise and return to school on Monday Nov. 18th.

In Math this week we continued to work on multiplying 2 digit by 2 digit numbers, 3 digit by 1 digit numbers and 4 digit by 1 digit numbers. Your child learned a number of methods to solve these problems: Area or rectangle model, Place Value Sections Method, Expanded Notation Method, the Algebraic Notation Method, Partial Products shortcut and the Shortcut. These methods help children understand the reason why the shortcut method works. Common Core Standards demand deeper knowledge from students. It is important that your child can draw a rectangle or area model for any problem, but they may use any method to solve the problem. Math videos have been posted to the blog to help with these methods. Our math test is next week. Please help your child practice solving multi-digit multiplication problems as a review for the test. Practicing basic multiplication facts will also benefit your child if they continue to struggle with multiplying.

In Reading we are currently reading The Tiger Rising.  We have been looking at the actions of the main characters to help us grow theories about the characters.  Students have learned that sometimes a character acts in a way that is out of character.  We have to discuss that you have to stop and analyze why the character is acting that way, and we may have to revise our theories.  Ask your child to share their theories about Rob and Sistine.  What are they like? What character traits do they have?

In Social Studies we have begun our Mr. Help project as a culminating activity to showcase all that we have learned about the five themes of geography.  Students were given the choice of using their iPad to create the project or to do a written project.   Students have selected a region in the United States that they are researching using the five themes of geography. ask your child to show you what they have been working on. We should have these completed early next week.

As always, students blog on Fridays. This is their way of reporting to the world and you what they have been doing in school all week.  Please check out their blogs at  Student Blogs

Have a great weekend and enjoy this last shot of warmish weather!

Week of November 4

This week in Room 16 we have been working hard!

Math ~ Students have learned how to use the shortcut method to multiply 2 digit by 2 digit numbers!  We have just learned this method (this is the method Mom and Dad use!) Please help your child to practice this method.  One way to get additional practice is to use Splash Math on the iPad. Have your child go to Multiplication 2 and choose one of the 2 digit by 2 digit chapters to work on.  Another way to help your child is to make sure that they know their basic multiplication facts!  I am seeing some frustration in students who have not mastered the basic multiplication facts from 3rd grade. This is a necessity!

Reading Workshop ~ We have been working on predicting not only what will happen next in our book, but how it will happen.  In order to do this we have to really know and empathize with the main character.  We are using The Tiger Rising by Kate Di Camillo to practice this technique.  We have discussed the importance of paying attention to the details as we read, and not reading on “auto-pilot”.

Many students are enjoying reading on the iPad on Storia.  Have them show you some of the enhanced features that are available.

Writing Workshop ~ The students have worked hard to complete their Realistic fiction pieces.  If your child did not finish their final copy, it will come home as homework for the weekend.  Please make sure that they return it on Monday.

Social Studies ~  The students have learned about the push and pull factors that cause people to migrate from one country to another.  We have talked about how humans have adapted to their environment (building sod houses on the prairies due to a lack of trees). We have also looked at ways humans modify the environment to suit their needs (cutting down forests to create farmland).

A fun activity that we completed this week was reading a Wonder from the Wonderopolis app (so cool, you should have your child show you this) and then creating a short video to tell about what we read.  The students then posted their videos to Edmodo (our class learning management system) and viewed and commented on their peers videos.  ask your child to share with you the work they have done on Edmodo.

Have a great weekend!


Wow! I cannot believe that it is already November! This school year feels like it has been flying by!  It must be the amazing group of students that I have this year!

We had a hauntingly good time celebrating Halloween yesterday. A huge thank you to ALL of the parents that volunteered to help with our party and/or donated items.  The students really enjoyed themselves!

We have been plugging away at our curriculum.

Math ~ Students have learned different methods for multiplying 1 digit by multi-digit numbers.  These methods help the students to learn WHY the shortcut method works.  We then learned how to use the shortcut method to multiply larger numbers.  we will continue to work on this.  I have noticed that many of the students do not have a solid grasp of their multiplication and division facts.  These need to be memorized! Please have your child practice these at home so that they have instant recall. There are many apps on the ipad, flashcards and oral drilling work great too!

Writing ~ We have been working on revising and editing our realistic fiction stories. The emphasis has been on paragraphing and punctuating dialogue.  We will be writing our final copies next week and then share them with our classmates.

Reading ~ We are reading The Tiger Rising by Kate DiCamillo as a class. We are using this story to really dive into a study of character.  We have talked about putting ourselves in the characters shoes and read as if we are the main character.  We have acted out scenes and have talked about being empathetic to our characters feelings.  We have also talked about asking questions as we read to help us better understand what we are reading.  We are working on asking “Thick” questions (inferential) over “Thin questions” (literal).  Thick questions push us to think deeply.

Social Studies ~ We are currently learning about migration/immigration and have discussed migrations in U.S. history (Underground Railroad, Orphan Train, Relocation of Native Americans).  We have discussed push and pull factors that cause a person to leave their home.

Take a moment and check out our Halloween Party photos!

Halloween class 4 Halloween 1 Halloween 2 Halloween 3 Halloween 4 Halloween 5 Halloween class 1 Halloween class 2 Halloween class 3

and a few of Finn and Clayton 🙂




Finn MaxfINNION Fam HalloweenmE AND fINN