Students have been independently reading, focusing on selecting a "just right" book. I am in the process of testing students on their reading level. In a couple weeks I hope to have that completed and will send the info out.
We have spent a good amount of time generating small moment story ideas. We have verbally shared our ideas with each other and realized that each others stories spark memories. Thus, we can think of other small moments to add to our list! Most students have chosen their first personal narrative and have begun writing.
I always deliver a lesson for the day and then let students continue writing and practicing the lesson. While students are writing I confer with several students each session. This time allows me to focus on the needs of each student and offer other strategies during that time.
This week we established our math center/station routines. Basically, there are 4 centers (teacher lesson, practice, board games/challenges and computer programs). Depending on the length of the lesson, students may rotate to all centers or just two for the day. Centers allow me to group students based on their needs and deliver lessons accordingly.
Every Friday students participate in reading buddies. This year we are paired with Ms. Smith's first grade class. The 4th graders get to become the teachers by reading out loud and helping 1st graders read. It is a beautiful scene!
I was really excited about the effort and time that went into so many projects. Most students fully challenged themselves to create unique and interesting objects or tools. Some developed and redeveloped their ideas throughout the week. Students brought in key chains, magnetic teaching tools, hangers, hair clips or pins, earrings, marionettes, tweezers and other useful objects! We were able to reflect on our projects during a gallery walk by asking questions and commenting on each others work. Some students had really great ideas but forgot to bring their project. Please help remind students it is due on Friday! See the gallery below for a sample of projects.
New homework projects will be posted on my website each week, under the section titled "Homework." Look for the tab underneath titled "Projects."
Some students have told me that their parents are expecting them to do reading and math in addition to the projects for homework. I fully support that idea as long as effort can also be put forth on the projects/challenges. I will let you know when Raz-Kids (a reading source for leveled books) and Khan Academy (a math tutorial website) is up and running. These are great sites to use because I can access the students accounts and see what students have been working on at home.
This week we established our class meeting expectations. Students discussed how to come quick, quiet and safely to the carpet and they became very good at it. We begin meetings with compliments and I was impressed with the genuine and sincere comments. I wanted to tear up at one point because I was so impressed with 4th graders ability to share feelings towards classmates! After compliments we focused on our first problem in the class meeting notebook. It was a friendship problem between two students. The students involved in the conflict asked their classmates for help in finding solutions. The list was incredible and the students chose a couple ideas to try (circled ideas)!
Students have been participating in various activities that support social skills in the last few weeks. Mostly, I have been focusing on sharing ideas, how to take turns, understanding perspectives and asking intriguing or challenging questions. Students participated in Think/Pair/Share where they are asked questions, given think time to develop their thoughts, pair up with a partner quickly then take turns sharing. Students also participated in Like/Dislike, where they each determined their opinion and then shared reasons with partners. They also participated in Agree/Disagree which allowed them to share their perspectives on some challenging statements.
We have a new music teacher this year! He will be visiting our school Wednesday the 18th to introduce himself and share about the program. I think he is bringing instruments for students to check out as well. If your student is interested look for paperwork soon after!
Thank you to those students and parents who are participating! If you have questions about your post days/times or need to cancel, please be in touch with Mr. Bailey. I receive the schedule in the morning of each day but don't have any part in changes that need to be made. Please help your student plan ahead so that they can focus in class and not be worried about what to do about not being able to make their post for the day.