I hope everyone had a restful 3 day weekend. Last week was BUSY! Here's your update:
Of course there was STAAR Writing on Monday and Tuesday... I am so proud for the hard work and focus I saw from the kids. When testing was done, we kept things simple, did some fun creative assignments and relaxed.
Wednesday and Thursday we wrapped up our measurement unit. Students explored the metric and customary system measuring length, mass/weight, and volume/capacity. 4th graders only need to convert measurement within one system, for example: inches to feet, not feet to meters. This week we will work on elapsed time and review money in math.
We didn't have much time for Science last week, but we did receive our fish, aquatic snails and crickets for our ecosystems. This week we will start assembling our ecocolumns! Thank you for all the bottle donations. I think we will have just enough for both classes. If you come across any more, send them in, other 4th grade classrooms are still short a few bottles.
As we approach STAAR, I would love for kids to get the practice in the area they need it most. It is impossible for me to create 42 individualized practices, however Think Through Math (TTM) is an online program that will do it for me. The kids have worked on this program throughout the year in computer lab and in intervention groups, but as we are only 2 weeks from STAAR, I thought it would be a great tool to use for homework so kids get review in the objectives they need most. My goal is to have each student complete at least 20 lessons before April 21. I know it sounds like a lot, but they have already been working toward this goal in computer lab and can test out of lessons if they show mastery on pre-quizzes. Unlike istation, I do not measure TTM by how many minutes are completed. Students are familiar with the expectations and know how to track it on their homepage. If you have any questions, let me know.
Students will also continue working toward certificates in Xtramath, 4 sessions a week, as usual. We are hitting the home stretch here and I am seeing remarkable results in the classroom. I have never seen so much success with fact fluency.... it certainly makes the rest of math so much easier when children have quick and accurate recall with the basic facts. Energy can be focused on the tougher cognitive tasks.
There will also be some worksheets related to our current units so kids can have independent practice outside the classroom on recently learned objectives. I promise I am tracking the time I am asking them to spend on math homework and adjusting accordingly. Students have a lot of freedom as to when and how much of their homework they accomplish throughout the week... so I am squeezing in some time management lessons too.
We should have library Tuesday and Ms. Boyd, the counselor, will do a lesson Wednesday.
It will be nice to have a full week with a normal schedule!