4th Grade with Mrs. Brigham
Students work on fact fluency as they play games that are engaging and FUN!
Some Work Place games use number cubes. Others use spinners. All games focus on helping our students to develop number sense and flexibility.
Using tools strategically
The mathematicians in our class use lots of tools to explore concepts and prove conjectures. Square tiles, unmarked number lines, arrays, ratio tables, diagrams, and pictures are just some of the tools our students are learning to use.
- System thinking. Ask how plants are systems with components that are dependent on one another. When the system works, plants are able to use their internal and external structures to support growth, behavior, reproduction, and survival. Your student should be able to tell you about the parts of a plant, seed, and flower. He or she should be able to discuss how a plant responds to sunlight and gravity (phototropism and geotropism). Finally, your student should be able to share experiences dissecting seeds and flowers. If you really push your student, he or she may be willing to share some poetry with you too! Finally, we explored some mind-blowing phenomena. Ask your child to tell you about the dancing sunflowers and air plants! We've seen some fascinating science!
- Map skills. Ask your child to tell you about North America. We've been using Google Earth to explore landforms. We've also been examining political maps of North America. We're working hard to help the students make sense of their place in the world. They live in a town named Upton, in Worcester County, in a state called Massachusetts. Massachusetts is one of the six New England States. New England is located in the northeast part of our country. Our country is the United States of America. The United States is located in our continent, North America. There are other countries in North America. The US is bordered by Mexico to the south and Canada to the North.
- Reading CAFE. CAFE is what we call our English Language Arts block. Students have lots of choice during this time. CAFE is the perfect name for this block because during this time there is a buzz of productivity, just like the buzz in a cafe, as students collaborate and work on reading, writing, and language. CAFE is actually an acronym that stands for Comprehension, Accuracy, Fluency, and Expanding vocabulary. These are certainly important focuses of our work. In addition to independent work and peer collaboration, students meet with me every day in small, flexible groups to receive specialized instruction. Ask your student about his or her experiences during CAFE.
- Math. Ask your child to tell you about the most challenging puzzles he or she has solved this year in STMath. See if your student can explain how he or she managed to solve these hard puzzles. Is your kiddo typically meeting weekly STMath goals (60 - 90 puzzles)? Ask your student how he or she likes the new math curriculum (Bridges). Does the math learning look and feel different this year? Ask your student to tell you about Work Places. You might even ask about some of the concepts we've explored. Ask about the difference between prime and composite numbers. Your student should be able to tell you the difference between a number's factors and the multiples of a number. The students have been learning about multiplicative comparisons. For example, they've wondered how tall a giant is if he is six times taller than a child who is 48 inches tall. The giant is six times 48 inches tall. How tall is that? Can you connect this concept to anything in your home? Perhaps you could share a problem for your child to solve comparing the length of a gerbil and a cat? Have a little fun with this!
- I've also included some photos that may inspire conversation.
Work on Writing
One of our CAFE menu options is always to "work on writing". Students are currently writing narratives. Some are personal and some will be more creative, imagined, pieces. Mini-lessons will help to expand students' current writing skills.
Students work to expand their vocabularies and their spelling skills, too, during word work. The students will explore morphemes as they make sense of our rich language. We'll look closely at prefixes, suffixes, and Greek and Latin roots so that the texts we read become increasingly more meaningful to us.
Read to Someone
Having opportunities to "read to someone" and "read to self" are trademarks of our classroom. In our room, reading is social. It is engaging because students have lots of choices, and it is fun!
Work on Writing
Students can download the Clever app on a personal device and continue to log into Clever to use STMath or Lexia over the weekend if desired. Each student has a Clever badge in his or her DOT Binder that can be used to log in.
Some students take longer to process information. Remember, processing speed has nothing to do with intelligence. I was one of those slower workers (I still am!). I always benefitted from having extra time to complete my work and appreciated teachers who gave me the gift of time. For students like me, having a little time over the weekend to work on STMath or even Lexia may make a big difference. Heading into school on Monday morning with a sense of accomplishment will be a boost to any student's confidence.
Conferences - Save the Date
The next PTO meeting is Wednesday, October 13th at 6:30 PM in the Memorial Elementary library.