Dear Parents, October 11, 2019
What wonderful weather we have had lately! It has been nice to spend time outside this week at recess, the school hike, as well as in the woods where our trees are. It's such a great time of year in Vermont. I hope you all get a chance to enjoy it this weekend.
It has also been a very busy week! We have been working so hard on many things. The gradual transition to more academics can be rough for kids, but they have really been putting their best effort forward. There has also been some behavior issues as we become more comfortable in our classroom. We have discussed ways to handle these as individuals and as a group. Most important to our class, our school, and our world is to always be kind. Students are learning to keep unkind thoughts to themselves as well as giving each other space. Mr. Lane calls this not being a space invader. 4th grade is a time when kids are navigating social relationships more and learning who they are as students and as friends. This makes them more sensitive to others' words and actions. Beginning this week, I will have lunch on Fridays with girls and then boys. This gives them an opportunity to express themselves in a smaller setting and to discuss things that are important to them. Lunch with the girls today was a lot of fun as well as a good discussion about looking out for each other. I look forward to when I have lunch with the boys! I am sure it will be very different.
Academically, we have begun our unit on multiplication and division. Over the next few weeks we will be exploring arrays with larger numbers, how to break apart numbers to multiply using what we call partial sums. Also we will begin to make open arrays as a way to represent larger digit equations. Finally we will learn how to use the algorithm for multiplication (what most adults learned) and the connection between multiplication and division.
In writing we have been creating brainstorm webs for topics. Then we practiced creating a story arc as a way to lay out sequentially, the parts of our story. We also learned some strategies for hooking the reader in with a strong beginning. They were introduced to onomatopoeia, sound words, and had fun trying those out in their hooks. Next week we will use Flipgrid (a program that uses video in unique ways) to "tell" our small moment stories and then listen to them as another way to edit and revise. In reading, we continue to look at character traits and setting as important story elements. We will also practice story retelling next week and looking at plot and theme. We also shared some readers' theaters that the students have been practicing!
In science we continue to learn about trees and the important role they play through photosynthesis and the changes that happen in the fall. We are also investigating what watersheds are and hopefully can work with the Lamoille River Basin program as a way to learn about our local watershed. Using maps in social studies, we followed the Browns River to where it flows into the Lamoille River and then into Lake Champlain. As part of our Vermont unit we will continue to explore the geography of Vermont using different types of maps such as topographical maps and relief type maps.
Homework is due on Monday and a new set of homework will go home. Students can continue working on their book projects as well. I will be out on Monday for a planned absence and I will make sure that my guest teacher sends it home.
I am looking forward to parent conferences over the next couple of weeks. Hopefully you received your conference confirmation that went home with notices yesterday. Due to students not being here next Friday and parent conferences going on, there will not be a newsletter until the following week.
Also we have a field trip to the Hydro Dam in Essex, planned for November 13 and once the buses are confirmed we will send home the information.
I think that is all for now! Please enjoy the pictures below!
Have a great weekend.
Reading Project Character Bags
4th Grade Top 10 Things Slide Show