Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Quarter Wrap Up!

Hello 4th and 5th Grade Families,

Quarter one is winding down and a much-deserved week of rest is just ahead.  The 4/5 students have been working very hard in all areas.  After the vacation, we'll be taking time to reflect on what we've done so far this year, gathering evidence to show our learning, identifying our strengths, and making decisions about areas that we want to focus on for further improvement.  This blog post will update you on what we've done to wrap up the first quarter of the year.  I'll add pictures once I've taken some during Spirit Week!

Enjoy the break,
Ms. Fezekas

Reading:  We have officially finished Wonder!  The kids loved it.  Many have chosen to take it home to reread over the vacation.  We will have a summative assessment when we return and students will have the chance to demonstrate what they've learned about annotating the text, inferring the significance of specific quotes, character development, character traits, and the author's message.  There is a companion novel, Auggie and Me, which is on its way to AISB.  I plan to read it aloud for a short time most days of the week because the students are so enthralled by the story.  Up next in Reading, we will be doing work with short stories of various genres.  Students, of course, should continue to read each night (some of the time in English) from a book that they can understand and one that captures their interest.

Writing:  The students are wrapping up their personal narrative stories.  We have focused on using transition words, writing with description using a strategy called "show, don't tell", and capturing the reader's interest with a strong hook.  The students will continue to take their pieces all the way through the writing process:  peer conferencing, teacher conferencing, responding to suggestions, and publishing.  They will have the opportunity to share their stories with you at the parent-teacher-student conferences coming up.  We have also begun Word Work, a time where students get targeted phonics or etymology practice based on their needs.

Grade 4 Math:  The fourth graders have been working with adding and subtracting large numbers.  Many of the problems require regrouping.  Students have modeled regrouping in several different examples to show why the "tricks" work and what is really happening.  The value of the number remains the same, it is just written in a new way.

Ex.  In 135 minus 19, you can't take 9 ones from 5 ones and so you must regroup the 3 tens as 2 tens and 10 ones to then subtract.  135 is renamed as 1 hundred, 2 tens, 15 ones but the value is still 135.  

The fourth graders have also been working on word problems with sums and differences, illustrating parts, totals, and differences, and showing their number sense through different challenging exercises.

Ex.  Make the smallest possible even number with the digits 4, 7, 3, 9, 6.  If it's the smallest number, we want the digits with the smallest value to come first.  If the number has to be even, there must be a 4 or a 6 in the ones place.  It is better to use the 6 because ones do not have much value.  The answer would then be 34,796.

IXLs to Review:  A4, B4, B1, B2, B7, C1, C2, C4

Grade 5 Math:  The fifth graders have been working with multiplication concepts.  Connecting multiplication to repeated addition, we explored repeated multiplication using bases and exponents.  The students also mentally calculated multiplication with multiples of ten and two-digit by one digit multiplication using the partial product method, mentally.

Ex.  300 x 50 is 3 x 5 x 1,000 or 15,000.
Ex.  38 x 4 = 30 x 4 which is 120 + 8 x 4 which is 32 so, through mental math, you can find the answer is 120 plus 32 or 152.  

The fifth graders have also practiced multiplying by 2 and 3-digit numbers using both the partial product method and the standard algorithm.  It is very important for students to understand why the shortcuts work and so we have explored this in several ways.  

IXLs to Review:  C1-5, C10, C12-16, E1-3

Science: The students are finishing up their research projects about the seven life process of all living things.  Many have begun working on their Google Slide presentation.  The goals of this challenging project are to help students identify the unique characteristics of life and how these characteristics take many forms.  Further, the students are getting ample research practice and developing their technology skills.  Soon, they will present their work for the class and practice their presentation skills.  

Upcoming Important Dates

October Break:  October 14th - October 22nd
Spirit Week:  October 23rd - October 27th
End of Quarter 1:  October 27th
Halloween Party:  October 28th
Quarter 1 Reports sent home:  November 1st
Parent-Teacher-Student Conferences:  November 3rd 

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