Tuesday, October 26, 2010

A busy day on Planet Francais.

Day 6 often seems to be a bit of a lost cause in our class, since we have music and gym back-to-back before recess and book exchange at 10:45. This makes it kind of hard to get in a flow, but does have the side benefit of making the students quite focused right after recess. For that reason, I decided to do an activity in the computer lab today. We used the Montreal Biodome website for the exercise, since it is very interactive and covers many of the technology, science and social studies requirements of the grade 4 curriculum.

I made a point to take them through the whole process, discussing what the significance of clickin on an icon is, why there are different windows open, and how a computer responds to input (ie. don't mash the keys when Internet Explorer inevitably locks up). We also had a great discussion about the usefulness and dangers of search engines. As we get into more and more information gathering, this will become an increasingly critical point. I would encourage you to follow these same procedures at home, since the students are very curious to know "why" and "how" about everything; this opportunity might not last forever!

I was quite happy with the results of the verb conjugation exercise in general; I sent their new Blue DuoTangs back home to review vocabulary and use the conjugation guide for their homework. Also written in their agendas are a few reminders about activities coming up this week and the due date of their Book Reports.

This afternoon we spent the bulk of our time carrying out a graphic interpretation exercise. This exercise had them take pictures out of a newspaper, then jot down their first impressions. We were looking for information, overall impressions, emotions and colour to name a few. They collected data from the whole class about their pictures, then got to present what they had heard as well as what they thought the real meaning/importance of the picture was. They drew the conclusion that everybody sees value, information and artistic merit in a different way and to varying degrees.

I will send home a new set of Math Review sheets tomorrow, since I aim to have another math test by the end of next week (or early the following week). This will be the same format, and is designed to diagnose needs for review and explanation more than as an evaluation tool. As with the last set of review questions, I would ask you to have the students finish them over time and let me know if there are any issues. This approach, rather than over-coaching for the "right" answer, proved to work well last time and seems to have formed a solid basis of understanding.

I'm going to re-post a couple links today, because we used them in class. The first is the Biodome website; the students are all familiar with it now, and would probably love to show you some of the cool videos, information and games they found in the "Virtual Tour" section.


The second link is the multiplication game site that I put up last week; we played them again today and they were a huge hit.


Have a great Tuesday!

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