News from Squad 16 – February 22, 2017

I hope you had a restful President’s Day weekend.  I know I snuck in some much-needed extra shuteye this weekend and I hope you did, too!  This week we are focusing on bringing out outlines to life, doing some research for out Oregon History Timeline, and looking at new ways to use fractions.

Last week, students chose which outline they were most interested in taking through the writing process.  We wrote our introductions with a strong hook and thesis statement and then began to write our body paragraphs.  Students will continue working through their body paragraphs this week, keeping in mind to add details and descriptors as they go.  It has been fun to watch them strive for their personal best as writers!

This week we are going to start our partner research of Oregon’s native peoples.  Students will be reading articles about specific events, treaties, people, etc. and putting together a short summary card to share with the class and add to our timeline.  Our class has been so passionate about Oregon history thus far, I can’t wait to see that energy roll into this new assignment.

In math, we are beginning to study division with remainders and how it relates to fractions.  Students will see that some division situations make sense for fractional remainders (splitting up a leftover cookie, sharing out the last cup of juice, etc.), while others don’t (leftover T-shirt, extra person in a group, etc.)

Stay dry out there!

-Ms. Elissa

News from Squad 16 – February 15, 2017

It’s already halfway through February!  Where does the time go…  Our Valentines exchange went well, though I think everyone had a tummy ache by the end of the day.  PE and cupcakes are not a perfect match.  🙂

We are working our way through our fractions unit.  These guys are learning to identify equivalent fractions, add fractions, and subtract fractions like pros!  Next we will look at dividing with remainders.

In reading, we are focusing on some non fiction reading strategies that will support students as we begin reading LOTS of articles, textbook sections, and primary sources as we research Oregon’s history.  Earlier this week, students practiced carefully previewing text before reading to get a general sense of what to expect.

We have successfully completed three outlines for a possible 5 paragraph essay and this week, students are choosing one to turn into a rough draft.  I am excited to see the hard work they put into preparing their ideas pay off!

Ms. Gina started her 5-week art rotation with us and we have already completed two projects using value and hue to create depth.  Swing by the classroom to see our latest robot creations!

Take care,

Ms. Elissa

News from Squad 16 – February 8, 2017

As we try to re-establish our routines, we are forging ahead as learners.  Fractions, essays, and history, oh my!

In math we are exploring many different models of fractions: egg cartons, clocks, geoboards, and more.  Students are learning to understand and compare fractional amounts.  It can take a great deal of exposure and practice with fraction concepts before students really have a solid understanding.  This week we have been highlighting that the denominator tells you how many equal sections there are and the numerator tells you how many of those parts are filled in.

This week we will be completing our third outline for a 5-paragraph essay.  Soon, students will choose which outline they would like to take through the entire writing process and publish.  Our three outlines have been on favorite moments from winter break, a realistic fiction piece on the best/worst day ever, and changes you’d like to see in the world.  I am so excited to see what these guys will end up with!

We just rolled out our next social studies unit on Oregon history.  On Monday we took a look at the history of humanity and some of the theories on how humans made their way to the United States.  There were lots of ooohs and aaahs when we looked at an animation of Pangea breaking apart!  Over the next term, we will take a closer look at the peoples who originally inhabited Oregon through a lens of rights and ownership.

On Thursday, we will be starting Pixie Pals.  Each day for three days, your child will need to make a small special item for their Pixie Pal (secret pal).  Please refer to the pick sheet I sent home last week for more details.  I will send home any necessary materials each night.  Please support your child in doing their best work on their items each night.  Next Tuesday is also Valentines Day.  We will be decorating our own “mailboxes” in class – please send your child to school on Tuesday with a box to decorate.

Thank you for all that you do!

-Ms. Elissa

News from Room 16 – January 25, 2017

It feels so good to return to familiar faces and established routines!  These guys were impossibly sweet during our first week back to school.  I could tell they were as eager to have me back as I was to be here!

We are hustling to finish our Oregon Geography Regions Brochures.  As students complete theirs, they place it out in the hallway – stop by and take a look!  This is the last portion of our Geography unit before we start getting into some Oregon history.  We aim to cover the breadth of Oregon’s past over the remainder of the year, all the way from the very first people arriving to the area all the way to present times.

In math, we have just come to the end of a mini unit on Area and Perimeter.  Students are still working to master these concepts, so you can expect to see it in the homework over the next few days.  Our next unit is all about fractions!  We will look at egg carton fractions, fractions of a clock, fractions of a ruler, and more!

These 4th graders are also beginning to practice writing in essay format.  We will be making an outline for three different possible essay topics and then students will choose which they would like to publish.

The forecast looks clear and cold this week – we may even make it a whole 5 days in a row!!  🙂

Take care,

-Ms. Elissa

News from Squad 16 – December 14, 2016

Winter has officially made its presence known with ice, snow, and below freezing temperatures.  I hope everyone had time to get out and play last week!  The forecast calls for some more interesting weather this week, so we will play things by ear and reschedule events as needed.

We are on track to wrap up our math unit this week and I have been utterly impressed with the way these guys have taken to solving large multiplication problems with arrays.  I am looking forward to seeing the HUGE gains on their post-test scores.

There will be no official homework sent home over the break, but I encourage everyone to do lots of reading!  Ms. Cyndi let us check out three books from library this week to ensure that everyone will have sufficient reading material over break.  So find some time in the hustle and bustle to settle in with a good book and go on an adventure in your mind!

Enjoy your winter break and I will see you in 2017!!

-Ms. Elissa

News from Squad 16 – November 30, 2016

Welcome back!  I hope you were able to squeeze in a little bit of relaxation over the weekend.  We have three full weeks ahead of us and lots of things to wrap up before winter break!

We are currently working on our Regions of Oregon project.  After doing a some jigsaw research as a group, students chose one region of our state to research independently and they are now compiling their notes into a travel brochure!  Look for these in the hall sometime next week.

In math we are learning some new strategies for solving large number multiplication problems.  We covered a Base-10 sketching strategy before break.  This week students learned a ‘quick sketch’ version that encompasses the same idea in a more efficient way.  It is extremely helpful for students to know their multiplication facts for solving these quickly – I encourage you to practice at home!

Our field trip to the Milwaukie Riverfront Park to release our salmon alevin is this Friday! We will be sad to see them go but we wish them all the best in the big, wide world.

Take care,

Ms. Elissa