Friday, March 17, 2017

Hello Families,

Top of the Morning to ya! South School was a sea of green today as we began St. Patrick’s Day at our Irish Step Performance.  Thank you so much to the PTO for arranging this fantastic assembly.  It was nice to bring some Irish history into the day.  It’s hard to believe there was a snow day Tuesday because we have completed so much in 4W.  In math, students were assessed on unit 6, and completed a cumulative which helps us to maintain skills that had been taught since September.  On Monday, we will begin unit 7 which focuses on multiplication of a fraction by a whole number, and measurement.  Students will use their knowledge of fractions to solve problems in real-world scenarios!  

Yesterday, our class discussed our upcoming MCAS practice test on Monday, March 20th.  This assessment will be done on the chromebooks, and students will get a glimpse into the actual ELA MCAS testing.   This will consist of responding to reading in written form, composing a narrative, and answering text based comprehension questions.  We have been working on these skills all year, I know they will do wonderful.  On Monday, our lunch will be moved to a later time, so we are strongly encouraging students to eat a big breakfast and treat this day like a dress rehearsal.  Thank you for helping us prepare our fourth graders.  In writing this week, students were given a prompt and composed a narrative using google documents.  This allows students to type online, and email their work to me!  Using this feature, I can comment and type in notes on their work.  What a great tool! I was very impressed with the creativity in their writing and we will continue to work on these. 

Our ELA anthology this week was titled Harvesting Hope, and students read a biography about Ceasar Chavez and his fight for the rights of migrant farm workers in California.  We paired this story with another biography this week about Louis Braille, and students analyzed the two readings, pulling facts from the non-fiction texts!  In other news, the instrument project began in class this week and we are having a blast! You can see an example of a beautiful banjo that is in the works of being made and we cannot wait to see the final products.  In Social Studies, students will be quizzed on their Midwest Region Map on Tuesday, March 21stand we will continue to learn about the geography, culture, and economy of this region.  Thank you so much for reading about our 4W happenings, and I wish you a fantastic weekend! Below are some questions for conversation.

Ms. Wentworth :)

Questions for conversation
1. What struggles did Ceasar Chavez experience?
2. How were Ceasar and Louis Braille similar?
3. What was your narrative about? What hook was included?
4. What are your thoughts about the MCAS practice? How do you feel on the computer?

Friday, March 10, 2017

Our RACE sentence starters
Hello Families,

I hope you’re all doing well!  This week in 4W has been FANTASTIC.  We were all extremely motivated by our theme in literature this week which was Greek Mythology, and we engaged in multiple stories about various myths.  Our anthology story this week was titled Hercules’ Quest, and students analyzed the text to understand character traits.  With these character traits, students pulled evidence from the text to support their answers, and composed a well written RACE to further explain specific traits that made our character Hercules memorable.  I was so proud of the class, they have really come a long way in working independently with this skill.   Students also read a Greek Mythology fable, which we used to compare the different genres and author’s purpose. 

Working with supplementary angles
In math this week, we wrapped up unit 6 in math.  This unit focused on 4 main concept areas.  Students continued to work with strategies for division and partial quotients, expressed and interpreted remainders, measured angles and gained confidence with protractors, and solved number stories with fractions.  WOW!  In class, we approached angles in a variety of fun and engaging ways.  We worked with angles in a carousel (ask your child to explain this), we played angle tangle, and collaborated with partners to draw and estimate angles.  We will have a math review on Monday, and students will be assessed on material on Tuesday.  

Using the chromebooks for angle practice!
In Science, students were introduced to an end of the unit project in sound.  Students will create an instrument in class and be able to demonstrate their understanding of pitch of volume.  We are reminding our class to bring materials in from home by Tuesday, 3/14, so they can start designing their instruments! These will be worked on and presented in the following weeks.  In other content areas, we are continuing with the Midwest Region in Social Studies and have completed our map in class.  Next week, we will fill out a practice map for homework and be quizzed on this Friday 3/17.  Please keep your eye out for another completed map coming home on Monday.  

Looking ahead in the month, our 4th grade class will have their practice MCAS on 3/20 in school on the computers.  We have been implementing practice tests in class throughout our TRI times, so students will have a chance for a “mock MCAS.” Our ELA dates for this test will be April 25th, 26th, and the 27thWishing you all a fantastic weekend and thank you for reading!

Ms. Wentworth :)

Questions for Conversation
1. What is the difference between a complementary and supplementary angle?
2. How do I multiply a fraction?
3. What are some character traits displayed by Hercules? Cite Evidence.

