Saturday, October 22, 2016

Putting the pieces together

   This week in grade 4L we went to the Tymo park. In the park we sold ice that was from the frozen pond. Also we sold sticks that were laying on a big hill.

Before heading to the park, we agreed to evaluate our "active citizenship" and reflected on how we did this during our park play upon returning

   In Drama we closed our eyes and needed to imagine ourselves as an animal or a creature in an egg that got into a river and washed it to a beautiful place.
   In reading time we did our personal learner reflections and also we set our learner goals.Then we practiced our goals for reading in the library.

Eva Book Talks 'A-Z Mysteries; Lucky Lottery'
Shourya Book Talks 'Alvin Ho'

Antanas adds a book to his "Someday Book List"

   In unit time we connected ideas to the VIS mission in teams.
Veronika, Yelyzaveta, Krista and Migle elaborate on how they connected their thinking to the VIS school mission

   In art some of us finished our self portraits. The rest of us drew pumpkins and made pipe cleaner spiders for Halloween.
  In P.E. we started a new unit called "The Olympics Unit".
   In math we learned the houses of hundreds, thousands, millions and billions and also we learned were to put commas in a big number.

Students work to organise words in place value order
    Also this week in gym we met two people from Paralympics. Their names were Mantas and Justas.     They taught us how to play a popular game called:Goalball.

Mantas and Justas explain the rules and skills needed to play Goalball to grades 4 and 5

by Migle and Gerda

This was a reflective week for grade 4L as we began to wrap up work and tasks involved with Unit 1. 

In math, we began to explore equivalent names for numbers by working with Name Collection Boxes. Our goal was to challenge ourselves to work with fractions, decimals, percentages, negative numbers or any operation we might not be as comfortable using. We also started investigating place value. We looked for patterns in reading and writing large numbers. We discovered that:
  • large numbers "live in families" where only 3 digits live in one house
  • there is a repeating pattern of ones, tens and hundreds for every family
  • the commas separate each family's house 
  • the commas come where we say the family name like thousand, million and billion
  • each family is read as a whole number with 3 digits
  • each digit has a value depending on it's place in a whole number 
  • we say the value of the digit when we read the whole number (example: 3,475 is read "three thousand, four hundred, seventy-five". The value of 7 is actually "seventy" as we just read
We explore mathematical patterns we find in place value together
In language arts, we took time to reflect on who we are as readers. We looked back at our reading logs to discover patterns and habits in our reading. We found our strengths and then created goals for areas where we believe we can improve to become better readers. We also enjoyed some free writing time this week without a specific genre assignment.

In unit, we began working on our summative assessment which is creating our classroom agreements. Since we have been working to build our classroom community for the past 6 weeks, we are very knowledgeable about what it takes to make our community a great place to learn and be. We used a Visible Thinking Routine called Generate-Sort-Connect- Elaborate to accomplish this task.  

Our first step was to generate as many responses as we could to this prompt: What can you do to make our classroom a great place to learn and be?
Antanas, Krista, Rojus and Aleksandras generate responses to the prompt

Nora and Elena reflect on the prompt
Then we got in small groups and worked to sort our responses by the main idea or "BIG thinking"

The groups puts their thinking together by big ideas. This one is about being open to new friends

This group has active citizenship as a big idea
This group believed being a risk-taker was a big idea in their thinking
We then read the VIS mission statement and objectives. The mission used pretty fancy language, so first we had to break it down and make it make sense to grade 4. 
Students pulled apart the mission statement to make it make sense in 4th grade terms
Next, we took pieces of the mission and objectives and connected them to our own thinking. 

Elena, Nora and Steven work to connect their thinking to the mission and objectives

Krista, Migle, Veronika and Liza work to revise and simplify their ideas
We shared our thinking with our classmates and elaborated on why we made the connections we did. 

Finally, we walked around to find common themes or big ideas that we thought were most important to add to our classroom agreements. 

Students roam between group posters to find common themes

Students track and collect common thinking that they believe is important enough to go into our classroom agreements

After collecting common themes, students document these ideas on the board as our preliminary thinking for classroom agreements

The final result of our data gathering for ideas to include in our classroom agreements

During homeroom this Friday, we watched the Adaptable Mind. Here was what stuck with us as the big ideas.

What stood out to us after watching "The Adaptable Mind"
Then we watched a couple of inspiring videos where people used those 5 skills we had just learned about. You can find these on our blog page called "Links". We also explored the site a bit to see what other kids are doing with these 21st century skills! Our challenge over the weekend is to browse these sites and find some inspiration for something we might like to start working on during our homeroom time each Friday. We're very excited!  


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