• November 2018

    Posted by Chelsea Henderson on 11/9/2018

     

    Happy November! No pictures this week, but I will post some next week. 

    Reading

    In Reader’s Workshop, we have begun our first Nonfiction Reading Unit. In this unit we will talk about strategies for reading nonfiction texts well. This past week we have been practicing strategies around previewing and connecting to our text before we start to tackle the hard parts and determine what is important. Nonfiction is definitely a change from the strong character’s we reading about in our last unit, but the class is doing great job choosing high interest books.

    Math

    We have begun our November Number Corner! This month we have been noticing patterns in a series of clock faces, as well as talking about patterns in multiples of 5 and 10. A big idea that we are focusing on right now is Multiplying by 10, 100, and 1,000. There will be a check in on Tuesday. This week we practiced this concept through games, partner work, and building ratio tables.

    Writing

    We are in the beginning stages of writing essays! This week, students learned how to generate ideas for essays by thinking about a person, place, object, or issue that is important to them. We are looking at how authors build of their ideas with strong reasons. This has also been a big change from our narratives, but it looks like we have a lot of fourth graders with big ideas in C-117!

    Word Study & Menu

    This week we began a Menu style time during Word Study. This Menu has options for students to earn points towards an incentive, such as lunch in the classroom. The required pieces include Word Study and work on their math problem of the month. A lot of students were really engaged in this idea, and some earned over 250 points! The purpose is to have students time manage and work more independently during our word study time, so I can meet with small groups. Additionally, the choice offered allows students to engage in more powerful ways. Please let me know if you have questions!

    Science

    We have wrapped up our geology unit, and will be beginning our unit on U.S. Government next week! Let me know if we have any family members that have government positions - we would love to have you in to chat with the kids.  

    Read Aloud:

    We finished The Tiger Rising, and we are in the process of choosing our next book! One option for our next book is be George by Alex Gino. This book tackles issues of friendship and bullying, and is told from the perspective of a fourth grade transgender child. It is a powerful read, and in the past some family members have liked to chat about the book with me first, or give it a read themselves. As always, books offer us a mirror in which to see ourselves reflected, as well as a window into the experiences of others. I have had a c

    Questions to begin conversations at home:

    • Can you tell me about some nonfiction books you read this week?
    • What are some games you played in class this week?
    • What is going well in your class?
    • How many points did you get on your menu? Did you enjoy the Menu?
    • How did your word study assessment go?
    • What is your new Number Corner pattern like?
    • How are you feeling about the bigger multiplication problems in math?
    • What were some of your essay ideas you came up with? I heard that as a class you wrote some ideas about Mr. DeHond.
    • What number did you have when you built your ratio table? Can you show me how that works?

    Reminders:

     

    • Please make sure your child is getting enough sleep - we have had a lot of tired kiddos!
    • Field trip permission slips due next week! 

     

    • Any family member is invited to join us for a morning meeting. Just get in touch with me, so I can make sure they do not get too crowded!
    • Parent Volunteers: I encourage you to fill out your forms ASAP. These background checks are good for two years, but the Parent Volunteer form needs to be updated every year. The volunteer form and pertinent information can be found on the district’s website.  

    As always, thank you for your support and communication! I cannot believe how fast this year is going.

    Have a great weekend,

    Chelsea Henderson

     

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  • October 12, 2018

    Posted by Chelsea Henderson on 10/12/2018

     

    Happy October! We have had a great start to the month! Thank you to everyone who attended our Open House. I hope you enjoyed seeing our space, our hopes and goals, and our learning.

    Reading

    In Reader’s Workshop, we have begun working with reading partners to lift the level of our thinking and our work. The partnerships began with a book that I chose, and now students are using some of what they know about themselves as readers to help them choose other just right books. As we wrap up our unit on character, we have been taking close looks at the characters in our books and thinking about their motivations, patterns, traits, problems, etc. This week we talked about how readers build interpretations, or understandings of books, by thinking about all of the parts together. This has led into our beginning conversations on theme! It has been a pleasure to watch the way the students in our room have grown as thinkers and readers!

    Math

    We have begun our October Number Corner! This month has a very different pattern that we are investigating. So far, we have done a lot of great thinking around fractions and decimals. Our week ended with an assessment from our multiplicative reasoning unit. It was great to see the positive mindsets in our room. Everyone really tried their hardest to show all that they know!

    Writing

    Many of us are in the revision stage with our fiction stories! This can be the hardest part, and students have been using their narrative checklists to help set goals and lift the level of their writing. A lot of students have been working hard to add more details, make their characters more complex, build up their setting, or strengthen their story arc.

    Community Building

    As a class, we have tried some new games at Morning Meeting, such as: Alibi, Pica Ferme Nada, and What are you doing? Our amazing field trip to the sailing center showed just how far our community has come in one short month. Fourth graders in our class worked together, engaged in their learning, and showed great self control!

    Science

    We began our geology unit last week, and we seem to have a lot of curious scientists in the room! We have been investigating how and why the surface of our earth changes. So far, we have looked at geologic patterns in volcanoes and mountains.

    Read Aloud:

    The Tiger Rising by Kate DiCamillo

    Questions to begin conversations at home:

    • Can you tell me about your read aloud?
    • What are some games you played in class this week?
    • What is going well in your class?
    • What book did you read this week during reader's workshop?
    • Tell me about the character in your book. How would you describe them?  
    • What is your new Number Corner pattern like?
    • How are you feeling about the math check in you did on Friday?  
    • How was the field trip to the sailing center?
    • How is your fiction story going? Can you tell me your story arc? Are you drafting or revising?
    • Can a volcano pop up in our backyard?
    • Does a mountain last forever?

    Reminders:

     

    • Please make sure your child is getting enough sleep - we have had a lot of tired kiddos!