4. What was the difference in the genre between your two stories?

Learning to annotate our RACE
Angle Carousel 

Friday, March 3, 2017

Hello Families,

Protractors made to measure angles!
I hope you all had a wonderful February break.  Now as we’re in the month of March, it is full steam ahead until the end of the year!  This week “Read Across America week” was recognized at South School with themed days and a beehive reading one of the many fantastic Dr. Seuss books.  It’s always a wonderful way to have children collaborate across grade levels to discuss literature and engage in a good book! Prior to our vacation week, our students of 4W earned their 15th marble and brought in games for a game day.  We have been working hard to refill our jar and just today, we earned three!  As you can see, we ended our week on a great note.
Creating Adverb mad libs with our teams!
In math this week, we continued to work on our division strategy, partial quotients.  Students also learned how to interpret remainders in number stories.  If you are looking for additional support with how to work with your child on this skill at home, I have linked a youtube tutorial on how to compute using this method. Today, students made their own protractors and learned the beginning stages of how to measure angles.  We used prior knowledge of classifying angles to help identify measurements.  We will continue with this into next week! 

In ELA, students worked in their anthologies with the Narrative Nonfiction story titled The Right Dog for the Job. We compared this text with a Nonfiction we had previously read and looked for differences in the theme, and the facts/details. We also focused on adverbs and integrated these into our writing.  Next week, we will begin our new writing piece which will be persuasive.  We have many talented writers in this class, it will be nice to incorporate this genre into our daily
Collaborating with our groups in ELA
In Social Studies, students began a new region to study, the Midwest!  We began our unit with a brief overview of the states, capitals, and abbreviations.  Students also took notes as they watched an introductory video and learned about the culture, economy, and landforms found here.  Next week, we will dive deeper into learning more about this region of our country.   Thank you for reading and staying involved with our classroom happenings, more to come! Below are questions for conversation, have a wonderful weekend.

Ms. Wentworth :-)

Questions for Conversation
1.       What are the steps when using a protractor?
2.      What is a protractor used for?
3.      Name the states found in the Midwest region.

4.      In the sentence, identify the adverb: The child quickly rode his bike to school.

Celebrating our 15th marble with Game Day!

Monday, February 13, 2017

Snow Day Ideas

Hello Families,

I hope you've all been enjoying these past few snow days, I'm sure all the kids are! We are excited to get back, hopefully this will be our last day off! (If the weather cooperates).  I just wanted to give everyone a friendly reminder that we will still celebrate our Valentine's Day classroom party tomorrow.  We are promoting healthy choices for treats this year, however if a child brings in a candy, it will just stay unopened until brought home!  A class list went home last week, please let me know if you need another one, I'm happy to resend through email.  Thank you to our room parents for organizing our craft and snack for tomorrow.  If you and your child are looking for some educational snow day activities, I have linked some math and reading websites with great practice!  Looking forward to seeing our students back this week.  Enjoy the day!
Ms. Wentworth :)

Math Sites: (Our online math program with games)

Reading Sites (grade level reading passages with comprehension)

Valentine's Day Ideas for Kids! 

Friday, February 3, 2017

February 3, 2017

Hello Families,

The month of February seemed to creep upon us, crazy how our year flies!  It was such a pleasure speaking with some of you this week during conferences, thank you for coming.  This past Thursday, students began their day with a presentation called Reading Rocks, by Joe Holiday. We were all so impressed by his performance as he inspired students to read by using magic tricks.  4W has many avid readers in our classroom, and the expression on our students’ faces as they watched this show was priceless.  Thank you so much to our PTO for putting this on for South School, we love it. 

Social Studies Exploration!
 In math this week, we wrapped up our unit 5 with an online review in class.  Our test will be on Monday and students will be assessed on fractions, plotting data, identifying angles/rotations, and symmetry!  We also had a CML this week, which encourages students to tackle word problems and higher level thinking questions.  I saw some fantastic effort from the whole class this month as they tried their best on this CML.  In reading, students focused on a non-fiction text about the life and jobs of an ant.  We also used a paired reading text, a fable, that allowed students to compare the readings and identify the differences in features as well as the author’s purpose for writing.  

 In Social Studies, students worked with a classmate and were assigned a specific part of the Southeast region to study.  We learned that the Southeast is divided up by geographic features.  States are categorized as Coastal states, Gulf states, or Inland states.  We used a Jigsaw approach to learning and students shared their knowledge about their assigned reading with the class.  Today, we learned vocabulary through the use of creating a flipbook!  In Science, Ms. Natale is teaching our class about sound.  We recently did a hands-on activity with mystery boxes where we relied on our sense of sound to identify objects in a box.  Students focused on the weight of the object as well as the vibration and pitch of the sound being made.  In other classroom news, we seem to have pencils that disappear quite frequently!  I am putting our students to the test by having a “Great Pencil Challenge” that will require them to hold onto their assigned pencil for week intervals.  This will teach them management and responsibility with their items.  We started yesterday, let’s see how we do!  Thank you so much for reading and staying updated on our daily happenings in 4W!  Below are some questions for conversation.  Enjoy the weekend!

