Mrs. Beck's 4th Grade

Late November/December Edition

Happy Holidays

A huge thank you to all the parents who made our holiday party a success! The kids had a blast! The hot cocoa bar, ornament game and the cookie decorating were especially well liked! The kids enjoyed giving a Secret Snowman gift--they loved revealing who had who!

I was humbled by all the wonderful and generous gifts I received from all you...thank you so much! Look for individual thank you notes in the kids' Thursday folders.

Pioneers

World Class Outcomes:

Analyze multiple relationships and their influence on change

Evaluate how environment and culture influence sustainability

Create knowledge through the process of inquiry based on multiple evidence


The kids LOVE our pioneer study. Each student was given a "role" to take on, and they have been keeping a journal documenting their journey from a different perspective. They receive pioneer "cash" for each journal entry and pioneer activity. The goal is to get $12.00 in order to purchase a plot of land under the Homestead Act. A few kids are very close! Once most of us make it to our homestead, we'll start looking at how they survived on the prairie--sod houses and farming!


We finished building the base of our wagons and the kids took them home to add the details. The final project isn't due until Jan. 14th. Then, we'll hop right into our next project: Sod Houses. More about that later.

Literacy

Three of the groups are wrapping up their first book club selection. Because we have so many other projects going, I'm not going to have them do a big cumulative project at home. We'll complete a wrap-up in class.

If anyone wants to volunteer to lead a book group, I still have one opening. :)


For homework, I was having kids looking at main ideas and supporting details in non-fiction articles, and we will definitely get back to that. However, DRA and MAP testing and just my general observations reveal that overall, the kids don't have a great grasp on root words/prefixes/affixes, so our homework in reading for the next few weeks will be around word study.


In writing, we are continuing to work on writing a persuasive argument and using facts/details to back up our opinions. We'll be honing in on structure and organization as well as making sure our sentences are well crafted.


Starting Tuesday, January 5th, kids will have full access to Sumdog reading. Yay! Their login for reading is the same as the one for math.

Math

The kids are very relieved that our unit on multiplication and long division is over. However, this doesn't mean we won't continue to review it. I'll be having them complete at least one review page per week for awhile to make sure they are solid on the process.

The kids did really well on our Tables and Graphs unit. I've sent most of the tests home--there are a few kids that I want to review with first--those will go home in upcoming Thursday folders.

Our next unit is on Probability--including averages, mean, median and mode. I'm super excited about this unit because we'll be pairing the Math in Focus curriculum with a really cool simulation on Game Design. This will really push our critical thinking and creativity skills!