Tuesday, May 1, 2018

May Happenings

Hello Parents.

As we round out our last month of the year, we have two important dates coming up to put on your calendar.


May 23rd is Field Day.  This is planned by the specials teachers.  Information will be sent home soon from them.

May 25th will be the 4th Grade Picnic during our regular lunch time.
If you would like to come and eat lunch with us, please meet us on the grass by the bus loop.  The kids may bring their lunch that day or buy from the cafeteria and then head outside.  We will enjoy lunch together from 12:40-1:00, and then the kids are off to their regular recess after that.  Feel free to bring siblings, other family members, blankets, etc.

May 25th is also the last day of school.


Reading Workshop
Our study of the comprehension strategy of summarize and synthesize will continue. Synthesizing information helps readers to see the bigger picture as they read.  The kids will learn how to be thoughtful readers who integrate new information with their existing learning to come to a more complete understanding of the text.  Their thinking will begin to evolve as they encounter new information.  I will model application of the strategy using text on the Maya, the true story of a young Afghan refugee, ancient Egyptians, and humpback whales.  As always, the kids will be given text at their reading level to read and independently apply the strategy.

Writing Workshop
The kids have completed their informational book and are witting one final narrative of the year that will synthesize all of the techniques they have learned thus far.  For their final piece they may write realistic fiction, science fiction, historical fiction, or fantasy.  They are really excited because they get to select their own topic.  Many are writing books similar to books they love to read.  This final piece will be hand-written into a small white book that they will also illustrate.

Math
During our last math unit of the year, the kids will be solving two-digit by two-digit multiplication story problems and division problems.  We are using different strategies, such as  standard algorithm and cluster problems as we do so.  Lastly, we are exploring standard algorithm and long division.  As always, the kids may choose the strategy they like best to help them solve their problems.

Science
We are currently learning about the sun, moon, and stars.  We will study the path of the sun and its various positions in the sky as well as how and why shadows are formed.  Additionally, we will  gather and analyze shadow data to develop logical conclusions about the sun's position.
Finally, we will study the various phases of the moon as well as constellations.  
As we complete our unit on the sun, moon, and stars, we will begin our final science unit of the year on electricity and magnetism.  In this unit, the kids will study the properties of magnets and the forms of electrical energy.  They will build circuits and study how electric current is changed into useful energy.  This is a very "hands-on" unit that the kids always love!  It is an educational and fun way to end the year!

Monday, April 9, 2018

What's Happening in April?

Reading Workshop

Starting the middle of April, we will begin our study of the comprehension strategy of summarize and synthesize.  Synthesizing information helps readers to see the bigger picture as they read.  The kids will learn how to be thoughtful readers who integrate new information with their existing learning to come to a more complete understanding of the text.  Their thinking will begin to evolve as they encounter new information.  I will model application of the strategy using text on the Maya, the true story of a young Afghan refugee, ancient Egyptians, and humpback whales.  As always, the kids will be given text at their reading level to read and independently apply the strategy.  

Writing Workshop

As you saw at conferences, the kids are very engaged in the informational writing process.  They have become experts on their selected topic and are currently in the process of completing their rough drafts, editing, revising, and publishing them.  At this point in the process they are paying extra special attention to using a teaching tone and incorporating text features in their piece.


Science

Now that our unit on YAT has concluded, we will switch gears and focus on Science for the remainder of the year.  Our next unit of study will be on the sun, moon, and stars.  We will study the path of the sun and its various positions in the sky as well as how and why shadows are formed.  We will also gather and analyze shadow data to develop logical conclusions about the sun's position.  
Finally, we will study the various phases of the moon as well as constellations.  

Math

During the month of April we will continue our study of fractions and decimals.  For the remainder of this unit we will multiply fractions by whole numbers, as well as multiply, add, and subtract fractions.  As this unit concludes, we will begin our study of unit 7, "How Many Packages and Groups".  The unit focuses on the operations of multiplication and division, including problems involving converting measurements.
**As always, you and your kiddo can log on to the Pearson Realize website for access to teaching videos, math games, and the HW pages connected to this unit.  


























Sunday, March 25, 2018

State Testing Information

Hi parents!
Here is some important information from our school regarding state testing.  I have been asked to share this with you.  

Students in grades 3-5 will begin their state testing when we return from spring break.  Students in the intermediate grade will be assessed in literacy and math using the state CMAS assessments, or the Colorado Measures of Academic Success.  Fifth graders will take an additional science assessment. The testing schedule is shown below.  Please refrain from scheduling outside appointments during all testing times.  We also recommend that students get plenty of rest and eat a healthy breakfast during the testing window.

March 28, 29 & 30 CMAS English Language Arts Assessment 
9:00-10:30 3rd Grade
10:15-12:00 5th Grade
1:30-3:00 4th Grade 

April 2, 3 & 4 CMAS Math
9:00-10:30 3rd Grade
10:45-12:15 5th Grade

April 9, 10 & 11 CMAS Math & Science
10:00-11:45 5th Grade - Science
1:30-3:00 4th Grade - Math 

Friday, March 2, 2018

Testing out a New Google App!!

As you saw on your kiddos' Seesaw reflection, earlier this week we had the opportunity to participate in Google Expeditions AR Pioneer Program and explore an app that has not yet been released.  Here are some photos I took to share with you. Your child had the opportunity to go "inside" the solar system and investigate planets, the sun, and the moon.  This helped provide background knowledge for our upcoming unit entitled, "Sun, Moon, and Stars". 







Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Lego WeDos in the STEAM Lab


Please refer to February's post for an explanation of the Lego WeDo performance task. 










Saturday, February 3, 2018

Fourth Grade in February

February
What's Happening In Our Classroom!


