Here's what's happening in Room 24!
“What good is the warmth of summer,
without the cold of winter to give it sweetness.”
~John Steinbeck ~
“I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes. Because if you are making mistakes,
then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself,
changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before,
and more importantly, you're doing something."
- Neil Gaiman
Students have been reading and analyzing nonfiction (informational/expository texts and narrative nonfiction), learning how important it is to read to learn. As adults, 90% of what they will be reading will be nonfiction text material. We talked about the nonfiction text they read everyday, such as the cafeteria menu, directions, the schedule, etc. Students are learning about the various nonfiction text structures (main idea and detail, compare/contrast, cause and effect, problem and solution) and how understanding text structure helps them to determine the main ideas and supporting details when conducting research and reading to learn. They are using key vocabulary, such as transition words, to help understand concepts in texts. Additionally, they have learned about nonfiction text features, such as illustrations, photographs, charts, and graphs, and how they provide information as well. Reading nonfiction is challenging, as there can be many facts, figures, and numbers, as well as a variety of text structures, or hybrids, all on one page.
Whilst reading nonfiction texts, the students are using the following skills:
- monitor comprehension and reread for clarity.
- identify and describe the structure of the informational text (chronological, comparison, cause/effect, problem/solution, pro-con).
- research nonfiction topics.
- summarize information by explaining the main idea and key details.
- synthesize information from multiple sources
- work in small groups.
- become experts on topics and be able to present their knowledge to a small group.
The students are currently studying the genre of opinion, persuasive, and argumentative writing! Our fourth graders are learning the structure of the expository essays and the craft of developing a thesis and how to purposely and effectively express their thoughts, feelings, opinions, and ideas. They are studying and implementing the elements of an effective persuasive piece, and the importance of knowing both sides of the issue by addressing the pros and cons. The students are in the midst of developing a five paragraph essay with a powerful and engaging introduction, three paragraphs featuring main reasons/claims along with supporting evidence, and a conclusion that leaves a lasting impression in the form of a call to action, a now or never statement, or a reinforcement of their most significant claim.As persuasive writing is a more structured genre, the students will be utilizing various graphic organizers to plan. The students will analyze and try out persuasive lead techniques such as rhetorical/hypothetical questions, bandwagon statements, shocking statistics, and descriptive scenes in order to engage their audience. Purposeful language, the importance of data, statistics, expert testimony, and facts will also be stressed as a means to effectively share their point of view and perhaps change someone else's through the power of their writing. As a result, it's important for the students to have a clear understanding of their audience to achieve their goal. Lastly, students will be striving to incorporate transitional phrases to link main ideas and details in their essays to make them as powerful and persuasive as possible.
In math we are working on the partial quotients algorithm for division. During this unit, the students will find whole-number quotients and remainders with up to four-digit dividends and one-digit divisors. Place value, the properties of operations, and the inverse relationship between multiplication and division are key concepts for this unit.
For students, the I Can statements are:
- I can use multiplication and division to solve problems.
- I can solve multi-step problems in which remainders have to be interpreted.
- I can divide 4-digit by 1-digit numbers.
The students are learning about immigration and how America is truly a "Nation of Immigrants". Through web sites, literature, videos, and primary sources such as journal entries and photos, the students will learn about what life was like for a new immigrant in America - both historically and in the present day. Students will be learning about the push/pull factors of immigration, the experiences of immigrants entering through both Ellis and Angel Island, the contributions of immigrants, and their rights as citizens. To enrich this unit of study, please continue to share family stories of your family's immigration history and cultural heritage!