Ms. Wentworth :)

Questions for conversation

1.  Describe Reading Rocks to me.  What was your favorite part?
2. What makes an object symmetrical?
3. Name the text features you would find in the non-fiction that was read as well as the fable.
4. What specific area within the SE region did you research? 

Morning Meeting Shares!

Friday, January 27, 2017

Dragon Dance
Hello Families and Happy Friday,

This morning at South, we began our day with a Buzz Assembly.  Our third grade friends did a fantastic performance and some fourth grade representatives participated in a “Dragon Dance” to celebrate the start of Chinese New year.  We also recognized students for their outstanding participation in math Olympics so far this year.  Great job Luca and David on completing all sessions.  This program is optional, and available for download on our school website.  Way to go!

In math this week, we moved on from fractions to line plots and rotations.  Students collected their own data this week to plot and analyze.  We also learned angle rotations and practiced vocabulary words such as clockwise and counterclockwise turns.  We incorporated some kinesthetic movements into these lessons by playing “Simon Says” and moving our bodies to represent angles and their rotations.  We had a mid-unit quiz to assess our understanding of adding, subtracting, organizing, and ordering fractions.  I was very impressed by how well this class did as a whole.

ELA Carousel
In ELA, students read a non-fiction narrative titled Antarctic Journal.  With this text, students learned how writing can be organized sequentially by date.  Students “tracked their thinking” with in-depth responses such as predictions, inferences, opinions, new learnings, and connections.  In addition to this narrative, we read a paired text that was strictly non-fiction and taught students more about Antarctica and the animals that are found there.  We are continuing to practice writing in a RACE form, where students restate a question from the text, and answer by citing evidence and explaining this information from the story!
Math Olympic Medalists
We are wrapping up our Social Studies brochures and next week will be studying the Southeast Region Today.  We will dive deeper into learning about the Atlantic coast states, as well as the inland and Gulf States.  In science we are learning all about sound. This unit will include a project where students design their own instruments to demonstrate what they learned at the end of their study! 

Thank you for reading about our week in 4W!  We hope you enjoyed a sneak peek into our week. Below are some questions for conversation.

Ms. Wentworth :-)

How is sound made?
What is the difference between a ¾ rotation and a half rotation?
Show me with your arms a counterclockwise quarter turn.
What was your anthology story about this week? How did it differ from the paired text?

Friday, January 20, 2017

Hello Families,

"Turning to talk" and explain our thinking
Thank you all for a fantastic week! Although it was another short one, it felt extremely productive as students tied up some loose ends and began new projects.  In math, students explored the whole in fractions as well as added and subtracted fractions and mixed numbers.  We were also introduced to tenths and hundredths, and learned how to add unlike denominators.  Today, we mixed up our usual use of whiteboards during mental math practice, and used shaving cream on our desks! It’s always fun to try a new and unique approach to math.  We also received our 15th marble today as a class and acknowledged this achievement with extra time on the chrome books this afternoon.   I’m really proud of this 4th grade group.

Shaving cream math 
 In ELA, students explored Chromebook features and practiced comprehending non-fiction articles online.  We learned specific techniques for how to answer a multiple choice question, and navigated numerous texts online.  The fourth grade as a whole has been working to enforce typing practice in school, in the classroom, and at home.  We are seeing how important it is that children learn how to type, use email, and use reference tools online.  Many of our text books in class are now offered to students online, and the daily practice is essential for making all these tasks simple, effortless, and trouble free.  So thank you all for the continued support at home!  Already, I can see a difference in the classroom as students type their final expository pieces.  In writing these past few days, not only have we published our expository writing, but students have also written a creative narrative in response to a passage called “Wacky Shoes.”  Students read a text and used their knowledge about the plot, the character, and the events, to create their own rendition of this story.  As a whole class, we brainstormed ideas, however the drafting of these stories was very independent.  I am seeing students apply their knowledge of a narrative to write a story containing 5 essential parts/paragraphs.  What growth since the beginning of the year! 
Our brochures are filled with great information

In Social Studies, students are working on their brochures about the Southeast region and have pulled evidence and valuable information from the text to create these projects.  This task can be challenging for some, as they have not spent too much taking notes from a text.  The skill of pulling important information and evidence from their reading assisted in writing down these facts, and their finish products are looking great!  You will see a student example to the right, don’t these look wonderful? As always, I appreciate you all keeping in touch with our classroom news.  Below are some questions to spark conversation with your child about their week!

Ms. Wentworth :)

Questions for conversation
1.       What were your thoughts about the reading practice online? How was this different from the paper version?
2.       When I add or subtract fractions, what must be true about the denominators?
3.       What information have you included in your brochure about the land, economy, and culture?
4.       How do you feel like you are doing in fourth grade so far? Is it too hard, too easy, just right?
5.       What was the best part of your day?

We love bringing technology into the classroom!

All ready to cheer on the PATS!