News from Room 208
Weekly Updates from Miss DeWitt's Class
December 4, 2015
Christmas Clearing House
We took our final Quick Quiz of this unit and studied to prepare for our test that was taken on Thursday. We played review games and worked on areas that needed more practice in class. Our binders will be ready on Monday will all of our Unit 2 materials.
In Science, we started our Interactive Science Notebooks on different systems of the body. We started with the skeletal system and moved onto the muscular system. Next week, we will complete a notebook page on the circulatory and respiratory system. There will be a science quiz in the binders that will be sent home next Monday. The quiz focused on types of joints, functions of muscles, and how our body reacts to different environmental changes.
Language Arts From Mrs. Edwards
Reading: In reading, we took a look at the difference between narrative nonfiction and expository non-fiction. We discussed that narrative non-fiction is like reading a story book on a person or an event, while expository non-fiction is like taking a mini-class on a topic. The students were able to hunt through our non-fiction baskets of books and look for examples of each. We moved on to learning when to “stop and jot” with non-fiction. We mentioned that non-fiction readers need to recognize when our brain is full of knowledge and allow the information to process. The class then learned how to tie it all together and come up with our own ideas and theories based on the non-fiction reading we do. In order to formulate their own ideas, we started to learn how to look at what choices history, or a particular person had, what were their challenges. Finally we tie it all together and formulate what lessons we can learn from this (which ties into our writing biographies nicely).
Writing: This week we finished up our final days of researching our subject for our biography project. We encouraged the students to not only research their person, but also the time in history they lived during. This was a challenge for a lot of students. How do they incorporate the time period and connect it to their research on a person? This was a difficult task for our 4th graders, but they kept at it and eventually were able to tie it all together. I shared with the students my draft on my research biography. We went over how we get our information down first, before we worry about spelling and grammar. We had a lesson on making sure our words are our own, and not directly from the book’s author (hello plagiarism!). The students need to write about the lesson we can learn from the life of our research topic. They were all hoping it would be a section in their book, only to find out they have to look at the choice, challenges and struggles their person had before they were successful. We practiced with Taylor Swift (a common topic for our 4th grade ladies). We learned that her first demo tape got so many rejections that she had to go back to singing the National Anthem at baseball games. Eventually, a manager heard her singing at a Tennis Championship and connected her with Britney Spear’s manager. The students came up with a few lessons from her challenge of getting her voice heard. One example was, don’t give up on your dreams even when someone tells you otherwise. The most difficult part of the week was when students found out there wasn’t a lot of information on their topic (yikes!). This was a challenge I had brought up before we started researching, and warned the children to make sure they had a couple books on their topic. Another challenge we found was that the students wrote their notes, not in the “boxes and bullets,” the format that we had a lesson on, but word for word from the book. This makes the drafting part only that much more difficult, since it already sounds so ‘perfect.’ The non-fiction writing is always an exciting time in the classroom. The students love hearing about real people and are always amazed at how entertaining this ‘true stuff’ can be. Please encourage your child to read non-fiction at home. Share with them the non-fiction you read daily! You can be your child’s best role model when it comes to reading!