What are we busy with in Year 4?

Students are learning how to acquire, comprehend and synthesize knowledge (thinking skills – one of the approaches to learning).  They are practicing  these through learning about the six simple machines and how they make work easier.  The students completed their research, made posters and then the rest of the class  used their  (the expert group’s) research to deepen their own understandings of pulleys, levers, wedges, wheels and axels, screws and  inclined planes.  Using the design cycle , students are  applying their understanding of scientific principles to create and innovate various machines. Students showed their work in progress to our Buddies when they visited us.

In Math students have been solving a range of problems as well learning and using the jump and split strategy for subtraction.   

Students continue the writing process with their realistic fiction stories….most are busy publishing their work.

Realistic Fiction

Year 4  students are learning how to write realistic fiction; it’s a standalone unit that will run for several weeks.  Students are exploring  story elements –  characters, problems, and settings.  In addition they will learn more about  punctuation and various literary devices  such as similes and alliteration. The videos below  further explains the text type.

 

In class students have been reading and analyzing a range of mentor texts (examples of realistic fiction that will help them write their own stories). They used this prompt, “what do you notice the writers doing?” while exploring various realist fiction picture books.  Students worked in groups to  come up with a list of real life problems and realistic solutions.  They are using these  ideas in their own writing as they plan and draft their  stories.

Fábrica de Sabão – Field Trip

Thank you for the donations for our field trip.  The students had an excellent day and made many connections to the learning in the  How the World Works unit  – innovation, creativity and design.  As students move towards unpacking the design cycle, they will be encouraged to use their understanding from the field trip to inspire their creations.

Here are some photos from the day….

 

Simple Machines – what are they?

This week students explored new vocabulary connected to the unit (e.g., friction, force, pulleys, work etc.).

We also discussed and consolidated our understanding of  the concepts:

  • form – what is it like?
  • function – how does it work?

We  looked at the definition of  a simple machine – these are tools used to make work easier. In science, work is defined as a force acting on an object to move it across a distance. Pushing, pulling, and lifting are common forms of work. A force is any push or pull that causes an object to change its position (movement), direction, or shape. (from: www.vexrobotics.com)

Students are currently working in small groups/pairs groups to explore simple machines further. They will  practice their research skills to become “experts”  about one of the following: wheels/axles, pulleys, levers, wedges, inclined planes or screws.  They are using books and various website to complete their research.   Students will share their learning with the whole class and in the next few weeks they will use the scientific understandings gained to create their own inventions to move and lift objects.

Here are some photos from learning engagements this week:

How The World Works

This week year 4 students began inquiring into our third unit for the year.   You will find the learning outcomes for this unit here: HOW THE WORLD WORKS.

As a provocation to spark wonderings and curiosity amongst the students, we watched the video below:

Here are some of our wonderings and tuning-in learning engagements for this unit:

Students will develop their knowledge and understandings of scientific principles through exploring simple machines and how they make work easier. We have planned in collaboration with Ms. Hannah, in Art, to ensure the students develop an understanding of the Design cycle which they will use when they create and innovate.

Next week we will start a stand-alone unit on realistic fiction and our next blog post will explain more about this.  For How the World Works unit we will consolidate students’ understanding of the explanation text type.

In mathematics, all year 4 classes have been introduced to the split strategy and tidy numbers for addition.  Building on their understanding of place value, students are making connections on how to use these strategies to solve addition problems.


 

Student blogs, assembly and other fun learning

It’s been a short but intensely busy fortnight back!  Students reflected on their approaches to learning and set SMART goals which they shared in their 3 way conferences.  It was a challenging and in-depth process but the students persevered and were very principled about how they see themselves as learners and the areas that they wanted to improve in.  Thank you for attending the conferences and being a part of the support to help the students achieve their goals.

Students have been busy planning which learning engagements to share for their walkabout assembly. They practiced and spoke confidently to a broad audience consisting of peers and adults.  Here are some photos from the Assembly:

The students shave been working on planning, drafting, revising, editing and posting  on our class blog .  They also responded to posts from their classmates.  This was part of the How We Express Ourselves summative assessment task (making quality posts and responding appropriately to another post).   Please spend some time looking at the students’ posts and discuss the learning with your child.

In Math we have started to look at addition and subtraction strategies.  Students completed a pre-assessment task showing their prior knowledge.  In the weeks coming we will learn and practice the following – compensating, split and jump strategy.  More about this in an upcoming blogpost.

Digital Citizenship and Poetry

We are learning about our roles and responsibilities in a virtual environment – we looked at ways in which we can have a positive digital footprint.  We also  discussed the similarities and differences between a physical and virtual environment,  using Venn diagrams to organise our thinking.

As part of our How We Express Ourselves unit, year 4 students have  started exploring different poetry genres this week. We started the week looking at a senses poem.  We chose an emotion and compared this emotion to the five senses.   First we examined the language features and the structure of an example of a senses poem and made a checklist.  Then we planned, drafted, revised, edited and published our own senses poem.  Some examples of our poems can be found HERE.

Students also analysed simile poems and noticed that  these poems described something or someone by comparing it to another thing (as noisy as a monkey, it had teeth like daggers). Together we planned a simile  poem all about us!

As we continue our learning in this unit the students will be exposed to more genres of poetry, including cinquain and kenning. Please feel free to share some of your favourite poems by commenting on this post.

 

 

 

How We Express Ourselves

This week year 4 students began inquiring into our second unit of inquiry for the year.  You will find the learning outcomes for this unit here –  How We Express Ourselves.

Here are some of our provocations and tuning-in engagements for this unit –

Students will develop their knowledge and understandings of digital communication tools and their roles and responsibilities as digital citizens. We have planned in collaboration with Ms Hannah to ensure the students develop an understanding of responsible and safe digital communication and expression through the Arts.  We collaborated with our information technology specialists, Mr Oscar and Mr Brian and introduced our students to setting up their own student blogs.    Some students have already posted on the blog, others are still editing an revising their posts. With our students we looked at what makes a quality blogpost, and what is appropriate and responsible use of the  blog as a communication tool.  

Our language links will include gaining knowledge of writing different types of poetry.  Students will develop their knowledge of the elements of poetry, the use of figurative language and poetic devices. 

In mathematics, all year 4 classes have been introduced to the online Mathletics program in class lessons.  Students have their passwords and are able to work on tasks at home.  We have started to tune into and develop the student’s conceptual understanding of place value, (see details in our place value blog post).  This week we also used data collected from surveys about communication tools and represented our findings on bar graphs, which we then interpreted and used to further our thinking.  

We look forward to hearing about any action the children may take as a result of the learning in this unit.