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!

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