The Room 15


February 12-16, 2018



We will continue to work on multiplication strategies this week and build a very strong foundation as to how each strategy works. Additionally, we will examine which strategy would be best for the type of problem students need to solve. Many students automatically want to use the standard algorithm, which will be introduced this week, but it may not be the best way to solve problems. Students are definitely being pushed out of their comfort zones, as some only want to use the methods they already know how to use. This math program is strong in allowing students to have a number of strategies in their arsenal, and they are encouraged to use the most efficient strategy. The students will be working with arrays this week, and then they will connect arrays to the standard algorithm. Seeing how and why partial products enter the algorithm is an emphasis, as often, students can solve multiplication problems but have no idea as to how and why their method works. This week, they will learn that. 

Language Arts~

We have completed the reading of Number the Stars. The students will be given their final project pieces this week. For part one, which is due on Wednesday, the students will examine the roles of various characters in the book and place them on a character pyramid. They will also need to give an explanation as to the placement for six of the characters. We will enter a writing piece this week about the book. At the end of the book, there was a call for human decency. We will study that, and the students will be writing a 3-paragraph piece on the topic. We should have the entire piece rough drafted this week. This week at DPM is random acts of kindness week, so the timing is perfect.

The vocabulary quiz on the words from Number the Stars will be on Wednesday. The students were instructed, last week, to begin studying. That will be our vocabulary unit for the week.

We will work on DOL throughout the week. There will be a quiz on Friday.

We will begin taking notes on coast redwoods this week. We have watched some video, and the students found some great facts about the redwoods, which are now on display in the classroom. This week, we will begin the note taking process and learn about the trees as we read. The information will come from online sources. The students will also have an assignment to read an article and answer questions about redwoods.    

We will complete the reading of Journey to Topaz this week. It is possible that we will begin the sequel to the book, too, as that will explain what happened after the internees were released and allowed to come home. I hope that your fourth grader is sharing ideas about this book at home. There are some excellent discussion points that can lead to rich talks at home.



Thank you to everyone for getting an apple for your fourth grader last week; every student had one! Our investigation of fruit was good, and if you ask your child about it, you should get some good information. We will wrap up our vascular plant investigation this week as we are not quite done. We will then examine how water and nutrients enter the cells of plants. We will use raisins and potatoes for that, and the results are very visual. The students will also transplant their seedlings this week, and we are hopeful to see them get to the point of reproduction by spring.

Social Studies~

The students will take part in decision four of the gold rush simulation which will officially end the game. The gold rush teams will work hard this week on developing their topics for their websites. We will work each day on that, and hopefully, there will be some text presented for approval this week. All text will need to be approved prior to the building of the sites. Students can start gathering graphics for their sites, if they’d like, and saving them to their flash drives.

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