Sunday, August 30, 2009

First Reading Selection: Akiak

We will be finishing our first reading selection from the Anthology tomorrow: Akiak.
Tuesday will be our first selection test.
Use the information on our class wiki to review the story structure of Akiak.

Place Value Through the Millions

We spent a lot of time this week working on reading, writing, and understanding numbers up to the hundred millions place.

First we learned The Place Value Song

it is sung to the tune of Row, Row, Row Your Boat

Place Value Periods
Come in Groups of Three
Ones, tens, hundreds
Read them right to left

Thousands, Ten thousands,
Hundred thousands
Place value periods
Read them right to left

Millions, ten millions
hundred millions
Place value periods
Read them right to left.

We also learned 3 forms of a number:

Standard form: 198,876, 612

Word form: one hundred ninety-eight million, eight-hundred seventy six thousand, six hundred twelve

Expanded form: 100,000,000 + 90,000,000,000 + 8,000,000 + 800,000 + 70,000 + 6,000 + 600 + 10 + 2

This week we will be working on rounding numbers and comparing and ordering numbers (putting them in order by size).

We will be using this rounding rhyme

Find your place
Look next store
Five or greater
Add one more
Digits in front
Stay the same
Digits behind
Zero's your name

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Data collection and analysis

We spent some time during math this week getting to know each other a little better. We did some collecting of data and then we displayed that data in bar graphs to find out information that might be helpful to our class. Our first two questions we did together: Do you have internet at your house? and What type of soda do you like? The first question is helpful to me for designing assignments that require use of the internet. The second question is useful when planning a class party. We found out that only half of our class has access to the internet and that Root Beer and Dr. Pepper are the favorite sodas of the class. The students then designed their own research questions and worked in partners to collect their data and construct their graphs. (some of those will be added to the post shortly)

What Do Good Readers Do?

They think while they read!

This week we practiced several reading strategies that good readers use.
I started the week by asking the students what they thought good readers do.
The answers were: reread if they don't understand and sound out words. Those are both very good strategies. There is so much more!

We talked about METACOGNITION - thinking about what we are thinking about.
Then we introduced several strategies using some very fine stories.

What we read:
The Pumpkin Runner
Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day
The Araboolies of Liberty Street
What Do You Say Dear?
Odd Velvet
My Rotten Red-Headed Older Brother

visit our wiki to read more about the strategies we practiced

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Welcome to 4th grade!

We have an exciting and challenging year ahead. I am looking forward to getting to know each and every one of you, and to helping you learn.

This is the place to go to keep up to date with homework, school events, and what is going on in class.

try this link to see our school calendar

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Corcoran teachers learning about blogs and wikis.

So today the K-5 teachers learned more about using technology in the classroom. One of the things we learned that I'm excited to try right away is a class Wiki. A wiki is similar to a blog, but I anticipate it will be easier for the students to use and to post their work and their projects.
Below is the link to our first class wiki. There is nothing there yet, but hang on, there will be soon.

Friday, August 7, 2009

State Testing - Good News

75% of 4th graders passed the writing test in March
That's up from 47% the year before.

Mark Twain's estimated API is 762 up from 735

Language Arts scores went up too from 36 to 47 % proficient

Math scores went up from 51 to 53 % proficient

Great job Mark Twain students and teachers!!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Shopping for classroom supplies

Back to School

Lots of Mark Twain teachers are hard at work setting up their classrooms. This is always an exciting, yet hectic, time of year.

Important dates

Wednesday, August 12th - Teachers officially return to work
Tuesday, August 18th - The First day of School

School starts at 8:03 a.m. We are taking the minutes we used to have in the recess before school, and adding them to the mid-morning recess.
If you are eating breakfast at school, the cafeteria opens at 7:30 a.m.