Thursday, May 18, 2017

May 18, 2017

Hello Families!

 This warm weather definitely reminds us that the end of the year is approaching.  I cannot believe how quickly the year goes, however we still have so much to cover in 4W!  This week with MCAS, our students did a fantastic job tackling the two days of math testing.  Afterwards, we reflected on the specific skills that we have learned so far this year, and many felt very confident with their performance!  I know they tried their best, and I appreciate their efforts.  We are continuing to work through unit 8, and are applying our knowledge of fractions to word problems as well as conversions.  I am seeing students automatically changing their improper fractions to mixed numbers, and their skills are solidifying by the day.  When our curriculum comes to an end, students will be designing math games in the classroom and also work specifically on multiplying and dividing!

  This week in our classroom, students made great progress as we prepare for our China Culmination.  As you can see from our pictures, students painted their scholar squares based off of their Chinese study.  We also worked with fourth graders from other classrooms to paint the sheets that will be hung during the culmination.  The students worked so well tog
ether, I loved watching them collaborate.  Thank you so much to our volunteers who offered up their time today to help us!  As a reminder, China Trade will take place May 25th.  All are welcome!  In ELA and Writing, we will spend the next few weeks composing a final narrative, expository piece, and letter to our fifth grade teacher.  We are also going to be visiting one more Western Region to complete our social studies curriculum.  Our State Project will be due on June 2nd, and students will present the following weeks.  Please feel free to email me with any questions at all!  Students came home with state books from the library when the project was assigned, however if you need more resources they are more than welcome to check out more. 

 We have many updates and important days coming your way, please check in with our blog next week!  Below are some questions for conversation.  Thank you!

Ms. Wentworth :) 

Questions for Conversation:
1.  How many fluid ounces are in a cup?
2.  Show me how to convert 32/5 into a mix number.
3.  What did you draw on your scholar square?
4.  What were some topics on the math MCAS? What was easy, what was hard?

Friday, April 28, 2017

Dear Families,

I hope you all had a fantastic April break!  Our students returned well rested with some fun stories to share from their time off.  They have worked SO incredibly hard this week with our ELA MCAS from Tuesday-Thursday.   I was proud of their work ethic and the effort put into ensuring they tried their best!  I know we will all enjoy returning to our normal schedule these next few weeks. Today, we started our Friday with a Buzz Assembly!  We also spent the day wrapping up unfinished material before our April Vacation.   In ELA, we are continuing our novel study, Shiloh.  We will return to our Journey’s curriculum consisting of weekly spelling, grammar, and an anthology story.  This will start up on Monday!  

This week in math, students began their new unit, which also happens to be our last unit for the 4th grade year! These lessons will consists of fractions, angles, world problems, and measurement.  When our curriculum ends next month, we will be spiraling back to review previous skills taught throughout the year.  Our MCAS for math will be on May 16th and 17thIn other content areas, Social Studies is filled with new updates.  We are beginning our study on the Southwest Region, which will leave us with just the West to complete over the next few months.  Students will be assigned their final State Project next week, which includes a variety of options for activities that they can complete to show their knowledge about the state of their choice.  We are also continuing our China Study and have been busy exploring the themes as well as composing nature poems.  Across all areas, our fourth graders are learning tai chi with Mr. B, practicing songs with Mrs. Cheung, and continuing their Chinese artwork with Mrs. Rollins.  Please stay in touch for more important dates and information regarding our China Culmination.

Today, our desks were organized into collaborative groupings.  At the beginning of the year, students started
out with sort of structure and it helped them to meet and develop relationships with their new peers.  As our school year nears our final months, I have decided to have our desks grouped in this way to encourage students to continue to try out new friendships and learn to work with all different styles and personalities!  We started these groups today, and we will continue to see how they do!  Below are some questions for conversation.  Enjoy the warm weather!

Ms. Wentworth :)

Questions for Conversation
1. What types of writing were on the MCAS?
2. Did you find the testing difficult, easy, or just right?
3. What did you write your China Poem about?
4. Name some states in the Southwest. 
5. Why is the Western region broken up into two parts?

Friday, March 31, 2017

Dear Families,

Experimenting with Force
What a great week in 4W as we found ourselves beginning new units of study and welcoming multiple guests into our classroom.  For starters, we were thrilled to have Mr. Conroy, the 5th grade field and science teacher, join us for a hands on experiment with force and gravity.  We kicked off our new unit by researching the results of force on an object and learning about potential and kinetic energy.  Students were able to further their new learning through an experiment involving ramps, balls, and measuring distance and speed.  Our students were extremely engaged and as you can see in our picture, having a blast!  Another guest we were lucky to have present in our room was author Monica Tesler.  Monica is the author of Bounders, our current read aloud, and yesterday we thoroughly enjoyed learning about her writing process! It was great for the class to see that their current narrative writing has a purpose outside of school.  She was fantastic! 
China Study Begins!
In other content areas, the 4th grade class began their study on CHINA this week!  Students dove into their jigsaw groups to begin researching about the culture, lifestyles, history, pastimes, landforms, and other important themes of study.  Our class was fascinated about their new learning, and we look forward to continuing with this topic for the remainder of the year. In math, students are working on unit 7.  This unit heavily focuses on fractions and students are starting to become more comfortable with multiplying, adding, and converting fractions from improper to mixed numbers. We completed an open response this week that required students to reflect on fractions tools that they could utilize to create fruit-salad recipes.  This two day lesson involved working with partners and viewing student samples to revise our own work.  The class gave productive feedback to their peers and collaborated very well!

