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# Classroom News, December 21, 2014

I hope you all enjoyed a lovely winter solstice and it kicked off a fun Winter Break, full of friends and family.

We were quite busy before Winter Break started!

MATH

In third grade math, students had a unit assessment on Thursday. This test covered multiplication, using arrays, and a review of area and rounding. We will continue with multiplication after the break and delve into division. Also in January, all students will move on to subtraction during Rocket Math, (our math fact section of math). I sent home a multiplication packet for your child to work on during Winter Break. This is not mandatory. These are fun worksheets that encourage students to memorize their multiplication facts. It does not have to be returned, but many students were excited to bring it back to earn a sticker. If they have misplaced it, they should not panic. They can still practice multiplication facts online at XtraMath.com (sign up for a FREE parent account) or by simply searching for multiplication worksheets online. They can be printed and completed. If they show evidence they have practiced multiplication, including a note from a parent if they practice online, I will certainly give them a sticker.

The fourth graders made it to learning double digit multiplication using the traditional method.  This was the most cheers I have heard all year! 🙂  These past two weeks, we wrapped up the longer multiplication strategies and I think the students have a pretty good concept of large multiplication problems and why we might estimate some of these problems in real life as well.  When we come back from break, the students will be learning long division the traditional way and using partial quotient method.  After long division, we will dive into fractions.  Please help your child look in their binder and find those sign and return papers to bring back to school.  It is nice to keep them for portfolio time in the spring.

SOCIAL STUDIES

On Friday, December 19th, the children participated in a full day Pioneer, Native American contact immersion day. I hope you heard a lot about this. They might not have known how much they were learning as they visited each classroom. In Ms. DePaz’s class, they learned about weaving. In Mrs. McGovern’s class, they made a corn husk doll. In Ms. Hahn’s class they participated in a market event. In our class, students hear a Native American legend about the first moccasins and sewed a small moccasin. In addition to this full day of activities, students made spirit animal masks and read and summarized legends throughout the week.

SCIENCE

The students learned more about animal and plant adaptations and inherited traits. They recorded their scientific observations about different apples. They analyzed traits like, taste, shape, weight, circumference, smell and number of seeds. they also compared and contrasted an apple and an onion. With the remains of the apples we used for scientific inquiry, they students made and tasted delicious apple sauce. they noticed that each bite tasted a little different because we had used so many varieties of apples. Their observations were astute and quite impressive.

WORD STUDY

In addition to continuing our normal Word Study routine, student learned nine Social Studies and Science content words and practiced dictionary work.

LANGUAGE ARTS

The students completed writing, editing/revising and publishing their own legends, based on their spirit animals. They are extraordinary. They also did CAFE work, including reading to a partner and build independent reading stamina.

ENVIRONMENTAL LEARNING

We were pleased to stroll around campus to see the students No Idling signs. They should be proud. We also did a cold weather Solo Spot. We also did an Earthkeepers check in. They should be working on their Y key during break.

Have a wonderful Winter Break!