News from Room 208
Weekly Updates from Miss DeWitt's Class
May 5, 2017
We spent the early part of this week reviewing for our Unit 6 math test. I was very impressed with how it went! Those grades are available for your viewing as of this morning. We jumped right into Unit 7 after taking our math test. Unit 7 will focus on fractions again, but this time the fractions will have unlike denominators. We will also be learning about decimals this unit!
We spent some time learning about comparing fractions. We talked about strategies to use when comparing fractions with like denominators and also fractions with like numerators. We also made sure that we knew how to show visual models for these comparisons. Lastly, we learned how to place fractions on a number line. This is a skill that 4th graders can easily do with whole numbers, but throwing fractions into the mix is more difficult. Number lines can also be used for comparing fractions!
We have officially switched to science for the rest of the year! Our circuit unit started off with a challenge: Try to get the light bulb lit using only one D battery, a copper wire, and a bulb. This challenge proved to be difficult, but after some exploration and a lot of trial and error, most groups were able to do this successfully. We had a discussion about the challenge and drew the different ways students were able to light the bulb on the board. We talked about how these different ways to light the bulb are all examples of circuits. We talked about the different ways that did not work, and the reason why they weren't able to light the bulb.
The lesson also included learning new vocabulary words such as: electrical source, electrical receiver, D-Cell, filament, circuit, component. We learned that electrons travel out of the negative end of our battery (D-Cell) and into the positive end. The kiddos were able to create drawings and trace the flow of electricity from D-Cell, to copper wires, to bulbs.
Language Arts with Mrs. Edwards
Reading: This week we wrapped up our non-fiction unit by reviewing and taking our final test. We reviewed how to summarize focusing on the main idea and then finding supporting details to go along with the main idea. We also reminded each other that summaries are to be brief and exclude any opinions. We also had to review how to analyze a part in a story and ask ourselves what is its importance and why the author included it. For the test, the students read an article on Ellis Island and the tests immigrants had to take before they could enter. Please be sure to ask your child what they learned about the immigration process during the life of Ellis Island.
We ended the week with our “Creative Unit.” We read a few of the Robert N. Munsch short stories, and picked two to create into plays. The students picked The Paper Bag Princess and I Have to Go (yes...it is based around going to the bathroom!). Please make sure to ask your child what play and part he or she is in! The stories are silly, so get prepared to be a little surprised at the details :)
Book Clubs: A few (or many) of the students have had a difficult time keeping track of their post-it-notes through the entirety of our book club session. In order to help them, every Friday I will hand out a yellow question log, where they can copy down their week’s question. This is a simple way for me to look at their questions from the start of the book through the end, prevents students from repeating the same questions every week (example: What was the most exciting part of the reading this week?), and a solution for them to not worry about the post-it after the Friday’s discussion. Basically, nothing is changing on the home front for book club. They just have one extra step on Friday after they discuss. Please let me know if you have any questions :)
Writing: This week the students were very busy finishing our last formal essay piece. We still have about 10 students in the house that need to do the final edit and scoring with me.
Towards the middle of the week, the students learned how to create a script, getting ready for their creative writing unit. Once the students were broken up in groups, they attacked their given story to re-write it in the form of a script for their upcoming play. We discussed the outline of a script, what goes in parentheses, what is in bold, how do we show through our grammar when the actor shouts, or whispers? The students worked really well together.