Hello 4th grade families!
Wow! My first two weeks at the AJA have been quite the whirlwind, but it’s getting me excited to spend the next couple of months teaching this wonderful group of students.
Our first week back we spent some time getting to know each other. We talked about what students need to be successful and what their teachers can do to help them. To ring in 2018, the students came up with some New Year’s Resolutions in order to make this year the best one yet! In the next few weeks we’ll check in to see how those resolutions are coming along.
In Language Arts I was thrilled to start a media literacy unit that will help students complete their Genius Hour projects. The students practiced paraphrasing information they read, as well as putting that information into bullet lists. This upcoming week we’ll talk about how to search safely and effectively online when conducting research, including evaluating sources to ensure they are legitimate and valid.
In Social Studies we have started learning about the Native Americans of Texas. We began with reading The Legend of the Bluebonnet by Tomie dePaola and then went back 15,000 years to learn about when the first people came to North America. The students have since been working their way through time exploring how the Native Americans migrated and how the tribes who settled in Texas lived their lives.
One of the most exciting things for me to bring to this class was Flocabulary. Every Friday this educational rap website posts what they call the “Week in Rap” where they tackle big news stories from that week. Their videos are all made for elementary students, and I love how they break down current events in a way that is both engaging and manageable for children. When we watch the Week in Rap, students are asked to discuss stories that stood out to them, then respond in a written form as well. They answer questions like, “which news story was most interesting to you?” and “which news story do you want to know more about?” in their responses.
In Science we began a unit on the rock cycle. One day the students assumed the role of a rock, then played a game that brought each of them through their own unique journey of the rock cycle. Then we shaved and melted crayons to use as a model of what happens to rocks as they go through the cycle.
In Math we wrapped up our unit on fractions and decimals and have moved on to multi-digit multiplication. In the coming weeks the students will be able to multiply 2 digit numbers by 2 digit numbers, 3 digit by 2 digit, and so on using various strategies.