Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Update #2 for 2sday.

I thought I'd take this post just to give an update on where we're at in terms of our current curriculum outcomes. Believe it or not, I am already starting to think about marks for the second series of report cards that will be coming out for spring!

In math, we are well into our work on 2-dimensional figures. The main focus in Grade 4 is on symmetry, so we did a fun activity today that had students make a big chart to outline the properties of 2-D figures. We compared numbers of points, sides and axes of symmetry, and tried to think of some rules we could go by. In the afternoon, we made drawings that used the play on words "En Forme" to have students represent different ways of "Staying in Shape" using a variety of shapes. Then, they switched scrapbooks and catalogued all the shapes they could see and what they were used for.

In Science, we will be moving into experimenting with light in earnest. We have spent the last week or so building up vocabulary and doing some pre-evaluation exercises to get us ready for this big step, and I think we are ready. The school has lots of great materials at our grade-level that will allow us to demonstrate the properties and uses of light, many of which they will be able to recreate at home.

We are moving on to "Why People Explore" in Social Studies. The curriculum has us doing many comparisons and analyses of different explorers and situations, in an effort to develop better research and comprehension skills. It is a challenging curriculum to teach, but the class seems to have bought into it. They are also taking full advantage of a variety of atlases, maps and other resource books available in class and in the library. Lately, their interest has also manifested itself in the form of Geography Wars, a student-directed geography quiz/research game.

In Religion, we are moving along in the textbook. The current focus in on friendship, values and morals. We are reading stories from the text, researching wherever possible, and having many good discussions. I often take a chance in Religion class to structure discussions in a way that forces us to practice the idioms, structures and vocabulary that we are focusing on most. We will move into study of the variety of events and customs surrounding Easter and other rites of spring.

As mentioned, book reports are coming along well. We will be starting group novel studies soon in French, and in English Language Arts we continue to study and enjoy poetry as a class. Many students have demonstrated an increased interest and aptitude in music recently, so I also plan to start incorporating more music listening, making and critiquing into our Language Arts and Art classes.

The music teaching staff at BCE does a great job of exposing students to a variety of styles and genres of music, so I would love to take advantage of it. I played some songs on the computer during seatwork today, ranging from Chopin and Saint-Saens to Prokofiev and Tchaikovsky. The class was very quick to react to the music, and quite willing to share their thoughts and emotions.

I'm rambling, so I will cut it off now. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to be in touch.

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