Grade 4 Newsletter For October…The Palumbo Press
It is hard to believe that we are already one month into the school year. It has been an interesting adjustment for both me and the students. Their enthusiasm is refreshing. Students have had the opportunity to use the program, Bitstrips, to create avitars of themselves and their family members…quite interesting household action! It rivals my own! The personality posters, “All About Me”, were interesting and informative. It was great to see everyone step up and share with the class what was great about themselves.
Our morning routine is still a work in progress. Once in the room, students are to have their agendas open along with any work that was assigned. Thank you, parents, for checking the agendas on a nightly basis and initialling them. If no homework is assigned, your child is encouraged to read for at least 15 minutes. Using the agenda helps to make your child accountable. While agendas are checked, bell work on the board is being worked on. Many students have enjoyed sharing their current events. It helps if they have the news article or internet copy to help them identify the 5 W’s during their brief report. Some have even added connections! After current events, we read independently for 20 minutes. During this time I have had the opportunity to conference with most students about their reading. It is very important during independent reading that your child has appropriate reading material, as they will be asked to respond to what they have read. Help encourage your child to choose suitable books, appropriate for their reading level. Our literacy block then has direct instruction (.g. writing, think alouds, shared writing etc.). The final 20 minutes has been devoted to our first of many read alouds, The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe. We are nearly finished and have had the opportunity to discuss and model certain activities (e.g. summarizing) which will be expected of the students later in the year when they begin literature circles.
Our focus in reading this month will be on making connections. As students read, they are encouraged to make connections to what they already know, what they have read and what they have seen/heard. Making connections is critical to their understanding of the material being read.
As for writing, we have been using the stories in our Courage unit to make everyone familiar with non-fiction writing. Over the next two weeks, students will be asked to do a non-fiction re-tell on a courageous person or event. Take some time around the dinner table to discuss some individuals you think are courageous.
We have been working on developing and extending number and shape patterns during the first month. Because computation is so critical, we have been learning our timestables, factors and multiples through games of “bizz-buzz”. There has been much improvement in this area! Our current unit in math is whole numbers. It will involve reading and writing numbers in standard and expanded form as well as adding and subtracting three and four-digit numbers. The Xtramath program is up and running. We have used the ipads on several occasions in the class to work on the program. Students are encouraged to use the Xtramath at home when they don’t have the opportunity at school.
Science and Social Studies
We are nearly finished our first unit, pulleys and gears. Students are presently working on a pulley performance task which will be done in class. They will be required to design and construct a pulley system that includes at least two pulleys. Gears and gear systems will then be our focus for the final two weeks of the unit. Our next unit will be in social studies where we learn about Canada and its provinces.