Reading
Students are continuing to learn and apply the comprehension strategy of determining importance during reading workshop. The students will be reading a variety of passages and texts and determining the difference between interesting and important information. As always, I will begin by modeling, and then the kids will eventually apply the strategy on their own.  When applying their strategies independently, they will be doing so using fiction and nonfiction texts that are appropriate for their reading level.


Writing
We have started the genre of informational writing.  The students are learning how to craft an informational piece.  The reading comprehension strategies of inferring and determining importance will be applied as the kids research their topic and read carefully to determine which information is most essential.


During the mini-lesson portion of writing workshop, I model the note taking process for the kids using texts from Reading Workshop.  Mini lessons will focus on note taking (paraphrasing and quoting information), citing research, and using text features to elevate the complexity of writing.  This unit will be about two months long.  During this time the kids will write several informational pieces and learn how to write with a teaching tone.  They will become experts on their topic along the way.

Math
In February, we will finish our math unit on measurement and shapes.  Our next unit is Fraction Cards and Decimal Grids. In this unit, students will learn parts of rectangles, comparing fractions and decimals, adding and subtracting fractions and decimals, and computation with rational numbers. Learning will be differentiated through small group instruction as well as extension activities that will challenge all students.


Useful Links:














Young AmeriTowne
Students are learning about the Free Enterprise and Economics.  Over the next few weeks we will be discussing choices and decisions, supply and demand, banking, checking accounts, how government works, how to write a deposit slip/check, how to fill out a job application, and how to interview.  These are just some of the concepts we will explore.  The fourth grade will be attending Young AmeriTowne on Friday, March 9, 2017.


Technology
Next week in our technology rotation, students will be going to the STEAM Lab to work with Lego-WeDos.  Our focus will be on building and programming Legos, collaborating creatively with others, and having the openness and courage to explore an open-ended task.  Students will also look at how designing and refining their ideas will lead to success with Legos.


February is Kindness Month!  
  • We will be working on developing and strengthening our classroom community.  
  • Secret Pal Valentine Breakfast - February 14th
March  
  • Colorado Connection Concert in Music - March 8th (9:45-10:15)
  • Young AmeriTowne Field Trip - March 9th
  • Spring Break - March 19th-23rd
  • CMAS Testing Schedule (see below) - March 28th-April 11th


Gold Rush CMAS Schedule 2018
March

26th
27th
28th
29th
30th
3rd  Grade





9:00-10:30
Russell
conflict?


English Language Arts (ELA) Unit 1
English Language Arts (ELA) Unit 2
English Language Arts (ELA) Unit 3
5th Grade
10:15 - 12:00


English Language Arts (ELA) Unit 1
English Language Arts (ELA) Unit 2
English Language Arts (ELA) Unit 3
4th Grade





1:30-3:00


English Language Arts (ELA) Unit 1
English Language Arts (ELA) Unit 2
English Language Arts (ELA) Unit 3
April

2nd
3rd
4th
5th
6th
3rd Grade
9:00-10:30
Math Unit 1
Math Unit 2
Math Unit 3








5th Grade
10:45 - 12:15
Math Unit 1
Math Unit 2
Math Unit 3


April

9th
10th
11th
12th
13th
5th  Grade





10:00-11:45
Science Unit 1
Science Unit 2
Science Unit 3


4th Grade





1:30-3:00
Math Unit 1
Math Unit 2
Math Unit 3


ELA  3 Units @ 90 min
Math 3 Units @ 65 min
Science 3 Units @ 80 min


Saturday, January 6, 2018

Here's What's Happening in January

Reading
We are about to begin learning and applying the comprehension strategy of determining importance during reading workshop. The students will be reading a variety of passages and texts and determining the difference between interesting and important information. As always, I will begin by modeling, and then the kids will eventually apply the strategy on their own.   When applying their strategies independently, they will be  doing so using fiction and nonfiction texts that are appropriate for their reading level.


Writing
With the start of the New Year, we will begin a new genre in writing.  The kids will learn how to craft an informational piece.  The purpose of the informational piece is to teach others about their selected topic which will focus on American history.  The reading comprehension strategy of determining importance will be applied as the kids research their topic and read carefully to determine which information is most essential.  


During the mini-lesson portion of writing workshop, I will model the note taking process for the kids using texts from Reading Workshop.  Mini lessons will focus on note taking (paraphrasing and quoting information), citing research, and using text features to elevate the complexity of writing.  This unit will be about two months long.  During this time the kids will write several informational pieces and learn how to write with a teaching tone.  They will become experts on their topic along the way.


Math
In January we will continue our math unit on measurement and shapes.  In this unit the kids will learn about the US Standard System of Measurement as well as the Metric System.  They will learn how to convert from one unit of measurement to the other, calculate perimeter and area, classify polygons, measure angles, and how to accurately use measurement tools. Learning will be differentiated through small group instruction as well as extension activities that will challenge all students.


Social Studies
We will soon come to the end of our Social Studies unit on Colorado History.  We have been learning about  the Gold Rushers, European Explorers, Fur Traders, Settlers, and Native Americans. Our study of these groups has involved the analysis of the positive and negative impact each group made on the other group and how each group influenced our current culture.  Ultimately, the kids will select which group of people they feel had the most influence on CO.  They will then construct a persuasive essay using the skills they learned in our essay writing unit to persuade their classmates why they believe their selected group was the most influential.


As we conclude our unit on Colorado History, we will begin “ Young Ameritowne”.  This is our unit on financial literacy.  The students will learn how to manage a budget, invest, weigh opportunity costs, and how to successfully interview and maximize their abilities, to name just a few.   There are many opportunities for parental involvement in this unit.  The fourth grade team will be sending information about these volunteer positions in the next few weeks.