January 20, 2017

Wow! It has been a very short week, but we still managed to get quite a bit done!

This week in reading students focused on making sure that they were selecting Just Right Books to read and that they were writing responses to their reading. Next week they will be reading more nonfiction about the American Revolution with a focus on taking notes.

In writinng this week we have continued to learn more about the causes of the American Revolution so that students will be ready to select a subtopic that they know about and are interested in writing about. (Paul Revere, the Boston Tea Party etc). Students will be creating an All About Book about an American Revolution suptopic they choose.

In Math we finished up our Topic 6 final test ( look for these to come home Monday) and have started Topic 7: Factors and Multiples. In order to be successful with finding factors and multiples students need to have automatic recall of their multiplication and division basic facts. Please help your child by doing flashcards and having them practice their facts on their ipad (Timed Test). Practicing facts for 5 minutes each day is a great habit to develop.

In Science we have been exploring the states of matter (solid, liquid, gas) and looking at the different properties of each state. Students have been comparing the properties of each state using Venn diagrams and writing paragraphs that compare and contrast the differences.

Important Dates

Thursday, January 26 – World’s Finest Chocolate sale begins ( a note with this information went home today)

Friday, January 27 – Chicago chaperon request due

Monday and Tuesday, February 6 and 7 – no school – Mid-Winter Break

Friday, February 10 – Chaperon lottery and the notes will come home


Full Moon and Friday the 13th!

What a pleasant surprise to have the day off!

This week we have been learning a lot about the American Revolution. In Reading Workshop we are learning how to read for research and how to read history. We began by reading some articles to help us find suptopics for the causes of the American Revolution. We then re-read the articles looking for the text structure it was written in (problem/solution, chronological, compare/contrast or cause and effect). Knowing the text structure helps the reader find the main idea and supporting details. Students also took notes on their articles according to the text structure. We also listened to historic speeches by Patrick Henry and Samuel Adams and identified the text structure used in the speeches.

In Writing Workshop we are working to ‘front load’ some background knowledge about the American Revolution in order to start our research writing unit. To do this we have been watching The Liberty Kids video series which has great videos on the American Revolution that are geared toward 3rd-5th graders. We will begin our writing unit next week. As always, students blogged about their week on Friday. Make sure you read you child’s blog. We have connected with a class in England and they commented on the students blogs this week.

We have finished Topic 6 in our Math book. This Topic was all about solving problems and having perserverance when tackling lengthy or difficult problems. Students took the ionline test on Wednesday (it was challenging) and will be taking the final test on Monday. They are bringing home a study sheet tonight. Our next topic is Factors and Multiples. Have your child keep practicing their multiplication and division facts to be prepared for this topic.

In Science we have been studying the properties of matter. We first learned how to describe items using physical properties (color, size, shape, texture, hardness etc.). We began with solids. Students then learned how to find mass (the amount of matter in an object) using a balance scale, how to find weight (the force of gravity on an object) using a spring scale and measuring in Newtons and how to find volume (the amount of space an object takes up) using a graduated cylinder. Then we explored liquids and students wrote paragraphs comparing liquids and solids.

Have a great weekend!

Important Dates:

Thursday and Friday, January 19 and 20 – 1/2 days

Friday, January 27 – Chicago chaperone request due (note came home on Monday, January 9)

Monday and Tuesday, February 6 and 7 – no school – Mid-Winter Break

January 6

It sure has been a cold first week back. Two and a half days of indoor recess due to cold temperatures (windchills below zero). Finally, today at lunch students were able to go out again! A balmy 6 degrees above zero! Please remember to send your child prepared to be out in the cold during recess for 15-30 minutes. I have seen many students without the appropriate winter gear.

We have jumped right back in to our curriculum this week. In Reading Workshop we learned about craft techniques that authors use in their writing. Students worked on identifying these techniques and being able to explain why the author used that technique and how it helps us as a reader. We also took a reading pre-assessment before starting our next unit on The American Revolution.

In writing workshop we put the finishing touches on our opinion essays and wrote our final copies. Students also did an on demand piece (writing assessment) to showcase what they learned about writing essays. They were given the question, “Should 4th graders be allowed to use the internet?” They needed to generate a thesis (their opinion), three reasons that support their thesis and evidence or stories that supported their reasons. Students then wrote it out in essay form with an introduction and conclusion (I hope).

We began Topic 6 in math and have been working on perseverance in problem solving. Students have worked on comparison problems (more than, times as many as) and on solving multi-step word problems by first finding and answering the hidden question and then using that information to solve the problem.

In Science we have started our last Science unit for the year. States of Matter. First, students learned that matter is anything that has mass and takes up space. Then, students used the properties of matter to describe objects (color, shape, size, texture, hardness). Students then began to investigate how to find the mass (how much matter something has) and weight (the force of gravity on an object) of solids. We created balance scales to find the mass of a variety of objects (in grams) and then used a spring scale to find the weight of different objects (in Newtons).

A huge thank you again to all of the parents that donated items for our Christmas Party and our raffle! Your generosity is much appreciated!

Important Dates:

Thursday, January 19th – Half Day students am.

Friday, January 20th – Half Day Students am

Monday, February 6th – No School – Mid-Winter Break

Tuesday, February 7th -No School – Mid-Winter Break