Howdy Parents!

The Remaining Weeks of November, and December 2018

What a busy time of year this can be! Well, it’s no different in the classroom. Here’s an update into what we’re studying in the different subject areas in grade 4.

In Math, we are deep into the study of multi-digit multiplication and division. It’s all about learning multiple ways to represent our thinking and deepen our understanding of the core operations. From partial products and partial quotients to area models and the standard algorithm, our study of multiplication and division is pushing students to use all their previous math knowledge and bring it further.

In writing, we are really getting a handle on our understanding of persuasive essays and the five-paragraph essay format. Students have written multiple essays and are developing their ability to plan logical and convincing arguments. They have learned to outline thesis statements and supporting reasons. Next, they build upon their reasons with details. Recently we have been using non-fiction text to support our arguments with quotations and evidence. Students are noting page numbers and authors to legitimize their arguments and employing persuasive language to strengthen their vocabulary.

Reading non-fiction texts has supported writing and our unit of inquiry. Students are using text features like the index and table of contents to determine where the information they need is. They can then look in multiple books in the library and pick out the texts that will best support their writing plan. These types of research skills and comfort with the library and non-fiction text are the building blocks of further projects and units of inquiry.

We are starting our unit of inquiry called ‘Where We Are in Place and Time’. This UOI focus on migration from an economic, geographic, and sociological perspective. We will look into the factors that push people out of their home countries and create refugees. We will also explore the factors that pull people to new locations such as jobs, education, and religious freedom. We all have a history of migration as very few people in the modern world have lived in the same location for generations. This unit hopes to impart empathy and understanding into the students for those in difficult situations. It is also designed to help students better understand their own place in the world, where they come from and where they might go. The central idea of the unit is: Humans migrate in response to challenges, risks, and opportunities.

Thanks for checking in!