Happy New Year! It’s hard to believe that 2018 is here! It was great to see students return from their break rested and eager to continue our learning of math and science concepts.
In math this week, students worked on their subtraction skills and strategies in class. We started the week by reviewing multi-digit addition strategies from before the break; working on the journal question, “12 is the difference. What is the question?” and playing the game “Complimentary Fish”—a card game that works on adding & subtracting combinations. This week we also practiced estimating differences to 10 000, and learned a mental math strategy to use when subtracting numbers close to hundreds or thousands. Students additionally learned about regrouping when subtracting multi-digit numbers and did some practice questions using virtual manipulatives on the laptops. Having a visual showing the regrouping process with base ten blocks was very helpful in understanding how this process works (the website we used is in the post below). Students continued working on their subtraction number facts in their "Mad Minute" booklets. Regular practice of basic facts at home is strongly encouraged.
In science, students learned about the structure of the eye, how we see objects, and how to keep our eyes safe. We watched and discussed some great videos on the structure of the eye, how it works, and how to take care of our eyes. One important point we learned is to never look directly at the sun or any bright object as this can permanently damage your eyesight. Students completed a page in their visual journals with some important points on how to keep our eyes healthy and safe.
Have a great weekend!
Click on the link below to access "Base Blocks Subtraction" to help us with regrouping.
NLVM Base Ten Blocks for Subtraction
It was a busy last week before the holidays as we celebrated Kodiak Spirit Week with activities happening daily. It cumulated with the dance & activity afternoon yesterday as well as revealing who our secret buddies were for the “Secret Acts of Kindness.” Students were very thoughtful and creative to make sure their buddy had a great week full of surprises. Brownie Snowball the reindeer was also a constant visitor this week to our classroom and left us all a goodbye treat before he went back to the North Pole! We’ll miss his daily messages and his funny antics!
In math this week, we practiced using a calculator in class. We discussed how to use a calculator and that it is a tool that is only as good as the person using it. We practiced using them when we tried out some “calculator riddles” in class! Most of the numbers turn into letters when you flip the calculator upside down. Students also played the games "Calculator Wipe-Out" and "Calculator Go Fish" for further practice.
Here are a few riddles we worked on (turn the calculator upside down to reveal the answer!):
Students also worked on a math assignment which involved building their own unique snowman. Students had $25 to spend on their items picked from a materials list with prices. They kept track of their spending using a table in their math journals. They were able to use the calculators when adding their money amounts. When done, students drew their snowman in their visual journals. Some students had the extra challenge of making sure their snowman was also under the weight limit of fifty pounds. Everyone worked really hard and some very creative snowmen were made! We also continued to work on our subtraction facts in our “Mad Minute” booklets. If there is some extra time over the holidays, I encouraged students to keep practicing their basic facts and/or working on their math skills using the website “Prodigy.”
In science, we reviewed the two main types of lenses learned last week: convex and concave. Students finished up their visual journal page on lenses, as well as any other science pages to be finished. We also watched the Bill Nye video “The Sun”, the biggest and most powerful light source for our planet!
Thank-you for all the thoughtful cards and gifts—it’s truly appreciated! Have a wonderful and restful holiday 4A & 4C and I look forward to hearing all about your adventures in the New Year! —Ms. Jagger
Thank-you to all the families who donated items to Inn from the Cold for our “Spirit of Giving” campaign this week—your generosity is greatly appreciated! We enjoyed the Winter Concert this morning and all the wonderful performances including 4A and 4F. We've also enjoyed getting to know a special visitor to 4A this week. Brownie Snowball the reindeer has been a guest in our classroom since Tuesday when he showed up sitting in our tree with a note saying he was here to spread some Kodiak spirit! Brownie kindly decorated our lockers this morning—we’ll see what he has in store for us next week. December Letters went home today as well so please take time to read about your child’s learning this month.
