In reading we are continuing to work on Daily 4 routines. During reading, we’re focusing on inferring with evidence from the text, predicting, and summarizing. We are also working on backing up all of our thinking with evidence from the text and/or prior knowledge. All thinking statements made during reading must have the word BECAUSE in them!
We've been using our mentor text, Stone Fox, to practice these strategies. The students are doing an amazing job thinking deeply and inferring while we read this text together. We are looking forward to finishing this text on Monday. We will spend a few days applying the strategies we've been learning with nonfiction texts and then start our next mentor text, Pale as the Moon. Pale as the Moon is a historical fiction text that is centered around the famous Lost Colony in North Carolina's Outer Banks.
Students took their beginning of year SRI reading comprehension test recently. This gives an approximate Lexile level that students are able to comprehend at. You can use www.lexile.com to choose books within a certain range, or to look up a book to see its level. Students learned to use this website at school as well. Students are encouraged to find books with the range of 100 points below their level and 50 points above. I am currently conferencing with students to go over their Lexile levels as well as other data from beginning of the year assessments. We are creating goals together. (Lexile level is one of a number of measures of growth we use during the year for reading comprehension.)
We’ve also started to learn word study routines. For another two weeks we will use homophones and other commonly misspelled words to learn and practice both homework and in class routines. Regular Word Study homework began this past week. The directions for this homework are in the students’ binders in a page protector. Monday night homework is due on Tuesday, for in class discussion purposes, but the rest of homework for Word Study is flexible – if you are busy with sports or another activity one night, you can double up on another night, as long as all assignments are completed by Friday morning. I will check Tuesday's, Wednesday's and Thursday's homework for Word Study all on Friday morning.
There has been some confusion with Thursday night's homework. This is basically a practice spelling test. When we get into sorts of various spelling patterns or prefixes and suffixes, students will also need to sort by the patterns for this practice test, as well as our weekly spelling test. Right now while we use homophones to practice routines, a traditional practice test is all that is needed on Thursday nights.
Our Track 1 website has been updated with a page for Word Study Lists. You can find this here: http://turnercreekfourth.weebly.com/word-study-lists.html
You can also find links to websites we use in class, including Quizlet and Edmodo here:
Math & Science News:
In math we are using place value to understand and round multi-digit whole numbers to any place. We are also reviewing how to add and subtract multi-digit whole numbers using a variety of strategies. Please continue having your students practice their multiplication facts nightly. We will be moving to multiplication in our next unit and this will help a lot.
The first formal assessment was sent home this week. Please remember that sometimes it takes students a while to adjust to new math expectations. We spend a lot of time justifying our answers in fourth grade, therefore written explanations play a big part when grading these assessments. I will continue to model how to write a good explanation for different types of problems.
In science we have completed our first series of investigations with mock rocks. We talked about the differences between a rock and mineral. Then we proceeded to break our mock rocks apart in order to separate out all of the minerals. We sorted what we could, used water to separate minerals into layers, and then used evaporation to discover minerals that had dissolved in the water. This week we have been investigating the property of hardness. We have classified different minerals based on Mohs hardness scale.
Important Information and Reminders:
Interim reports will be coming home in this week's Friday Folders. This is a summary of your child's current achievement levels in reading, writing and math. Please remember that this is only halfway through the quarter. Grades may change quite a bit between now and the end of the quarter. We are planning to schedule conferences towards the end of August and over track out also. If you are interested in meeting sooner, please let us know!
The PTA Go Play Save Fundraiser information was sent home a few weeks ago. Orders, money, and/or unpurchased books must be returned by tomorrow, Monday, August 3.
Important Upcoming Dates:
Picture Day: August 12
Early Release: August 14
Trackout/Report Cards: Sept. 4