# Room 15 January News

## Upcoming Units of Study

We are close to saying goodbye to our study of landmarks and large numbers (place value - addition and subtraction) in math and embarking on fractions. Knowing multiplication combinations will really help students as they work with concepts like equivalent fractions so please help them to memorize these facts!

In reading we have started a unit on historical fiction which works really well with our study of early North Carolina history. The kids have shown a lot of interest in learning about the past through non-fiction and now will be reading historical fiction to learn about big ideas like social injustices and overcoming struggles.

Students have started writing a biographical sketch of someone who they feel has made an impact on North Carolina and the world. Come by the classroom anytime to check out their Brother Wolf character sketches, as well as really well written letters on what might have happened to the Lost Colony from the perspective of Virginia Dare, the first documented European born in North America.

In science, we will be moving into a study of magnets and electricity with a visit to Colburn Science Museum in early March. We are going to focus on the inquiry process in order for students to have a 4th grade inquiry conference on magnets and electricity. Students will work on coming up with a question they have about magnets and/or electricity and then will determine if it is something they can research to find the answer or if it is something they will have to investigate through the scientific process. Those that need investigation will be the inspiration for our science projects.

## Testing

Students have been taking practice math and reading end of grade tests and will be finished with math calculator active on Tuesday. These practice tests give us more information than the real end of grade test could ever give in that we can see what curriculum strands that students are excelling or need help. Like I tell the students, it helps me know what I have taught well and what I need to go back and try again! It also helps me avoid teaching concepts that the students already know so we are not all bored to tears! For example, we can tease out how students did on all fraction problems on the practice math EOG. Then we know how to proceed with fraction instruction. We can also use it as a baseline to determine how much growth a student makes when given similar problems after fraction instruction. The biggest take away for me right now is that students appear to be struggling with determining what a word problem is asking them to do. Almost every problem on the Math EOG is a multi-step word problem. So we will be continuing to work on breaking a word problem down so that we can understand what we need to do.

MAP testing (computer based - 3 times a year) in reading and math will begin this week. The reading MAP test is this Friday morning and the math MAP test will be the following Friday. If your child is having a good testing day, the results of these assessments will give us information on their progress on various strands of curriculum in math and reading. These results coupled with other assessments help us determine how to group students on skills they need help with.

MCLASS testing benchmark window begins this Wednesday. I will be listening to kids read leveled text individually and asking them comprehension questions. They will be asked to answer two written response questions. We have practice rephrasing questions and using text evidence as these written response questions often are what keep students from moving to the next level. The students are really getting good at written response to text. I can also let you know how many words they can read in a minute and their percent of error. As a teacher, I need to make sure kids are able to read as accurately as possible at a good rate, which is why I'm always on the kids about accurately reflecting their reading on their reading logs.

If you have gotten through all of this teacher babble, I congratulate you! I really want to make sure you feel informed about the process and know the reason we do what we do. Something that can't be quantitatively measured as easily is your child's independence, perseverance and compassion. This class has grown leaps and bounds in regards to work ethic and character! I am really proud of them.

## Events

- Please send in free and reduced lunch forms to help us secure funds for Title 1.

- 1/23 - Pasta Dinner to raise money for Garden Club - 5:30 - 7:00

- 1/24 - Hot Chocolate Race (Please consider volunteering.)

- 1/25 - Report Cards go home