Saturday, April 9, 2011

Another Weekend Update

In the interest of keeping ahead of things, I thought I would create a post with some useful links, ideas and information about upcoming and ongoing topics we are working on in class. As with other times I have done this, I will break things down by subject. For parents, this might be a good post to bookmark for future reference.


Our next topic is fractions. This is a logical next step after the grouping activities in our multiplication unit. My approach to this unit will be very hands-on, and will also incorporate a lot of problem-solving techniques. One good resource to help with review and practice can be found on the right sidebar of this blog. It is called "Visual Fractions: Activities and Extra Work" and is a great resource. I have used it when tutoring students in the past, since it provides very concrete examples and activities.
Another useful link that is permanently on the blog sidebar is called "Virtual Math Manipulatives". This site provides digital renderings of many of the tools we will be using in class, including blocks, fraction disks and other manipulative materials. Throughout this chapter, I will be directing students to use this link to help them with homework and review.

This next site is not permanently linked on the blog, but will be very useful for this unit. It has a wide array of review activities that students can use to evaluate their understanding and get ahead of the game if they would like to.


In health, our ongoing discussion of drugs and medication will be tested on Tuesday, April 19th. We have had many good discussions on the topic so far, and I know the class is curious to know more. I think that anything beyond discussion and communication of basic details lies outside the scope of what we can discuss in class, but I would encourage you to talk more about this important topic at home. So far we have discussed the effects of prescription and over-the-counter drugs, as well as substances like caffeine, nicotine and alcohol. We will go on to discuss illegal drugs in some detail next week as well.

That being said, here are a few links that have information about drugs and other similar substances. These sites cater to children and their parents, and provide information in a way that is age-appropriate and accurate.

For students reading the blog, I am happy to see how interested you are in getting the information you need to make good decisions, and I encourage you to keep asking great questions at school and at home.


Our science test is on Thursday, April 14th. It will assess the students' understanding of the important elements of our unit on Light, and will cover material that the students generated during an independent review session earlier in the week. Students will be bringing home their notes and text books on Monday to help study for the test, as well as a comprehensive study guide. We will be doing some light-related experiments in the time leading up to Easter, and starting our next unit after the vacation.

Social Studies

Our next unit in Social Studies opens up to a focus on global landforms, continents and weather. It sticks with the processes we have been learning, as well as our focus on Exploration. Along with the other grade 4 teachers at BCE, I have been developing a unit that focuses on the use of Choice Boards to pick a means of presenting what you are learning/have learned. We have already used Choice Boards in the Personal Projects, but the board we will use in Social Studies is very comprehensive and should provide some challenges as well as helping students express their skills and interests.

For help with this upcoming unit, I would direct students and parents to several useful sites that focus on many facets of Geography. The first is Geography for Kids, a site that I have already linked this year. It has lots of fun things to do, with a particular focus on political geography rather than landforms.

National Geographic Kids is perhaps an obvious choice, but bears mentioning because it is such an exceptional website. It has the basics you would expect from National Geographic (great pictures and content), but really makes an effort to address things kids find interesting in a meaningful way. A lot of sites tend to "dumb it down" for kids content related to math and science, but this site is at once fun, engaging and challenging. When confronted with projects or assignments that ask them to pick a topic or find information, I would highly suggest using this site as a primary resource.

Since a familiarity with the Continents and major Oceans is a necessity for the upcoming unit, I thought I would link the following site. It has some quizzes and activities to build familiarity with the location and names of the continents. The activity is in English, but will help nonetheless.

To follow up on these activities, students can complete some similar familiarity activities in French.

I will post links about the remaining subject areas tomorrow. Enjoy your weekend!

No comments:

Post a Comment