News from Room 208

Weekly Updates from Miss DeWitt's Class

October 16, 2015


This week we practiced subtraction, but with bigger numbers into the millions place. We learned about inverse operations and how we can use addition to see if our difference is correct. We also used estimation in a subtraction problem to see if our answer was reasonable. We worked on two-step word problems, which can always be a challenge for students. We pulled out keywords and learned different strategies to solve these word problems. Our Unit test will be next week Monday, October 19th. The study guides will be sent home tonight to review over the weekend. Things to practice with your children to prep them for the test:

*Rounding to nearest place value (up to millions)

*Writing numbers in standard, word, and expanded form (making sure they are not writing "two hundred and five")

*Adding and subtracting numbers into the millions (with regrouping and ungrouping)

*Estimating to see if an answer is reasonable

*One step and two step word problems with addition and subtraction.

Social Studies

We learned new social studies vocabulary words this week, and how they are related to thinking like a historian. Those words are:





*Primary and secondary sources

The kids learned that historians are a lot like detectives; they try to put together clues to figure out what happened in the past. Historians need to have artifacts as evidence to prove their ideas. They also use primary and secondary sources to discover what happened in the past. We learned that historians need to gather information from different points of view to really know what happened. Historians also ask questions when they see artifacts to determine what they are and why they are important. We will be doing something similar to this in class. A letter will be sent home today, as well as a paper bag, for a small social studies project for next Tuesday, October 20th. We are going to be gathering artifacts from home that tell a little bit about us. The artifacts must remain a mystery, so please don't include artifacts with your child's name on it. Our class will be looking at the paper bags in groups and asking questions, just like historians do! A copy of this letter is also attached below.

Language Arts from Mrs. Edwards

Reading: This week in reading we are looking at growing ideas about the characters we are reading about. We started realizing that sometimes we have to revise our imagine of a character when we read new information about him or her. Sometimes they surprise us and act out of sorts (ask your child what Mr. Dimming did in our read aloud book, Out of My Mind). We learned that making predictions takes more than just a good guess at what is going to happen. We need to provide evidence for why we are making our predictions. The students practiced having empathy for their characters by reflecting on a time where they may have experienced something similar, or can connect to what how their character may be feeling. Students are having to become more and more comfortable providing evidence from the book to support their ideas. Encourage your child to do same at home while they are reading their free choice book.

Writing: Our Realistic Fiction piece is on a role. This week we developed a character, thinking of both their inside (personality) and outside (appearance) characteristics. The students had to think about their sub characters and what how they view the main character. As we developed our new characters, the class also brainstormed ideas about how the character feels towards him/herself. Finally, the students had to write what motivations and struggles their character is going to have in the story. As you can tell, we spent a large part of the week developing our character and truly getting to know him/her. Make sure to ask your child about the character they just created.

Once the character development was complete, we moved on to a story mountain. This maps out all the big scenes in our story, making sure we have a clear beginning and end. Our final work for the week, was looking at how to ‘show’ a story verses ‘tell.’ For instance, instead of saying “The boy was sad,” we came up with “As tears ran down the boy’s face, mom knew it was a bad day at school.” We took a look at two different versions of the intro to The Three Billy Goats Gruff. One was more of a summary or telling, the other was a story, or an example of our goal, SHOWING! Keep the discussion at home going. Ask what work your child did as an author at school. All of next week will be getting that first draft down, learning about different ways to begin and end our stories. Our goal is to have the story published by the next time The Binder comes home, in November.

21st Century Skills Assessment

On Wednesday, we completed the 21st Century Skills Assessment, which tests students' skills on technology and computers. The kiddos are tested in Pewaukee School District three times throughout their years here, and fourth grade is one of those years. The tests asks questions about computer skills such as: saving documents, making spreadsheets, searching on a search engine, etc. Kuddos to all of my students for showing real grit and persevering through this tough test!
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