Tuesday, October 12, 2010

When I grow up, I want to be an astro-doctor-paleo-ballerina-farm-actor-dancing-zookeeper

The week has exploded into being as usual, with plenty of action and lots of new projects and ideas. Our Student of the Week gave a fantastic opening presentation, and the class had some very good questions for her. I am very happy with the effort students are putting into the role, as well as the satisfaction they are getting and the respect their classmates are showing in return. Our new classroom representative also had his first Student Council meeting, and our lovely Guidance Councillor came in to talk about her role in the school.

As part of her activity, she asked each student what they wanted to be when they grew up. We had the usual wonderful array, from sports stars and LEGO technicians to doctors, farmers and flight attendents. Then, she proceeded to go back through the last 4 years and recite what each student had chosen as a career back then. The class was delighted, and it sprung a great discussion about why we feel different ways depending on who we are around, what we are doing and what we are learning.

In math we began to work on Addition and Subtraction of large numbers. We are starting off with estimation, for which I will have several mini-projects and assignments they can work on at home. I will send the first one home tomorrow. These little projects will focus on the idea of using their math skills to confront very LARGE questions. For example, how many piano keys are there in Newfoundland? Well, the first question would be how many people they know own a piano, how many live in the province, how many keys on a piano, etc. until they find an approximate guess. As you can imagine, the focus is not on getting an exact answer, but using process to apply what they know in the real world.

We used our pop-bottle habitats to explore ideas about food chains and decomposition in science class. The class created their own food chains in their notebooks, using words (in French, of course) such as herbivore, carnivore, omnivore, decompose, connected, energy, oxygen and carbon dioxide. Tomorrow we will focus more on adaptations and niches. There was also a heated discussion about what place on earth is farthest from us, so I asked the parties involved to try to find that out tonight.

Each student also clarified more details on their book report today, namely choosing a book and a format for their presentation. Diorama was a runaway favourite, as were Comic Strip and Poster. Their next assignment (some have already finished) is to work on a one-page synopsis. They will have time to do this in class, but I encourage them to work on it at home as well. This piece of writing should summarize the story, as well as talking about how it made them feel, what the characters' motivations were, and what/how they are going to represent those things in their project.

Most students have finished at least a first draft of their stories in class, and many have completed a second copy. After giving a bit more time to review and finish drafting tomorrow, they will be assigned a final copy to finish at home. I will provide each student with sheets to write this good copy on, and will also give the option of typing it if they would like. The most important thing at this point is that they pay attention to capital letter, punctuation and paragraph form. We have discussed these at length, and will continue to do so.

We will be watching the Saving Species disc of Planet Earth tomorrow afternoon as a class treat. This episode is better known as "The one with the polar bears!!!!" in many Grade 4 circles. Should be fun, with a few snacks to go along. It also lends itself well to incorporating a lot of the ideas we are exploring in math, science and social studies. On another note, the class will be going to view the Book Fair on Thursday and then can purchase on Friday afternoon if they wish. Our class book order should be here before too long as well.

Below are a few links for help with our current unit in Math; pleas not that we Please note that we will not be rounding decimal places. We will begin moving along a bit faster now that everyone has their feet under them. As always, don't hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.


For this next site, I would focus on sections B.8 and B.9 right now. I will also add this site to the blog's sidebar for future reference as Grade 4 Math Practice.


No comments:

Post a Comment