Landforms, Division and Class Meetings

by stevebrown on November 17, 2017

We’ve started our new unit of inquiry under the transdisciplinary theme How the World Works. In a nutshell, we’ll be inquiring in to how the surface of the Earth is forming and changing. We’ll also be inquiring into the cause and effect of extreme weather. To find out what students already knew, they were given the pictures below and asked to respond to these four questions:

What are the landforms?
Where can they be found?
How did they form?
How are they changing?

There was some very differing ideas on what these landforms were and how they were formed. It has provided valuable information on where we need to start our inquiries next week.

 

Division is one of the toughest concepts to understand for a Grade 4 student. About half of the Grade 4 students can divide a multi-digit number by a single digit number using long division. If they don’t know this strategy then they’ve definitely heard of it. We have renamed this strategy the GUZINTA strategy. As in, say you were dividing 127 by 5, someone using long division would first say “5 guzinta (goes into) 12 two times.” Then after some subtraction and carrying down the 7 to make 27, they’d say “5 guzinta 27 five times.” Great strategy, but very few Grade 4s can explain what’s happening. They only know a process that was shown to them and which they’ve practised over and over. We’re taking a step back to develop some real understanding of how division works in order to be build flexibility in our thinking and use a multitude of strategies.

On Monday, we’ll have the first of an ongoing series of student led class meetings (morning meetings). The students finally put their foot dow on teacher led meetings, saying they are confident and knowledgeable (thanks G3 teachers) enough to plan their own meetings. So on Monday I’ll be handing the facilitators hat over to two able volunteers.

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Math:

  • Maze 100 – P.O.W, 13/11/17 to 17/11/17

Literacy:

  • Read at least 20 minutes per night.

How the World Works:

  • Tell your parents that the new unit overview for How the World Works can be found here. This provides all the learning outcomes and information for the unit.
  • The new home learning grid for How the World Works can be found here.
  • Don’t forget about our agreement that everyone will do at least two home learning tasks and share on two different days (sharing dates are on the grid). Yes, you can do more than that. You could do one a week and then share two tasks on each sharing day.

4E Business: 

  • You’ve been given a permission form for the ice skating field trip. Please return it, along with a cheque or cash, as soon as possible.

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Math: 

Literacy: 

  • Read at least 20 minutes per night
  • Some of you might want to conduct some research this week. Don’t forget to bring home your Trash or Treasure note taking sheet.

Where We Are In Place and Time: 

  • Last week to complete one of the tasks on the WWAPT Home Learning Grid. We’ve seen some great examples so far. Stay tuned for a new format on completing tasks from the Home Learning Grid next unit of inquiry.

4E Business: 

  • Just some info from the Athletics Department that you read through:
  • Basketball

    Basketball U12 Boys Try Outs in the Large Gym on Friday 10th and Friday 17th November (2.30-3.30pm) Coach Jacky and Coach Jackson

    Basketball U12 Girls Try Outs in the Large Gym on Friday 10th and Friday 17th November (2.30-3.30pm) Coach Grant and Coach Henry
    Practices are every Friday and Games are on Saturday. Girls GamesDecember  2nd/9th December and January 13th January. Boys Games: December 2nd/9th and Jan 13th and 27th
    *Basketball U10 starts after the Christmas break
    Tennis – if you are an experienced Tennis player please contact Ms Smriti Safaya, a number of our LS girls represent the TWolves Tennis teams.
    Cross Country – try outs this week on Tuesday and Thursday.  Be changed and ready to run at 2.30pm.  Bus leaves the 7th Floor at 2.40pm, returns at 3.45pm in time for the activity buses.  Coaches Grantham, Librarian Lovegrove, Tupling and Polawski. Mini meets through the season and Championships in the first week of Feb.
    Ball Hockey – this is a mixed and open team (U20!).  Open to Grade 6 players who have played before.  Contact Coach MacEarchern
    Netball U12 and U13 starts after Christmas Contact Coach Shirley
    Rugby U12 Mixed Tackle  Rugby starts after CNY.  Contact Coach Lovegrove for details.
    Swim Team – if you meet qualifying times, you can join the Swim team, Contact Coach McHugh

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4E’s Halloween Party

by stevebrown on October 31, 2017

Many thanks to the Halloween Committee, Corey, Jaden, Ari, Max, Miguel, Andre and Audrey for planning a great Murder Mystery and games, as well as organizing food that was shared amongst the whole class. And a very big thanks to Vivian Tsui for facilitating committee meetings – the students couldn’t have done it without her support.

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Math:

  • Mr.Chan’s Halloween Costume – P.O.W, 30/10/17 to 03/11/17
  • We are developing computation skills over the next two weeks, particularly with multiplying and dividing numbers. I love Greg Tang’s game called Kakooma. If you have time to play this week, give it a go!! Also, for those of you that have goals like know my times table, this is an excellent game to help you work towards that goal.

