Fourth Grade

Hello 4th Grade Families! We begin each day by checking in with one another in our morning meeting circle before moving on to number talk and journal writing. The practice of morning meeting builds empathy, opportunity for personal connections, and sets the expectations for the day. On Mondays, students request to share items including family photos and personal items connected to units of study.

During our number talk math warm up, we explore how to solve multiplication equations using number lines, area models, and standard algorithms. Many students have found the area multiplication strategy to be the most efficient when solving equations with large numbers.

The class is super pumped for our new school copies of the Massachusetts Children’s Book Award titles. I am impressed by the diversity of books and students who are choosing new genres that they don’t normally read. Additional copies of each book are available at the Pelham Library for students who just can't wait for a title. How many of the titles is your student challenging him or herself to read?

Last week culminated with the final visit from the Amherst Fire Department and 911 Emergency Responder staff SAFE Program. Our guests brought with them a special retrofitted trailer where to practice emergency escapes. In addition, there was a phone system to call a real emergency 911 operator! Although the trailer smoke simulation induced some nervousness, all completed the challenge successfully. Each student wrote a thank you letter and some decided to write computer code to teach fire safety to others.

During writing time, students are developing characters, expanding dialogue, and constructing settings, in addition to editing one another's work. To help develop our stories, we use the analogy of waking up in the middle of the night, disoriented by the dark. When we “turn on the light” in a story, we fill in any gaps that the reader could be missing.

The students are practicing computer coding with the Scratch coding language developed at MIT. We are sharing coding projects as a group and providing feedback on each other's designs. On Chromebooks, we are also using Google Documents, Forms, and Slides to increase collaboration and feedback through shared projects. To support engagement and classroom culture, the students complete a short questionnaire through a Google Form that they submit at the end of each day. The students are organizing a historical timeline that will be displayed during Saturday’s town celebration. Individual’s research, when all put together, shares historic events, facts, inventions and other fun information that span the past 275 years and into the future. I hope you can check it out!

I look forward to conferences, this week and next. Enjoy your day!

Mr. Scherrer