Next week will be Kodiak Spirit Week and there will be daily activities to lead us into Winter Break on Friday. Tuesday is Santa Hat day, Wednesday is PJ Day, and Thursday is the Dance/Activity afternoon. Other activities next week will include:
Monday: Hot chocolate ($1) and caroling in the gym at lunch – 12:25
Tuesday: Rice Krispies ($1) and caroling in the gym at lunch – 12:45
Wednesday: Christmas Cookies ($1-2) and caroling in the gym at lunch – 12:45
Thursday: Stocking Probability in the main foyer ($1)…more details in class about this next Monday
** all proceeds go to the ChooseKind Project and Inn from the Cold.
In math, we continued to review addition strategies and practice estimating sums. Students last week learned left-to-right addition (starting with the highest place value) where there is often little to no regrouping involved. This week students learned right-to-left addition (starting with the smallest place value). Right-to-left addition requires much more regrouping and therefore an understanding of how to do this process is necessary. About half the students in both 4A and 4C liked left-to-right addition and the rest liked the other strategy--some liked both! Students are encouraged to utilize the strategy that they understand and appeals to them most. We finished our Mad Minute booklets for addition this week as well and started our new booklets for subtraction. We played two games in class this week called “Race to 1 500” and “Biggest Addition Nerdo.” We finished off the week by students going on laptops and having the choice to play subtraction games to work on their basic facts; go on “Hour of Code” activities; or to play on the website “Prodigy” where they were assigned review questions on addition and subtraction.
In science, students studied what lenses are, what they do, and objects that contain lenses. Students learned that a lens is a piece of glass or other clear material that has smoothly curved sides. Refraction causes light to bend when it passes through a lens. We then conducted an experiment in class using water in a clear plastic cup as their lens. They noticed when they looked at an arrow pointing right through the lens, it was now suddenly pointing left! We discussed how this was an example of a convex lens which bends light inward causing objects to appear magnified close-up, and also makes images that seem to be turned around or upside down when the light rays cross. We also looked at concave lenses, which bends light outward making objects appear smaller or further away. Students were able to look through both a convex and concave lens in their table groups and talk about their observations. We then discussed objects that contain lenses such as eye glasses, cameras, telescopes, binoculars, microscopes, and magnifying glasses. Even our eyes contain a lens!! We watched some BrainPop videos to see how these objects work.
Have a great weekend!
It was a short but busy week as we had no school today, and a fun-filled day of skiing & snowboarding at WinSport on Tuesday. Students finished their first semester option this week and will start their new option next week (for 4A it will be Art). We are looking forward to the Winter Concert next Friday from 9:30 to 10:30 in which 4A and 4F will be performing two songs. Parents are welcome to attend to watch the student performances from all grades. Students worked on making a card this week during Flex for their "secret buddy." A letter went home earlier in the week around the secret acts of kindness with more information and ideas located on the grade 4 homepage. NCS is also participating in the "Spirit of Giving." As a homeroom we will collect items and fill a stocking for a family in need in Calgary this holiday season. All stockings need to be completed by Friday, December 15th so that they can be delivered to the Inn From the Cold. Our homeroom is collecting for a family with a 6 year old female and a 1 year old female. As a class we brainstormed some possible ideas for our family (see below). Any donated items would be greatly appreciated.
-word search book
-food items (non-perishable)—candies & chocolates (peanut-free)
-hair bows/hair bands/hair elastics
-winter gear (mittens, toques)
-art supplies (colouring book, crayons/markers, etc.)
In math this week, students learned how to add multi-digit numbers up to 10 000. Our first strategy taught and practiced this week involved adding left to right (starting with the highest place value). Adding left to right is a great strategy if students struggle with understanding regrouping as usually there is little to no regrouping of numbers when solving an equation. Before calculating an exact sum, students also practiced estimating before solving their equation. We also worked on creating fact families (since addition and subtraction are just the opposite of each other!).
This week was “Computer Science Education Week” and both classes took part in the “Hour of Code” which is a movement to get students interested in the area of computer programming. This is a rapidly growing field that continually has more jobs available than qualified people can fill. Coding requires logic and problem solving, and is a skill that anyone can learn at any age. Students tried out different programming games that contained step-by-step instructions and video tutorials. I was impressed with how well both 4A and 4C performed and collaborated with each other on these tasks—well done! The link can be found in the sidebar under "Math Websites" –give it a try!