     

     

     

    • Any family member is invited to join us for a morning meeting. Just get in touch with me, so I can make sure they do not get too crowded!

     

    • Parent Volunteers: I encourage you to fill out your forms ASAP. These background checks are good for two years, but the Parent Volunterr form needs to be updated every year. The volunteer form and pertinent information can be found on the district’s website.  

     

    I look forward to connecting with you at Fall Conferences. Thank you for all of your support!

    Have a great weekend,

    Chelsea Henderson

     

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  • September 2018

    Posted by Chelsea Henderson on 9/21/2018

    Wow! It is hard to believe that tomorrow is the autumnal equinox! The cooler air has been a welcome part of our days in school, but I am not so sure about the shorter days. The personality of our class is starting to show more and more as we continue to build community together. Morning meeting is a core part of our day, and during the month of October, we would like to invite family members to join! I will have a sign up at Open House next Thursday!

    We have begun to dive in to our first units of the year in Reading, Math, and Writing. Within the next two weeks we will begin word study, as well as your unit on Geology! During the past two weeks, our class has been super flexible and helpful during assessment times. Each student will be assess in reading, spelling, and math.

    Reading

    In Reader’s Workshop, we are making a lot of progress in our unit on Interpreting Characters. These past weeks, we have focused on taking what we know about characters (their motivations, their struggles, any patterns we notice, etc.) and building ideas or predictions based on evidence from the book. This is a new skill for a lot of us, so we are going slowly. We are practicing many of these skills with our read aloud, The Tiger Rising. Our class has also been participating in student led book talks about our read aloud. They do not raise their hands, or look at their notes. Instead, they practice listening, responding, and building on ideas. It really is amazing to watch!  

    Math

    We are making a lot of progress in our September Number Corner and our Multiplicative Reasoning Unit. We have continues to talk about efficient strategies when solving multiplication problems, and we spent a day looking at the relationship between multiplication and division!

    Writing

    This week we began our first writing unit: fiction stories!! As a class, we discussed the habits of real fiction writers. They don’t just write a story out of thin air. Instead, they spend time developing ideas, and strong characters that they know really well. We spent a lot of time coming up with story ideas and developing believable characters. Next week, we will work on building our story arc.

    Community Building

    This week we finished our final drafts of our hopes and goals, along with creating self portraits. The self portraits do not have names. They just include personality traits that we would use to describe ourselves. On top of that, we have been practicing sharing, questioning, and cooperative play.

    Read Aloud:

    The Tiger Rising by Kate DiCamillo

    Questions to begin conversations at home:

    • Can you tell me about your read aloud?
    • What are some games you played in class this week?
    • What is going well in your class?
    • What is a social or academic hope you have for this upcoming year?
    • What book did you read this week during reader's workshop?
    • Tell me about the character in your book. How would you describe them?  
    • I heard about the Ancient Egyptian Numerals on your calendar. How do they relate to modern numerals?
    • How are you feeling about multiplication?
    • Who won the math game you all played on Friday? How did the game work?
    • What is your fiction story idea? Who is your main character? Describe them!

    Reminders:

     

     

    Thank you so much for getting those field trip permission slips in! The remaining two trips will be twenty dollars. I will send something home, but also feel free to send that money in smaller payments if that is easier for you. Thank you for your support, and I look forward to seeing you next week - Happy Fall!

    Have a great weekend,

    Chelsea Henderson

     

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  • First Two Weeks!

    Posted by Chelsea Henderson on 9/7/2018

    These first days of school have flown by! We have spent a lot of time getting to know one another through games and several other activities! 

    During these first days of school we have spent time learning and practicing the routines of our classroom, such as: how to move safely around the room, morning meeting routines, accessing our classroom library, using our computers, etc. 

    This second week of school, we have begun to incorporate more academic routines. 

    Reading

    We began our reader's workshop this week! In this unit, we are going to read intensely in order to build strong, significant ideas about characters. In order to do that, we need to have access to within reach books. This week, we talked about how to know when a book is too hard. Help make sure your child is reading within reach books at home! 

    Math

    This week we began Number Corner and our Multiplicative Reasoning Unit. We talked about efficient strategies when solving multiplication problems, and a lot of students benfitted from trying out skip counting on the number line! 

    Writing

    As a class, we have been wrtiing our Googly Eye stories, as well as our Hopes and Goals. Students should feel free to bring their free writing notebook home! 

    Community Building

    We have been building our own personal iPad, as well as playing a lot of games, such as: A Warm Wind Blows, Just Like Me, One Missing, Tag, and Group Juggling. 

    Read Aloud: 

    The Tiger Rising by Kate DiCamillo

    Questions to begin conversations at home:

    • Can you tell me about your read aloud? 
    • What are some games you played in class this week? 
    • What is going well in your class? 
    • What is a social or academic hope you have for this upcoming year?
    • What book did you read this week during reader's workshop? 
    • How can you tell when a book is too hard? 
    • I hear you are looking at some patterns during number corner. What are you measuring? What is your calendar pattern showing? 
    • How are you feeling about multiplication? 

    Reminders:

    • Field Trip Permission Slips and Money due September 21
    • Please make sure your child is getting enough sleep - we have had a lot of tired kiddos! 
    • Interesting Read: Interesting Read about Adults, Children, and Technology
    • Founders Open House is scheduled for Thursday September 27, 5-7:30 pm.
    • Parent Volunteers: I encourage you to fill out your forms ASAP. These background checks are good for two years, but the Parent Volunterr form needs to be updated every year. The volunteer form and pertinent information can be found on the district’s website.  

    I am so excited about our group this year, and I cannot wait to get to know all of the family members in our community. Thank you for all that you do! 

    Have a great weekend, 

    Chelsea Henderson

     

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