Friday, December 23, 2016

Hello Families and Happy Holidays,

This week, the students in 4W worked so hard to focus their excited energy onto productive activities in the classroom.  We made GREAT progress in our expository writing, and aim to have these pieces completed when we return from break.  Yesterday, we had our classroom party and made incredible snow globes thanks to our room parents who organized the crafts and snacks.  To go along with this craft, students worked on a creative writing piece about what would happen if they were stuck in a snow globe.  I'm sure they were excited to share this fun time with you!  Talk about a great way to end the week, thank you again 4W parents!  Today, the whole fourth grade class performed in the buzz assembly and sang a new rendition to the frozen song let it go.  It was called, School is Closed and they did a FANTASTIC job! Wishing you all a relaxing and enjoyable break with  your family and friends and we'll see you in the New Year.
Ms. Wentworth :)
Look at our crafts!

We wrote about this amazing snow globe!

Friday, December 16, 2016

December 16th

Students playing "Multiplication Wrestling"
Hello Families,

Today, our students began their day enjoying the holiday concert that was performed by the 4th grade strings and the fifth grade band and chorus.  We were so proud of the 4W students who played the strings beautifully, well done!

As the Holidays are approaching, our students are working extra hard to focus all of their energy into their learning. This week in writing, students worked on “hooking” their readers with leads.  This could be done with a question, a statistic, or a fact! We also learned three different ways to revise our main ideas and details.  Students rotated through a writing workshop model in class where they focused on prewriting, drafting, and revising.  I am very impressed with the way students implemented their new knowledge of revising their work and all altered their writing in some way.  We are looking forward to continuing with these pieces into next week. 

Two Methods of Multiplication
 In ELA, we are continuing our novel study on The Great Gilly Hopkins as we pull evidence from the text to support our comprehension.  We are working in reading groups as well as a whole class to generate questions and respond to reading in a RACE form.  In math, we have three more lessons to complete in unit 4 on Multi-digit Multiplication.   In this unit, students were introduced to the basic principles of multi-digit multiplication by focusing on extending multiplication skills and exploring the partial product method.  They used their knowledge of multiplication to find the areas of rectangles and to convert units of measurement!  We also learned a new algorithm for multiplication known as Partitioning Rectangles.  This was a favored method for many and it provided students with a great visual that will eventually help them to understand the process of traditional multiplication. We will have an in class review next week and students will complete an online study guide in class to prepare.  Our test will be on Wednesday, Dec 21. Finally, our most enjoyed area of the week has been Science. Students have had the opportunity to work on their electric houses with their teammates and boy have these projects really developed over the past couple of days.  I LOVE the creativity these students are using to construct these rooms and wire their homes with electricity.  We have many potential architects in this class as well as interior designers, and Box City presentation on Tuesday will be fantastic.  If you cannot attend (busy time of year) be sure to check our blog next week for photographs of everyone’s homes!

As a friendly reminder, next Wednesday, December 23rd will be our last full day before vacation.  I hope you all have a wonderful weekend as your prepare for the holidays, and thank you for reading our notes! Below are some questions for conversation :)

Ms. Wentworth  

1.       How can I revise my topic and details to make it more interesting to the reader?
2.       Name 5 parts of an expository piece.
3.       How did cranberries impact the northeast economy?
4.       What is your preferred method of multiplication? Partial products, or partitioning a rectangle?
An Example of a Box City Home.  WOW!

Friday, December 9, 2016

Hello Families,
An example of a "home" 

This week in 4W, we have fully started to design our electric homes in preparation for Box City!  Students are working in groups to create a city which will eventually have electricity running through the homes.  Each day, students anticipate the time where they can creatively work hands-on. You will see an example of a home that was constructed as a “basketball court.”  We will continue to work on these up until the end of next week in order to welcome parents into the gym on December 20th 9:15-10:15 to view our final product!
Over the past few days, we found ourselves very busy in many areas, however spent a large focus of ELA on our expository pieces!  In writing, students learned to classify details under specific main ideas.  In expository, we are informing the reader with information, and therefor include facts pertaining to a topic.  Students were also introduced to their newest topic of writing, which was Holiday Writing. Choosing a holiday they are well educated in, students will construct a 5 paragraph piece.  Today, some of our class will be coming home with the final draft of their narratives.  This draft has been “formatted” and partially edited by myself as well as your child, however some spelling was left for parents to see specific areas to work on.  The rough draft with your child’s original work will be kept in their classroom portfolio so I can track progress as the year goes on.  This rough draft will also show how your child edits and structures their writing.  If you wish to see this draft that is in school, please let me know!  In ELA, we are continuing our novel study on The Great Gilly Hopkins as we pull evidence from the text to support our comprehension. Her spunky character continues to spark our interest!  