In science this week, we looked at the terms opaque, translucent and transparent. Students were given a bag containing many different objects that they tested and sorted into one of the three categories depending on how much light was let through. Students discovered that opaque objects do not let light pass through; translucent objects let some light pass through; and transparent objects let all light pass through. We discussed many different examples that fit each category at home and school. We also watched the Bill Nye video "Light Optics" which was a good review of refraction & reflection, as well as introducing concave & convex lenses which we'll be looking closer at next week.
Have a restful long weekend!
It was a busy week in grade 4 as we welcomed in December and look forward to lots of fun activities this month! Today 4A attended a dress rehearsal to practice their two songs for the upcoming Winter Concert with the final performance on Friday, December 15th from 9:30 to 10:30. Grades four to six will be watching the concert and parents are welcome to attend. A reminder that our grade 4 field trip to WinSport for skiing and snowboarding is next Tuesday, December 5th. Students are asked to meet in the gym at 8:00 as we are leaving at 8:30. We’ll be arriving back at the school at 3:15. Students are reminded to dress for the weather (coats, snow pants, hats, scarves, mitts, etc.) and to bring a lunch & water bottle. Read about our learning in your child’s November letter, which was written in class today.
In math this week, students reviewed patterning concepts and then wrote their test on Wednesday. The test will come home next week in their Assessment duotang for a parent initial. We also started work around addition and subtraction concepts. Students will demonstrate an understanding of addition of numbers with answers to 10 000 and their corresponding subtractions (limited to 3- and 4-digit numerals) by: using personal strategies for adding and subtracting, estimating sums and differences, and solving problems involving addition and subtraction. We went over addition vocabulary (addends, sum) and subtraction vocabulary (minuend, subtrahend, difference) before discussing some “What do you think?” questions around addition & subtraction concepts, and if they agreed or disagreed with each statement and why. Students were tasked with completing some addition challenges in class by working with a partner or small group. They did a great job working collaboratively together and solving many of the problems. Students continue to work on their addition basic facts in the Mad Minute booklets and we are definitely noticing an uphill trend in the bar graphs! We played the game “It’s a Fact Snap!” which practiced the skill of immediate recall of addition fact families. Students finished the week by working on assigned questions on the website Prodigy.
In science, students learned about the term “reflection” and completed an experiment in class. Students were given eight different materials and were asked to rank them in their groups from most reflective to least reflective based on how well the objects reflected light from their flashlight. They discovered that the best reflective surfaces are those that are flat, smooth and shiny—like a mirror! We talked about how the Moon doesn’t emit its own light, it actually reflects light from the Sun. Students were able to look into a kaleidoscope, which contains angled mirrors fixed in a cylinder with fragments of coloured glass or beads. Reflection from the mirrors causes constantly changing patterns to appear!
Students also had lots of fun today making laser light mazes and learning how light works & travels. Small groups were challenged with the problem: “Can you design and create a maze where a laser beam travels through something transparent, translucent, and a prism?” Light vocabulary such as refraction, reflection, and opaque, translucent and transparent was reinforced through this interactive and engaging lesson—thank-you to Ms. Williams for planning and teaching this lesson to both classes!
Enjoy the first weekend of December!
This week in math, students were working on solving equations by determining the missing number in an equation. For example, 21 + ___ = 26. They reviewed what an equation was (“a mathematical sentence in which the value of the left side is the same as the value of the right side”), and then practiced solving equations with a missing variable in class. They also learned how to solve problems using equations and practiced this skill as well. Students were given a practice sheet on patterns to complete at home and return on Monday. We will review the answers in class in preparation for their test next Wednesday, November 29th on patterning concepts. In addition to our work around patterns, we also played a whole class game on Monday called "Bullseye" to keep practicing our addition facts, and went on the website Prodigy to work on assigned questions.
Earlier in the week, students were also introduced to the new “Maffiti” walls throughout the school. There are three areas set up for grade 4/5, grade 6/7 and grade 8/9, where students are challenged with math problems and are asked to show their thinking in the spaces provided. After reviewing the rules and expectations around this, we went for a walk to check out the spaces. Students are encouraged to regularly check out all the Maffiti walls during break times to share, communicate, and learn as NCS mathematicians!
