Our third graders have been wrapping up paragraph and narrative writing, and are beginning to focus on nonfiction text features. We are also working on our communities unit in Social Studies, focusing on Native Americans and the history of Elgin. In math, students are learning about the properties of division.
Math – In fourth grade we are learning the basics of multiplication. Knowing the why behind the standard algorithm of multiplication will allow students to really understand the math rather than trying to memorize formulas. Towards the end of this unit we will tie in area and work on doing multi digit multiplication with and without story problems.
ELA – We are focusing on types of conflicts as well as plot. Reading texts and analyzing the types of conflict and plot will allow students to comprehend the story and apply the strategies in their own writing. We are also learning the basics of paragraph writing, including topic sentence, supporting details, transitions, and conclusions.
Social Studies- We are beginning to dive into the regions of the United States. The region we are currently focusing on is the Southeast Region. For each region we will learn about the specific states, climate, culture, landmarks, the land and water surrounding and within these regions, as well as the resources and products produced in the region. As we progress through this unit of social studies we will be relating these topics back to our state of Illinois.
Math: We have just begun division. In this unit we will be learning how to divide 3-digit and greater numbers by two digits. The numbers we will be working with will be both whole numbers and decimals. The first part of this unit will be conceptual, using different manipulatives and visuals to understand what is really happening to the numbers as we divide them. After that, we will learn the standard algorithms.
Social Studies & Science: We are finishing our unit on ancient Egypt, where we learned about the government, religion, social classes, and daily life. This is the conclusion of our unit on ancient civilizations. Next quarter we will begin our units on American history and government. Next week, we will switch over to science. The unit is about Earth in space and we will learn about gravity, shadow patterns, and stars. We will also be preparing for our December field trip to Challenger, where we will put all of knowledge to use in a simulated mission to space.
ELA: We are using our strategies to read and comprehend informational texts. The students are also writing both informational and narrative papers. One thing we are especially focusing on is elaborating, proof-reading, and editing our writing.
The art room has been a bustle of activity so far this year. Kindergarten and first grade started the year with themes of art about self and art from their imaginations. Kindergarten worked hard learning to draw self portraits and are now in the process of transforming large appliance boxes into a house, castle, pirate ship and Rocket. One of the first grader’s favorite projects was using cut paper to transform themselves into super heros. Second and third grade learned about how artists depict community in their work. They learned about foreground, middle ground and background and worked as a community to create large murals. Third grade learned about the architecture of the Victorian period and then acted as architects when they drew detailed houses of their own. When the houses were done they added some seasonal touches. Fourth and fifth grade have been working on self-directed learning centered around where artists get ideas. They envision, create and reflect on their work on a daily basis. They have created some amazing pieces of art!