A box city group collaborating
This week in math, students completed an open response and re-engagement lesson that extended over two days! This type of lesson occurs every unit and it requires students to solve a challenging problem.  On the second day of the lesson, students are asked to defend their answer and reasoning to make sense of their work.  The challenging problem this week was titled “The Million Dollar Question” and it was a tricky one.  To help students understand what is expected out of these types of questions, they were given three examples of other 4th grade answers.  With a critical eye, each student had to “grade” each response.   We will continue to work on problems with this format, which will help us feel better about answering these types of questions! In Science and Social Studies, we are wrapping up the Northeast Region and beginning the Southeast Region before our holiday break.  In each region, we will study the climate, culture, and the economy specific to that area. 
In final classroom news, 4W got new seats this month! Children who were sitting in the back, may have a new perspective on their day as they move to the front.  I reminded our class today how important the seating is, whether that relates to their location in the room, or who they are sitting near.  Every child learns differently and as a result, this new spot is extremely important for their success.  Thank you for taking the time to stay updated on our classroom news!  Below are some questions for conversation.
1. What will you need in order to light your bulb in your home?
2. What Holiday did you choose to write about for your expository piece?
3. How do I convert KG to G?
4. What does the prefix kilo stand for?
5. Where is your new seat, who is sitting around you?

Ms. Wentworth :)
Our narratives are up and published!

Main idea and details activity for expository writing

Friday, December 2, 2016

December 2

A student is explaining her thinking 

Hello Families,

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving Holiday!  Our students came back rested, and it was great seeing everyone again. As we begin the month of December, our class has been busy wrapping up our unit three in math on fractions and decimals.  This week, we began our unit on multi-digit multiplication.  Students will be learning to extend facts and will be taught methods on how to multiply using place value strategies.  We encourage students to spend time at home on xtra math reinforcing their basic facts which will facilitate larger problems throughout this unit.  If you need a username and password, I am happy to send you one!

Working with Expository Writing
In writing, we have "published" our narratives, and we began a new piece of writing, expository.  Today, students annotated an expository piece on inventions, and rebuilt this piece with a partner based on the structure of this type of writing. Students referred to the "pillar" which is our graphic organizer for Empowering Writers which helps writer's organizer their work.  You will see examples of this pillar on our blog, including visuals of students collaborating to organize information in a logical fashion based on this framework!  Over the next few weeks, our writing will focus on Holidays.  In reading, we have taken time to focus on novels.  As a result, we have changed our spelling work over the next few weeks and in its place will be a typing practice.  Students do not need to come up with a story, they will be supplied a piece of writing that they will copy and type.  This practice at home is meant to expose students to typing to build fluency on the computer.  We are continuing to type our writing in class, however the more practice, the more confident they will feel.

In social studies, students continued to wrap up their study on the Northeast Region.  We are working to complete our group posters, which will be presented to the class next week.  I was very impressed by the way students shared ideas, gathered information, and worked as a team!  This week in science with Ms. Natale, students were involved in a “hands on” activity to build a parallel circuit and a series circuit.  Directions were not given specifically on how to build this, students worked in pairs and used their knowledge of both circuits to construct these!  As you can imagine, there has been an exciting buzz over the start of the “Box City” project in class.  Your child has been asked to supply a shoe box that will soon be transformed into a home.  As a group, students are working together to design their homes, which will eventually be circuited with electricity! I love seeing their creativity.

Thank you as always for reading, and I wish you all a fantastic weekend.  Please let me know if you have any questions about what you have read, or about homework.  

Ms. Wentworth :)

Questions for Conversation
1. Describe how to multiply a number by a multiple of ten. 
2.  What is a "basic fact" when working with extended multiplication.
3.  Name the parts of the expository pillar.
4.  Who is in your group for Box City? What are your ideas?

Yoga in the classroom: Taking a movement break using the "star" card
The "shoe greeting" is a favorite in 4W