Monica Tesler Presents!
 Another new topic in 4W is our current novel study, Shiloh.  On Monday, we began reading in our novel groups and we will be reading this story until April vacation.  That means students will not have spelling or an anthology, so the homework will be supplemented! As we end the week, we began brainstorming sensory details for our Chinese poetry which correlates with china trade as well as April being poetry month.  These poems will be based around the theme of nature, and they will be published in our end of the unit China Trade Poetry book.
As a reminder, Wednesday April 5th will be an early release and the week of April 17th is our spring vacation.  Next month is a busy month, so be sure to mark those calendars! Thank you so much for reading, and enjoy the weekend. Below are questions for classroom conversation!

Ms. Wentworth :)

Questions for conversation:

1. What can you tell me about the food, people, and traditions in ancient China?
2. Name two different landforms found in China. (Gobi Desert and Mt. Everest)
3. Can you walk me through the steps for multiplying a whole number by a fraction?
4. What did you learn from our guests this week? Both Monica and Mr. Conroy.
5. What Genre is Shiloh? Who are your main characters?
Revising our work!

Studying about Force

Friday, March 24, 2017

Hello Families,

Our Jigsaw Biographies
Happy Friday!  It sure doesn’t feel like spring yet, but we’re sending positive vibes from 4W in the hopes that the warm weather comes soon.  We have had a fantastic day as we begin our Friday with a Buzz Assembly this morning.  Students will also be coming home with report cards today, and I know they have been anxiously waiting to open them at home.  Please note, as the year progresses and our math material gets more challenging, students have been required to put in additional stamina with the harder content.  The best part about our math curriculum is that it spirals throughout the year, meaning if they experience difficulty with a unit this term, they will revisit the same content next term and even next year! I cannot say enough wonderful things about our students and as I’ve said before, it’s a pleasure working each day with your child.  Thank you! 

Working with our "home groups"
This week in our classroom, we have implemented a newer strategy into our reading instruction called the Jigsaw.  Students were organized into home groups, and expert groups.  Our anthology story this week was a biography about Sacajawea.  With this theme, students were grouped into their expert groups and were assigned a specific book/biography about a new person of study.  These included texts about Laura Ingalls Wilder, John Powell, Lewis and Clark, and Chief Washakie.  As students read, they pulled facts from the text that they would then bring to their home groups.  These new groups consisted of students who all had knowledge about the other biographies read!  That way, they were able to come together, share their new information, and learn from their classmates.  This technique really holds students accountable for learning about their content area, and collaborating with their peers.  As you can see from pictures, students worked very well and even used this strategy as we learned about Social Studies!   In the Midwest region, students are now studying the economy, climate, land forms, and culture found in this area.  They were assessed on their understanding of the states, capitals, and nicknames this Tuesday and will continue working with this region next week.  In Science, students had class time to plan, construct, and finish designing their instrument with Ms. Natale.  The creativity is impressive and as you can see in our picture, they are
Playing with our instruments during recess
forming bands! Such a fun hands-on project.

In math, we began our new unit on measurement and multiplying a fraction by a whole number.  Students are applying their understanding of this skill to real word problems involving cooking and recipes.  Next time you’re working in the kitchen, have your child work with fractions and help you with your measurements. I think you’d be surprised with just how informative they are!

In final news, we have implemented another mindfulness technique in our classroom called calm classroomVery similar to yoga for the classroom, but another fantastic tool that we implemented throughout our days to refresh ourselves and prepare our minds for learning.  One final note from our week I would like to mention was our MCAS practice on Monday.  Our students did a FANTASTIC job applying their best effort and working on the chromebooks while taking the test.  Again, this was just a practice but a very beneficial one as this is the first year it will be done on computers.  As a reminder, our MCAS will be April 25, 26, 27th.   Thank you so much for staying informed and have a wonderful weekend! Below are questions for conversation.


Ms. Wentworth :)
Questions for conversation:
1. Please draw the “G” in math to help you with liquid conversions.
2. Who was your person of study from the biography jigsaw.  What did you learn?
3. Tell me about the practice MCAS.  What was easy/hard?
4. Name a landform found in the Midwest.

5. What is the book Bounders about!