Here's the learning we've been up to.
In Unit, last week we completed our research of a real animal. We worked in groups of 3 to share our "animal's story"- this is the zoomed out version of our animal. Using our knowledge of habitat, diet, and predators, we analysed how the features/behaviors our animal has promote its survival. We synthesised our thinking into a graphic or mind map and then shared these in small rotating groups of 3.
We continued to tie our real animal research into our work with our imaginary creatures as reality gave way to fantasy. We applied our new understanding and knowledge to complete an animal story for our imaginary creatures. We went back into our notes, thought about what we had learned through our own research and from our classmates to revise our work. The goal was to ensure that the features we had given our imaginary creatures did, in fact, support survival in the habitat we had imagined for it.
|Steven thinks develops his imaginary creature's animal story|
|Rojus and Antanas build their animal story referring to notes and drafts|
After the revision process, we created a final image of our creature and labeled it. We decided to share these with the whole class so that everyone could take notes and prepare for how their creatures might interact/survive in the event that they were forced into the same habitat.
|Eva develops the 'Limbo' while Migle works on the 'Taco Bug'|
|Nora refers to notes as she creates a final diagram of 'Cloudy' the dragon, while Rojus labels his creature 'Friger'|
|Antanas shares about 'Greenbug' as his classmates listen, ask questions and take notes|
|Aleksandras begins to draft a diary entry about how his creature 'Sasquack' finds its food|
|Gerda drafts her entry about the 'Reester's' predator attack|
|Migle shares a diary entry with her classmates about how the 'Taco Bug' escapes Benas' creature the 'Sibertron'|
|Elena shares a diary entry about a narrow escape and newfound adaptation for her creature the 'Elemental Griffin' which leaves us on the edge of our seats!|
In mathematics, we began unit 3 by taking a pre-assessment. (Find our Math Unit 3 Letter and Online Practice on the Mathematics page of our blog.) With the varying levels of understanding, we agreed to try something new during math. The students will choose their level of understanding depending on the concept being studied and will group themselves accordingly. We decided to group ourselves like this:
- Deep Thinkers - like a fair bit of time to work through new concepts, like to work through examples with support, like having peers or a teacher close to give feedback or support
- Questioners - like to try working with the new concept on their own first, like to ask questions only when they get "stuck", enjoy getting feedback from peers
- Independents - like to work through the concept on their own and only check in with teacher once they've completed the task, like to grapple with challenges independently or using their reference book/math wall for support
|Antanas works through a multiplication problem utilising counters to help him visualise the problem|
|Steven utilises his white board to break down factors and problem solve|
We began multiplication number talks. The value of multiplication number talks is that it demystifies the process of what's actually happening when we multiply. Though there is some value in memorising our basic times table facts, there is no proof that this is a necessary step for successful problem solving. It may save time but what we've quickly realised is that some of us who have memorised facts struggle to manipulate information mathematically without being told what to "plug and chug" into an algorithm. It is necessary for good mathematicians to be able to break problems down into steps and to truly understand WHY they are doing what they do. The students have also grown more independent in choosing which mathematical tools best help them during problem solving and have concluded that there is nothing shameful about using our fingers when we need them!
|Students work on a multiplication number talk using various tools as needed|
1) Break apart one of the factors
2) Round one of the factors and then add or subtract as necessary
|Some strategies include repeated addition which we then formulate into multiplication number sentences|
|Shourya's thinking utilises the estimation strategy and Steven's thinking demonstrates the factor break-down strategy. Eva and Antanas' strategies are similar in the use of repeated addition formulated into multiplication number models|
|Veronika and Yelyzaveta enjoy some time in 4th grader's favourite tree in Tymo Park|
|Shourya, Basel and Yigit engage in a serious game of "Harry Potter"|
|Friends pitch in to help each other climb the big hill!|
|Some students discover that sturdy sticks work like Nordic walking sticks to propel them up the hill|
|Benas discovers that the ducks have mostly left the pond for this newly cleared space with a tiny creek...and what ARE they digging for in the mud, anyway?|
|Krista uses a teddy bear as her model for dog clothes, Antanas begins his stuffed animal creation, Veronika researches programs for stop-motion animation and Steven watches videos of football tricks to get ideas for his own trick creation|
|Benas with his very cool (and tasty) Minecraft cupcakes made by Mom!|