Literacy: 

  • Read at least 20 minutes per night

Where We Are In Place and Time:

  • You have two more weeks to complete some of the tasks on the home learning grid. I really like the one called B.A.R This Tool. We will be doing a big sharing this Friday.

4E Business: 

  • For tomorrow’s Halloween party, everyone has been asked to bring in reusable eating utensils, i.e. plate and spoon. I think I mentioned the idea another class does, where everyone brings in a Tupperware, which is used as a plate/bowl but also allows you to take food home. This is highly recommended. 

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Trash and Treasure, Aqueducts, Coding

by stevebrown on October 29, 2017

A major component of reading instruction this unit are research skills. Ms.Williams spent two periods with us, reviewing a technique called Trash and Treasure. First you need a research question; in our case, it was Why were ancient aqueducts built?  Then you read selected texts from books and websites. Anytime you come across a sentence that answers your question, you highlight the key words and cross out the words that aren’t important. The important words are them transferred to a graphic organizer or note taking sheet. It’s not as easy as it seems and requires repeated practise.

The Where We Are In Place and Time unit of inquiry has been super interesting. We’ve been looking deeply at the concept of FUNCTION and CAUSATION, by inquiring into tools and technology from the past and identifying How tools and technology worked? and Why were they made/invented? To dig a little deeper into these concepts of function and causation, students have researched and designed models of aqueducts. By first creating prototypes, they were able to represent their ideas in a physical form where they could then discuss improvements and choice of materials. They transferred these ideas onto drawn plans they’ll be using this week to build the actual aqueduct model.

Ms.Fung visited 4E last week to walk the us through a coding lesson. We tried making a tessellation pattern using java script. It was quite challenging but we found it interesting and are looking forward to the next session.

 

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Halloween Costume Contest

by stevebrown on October 26, 2017

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Math: 

  • Trick or Treat, P.O.W, 23/10 to 27/10
  • This P.O.W contains a lot of ‘data’. What strategy from the toolbox would you use to organize all this data?

Literacy: 

  • Read at least 20 minutes per night.
  • Feel free to peruse the resources on aqueducts.

Where We Are In Place and Time: 

  • There were some excellent home learning submissions last week. Let’s keep up the effort this week to support our inquiries into tools and technologies from the past.

4E Business: 

  • Dress Down Day this Friday. The theme is active wear. 
  • If you’re panning to participate in Paint Your House, please return your permission slip ASAP!!

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How to Access Student Goals

by stevebrown on October 20, 2017

We’ve spent a lot of time this week turning the notes from 3-Way Learning Conversations into personal goals and then devising a system to share them with parents.

We started by looking at the notes taken back in September when students led their parents and teachers on a discussion about their experience in Grade 4 thus far. This provided an opportunity to share successes and areas for improvement in the homeroom, specialist subjects and at home. Looking at the notes from this meeting, students identified two things they wanted to focus on for their goals.

We spent a long time discussing strategies and techniques for getting better within different areas of learning. For example, we created along list of ways we can improve our typing skills, as well as ways to become faster at recalling multiplication facts. Using these lists, and generating others, students had a range of choice of strategies they could implement in order to reach their goals.

Then came the hardest part of goal setting – identifying evidence that determines you’ve reached your goal. We discussed what success looks like for different goals. Some goals are based on quantity, i.e. more words per minute when typing, or number of books one reads per week. The evidence for these goals are easier to identify. Evidence that shows improved confidence during group discussions or more enjoyment while reading was harder to articulate as these are more qualitative.

That being said, the goals and plans for reaching them are definitely works in progress. Through weekly reflection on progress, students will see that certain strategies aren’t working and need to be refined, or identified evidence is unattainable and need to be redefined.

All students have a Red Binder tab on their e-portfolios. Here you’ll find a link the to a folder on their Google Drive that has their goals. The folder can only be seen by those with the password, which students will provide. In the future you’ll see more documents in the ‘Red Binder’ that will act as evidence and show progress towards meeting those goals. 

 

 

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Math: 

Literacy: 

  • Read at least 20 minutes per night

Where We Are In Place and Time :

  • This unit’s home learning grid can be found here.

4E Business: 

  • The field trip to the Hong Kong Museum of History is this Wednesday. We will be leaving the school at 9:30 and returning by 1:30. For this field trip you will need:
    • Water bottle
    • Hat
    • Packed lunch and snack
  • Class photos are Tuesday 17th October, 10:15 am. 
  • The Halloween Party Planning Committee is meeting tomorrow morning at 7:30 am

 

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