October is a Busy Month!

Written by admin. Posted in 4th Grade

Reading Workshop

This month we are engaging the children in a unit of study focused on getting to know the characters in their books. We have taught the children to pay close attention to their characters´traits, actions, reactions and motivations. We will be exploring how characters change throughout the story and what prompts that change. We are also teaching the children to visualize the story in their minds and make predictions as they read in order to enhance their comprehension.

By now you´ve noticed that your child has his/her own book baggy. The children are expected to read from this baggy for 20 minutes nightly. They may chose to read additional books at their leisure.

Writing Workshop

The children have been writing wonderful realistic fiction stories! We will continue to teach strategies to make their stories more engaging and clear. This unit we are focusing on developing characters, creating plots that include problem and solution, and using dialogue to bring the characters to life. Students will be working through the writing process to bring their stories from the brainstorming phase to the publishing phase. Be on the lookout for their stories- coming in the beginning of November!

Math

Addition and subtraction are the main focus of this month´s unit. Children are learning multiple strategies to solve equations. We´ve been working hard on building the children´s number sense to make sure we lay a strong foundation for a successful year. At home, the students can play games on www.hoodamath.com. They should focus on addition and subtraction facts while playing on Hooda Math. They´ve learned many math games in school. We encourage you to play the games with them at home.

Social Studies

We have been working on our geography skills and will continue to do so this month. Children have learned about the climate zones and will learn about landforms in the upcoming weeks. They will be doing a culminating project in which they´ll apply all that they have learned.

Radial Symmetry

Written by Lila Jorge. Posted in 4th Grade, Administration, Elementary School, ES Art, ES Principal

Whenever I visit a classroom there are always one or two students who ask me why I like to visit classes.  My response is always the same – I love learning about their learning.  It’s a combination of seeing how the students are engaging with different concepts, identifying practices that are supporting student learning and also keeping an eye out for things we can improve.

Photo1Today, I had the chance to see how some of our 4th graders were doing in their most recent art project revolved around radial symmetry.  I was really excited by Ms. Tiff’s choice to work around this concept because there is so much room for exploration.  What is symmetry?  What distinguishes radial symmetry from linear symmetry?  What is the radius of a circle and how can we potentially gather clues from the term radial symmetry?

I decided to ask a few students these questions in order to check their level of understanding and these are some of the responses I heard back.

“Symmetry is when you draw a line down the middle of a picture and the two sides are like reflections.”

“Radial symmetry means that you have an image that repeats all the way around the circle.”

“The radius is the distance from the center to the perimeter.  So, they call it radial symmetry because the reflection starts at the center of the circle and goes all the way around.”

I appreciated how the students explained their understanding using their own words, which showed that they truly grasped the concept and weren’t simply parroting back a memorized definition.  It was a wonderful example of how we aim to help children not only grasp the big ideas but simultaneously develop the ability to articulate their ideas and understanding of concepts.