Friday, February 19, 2016

Theme Week Fun!

3rd Grade Masison/Schoolcraft Math: This week third grade mathematicians prepared for and took a summative assessment for Unit 4 focusing on time, measurement and fractions. For the rest of the week students dived into some work with graphing including interpreting and creating graphs, as well as played Work Place games involving rounding, time, fractions and computational fluency. When we return from break, we will begin work on Unit 5.

4th Grade Weegar Math: This week students completed their subtraction strategies work sample where they focused on which strategies are best to use with which problems. Then, they worked with their partner to use an app called “Explain Everything” to make a video of an addition or subtraction strategy. Students will upload these to their blogs, we will make a math resource page AND they will be used later in the year at Reading Restaurant. Students will continue with Unit 4 after break.

3rd Grade Stewart Writing: Third grade writers have worked hard to finish up their recent opinion pieces throughout the week using all they’ve learned about writing. They have also been working on discerning the difference between concrete and abstract nouns as well as common and proper nouns. Some of this work was done using a collaborative tool called Padlet.

4th Grade Ward Writing: The analogy was hot cocoa that is extra sweet and chocolatey! The goal was to make the mini-small moment evidence writing super concentrated. Students read their pieces closely to determine sentences that were directly connected to the selected reason to support their thesis. It was hard work and everyone worked hard at it! There was also a big amount of time spent researching more about topics to find supportive facts, quotes, or statistics.

Science: In science students practiced being geotechnical engineers themselves. Students took core samples out of model building sites. They also erected model skyscrapers anchored in various depths of the model Earth’s crust. It was fun and messy business.

Ask about:
Theme week workshops and Cupcakes!
Mardi Gras Parade through our KIVA!
Engineering Earthquake Lab and the cool invention from Vermont
What I would do if I were President
Engineering our own Skyscraper

Friday, February 12, 2016

Valentine Week at School

Gr3 Math - Schoolcraft/Masison:  This week we explored more about fractions using number lines, pattern blocks and measurements. We learned to compare fractions and think about them as lengths as well as shapes. At the end of the week, we read a story called Jim and the Beanstalk and then created and measured beanstalks and their leaves to ½ and ¼ of an inch. We also took that data and created a line plot to see how our measurements compared with each others’. Next week we will review and take our assessment on Unit 4. Be sure to ask your mathematician about his/her beanstalk!

Gr4 Math - Weegar:   Students discussed as a class which number combinations in multi-digit subtraction problems lend themselves to particular strategies.  We have focused our learning on the removal, differencing, and constant differences strategies.  We also learned the standard algorithm as well as using the inverse operation to check our answer.  Students did a subtraction strategy work sample on Friday and we will use technology next week to create videos of our strategies.  This will be used to “teach” others which helps us learn information in a new way.  

Gr3 Writing - Stewart:    As we continue crafting opinion essays, students have created lists of people they could write about.  They are composing thesis statements and crafting four paragraph essays which include an introduction,  supporting paragraphs and a conclusion.  On Thursday, students took a break from writing about their chosen person to draw about that person.

Gr4 Writing - Ward:   The essayists in grade four are using three different strategies to provide evidence for their thesis statements.   The first strategy was to write a very condensed and focused small moment mini-story.   The next approach involved making a detailed list - almost like poetry or song.   The third strategy, the most challenging, is doing some research.   Students are presently looking into quotes, definitions, and statistics to support their thesis statements.   Some of the research may include an email to YOU!   Please respond with a quote or fact your child can write about next week.   Thanks for your support with this activity!!!   

Science:  Students discussed the field of geotechnical engineering, factors to consider when choosing a sight to build a structure and traced the steps of  the Engineering Design Process.  Working in partnerships they responded to questions in response to the book Suman Crosses the Karnali River.

Upcoming:   Theme Week Next Week . . . related arts will be replaced with workshops the combine students from all three houses!      

Happy Valentine's Day!  We had a great time playing Minute to Win It, Valentine's Day style at the end of the day on Friday.  

Friday, February 5, 2016

Weekly Update

Gr3 Math - Masison:  This week third grade mathematicians explored different ways to look at fractions. Students made their own sets of fractions and compared the size of unit fractions. Ask your child about unit fractions and what the denominator tells us about a fair share. Students expanded this thinking by using pattern blocks to show fractions as parts of a whole. Our February Number Corner is giving us lots of opportunities to seek out patterns and make predictions as we collect fractions of dollars and look at perimeter and area of shapes on a grid.  We will begin to wrap up Unit 4 next week and will have a post-assessment before February break.    

Gr4 Math - Weegar: This week students learned and discussed which strategies worked most efficiently for the different types of addition combinations and why.  Ask your student to introduce you to the four ways: Expanded Form, Friendly Numbers, Give and Take and the Standard Algorithm.  Students completed a brief checkpoint before moving onto subtraction next week.  Our February Number Corner has us talking about angle measurements and the different types of triangles.  Students also have access through Google Classroom to a list of online games to practice these skills.

Gr3 Writing - Stewart:   Grade three writers completed their first opinion pieces this week. They have worked hard to write four paragraph essays that include a thesis statement, reasons and examples.  On Thursday, they shared their writing in small groups.  Each listener gave feedback to the author that was aligned with the Grade 3 Opinion Writing Checklist.  On Friday, students were invited to use everything they have learned so far in writing to do a free write.

Gr4 Writing - Ward:    Grade Four writers solidified their thesis statements with three reasons to support their claims.   After making sure the thesis statement is clear and powerful, each writer dug deeply into her/his head and heart to uncover two to three pieces of evidence for each reason.   Writers are learning to record this evidence as a small moment story, dialog, or through research.   Ask your writer about the three reasons she/he wrote to support her/his claim.

Core Reading :     The Core Reading Idea this week is to Determine Importance!   Readers are using this comprehension strategy to closely read nonfiction about Geotechnical Engineering in reading groups.   

Core Science :   The “Technology in a Bag” introduced students to different technologies.   Initially, when students brainstormed different technologies, they were only thinking about computers.  The real definition of technology is an important understanding for the upcoming science inquiry task involving engineering and soil science.   Ask your young future scientist the definition of technology.   (Something that solves a problem is the gist of the definition.)   

Core Community Building: Hooray!  The class met our goal of achieving at least three sessions of xtramath!  Friday morning we celebrated both the 100th day of school AND meeting our goal with game time!  It was wonderful to enjoy some free time with our friends.

Ask About - Equinox:   Indoor Recess, Inclusive Valentine Cards, Cancer Fund Raiser w Pennies, Chorus Concert & Different Colors, Flocabulary Week in Rap, Minute to Win-It Valentine Day Style Next Friday, Team Time Super Fun, TISSUES - EVERY CLASSROOM NEEDS TISSUES - PLEASE DONATE TODAY!!!   Thank You!!!