Room 304 Update

September 18, 2016

We have now completed our first full week of school! As you know, we attended our field trip this past week. We had a great time and found several crayfish and other water creatures. Hopefully your children are sharing with you some of the things we're doing in class, but if not, I want to update you so you're aware and perhaps to give you some talking points when discussing their school days with them.

In writing we've been working on a few short story ideas to build stamina and a collection of possible topics so that when we move into our first unit, The Arc of the Story, they'll be ready to go! The Arc of the Story Unit has students writing full-length, complete stories using an arc model of rising and falling action with an emphasis on strong introductions, use of transition words, and a clear story line. In fourth grade, we will be using Google Docs. This will help students' writing in many ways. Students will be able to focus on the actual written content, edit their writing more easily, and share their work any place at any time.

In math, we're continuing our first unit. This includes multi-digit addition and subtraction along with place value problems. I have found many students have struggled with subtraction when it involves "trading"...or especially when "trading across zeroes". I'd encourage you to practice those at home with problems like 1004-78. I've been taking small groups of students to reinforce the process and the rational behind it. It's not uncommon for this to be an area of need following a summer vacation. On Wednesday I anticipate giving a unit review that they will take home with them Wednesday night after we go over it in class. That review will very closely resemble the final assessment tentatively scheduled for this coming Thursday. Please take a few moments Wednesday night to go over it with them and practice any areas that still seem to be challenging.

In reading, we're aiming to complete our first class read aloud this week and I've completed individual reading assessments on approximately 2/3 of the class. I expect to finish that up early this week.

Items From Home....

Lexington Schools provide all the necessary materials for classroom use. Occasionally, however, I may reach out for requests to send in something. NOTHING needs to be purchased - simply if you have an extra hanging around at home, please send in for your child's use. If you have headphones or earbuds that your child could use, please send them in. They will keep them in their desks and use them for FastMath computer fact practice as well as possible other technology use later in the year. Each child has been given a white board that we use for quick math activities on the front rug. Rather than wiping them clear with their hand (or sleeve!), I've encouraged kids to bring in an old (but clean!) sock. They make a great eraser and if your house is anything like mine, there always seems to be a sock around that lost its partner.