Our second week back and the majority of our students and families have now safely returned to school and are settling back into class and school routines.
The children seem well rested, refreshed and happy to see each other and their teachers again. We have revisited the on-going Year 4 expectations of responsibility, commitment and independence and discussed the importance of supporting each other as we learn and grow together. Sharing time with our younger year level buddies this week also added to our gratitude for our return to our LIS community.
For our How We Organize Ourselves unit we had more guest-speakers, Ms Avin who spoke of the work being done by the FOLSCO organization (Friends of Luanda Street Children and Orphans) and Ms Georgina who shared her volunteer work experience with the Lighthouse Relief Organization, which helps refugee/resident communities in Greece prepare for taking up residence in countries throughout Europe. Our students have been making connections to our lines of inquiry as well as developing their listening and questioning skills and extending their vocabulary knowledge to find out the definitions for key words relevant to their inquiry.
For Math we are continuing to look at multiplication and division strategies. With students building their understanding of how these operations work, how they are connected to each other (inverse operation, fact families, equal groupings) and how they can be used to find the answer to unknown facts and every day related number word problems.
In Language we have reviewed the structure of a narrative text in both reading and writing lessons, looking at text features of characters, setting, plot development, problem and solution, sequencing and vocabulary choice. Using the writing process students are developing narrative and persuasive texts to share and read aloud.
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 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 own stories.
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 introduction 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. Our next blog post will explain more about this. For this 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.
In visual arts class this unit, Y4 students are learning about adinkra symbols and textiles made in Ghana. Students are learning about the traditional process of creating adinkra textiles by using natural materials to create the stamps, ink, and fabric.
They are inquiring into the central idea: traditional art helps us understand our culture.
Students discussed adinkra symbols and their cultural purpose. They found the differences between signs, symbols, and logos. Students went on a Symbol Search around school to find and sketch symbols. They found that symbols are simple to draw, difficult to understand, have limited colors, and rarely have words.
Students are in the process of sketching symbols that represent their culture. They will choose their best symbols, draw them on foam, and cut them out to create a stamp. Students will experiment with stamping using different mediums and inks. As a summative assessment, students will be creating adinkra textiles using cloth, ink, and their stamps.