Saturday, October 15, 2016

Wrapping up the Quarter

Hello 4th and 5th grade families!

In the last few weeks, students have been working hard to bring quarter projects to a close.  They will have a lot of things to share with you at conferences in just a few weeks!

Partners with you,
Ms. Fezekas

Reading:  We have finished our classroom novel, Rules.  It helped provide several meaningful discussions about empathy, differences, and the importance of being yourself.  Students have practiced identifying the mood of scenes through the author's choice of words, creating plot diagrams of various conflicts, and paraphrasing and identifying significants of quotes from the text. During the final week of the quarter, students will be assessed on these skills.  As a class, we'll do a final analysis of two characters by creating "body biographies" using life-size representations of Catherine and her brother, David.  Students are also deep into their small group novel, where they are each getting practice with skills tailored to their individual needs.

Writing:  Students have worked hard to complete the first drafts of their informational writing piece. We have focused on writing strong leads, adding transition words, finding places in our writing where we could improve our word choice, and ending with a memorable life lesson or big idea.  This week, students will self-edit, peer-edit, and finalize their drafts.  These essays will be turned into a class anthology to be added to our classroom library.

Math:  In both grades, we continue to focus on numbers and operations.  Students have had their first process performance where they explain and justify their mathematical thinking in pictures, words, and symbols.  Students focus on the four math processes of problem solving, reasoning and proof, communication and representation, and connections.  Students have also had several opportunities to explore mathematics through games and hands-on activities.  Ask your child which games and activities they've enjoyed!

I recommend that all students practice their multiplication and division facts from 0 - 10 until they reach mastery to help reduce frustration as we progress into advanced work in these operations.   

Grade 4:  Students completed a unit on place value, addition, and subtraction.  This week, they will finish a short unit on measurement that directly relates to the previously learned topics.

Example questions:
  • One suitcase weighs 23 kilograms 696 grams. Another suitcase weighs 25 kilograms 528 grams. What is the total weight of the two suitcases?
  • 27, 545 milliliters of gas were added to a car’s empty gas tank. If the gas tank’s capacity is 56 liters 202 milliliters, how much gas is needed to fill the tank? 
Grade 5:  Students have finished an introductory unit on place value and addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division of decimals.  Currently, students are beginning work on multi-digit multiplication.

Example questions:
  • Explain how knowing 50 x 4 = 200 helps you find 500 x 400.
  • Amina is helping her father to build a rectangular garden that measures 12 m by 19 m. Find the area of the garden using a mental strategy.
  • Guy claims that (14 + 12) x (8 + 12) and (14 x 12) + (8 x 12) are equivalent because they have the same digits and the same operations.  Is he correct? Explain your thinking.
Science:  This quarter, students have learned about static and current electricity, open and closed circuits, electromagnets, and single and double switches.  As a final project, students are creating electrical circuit, light up quiz boards and writing formal lab reports that detail their scientific process.  Pictures to come!

Upcoming Important Dates

October 24th- 28th School holiday
November 4th  Parent-teacher Conferences

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