We've had another great week in 4th grade!
Picture retake day is Monday, October 1st.
Reminder: Hand, Foot, and Mouth disease has been diagnosed in at least one student at Lee. A letter went home about this last week. Make sure your kids are washing their hands! We are cleaning desks every day for a while until this blows over.
We are still practicing reading routines in order to get ready for guided reading. So far they have mastered reading to themselves and reading to a partner. We are still working on doing word work independently, but we'll get there next week and then we can start our reading curriculum in earnest.
This week we read some stories with strong emotions in them and used those to think about stories that the kids can write from their own lives.
We had a good week in spelling, the kids are broken up into groups now and are working every day with partners to become better spellers.
This week we started adding and subtracting. Adding and carrying is definitely a strength, but we hit a pretty good snag when it came to borrowing for subtracting. We will keep working until everyone gets it!
This week we built circuits and tested a bunch of different materials to see if they are conductors or insulators.
We have been thinking like geographers this week, doing lots of activities with Google Earth or thinking about how we live in Michigan with the natural resources that we have.
We've had a great week in 4th grade! Things are finally starting to move ahead and we have hit the ground running.
We have finally finished NWEA tests! These are long and painful, but they help us to focus our teaching on exactly what each students needs.
In our reading class we have just started to learn how to be independent learners. Most of my reading instruction will be in small groups so I can focus on giving each student reading skills and strategies that are specific to their level. While I am in small groups I can't be watching the rest of the class, and I have to know that they are working on something beneficial without me. We have been practicing the different routines and activities and still working on perfecting them.
We have spent the last two weeks getting familiar with Office365, the tools that will help us publish work this year.
This week the kids got used to how I do spelling. Each week they get words that are specific to their spelling ability. Each list has patterns that the kids will learn to use to be come better spellers. They will do some mandatory spelling activities every week in a language packet, and when they finish those, they will have some optional activities they can do to further their mastery. You can see their words in their planners and also download from this website.
We have been working on place value activities this week, mostly rounding and writing numbers in expanded form. Hopefully you have seen a few packets coming home. What you probably haven't seen is homework. I make the kids work very hard in school, and I want them to have time to relax and be with their families when they get home. To make sure they understand the material, I give them an short quiz every single day. If they do well, they don't need the extra practice. If they need help, I have a 30 minute time at the end of the day that I use to help people who did not understand. Direct instruction from me is more valuable then a confused student at home with work they don't understand. Help from parents is a great substitute, but schedules are busy and sometimes there is just no time.
We have been exploring circuits and electricity, the kids have already worked out how to light a bulb with a battery and how electricity flows in a circuit.
This week we learned what historians do and reviewed Michigan history in the process. Next Friday we will be having a vocabulary test on geographers, you can find a link to those words below this post.
In compliance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education amendments of 1972, Section 504 of Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, Title II of the Americans with Disability Act of 1990, and Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act of 1977, it is the policy of the Richmond Community School District that no person shall, on the basis of race, color, religion, military status, national origin or ancestry, sex (including sexual orientation), disability, age (except as authorized by law), height, weight, or marital status be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to, discrimination during any program, activity, service or employment. Inquiries related to any nondiscrimination policies should be directed to the Superintendent, 35276 Division Road, Richmond, MI 48062, (586) 727-3565.