Hart's Happenings

11.9.14 - been a few weeks since I have posted

Language Arts

The Global Read Aloud

The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo has been an amazing adventure so far. We will finish this week as we only have 4 chapters to go. Edward certainly has had some ups and downs in his journey. He has lived a privileged life, sunk to the bottom of the ocean, caught by a fisherman's net, discarded at the dump, dug up by a dog, wandered the country with a hobo, hung up as a scarecrow, treasured by a sick little girl, performed as a puppet, smashed into 23 pieces, repaired by a doll maker, and he now sits on a shelf in the doll maker's store. Ask you child about these adventures, the feelings Edward has experienced, the tremendous changes he has encountered and the new names each owner has given to him. It is an amazing story that we are finding all kinds of connections with the story. The character encounters quite a few hardships along the way. He deals with loss, hopelessness, true friendship, jealousy and love. The themes, connections, and character development has been quite an experience for the students.

We created a few Reader's Theater scripts last week. We are sharing our interpretations of the story through Edward's emotional changes to share with our Canadian class.

Below is a link that we made in movie maker. Be warned--- the video green screen software was a free program that left a larger than expected watermark, and a delay in the recorded voices.... Mrs. Smith our librarian, was so kind to take her day to record these videos. However, it was not known until later that these two issues would be so distracting. So if you can get past these issues with the video, it is good! The kids created the scripts on their own based on a few chapters that they were given. They were placed in random groups as well. They did not have a chance to "act" these out due to the size of the stage. They were to only read their parts. As you will see, a few groups added a few minor props. Given more time, these could have been very dramatic!

Go here to see it. (Let me know if you are unable to see this or some reason)


Writing - We continue writing in our journals in the mornings, blogging challenges on kidblog.org/MrsHartsFantasticFourthGrade/

Please stop by and read and comment on your child's or someone else's blog. We really want your feedback!

The last few weeks, we have been working to create interesting sentences for our story writing with word referents - ask you child what these are. Hint: instead of saying the china rabbit every time, word referents would be the unloved bunny, the breakable creature, the abandoned toy. I am starting to see these appear more often in their writing, and the students are recognizing these in our read aloud stories.

We have also been concentrating on using the "Show, Don't Tell" idea in writing. Instead of saying that someone is sad, we are working to make the reader infer this through showing of the emotion with our words.

Another writing basic we continue to work on is writing using our senses. To give the reader the sense of being in the story - using those 5 senses.

Reading Skills: We are working on cause and effect, writer's purpose and inferencing. A skill we will work on all year long, as it is one of the highest levels of reading comprehension, and often a difficult skill to teach and understand. That is why we have the students respond to what they read, it helps with creating thoughts and connections about what they have read. We continue to work on this in large and small groups in our reading.


Well, I must say.... students are taking this multiplication thing seriously. There are so many that are working extra hard at home to learn these facts quickly, and many practicing the 2 digit by 2 digit on their own to make sure they have this process. We are also working on multi step problems with multiplication. On Friday, we created perfect squares with the basic facts. We took a walk to the gym and the cafeteria to see how many squares were in large area tiles. We focused on these perfect square numbers. After creating a huge square, we went back to the classroom and modeled square numbers with base blocks. These pictures show some of the work that the kids completed!

This next week, we start division. Of course if the child has those multiplication facts down pretty well, this will come quickly for them. If they are still working to memorize these, a multiplication chart will need to be used to help with practice in class and at home. Soon after this, we will be working with remainders. It is important for the students to understand that 41 is not even divisible by 6 and that there will be a remainder. Interpreting remainders and what to do with these remainders is another skill that we will be working on with our problem solving.

Keep on finding real world math in your daily activities to help them with problem solving and show them how you use estimation and these operations in the real world!