Friday, February 3, 2012

February 3, 2012

Important Dates
Feb. 7 Math Practice STAAR Test
Feb. 10 Donuts for Dads
              Vocabulary Test 10
February 11 MDE Auction
Februrary 14 Valentine's Day Party 2:00-2:45

Social Studies
We have been working on a project about 1800s history. We have studied about Stephen F. Austin and all of the people who came to Texas.  The students now are writing a newspaper to show what they learned about it. They will include why people should have come to Texas at the time, and a persuasuive letter will be written persuading Stephen F. Austin to let them come to the colony.  We are typing the newspaper in the computer project room and  then the students are each drawing a picture of what their land would look like if they were part of the old 300 who came to Texas.

We have be focusing on measurement. We have studied Customary and Metric measurements such as: temperature, mass, weight, length, and capacity. We are also making conversions within each type of measurement.  For example: How many ounces would equal 6 pounds?  
The students will take a practice STAAR Math test on Tuesday, Feb. 7. 

We have been working in our book clubs together and focusing on character traits. The topic of theme has also been studied, and we have talked about how it is the underlying idea that usually runs throughout a book.  If we took away the plot, setting, and characters, the theme would he what is left.  Theme is sort of abstract, so sometimes it is harder for students to grasp. We will continue studying it as the year progresses.
We are contiuing to read our read aloud titled Ruby Slippers and the students are given silent reading as well, to be able to enjoy their own self selected books.

We have been working with adjectives and studying how they can fall after a linking verb in a sentence. We have also studied articles: a, an, the.  Our expository paper will be finished this week and we are going to focus again on narratives next week.

We have been learning about Life Science.  We have been studying ecosystems, habitats and biomes and how they all interact with each other.  Food chains and food webs are going to be part of our study for this unit too.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

January 12, 2012

Important Dates
January 13 - Field Trip Permission Slip Due
January 16 - School Holiday
January 17 - Fine Arts Field Trip
January 20 - Spelling Test
January 20 - Science Enrichment
February 10 - Donuts For Dads
February 11 - Auction at the Raquet Club

Social Studies
We have started studying 1800s Texas. This unit will tie in well with our George Ranch Field Trip we took back in November.  The students are already beginning to see the connection of the type of homes they lived and their everyday lives.  We have learned about Moses Austin and how he had a plan to settle Texas, but then he died and his son Stephen F. Austin carried out the plan.  He brought many families to Texas to live and thrive on the land building their own homes and planting their own crops for food.  The children also had chores that they were expected to do when they were not in school.

We have been studying decimals to the tenths and hundredths places.  The students have learned how to represent decimals using tenths and hundredths models by coloring in the amount needed to represent a given decimal.  We have also written decimals in words as we have studied them. we have made the connection with money as we have looked at decimals in the hundredths.  Decimals are also connected to fractions, and the students were able to show how a fraction or a mixed number can be used to represent a decimal.  I love seeing our students use their previous knowledge to make connection a nd how they have applied this during our lessons!

We are getting more into our read aloud titled Ruby Slippers and learning how the character and plot are developing more and more.  It is fun! Ask your child to share this with you.
We have also been reviewing main idea and supporting details. We read a group read aloud/play and the students were able to see that any kind of genre in reading will have a main idea and supporting details.  
New book clubs are on the way.  The students will be making their choices today for their new book.

We are working on Expository Writing, which is nonfiction writing.  The students have studied many prompts and worked to create a central idea and supporting details for each one.  Each student has also picked one of the prompts to begin drafting their own paper.  After drafting, the students will conference with each other and me, and then a final copy will be written.

We have been studying about how to take care of our earth.  We have learned ways of conserving our resources such as turning off the water while brushing our teeth and just turning it back on when we need it. Also,  remembering to turn out the lights when we leave a room is helpful too.  The students are working in groups to create conservation posters that focus on reduce, reuse, and recycle for our environment.  The posters will be placed around the school as a reminder to all of us here at MDE.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

December 1, 2011

Upcoming Dates
Dec. 2 - Vocabulary Test - Lesson 6
Dec. 2 - Science Enrichment
Dec. 8 - 4th Grade Winter Concert - 8:30 AM, 2:00 PM, and 6:15 PM
Dec. 15 - Winter Party
Dec. 16 - 12:00 Noon Dismissal
Dec. 17-Jan. 3 - Winter Break
Jan. 4 - Back to School

Social Studies
We finished studying Native Americans of Texas and the students made a book as the culminating activity with information and pictures about these tribes: Caddo, Jumano, Comanche, and Karankawa. We are now learning about explorers who came to Texas such as Cabeza de Vaca and Coronado, to name a few.

We are learning about fractions.  We have reviewed how to identify and write fractions, and now we are talking about equivalent fractions. The math homework is changing in that it will be mostly problem solving wtih each given skill that the students are learning in class. So, please look for that change beginning next week.

Reading and Writing
The students will be conferencing with me about his/her feature article.  Once we have completed that part, a final copy will be written for a grade.
We also took a practice STAAR Writing Benchmark for 2 days this week. The students will recieve the grades once I receive them from the people in the district who will grade them.

