Sunday, October 16, 2016

H.O.C. and Curriculum Updates

We have had a busy few weeks! The 4th graders had an amazing time at H.O.C. this past week. They worked so well together in their teams and overcame some amazing challenges and goals. We had two fabulous core group leaders and our chaperones were a great addition to our team. A big thank you to David Steele for joining us! We were so lucky to have him. The kids enjoyed challenges within their core groups, team building games and a hike which included learning about native Vermont trees. The ropes course was a favorite of many students with a zip-line and many challenging climbs. Recreation time each day gave students a chance to explore the castle, troll house and play with their classmates. We ended each day with songs and stories before bed and our last evening included a night journey with a blind-folded walk, games to understand eco-location and winter mints that glow in the dark when you bite into them. These 3 days were packed full of fun, interactive activities that we incredibly engaging and I think each student learned so much. We feel so fortunate to have this tradition passed on for students to experience each year. Thank you for all of your help fundraising with you 4th graders this summer. All the hard work and preparation really paid off! Here are a few photos and there will be many more to come!

In math we have just begun our new unit, Multiple Towers and Division Stories. We spent a few classes finding all the way to break a large array into smaller arrays using our array cards. This was a great activity to help students understand the distributive property and how using smaller known combinations can help to solve bigger problems. For example 14 x 8 can be split into (10 x 8) + (4 x 8) this will be an important strategy for students to utilize and understand as their multiplication and division problems become more difficult. Below I've attached the "multiplication tree" we created as a class for 7 x 8. You can also refer to the family letter for Unit 3 (which I linked in a previous post) to learn more about this unit.

In writing we are nearing the end of our realistic fiction unit. After reading through the students stories this past weekend, I see so much growth from the beginning of the year. Students are using figurative language, dialogue, elaborating on the details in their story and showing versus telling. They have chosen really powerful problems and solutions for their stories and this makes them more interesting and relatable.  Students are beginning to type their stories while practicing their typing skills and building on what they already have.  We have been working on editing these stories through different lenses. The following chart shows the different perspectives they can read and edit their stories with. For example, the "Cardboard Character Lense" challenges students to make sure they are bringing their characters to life and creating a picture in their readers mind. Check out the chart I've attached below and ask your child to explain some of the other lenses!

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