Friday, September 15, 2017

Midway through Quarter 1 Already!

Hello 4th and 5th grade families!

We've been busy in the 4/5 classroom over the past couple of weeks.  This week, a new student joined us!  We welcome Leen, a new fourth grade girl, to our growing class.   As many of you saw, we had a great assembly last Thursday - the kids should be very proud of their hard work and performance! Thanks to all those who came out.  I, regretfully, didn't take any pictures so if any of you did, please send them to me and I can add them to the blog.  Below, you can read up on what your child has been learning and see some pictures of our science activities and our time with our first grade reading buddies!

Enjoy the weekend,
Ms. Fezekas

Reading:  As a whole class, we've been continuing Wonder.  So far, we have read Part One from Auggie's perspective and Part Two from his sister Via's perspective.  The kids are hooked!  The students have been practicing annotating the text, analyzing characters, and looking closer at quotes to uncover the significance.  Engage in dialogue about the book with your child - I'm sure they'll have a lot to share!  I have also been able to complete baseline reading assessments to help me better tailor instruction to each individual child's needs.  Once or twice a week, your child will have the opportunity to read independently, conferencing with me, and responding to their book choice in their reading journals.

Writing:  In writing we have begun our personal narrative stories.  Linked to Wonder, each student chose to write about a memorable first time, a time they had to do something hard or scary, a time they felt left out or alone, or a time when they witnessed or participated in an act of significant kindness.  We have planned our inciting incidents, climaxes, and a few events in between and the children will begin drafting their stories on Monday.  Ask your child what they're writing about!

Math:  The students have been working with place value and number sense concepts in preparation for progressively more complex arithmetic concepts.  The fourth graders will soon be working with regrouping for multi-digit addition and borrowing for multi-digit subtraction.  The fifth graders will work with estimation skills soon and move on to multiplication concepts in the next few days.

IXL - The IXL login page has changed.  Children should visit if they want to do math practice at home.
4th Grade Skills:  A1-8 and A15 and any Ls from our last unit
5th Grade Skills:  A1-5, A7, any B, and any T from our last unit

Science:  We had the opportunity to look at several different plant and animal slides using microscopes in the high school science lab.  Students also built animal and plant cells with some basic parts using different colored paper.  We are now looking at the seven life processes of all living things:  Movement, nutrition, respiration, excretion, reproduction, sensitivity, and growth.  Soon, the students will each choose an animal and a plant to research to learn about what characterizes these life processes for their chosen living things.  The focus throughout the unit is on the relationship between structure and function.  Below are a few examples.
  • Plant cells have strong, rigid cell walls to provide support for the plant because plants do not have skeletons.
  • Vacuoles are sac-like because they expand and shrink to store food and water.
  • Red blood cells are round and can bend so that they can fit into narrow places like your veins and capillaries.  
  • A carnivore's teeth are sharp so that they can tear meat.
The structure/function relationship exists all around us.  Perhaps you can encourage your child to explore this further in their own environment.  

Upcoming Dates

MAP Testing for 4/5:  September 27th, October 3rd, October 6th
September 20th:  Progress Reports will be sent home
September 22nd:  No school (Malian Independence Day)
October 2nd:  No school (Teacher PD day)

Enjoy some pictures from the last few weeks!  I particularly enjoyed the before and after picture of Allan in the science lab.  Pure joy and excitement!