We have spent the past two weeks studying text structure in great detail. Students have learned to differentiate between texts that are sequential, cause and effect, problem and solution, description or compare and contrast. Next week we will move into multiple vocabulary strategies to use when encountering new words in a nonfiction text.
In writing, students are finishing up their first round of animal research reports. Next week we will revise, edit and publish. Students that are behind on drafting may be bring drafts home Monday or Tuesday to finish up.
In addition, I wanted to let you know that I am currently taking a 5 day reading course through WCPSS, called Foundations of Reading. I’m learning strategies to help all readers, but especially those with reading difficulties. I am missing 5 days of school for this, but I have a great sub, Mrs. Brockman, that will be with the class each time I’m out.
Math & Science:
In math we have been fine tuning our problem solving skills by using the SOAR method. This is a method of analyzing a word problem by using a series of strategies to search for important information, organize data and then solve for the unknown. This has been a challenging unit for the students so we will continue to work on our problem solving skills as the year progresses. Our next area of focus will be geometry. We will be discussing parallel, perpendicular lines, angles and area and perimeter. Please continue to challenge your child with multi digit multiplication and division problems. These skills need to be practiced continually throughout the year.
In science we will be concluding our unit on animal adaptations. In writing, each student is completing a report about a specific animal that they have chosen. These reports will include information about the adaptations that are unique to their animal. As a corresponding project in science class, we would like each student to bring in some colored modeling clay that they can use to make a replica of their animal in its habitat (Crayola Model Magic modeling clay works best). Please try to have your clay in by Friday because we would like to begin this project this week or early next week. It can be found at Target, Walmart, Michael’s, etc. It comes in a variety of sized containers; students can certainly bring larger containers to share with others, or plan with a friend to share a container of a color they both need. The sculptures are to be no bigger than the size of your hand.
News & Important Information:
We are so thrilled that the PTA has sponsored Donna Campbell Smith, author of Pale as the Moon, to come speak with the fourth graders on November 21. Donna will be available to sign copies of her books if the students wish to bring them in. Here is a link to order Pale as the Moon if you would like to: http://www.amazon.com/Pale-Moon-Donna-Campbell-Smith/dp/1491287691/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1411745080&sr=1-1&keywords=pale+as+the+moon
Quarter 2 Interim Reports: Friday, October 31
Early Release: November 7
Spelling Bee: November 7
Book Fair: November 3-14
Author Visit (Donna Campbell Smith): Friday, November 21
No School: November 11, 27, 28
Talent Show Auditions: November 19
Track out/report cards quarter 2: December 5
Symphony Field Trip (no chaperones needed): February 26, 2015
Old Salem Field Trip (tentative): April 16, 2015