4th Grade News
Life in Room 251
Meeting our Decomposers!
Adding worms and compost to our biodomes
Observing Biodome Plant Growth
Grass and flower growth really took off!
Analyzing MDC Skulls
Was it a carnivore, herbivore or omnivore?
Literacy and Writing
We have our differentiated small reading groups established and have been meeting regularly for several weeks. Students are learning to apply reading strategies to texts on their instructional level. They are also writing to respond to their reading in their thoughtful logs and on discussion boards in Canvas. In fourth grade, many students are transitioning from "learning to read" to "reading to learn." Throughout the year, students will learn strategies to determine what is important in a text, analyze the author's message and to form an opinion that is backed up with evidence from the text. This month, students completed a non-fiction writing (a scientific findings report) on our schoolyard ecosystem and are beginning to learn about opinion writing.
In September, students reviewed addition and subtraction strategies and are beginning to learn a variety of strategies to multiply and divide. The fourth grade curriculum takes off quickly into multiplying multi-digit numbers, assuming that students learned the basic multiplication facts (0-12) the previous year. If your child is shaky on their facts, please take time to work with these at home. It is easy to make flashcards, and there are many free apps available.
We finished our Science unit "Nature Unleashed" this month. Students enjoyed observing the changes in their biomes over the last couple of weeks. We had a lot of plant growth, and some of our insects even survived in our habitats. We also added decomposers (worms) and compost to our domes. Unfortunately, this made our room pretty smelly, so we set all of our organic life free in our playground. Our culminating field trip to the Watershed Center was so fun! Students learned about the purpose of a watershed and made excellent observations in the pond, prairie and forest ecosystems. Their favorite part was determining the health of the stream. We worked with a Stream Team volunteer who taught us to use the nets to trap micro invertebrates that can be used to determine the overall health of the stream.
We are just beginning our first Social Studies unit on Missouri Geography. In Missouri, fourth grade is the year to learn about Missouri history, government and geography. Every other year, Pershing Elementary takes it's 4th and 5th graders to Jefferson City. This is our year! Our trip is scheduled for Wednesday, March 30, and we just beginning the planning phase of the trip. If you are interested in attending the trip and/ or joining the planning committee, please let me know!
Makerspace with our K-1 Buddies
We participated in a makerspace activity with our K-1 Buddies from Mrs. Steineke's class. We helped our buddies use their knowledge of plant parts to design a new species of plant!
We have received our materials for our Donors Choose flexible seating project, and the kids are loving it! We have a new rug, two high-top tables with stools, 2 saucer chairs and 8 lap desks to share!
Valley Watermill Watershed Center
We had a great day at the Watershed! Students explored the 3 ecosystems of Missouri (prairie, pond and forest) and tested stream health by the number of micro invertebrates living there.
Makerspace with our K-1 Buddies
Donors Choose Project Funded!
Parent Teacher Conferences this Month!
The Paperless Classroom
- You should have received a unique code for your child's Home Access Account at Open House or in your child's Take Home Folder this week. This is access to our live grade book. You can see if your child has missing work and how he/ she did on completed assignments. If you did not receive your password, Sharon Baker in the main office can help you with this.
- Each student also has a Canvas account. This is a place where we have built learning modules, have quick access to links, programs like Aleks and Lexia and on-line textbooks. Students will also use this to submit electronic assignments. For students, their user name is their ID number (what they typically call their "lunch number") and the password is student. Parents also have an account, and the username and password is the same as your Home Access Account. Every time something is published on our canvas site, you will automatically get an email. If you would like to change this, you can log into your (the parent's) Canvas page and change your email notification settings. On our Canvas homepage, you will find a button called "What's Going On?" I will post our twitter feed and newsletters here for easy use.
- Springfield Public Schools has set up each student with a google account. We will mostly be using the google apps (primarily google docs) features. Your child may work in their google account at any time. The student's user name is their IDnumber @ sps.org. For example: 123456 @ sps.org (no spaces). Their password is their first initial last initial and ID number. For example: jt123456
Every Kid in a Park!
Upcoming Dates to Remember
October 2 - Picture DayOctober 9 - End of 1st Quarter
October 12 - No School (Professional Learning/ Work Day for Teachers)
October 26-29 - Parent Teacher Conferences (Sign-up Genius)
October 28 - Field Trip to Springfield Little Theater to see Huck Finn (tentative)
October 30 - October Reading Calendar Due
November 2 - No School (PT Conference Day)
November 3 - No School (Professional Learning/ Work Day for Teachers)
November 24 - Mrs. Benton's Last Day :(
November 25-27 - Thanksgiving Vacation