Life happens. Things have gotten crazy busy and I haven't updated in a while. Here's the latest in a nutshell.
* We survived the first nine weeks of fourth grade together. (YEAH!)
* The Star Lab (a mobile planetarium) came to visit and we learned about constellations, moon phases, and the planets.
* Our second early release/STEM day was a success. (Pictures to follow.) Students had to create spider cages to hold 10 spiders. (You should have seen their faces when I told them Mrs. Gerber and I had been up collecting real spiders for hours the night before.)
* Intervention Fridays are going well. We pretest the students on a topic (this time was multiplication facts) and break them into groups based on what they know. Different groups focus on different lessons related to multiplication. Some focus on tricks to help learn the facts, some start getting a jump on how to use the area model & partial products to solve larger multiplication problems, and others apply what they know to practice through games. No matter which group kids are in, they ALL need to know their multiplication facts without hesitation.
Moving forward into the new nine weeks we will be officially starting multiplication and division (no "old school" ways here.) This includes word problems, factors & multiples, and multiplicative comparison (sounds harder than it is!) We will continue with science for another week or so focusing on space before turning back to Social Studies and some of the battles of the American Revolution.
STEM Day #2 - Create a spider cage
Students had to create a cage that would hold 10 spiders, have a viewing window, and a latch to open and close the container. Many different shapes were constructed, a few of which didn't work.
This week we will continue to discuss causes of the Revolutionary War (including the Boston Massacre and the Boston Tea Party.) We will have several different reading passages throughout the week that will be coming home for HW, discussed in class and used to create a journal entry, and finally used to answer questions for a grade. I anticipate 3 more secondary grades this week before we have our culminating test over the causes of the war on Friday. The test information will include information about the French & Indian War up to the Boston Tea Party. Everything can be found in your child's SS journal.
I understand that the SS Weekly link on the side didn't work on Tuesday and it wasn't a problem for just us. Please give it another shot and let me know if you are unable to get in. As I said before, there is a lot of great information there. I have spoken to the students about not just "clicking around" and actually reading the passages or watching some of the videos. They can test their own knowledge with the 3 questions that are located after the bonus features.
Addison is trying something new this year. For each one of our early release days we are going to be tackling a STEM project. This first one was an introduction to the engineering process and our task was to build a bridge out of nothing but index cards. Teams were given 50 index cards that they could cut, fold, or tear, but could not use tape or staples to hold them together. In the end we were trying to find the bridge that could hold the most weight (the most pennies.) Below are some pictures from the day.
There is a new button on the side of the webpage! I have included a link to the Social Studies Weekly in hopes that I can get more students interested in using this online resource. I am well aware that not everyone has access to a computer, but for those that do here are some readings to get you ahead of the game (or avoid reading a worksheet and earn Rev coins in the process!) Be sure to check out the purple button that says BONUS SOURCES for some really cool stuff with each article.
Tuesday, 9/4: Read the article George vs. George vs. George and be prepared to answer the following questions.
1. Which of the Georges was right?
2. What is one right which was extremely important to George Washington? What evidence do you have to support this claim?
3. What might Great Britain have done to try to avoid going to war with the colonists?
We made it through the week unscathed. This week we are finishing up place value, estimation, and rounding. The AC Math class will be taking their test on the Tuesday after Labor Day and Mrs. Gerber's math class will be taking it on Wednesday. Math will be looking at estimation and using the addition and subtraction algorithm (and using word problems to practice.) In Social Studies we are looking at causes for the American Revolution. The Social Studies Weekly that we use in class has an online component that is amazing! I would like to encourage the students to www.clever.com and sign in to read through some of the articles and watch videos. There is a lot of great information in there!
While I do some reteaching on latitude & longitude (some didn't study for their quiz today!), others will have the opportunity to find states and capitals by their latitude and longitude as well as play some online games to practice.
Friday was our first visit to the science lab. (Thanks to all of you that help support Foundation which pays for the lab!) We learned the rules of the lab - what is right and wrong and then got to do a STEM activity. Students had to create a tower using only 5 sheets of paper and masking tape to hold up a t-ball for 20 seconds. The second part of the challenge was to build the tallest tower. Mrs. Gerber's class built a 19 inch tower and Mrs. Tansill's class just barely surpassed them with a 20 inch tower.
For the SS Weekly, your user name is your school ID number.