Sorry for the belated update. I wasn't feeling well most of the weekend.... so after some much needed catching up on sleep I am back up to about 80% and ready to do some work! A good thing too. This is one of the busiest times of year for us teachers with fall conferences and the first report cards all happening in the next 2 weeks!
SEL homework is due tomorrow (Monday) and requires your signature. SEL stands for social emotional learning and ties in with your child's health grade. The homework assignments are designed to keep you informed and to share some of the vocabulary and strategies your children are learning at school with you at home. These topics are definitely things that can affect kids at home and some of the tools may be something you can use to help resolve conflict between siblings, talk about tough issues, and cope with stress. Think of it as a conversation starter with your child. It should take about 10 minutes to complete. If you have any questions or want more information about this curriculum, let me know... there are a lot of resources available!
Also 17 out of 21 families have signed up for conferences already! Thank you. For those last 4 families, have a look at the signup sheet (http://vols.pt/4gL5Zd) and sign up for one of the remaining slots ASAP. Thank you!
This week was all about subtraction. The kids showed that they know the standard algorithm on the pre-test, but they were not nearly as proficient as they were with addition. Some of that was due to the tricky regrouping, but after a few number talks, it became clear that their subtraction number sense was much less developed than addition. This, naturally, leads to more errors and more frustration if things don't add up. We spent a lot of time practicing and talking about reasonableness. I decided it would be best to bump the quiz to next week so we can get the extra practice in before then. Monday we will review and Tuesday's quiz will include addition and subtraction of whole numbers and decimals as well as a few review problems in place value, value and rounding.
Next week we start multiplication! I will introduce many different strategies to solve 2 digit x 2 digit multiplication and 4 digit x 1 digit multiplication. These will not always be standard algorithm, so don't panic when you kid tries to solve the problem in a way you have never seen before! I will provide some online resources for you and your children as support every step along the way. I request that you please don't rush your kid into the standard algorithm... I know it feels efficient to you but it is procedure based, not number sense based, and skipping number sense can have catastrophic effects on a child's success later on in math. If you have questions, let me know.
This week we wrapped up our 3 week unit on matter. The kids took a quiz on Friday (sorry that didn't make it into the agendas) after spending the weekreviewing in class by creating a "Matter Brochure".
Next week, we will begin our unit on energy and forces, starting with mechanical energy. This is a very hands on unit with lots of opportunities for the kids to design experiments to test forces and energy. It's going to be fun! We also will have a special guest from Austin Energy on Monday teaching the kids about electrical energy (a bit of a sneak peek, we will get to electrical energy on about 2 weeks). Ask them about Powertown after school!
I hope you have been enjoying this beautiful weekend! Stay healthy. There are lots of bugs going around!
I am just your regular ol' 4th grade teacher.