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Thursday, December 6, 2012

What a Week...

   Well, I must admit that this has been a long week. I think the kids feel it too.  Perhaps it is the season, or maybe it is due to the craziness of November's schedule to be back to regular days. Whatever the case, I have a class of tired children.
   We started the week with a rough math test.  The students didn't do as well as I had hoped. So, I went over somethings and gave it back to them the next day to fix their mistakes. It seems the entire fourth grade struggled with this exam, so we decided not to count the test. We've spent the rest of the week reteaching and focusing on multiplying big numbers. There are two main strategies the students have learned. The first strategy is the array model. This is where students build a frame with one number on the top and one on the side. They then take those numbers and look for smaller numbers that they can group together. For example, if they are multiplying 23 x 6 they may recognize that they have two groups of 10 x 6.  The second strategy is a little more advanced, but many students are beginning to recognize it and use it more often. It is the distributive model. Looking at 23 x 6 instead as 20 x 6 and 3 x 6 and then adding those two numbers together.  I encourage you to ask your child about these methods and have them "teach" you.  This is a wonderful way to solidify what we are doing in class.
    Students have also started creating Glogs through the online website Glogsteredu. This is an online interactive poster that can include, photos, video, and audio.  The focus of these Glogs is a region in Vermont. Each student has been assigned an area to study. They read an article on all areas, took notes on their assigned region, and then did a bit more research online before starting this project.  We will spend the next two days in the computer lab finishing up. I will be sure to share them as soon as they are ready.
   On another note, as you can see above, one group completed their Vermont puzzle. This was such a wonderful accomplishment. They have been working so hard in all of their down time.  I am so proud of them. The other group is coming along nicely as well. They should be finished in a matter of days.  They are anxious to start another one. We shall see what I can find!

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