News from Room 208
Weekly Updates from Miss DeWitt's Class
February 5, 2016
Valentine's Day Party
We started this week talking about the "equal to" sign and the "not equal to" sign. The students learned that if there is a "=" that separates two equations, they have to be the same number when they are simplified. We practiced simplifying equations such as,
4+8-2=5x2. We also made up our own equations using the "equal to" and "not equal to" signs.
We have taken all that we have learned about algebra and are applying it to word problems. This is a more difficult skill, and we've been practicing a lot. It's easy for the students to solve a word problem, but when they have to put their information into an equation with a variable, that's when it starts to get tricky. We started with addition and subtraction word problems. We practiced writing situation and solution equations. A situation equation follows the language of a word problem. For example,
Miss DeWitt had 2 ponies. Her neighbor gave her some more. Now she has 7 ponies. How many ponies did her neighbor give her? (2 + P = 7)
A solution equation is an equation where the variable is the answer. (7 - 2 = P) A lot of times, the solution equation uses the inverse operation of the situation equation, which shows how to solve the problem.
We started learning about this same process but with multiplication and division word problems. We will continue to practice this next week!
We are learning about all types of Native Americans that lived in Wisconsin. This week we discussed the Mysterious Mississippians and Oneota natives. These two lived a lot later than the Paleo, Archaic, and Woodland Native Americans. We learned about the houses that they built, food they ate, resources they collected from the wild, and tools they used. We noticed a big difference between the three groups we learned about last week and the groups we talked about this week!
Language Arts From Mrs. Edwards
We have had a busy week. Between having the Dairy Ladies visit us, to our first Junior Achievement class, to having to complete a survey for the District Office we were still able to fit in plenty of reading and writing!
This week in reading the 4th graders met the deadline of having to pick out their poem for the Forensic Competition. The students will read their poem in front of Miss DeWitt’s class and Mrs. Edwards’ class. The top 10 from each of the classes (20 total) will compete in front of visitor classrooms. The Top 20 competition will be Tuesday, Feb 23 and Wednesday, Feb 24th . Each day we will have two showings: 9:00 and 9:30. More information to come! Please ask your child what poem he or she plans to perform (maybe they will give you a preview to their performance!). I also encourage the students to practice at home. The students are very enthused and excited about their performance! This week we were able to watch a few poetry competitions online and get tips and ideas on how to better our performance. I encourage the students to watch other poetry, however, some poems have content that is not appropriate for 4th grader's ears. Please make sure they are watching with you near!
The Book Clubs: Most of the students are about half way done with their book. Our goal is to finish the book by the end of February. Most are well on their way! Your children are getting to be really good at discussing and arguing their thoughts about the week’s reading. Thank you for the support at home to help make sure they have their role ready by Wednesday night for the Thursday Book Club discussion.
Read Aloud: Our current read aloud is The Thief Lord. The book is a mystery that allows us to model and struggle together through a mystery. The children are then expected to use what we practice together in their book club mystery book. The Thief Lord, takes place in Venice, Italy. If you have the chance to look at Venice online or allow the students to explore the setting of our book, that will help the students play the movie in their head as they listen. The characters are two runaway boys hiding from their Aunt Ester. Ask your child about the other children they live with and who is on their trail…Staying interested in what they are reading in school will help your child know you care about what they are working on. It will also help you stay connected to their thoughts and comprehension related to their reading.
Writing: Poetry: This week the students were asked to write a ‘Metaphor’ poem on their favorite family- YOU! They had to pick at least 5 family members to include in their poem! They were excellent! We also completed an Active Verb Poem. The students had to think of an event and start each line with a verb. This has been a great way for us to fit more grammar into our curriculum while the students are having fun with poetry.
Personal Essay: The majority of our writing time was spent on drafting up our essay. Most students are on their second draft. We ‘dissected’ an essay done by a former student. The students had to find the student’s thesis, reasons, supports, and their new spin (final statement using figurative language). They did a fabulous job taking apart the essay, and finding a lot of ways to improve his writing. Next week we hope to finish up our final draft!