The Ritenour Review

2017 - 2018 Fourth Grade Weekly News

Catching Up and Kicking Off`

This past week was an interesting week when several concepts and units are concluding and others are kicking off. These types of weeks can throw our schedules off a bit, but I am always proud of the resiliency of the class to stay on track and accomplish the needed tasks. This week, we worked on finishing our Literary Essays. In class, we talk a lot about the craft of writing and applying skills to enhance our creativity. Final essays are fun, because I get to see 27 different types of writers and witness genuine creativity. Due to writing not be very 'black and white' it can be stressful to some and this week allowed some freedom for me to work with those not feeling strong in this area. Our conversations in those small group moments were priceless. We had a lot fun building an essay together and they all had an opportunity to use the collaborative writing to boost their own writing, too.

As you all know, this week, we also kicked off our newest project, Hoosier Heritage: The IMPACT Project. If you had a fourth grader in previous years, you may remember Famous Hoosiers. This year, the fourth grade team decided to put a spin on this project. We wanted to push the thinking a little more and we wanted the classes to look at direct impacts on Indiana's history, communities and development. We are raising the bar this year and I am excited for the new direction. We did not create a list for the kids to choose from. No, we decided this would only restrict their creative minds. Instead, we left it pretty open; however, they had to prove the impact before I would let them run wild with their ideas. This was a tough task, but I know it will be rewarding in the end.

This past week:

In math, we slowed down a bit this week. At the beginning of the week, I presented a math project choice board. Each student has the flexibility to pick and choose a few math projects he or she would like to complete. The freedom at this point in the year is key. I want them to continue to push their thinking forward, but I also want to respect their minds and bodies and know they are exhausted. While they had a lot of fun with their projects, I was able to work in small groups and we worked on fully making sense of word problems - our trickiest skill. The individual time with groups and kids was meaningful and needed. The time we took to slow down will allow us to move at a solid pace in the coming weeks.

In reading, we are almost finished with our class read aloud, Number the Stars! We have one chapter and the Afterword left. This past week, we spent a lot of time understanding the importance of understanding historical time periods to strengthen our understanding of our books. In reverse, we also talked about how non-fiction reads with these historical topics can turn into a story in our minds and allows us to process the information better. We took time this week to look at primary and secondary sources online to enhance the understanding of the different events read about in class.

Coming up next!

  • Math: We continue to work on word problems and fully making sense of the problem.

  • Reading: We will finish Number the Stars, create a problem/solution chart to conclude our findings throughout the book. We will have our HF assessment this week. To culminate the entire unit and book, we will have a second round of Novel Engineering with Number the Stars.

  • Science: We will Skype with experts from the Grand Canyon to tie up our Rocks, Soil and Landforms unit.

  • History: We will work on creating driving questions for our Impact project.

Special's Schedule

  • Monday: STEM
  • Tuesday: Music
  • Wednesday: Art
  • Thursday: Wellness **bring/wear tennis shoes
  • Friday: Library

Upcoming Dates!

March 27 and 28: Student-Led Conferences

March 28th - Kindergarten Round-Up @ BME (More information will be shared in coming weeks)

March 30th - April 6th - Spring Break (No school)

April 16th - May 4th - ISTEP+ Testing window (Part 2) - 3rd/4th grades

PLEASE mark your calendars for May 25th as our make-up day due to the 1/12/18 inclement weather cancellation.