4th Grade Update
The fourth graders have been working hard this quarter. Thinking more outside the box and writing more detailed works have been the focus in Mrs. Scholtus’s class this quarter. Context clues, main idea, making inferences, and analyzing text have been strategies that have been focused on in reading class. Using clues from the text and a student’s own background knowledge are the keys to many of the skills the students must incorporate within the fourth grade Common Core components for reading. Reading for Accelerated Reader allows the students to practice these advanced skills for reading. The students see this more now that they have two goals for AR. Each student not only has her/her points goal as in the past, but they now also have a comprehension goal of 85%.
The students have also found out how reading and writing go together in fourth grade. Many of the stories that the students have read, they have also been writing about in different ways. They have written character descriptions and summarization paragraphs. The students are currently working on their Young Writer’s Conference story project. The focus of this is to understand the complete writing process including the usage of technology as stated in the fourth grade writing standards for Common Core.
In Mr. Marlay’s math class the students have been perfecting their use of multiplication and division facts. The math series has given the students a great review of decimals, the metric system, and customary measuring system during the last few weeks. We presently have many different computerized programs that are enhancing the math program. The use of Math Playground, Cool Math and multiplication.com and Everyday Math On-line have allowed the students to find different ways to work on their math skills. One of the great things about these programs are the students can use these web based programs at school or at home.
In science we studied various parts of plants-internal (plant cell) and external structures (thorns, stems, roots, etc.)… Through the use of many videos, songs, pictures, and notes, the students gained a great deal of knowledge. One of the favorite activities in this unit was the plan dissection. (See pictures below) This gave students the ability to be real botanists and dissect a tulip in a collaborative group. We just recently started studying the human body (muscles and bones, vision and eyes). We made a robot finger and robot hand. We also created a model to show how the eye works and what causes vision problems. Again, these hands-on activities are favorites among the kiddos.
In social studies we worked on deterring the main idea and keywords of a text through various activities and graphic organizers using the text about the United States from our social studies book. We also used various Schoolhouse Rock videos and songs. A majority of the content in 4th grade social studies is US regions. We have started with the Northeast Region. We used the NE region text from the SS book to continue determining main idea and keywords. We took some virtual field trips using the Google Maps feature from Britannica Schools and the kiddos go to see some of the US landmarks and memorials up close! We studied the climate, natural resources, Native Americans (Iroquois), and settlers of the Northeast. We read a lot of books titled “You Wouldn’t Want to…” These books give a different point of view about events in America’s History. We made some video recordings instead of traditional worksheets. It was so fun to see the kids express their learning in a new way! After they got over the fact that they had to watch themselves, they produced some great videos.
Computer Coding has been big with Ms. Winslow. Coding is what makes it possible for us to create computer software, apps and websites. All 4th grade students have been given a username and password for the website code.org. PLEASE check out this website. Take a look at this fact sheet from code.org. Students need to be prepared for 21st Century jobs and coding is preparing them for jobs that are not even created yet. Here are some photos of the kiddos coding.