We have finished our unit on Weather . The students learned about types of weather, clouds, and using their senses to describe weather.  We will be getting into Earth Science next. We will learn about types of soil and the best kinds for certain plants.  Also, the topic of organic and inorganic soils will be discussed too.


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

November 9, 2011

Upcoming Dates
November 7-11 Book Fair
November 9 - Spelling Bee
November 10 - SW and W states test
November 11 - Lesson 5 Vocabulary Test
November 18 - Spelling Test
November 23-25 Thanksgiving Break

Social Studies
We have learned about the Native Americans of Texas which are the Karankawa, Jumano, Comanche, and Caddo.  Each group is located in a specific region of  Texas. We learned this information about each group: type of home, whether they were traders or not, food methods, and government.  We are getting ready to start a project with this in the computer lab.

We have learned about function tables, finding the rule and pattern within a table, and then using it to complete it.  This week we have been interpreting bar graphs and applying our addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division skills to problem solve using given bar graphs.  We continue to review past skills in our math stations. Please continue to have your child study his/her math facts for 10 minutes every night.

We have studied the genre of nonfiction and compared it to fiction in appearance and word choice. We have learned about the different parts that can be seen in a nonfiction book or article.  Items discussed have been headings, font, backgrounds,  and captions among other aspects.  Ask your child if he/she can tell you about this. We are also reading feature articles to tie into this nonfiction unit.

We have studied feature articles and all of the aspects that make up one, such as the idea that the feature of the article is the main idea and all the details and pictures are only about that one feature. The students have each brainstormed their own jot list of ideas that he/she could write about for his/her own feature article that will be written by the end of this unit.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

October 23, 2011

Upcoming Dates
October 24-28 Red Ribbon Week
October 25 Motivational Productions to go with Red Ribbon Week
October 28 Vocabulary Test Lesson 4
November 4 George Ranch Field Trip
November 4 Spelling Test

We have been learning about large digit multiplication and division and estimating with these skills too. This same skill will continue next week. We will also continue stations.
Please make sure your child is studying his/her math facts 10 minutes every night.  The timed tests are a mixture of addition, subtraction, division, and multiplication.  If your child knows addition and subtraction well, then spend most of the time practicing division and multiplication.

Social Studies
We have wrapped up our study of the regions of Texas.  For the culminating project, each child chose a region of Texas and created a travel brochure to show everything he/she has learned about that region.
Our next unit of study will be about the earliest Texans.

We have been studying about tides and the water cycle.  The students also have continued to watch their cylinder gardens grow, and Mrs. Pappas has continued her lessons with us.  Next week, we will begin studying the layers of the earth and the change of the earth's surface.

We have been studying character traits.  We have learned the definition of a character trait and discussed how we can identify different traits that we could see in our reading with characters.  We have also discussed how and why characters change throughout reading a story. Our book clubs are continuing and we will wrap those up soon. We will begin to read and study feature articles and dive into finding the characteristics of these types of articles.

We have been studying poetry and the students have each written a Halloween poem.  We talked about making sure to include strong verbs and adjectives for good description. We will use our writing time in the coming week to study feature articles too, and make the connection with our reading.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

October 5, 2011

Welcome to Miss Lindsay's 4th Grade Class News!

This blog will keep you informed of all the happenings in our classroom and upcoming events in our class this year.  I have put dates in for October.  Please remember that Vocabulary and Spelling Tests are alternating weeks. We will always have them, and when I update the blog, you will see the dates.  I will also continue to email you all about upcoming tests as well. My hope is to update this every 2 weeks. 

Oct. 7 - Spelling Test
Oct. 10 - Holiday
Oct. 14 - Vocabulary Test Lesson 3
Oct. 18 - Class Picture Day
Oct. 20&21 - Early Dismissal/Fall Conferences
Oct. 24-28 Red Ribbon Week

Social Studies
We are learning about the Regions of Texas.  We have studied all 4 regions:  Central Plains, Great Plains, Mountains and Basins, and Coastal Plains.  Throughout our study, the students have learned the location, land features, major cities, natural resources, and extra/special information about each region.

We have studied 2 digit divided by 1 digit long division with and without remainders.  The students have learned the algorithm and how to implement model drawing with word problems.  We will continue division next week too with 3 digits divided by 1 digit. The students have also started stations and reviewed past skills.

Each student has received his/her Book Club book.  The students have been placed in groups based on interest, and each group will read their book together and sometimes independently.  We have been working with inner conversation and recording thought that are happening in our minds while reading.  We have also been talking about inferences and predictions and recording these as well as we are reading our books.

We have been working on our editing skills with our editing paragraphs and also implementing them in our papers.  We have also been working on a paper where the students are writing about a time that he/she was surprised.  As the writing has continued, we have implemented different writing strategies to make the paper stronger. One strategy is the snapshot strategy where the students each took a part or scene from his/her paper and worked on that one portion to make that area stronger for the paper. We have also been working on making our verbs stronger and showing actions verbs.

We have been learning about seasons, night and day, and the moon phasese.  Our Cylinder Gardening has started with Mrs. Pappas, and this will continue for about another 5 weeks or so.  The students planted their seeds and we are now watering and waiting for the results.  Mrs. Pappas is coming weekly to teach the students about seeds and plants.