Fourth Grade News
First of all we would like to remind all our parents of the up and coming parent/teacher conferences. The communication between school and home is a vital part of the education of our students. The conferences will be held on Tuesday, February 20 and Thursday, February 22. Conferences will run from 3:00-7:00 each night.
The fourth grade students have been very busy this quarter. In reading class the students have been reading nonfiction material. They have been focusing on the skills of context clues, character traits, main idea, drawing conclusions, sequencing and making inferences which will help them prepare for the Iowa Assessments. The students recently finished reading about natural disasters. We are learning about tornadoes, volcanoes, hurricanes, and earthquakes. We will be using the knowledge gained in reading class to research on the internet a chosen natural disaster to write a research report. When finished researching the students will write a ten paragraph paper with an annotated bibliography to cite their sources. This will be accomplished by working collaboratively between English and science classes. The students have also been working with a fluency program called Six Minute Fluency. This is a partner activity to assist with a student’s word per minute count and accuracy. The fourth graders continue to work diligently on Accelerated Reader striving to reach their point and comprehension goals set every quarter.
In Math class the fourth graders are mainly focusing on fractions and decimals. We have also been working on finding perimeter, area, multiplication and division this January & February. Our Everyday Math series has provided us with many opportunities to practice solving problems dealing with fractions, perimeter, area, and all operations of math. They not only get to play games to practice their skills, but we also use many different computer programs to enhance their learning. We are continuing to focus on becoming more proficient with our overall math skills.
In Social Studies we finally wrapped up our large Southeast/Civil War unit! I am sure you have heard your child take about experiences the Civil War first hand with our simulation! This is such a wonderful experience for the students and it gives them the opportunity to deepen their learning by acting out real-life situations such as a Civil War soldier would. We will be moving on to the Midwest states, Southwest states, and ending with the West states. If we have enough time, we will participate in another simulation that deals with the Westward Expansion and the Pioneers.
In Science, we have been studying about how soil is made up of humus (hyoomes) and earth materials. We studied 4 different soil samples, analyzed the process of weathering rocks in physical weathering and chemical weather. We showed abrasion by shaking rocks in a plastic container and freezing water expanding with a glass bottle placed in the freezer. We showed chemical weather by placing 4 rocks in vinegar to determine which rocks had a chemical reaction. Then we placed the vinegar in an evaporation dish to see if there were any new materials left behind. We determined that marble and limestone each had chemical reactions and contain the mineral calcite. After that, we combined all of our knowledge and collect some soil from our schoolyard and analyzed its components. We are started our investigation on erosion and deposition and how they create landforms. We are using a river model (see photo). This takes a lot of time, but the kids love it!
The fourth graders are also busy preparing in all of their classes on test taking strategies. We would like to remind parents that the Iowa Assessment tests are approaching quickly. The tests will be held the week of March 26-29. Please encourage your child to do his/her best. Getting plenty of rest and eating a healthy breakfast will also help your child during their testing.