In science, we continued work in our new unit “Light and Shadows." Students brainstormed light sources and separated them into the categories of natural and artificial light. We discussed what the term luminescence means and discussed different types of luminescence. Students also learned about what refraction was through experiments and visuals in class. In groups, students experimented with putting a pencil and penny in a glass of water and observing the results. Some of the observations discussed were: “the pencil looks broken”, “the penny looks bigger”, “it looks like there are three pennies instead of one”, etc. We discussed how light travels in straight lines until it hits a different medium like water or a solid, which causes light to slow down and bend causing this optical illusion to our eye. We compared it to us running in a field versus running in a swimming pool—water is denser so it will slow us down a lot when we try to run through water, just like light! We also observed the refraction process in action when students bent white light using prisms into the colours of the spectrum. Students learned that white light is really a mixture of colors. Each colour has a different wavelength and is bent by the prism at a slightly different angle, which separates the colours into a rainbow. We watched a fun video about how to remember the order of the colors, which I've included below. They also worked on a page in their visual journals to document their learning of this concept.
Enjoy your weekend—go Stamps go!!
It’s been a short but productive week as there was no school Thursday and Friday for Parent-Teacher Conferences. Ms. Clark and I enjoyed meeting with parents to discuss student progress and learning so far. Thank-you for attending on such cold and snowy days! A reminder that ski forms and payment for our upcoming field trip in December is due this Monday.
In math this week, we continued to practice extending patterns in tables and solving pattern problems. Students modelled an increasing pattern using various manipulatives in the classroom. They then drew a table to record their data and extended their pattern to shape ten before writing their pattern rule. We also learned and practiced how to use a chart to solve pattern problems. We started our “Mad Minute” booklets to practice our addition facts for mastery. Students have one minute to complete as many of the thirty facts as they can. They then input their score onto a bar graph with the intention that they’ll see an uphill trend of improvement over the weeks ahead. Keep practicing those basic facts at home—even 5 minutes a night will make a difference! See the information below about practicing your child's mental computation skills outside of school.
In science, students wrote their waste test on Monday. The test will be brought home next week in their assessment duo tang for a parent initial. We started our new unit on “Light and Shadows.” In this unit, students will learn about light by studying its effect on things within their environment. We watched the Bill Nye video “Light and Color” which introduced some key vocabulary and concepts we will be studying in the coming weeks. Through the video, students learned how we see colours and how white light contains the spectrum of colours. For example, the reason we see a carrot is orange is because when light hits the carrot all colours are absorbed except orange which is reflected to our eyes. Students also learned that white reflects all colours, and black absorbs all colours and converts the energy to heat. In the sidebar I've added a glossary of the key vocabulary for our new unit which can be reviewed at home, as well as some websites to explore. Next week we will be looking closer at different light sources and the concept of refraction.
Have a wonderful and restful weekend!
In math this week, students continued to investigate patterns during class. We focused on how to identify and extend patterns in tables, which we practiced in class. Students worked on the math journaling question: “How many 3-digit numbers can you make using 6, 5 and 8? You can use each digit more than once.” Students were encouraged to come up with a strategy and look for patterns to help them list all possible numbers without omitting or repeating any. Have your child explain the interesting patterns we discovered in the numbers! Today we played a selection of our favorite math games in class to continue practicing our mental math strategies and basic facts.
In science, students brought their waste project, question sheet and logbook to school on Monday. The majority of science this week was spent with students presenting their new and useful product made out of waste materials. I was very impressed with the creative and imaginative projects and the way they were put together! On Wednesday afternoon, the grade 4's participated in a gallery walk of all the projects made by students and it was exciting to see the inventive products that the students had created. Students then completed a self-assessment of their project based on the rubric before taking their projects home at the end of the week. Hopefully these projects can be used at home for years to come! Students received a study guide this week for our upcoming test on waste concepts next Monday (see below). We spent time in class reviewing the items and students were encouraged to take their science duo tang home for the weekend to review their information. We will start our new unit “Light and Shadows” next week!
Enjoy your Remembrance Day weekend and I look forward to meeting with parents next Thursday and Friday at conferences!
If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact me at:
Here's to a great year!
Need extra practice? Below are math printable e-books for extra practice at home:
Patterns and Algebra
Reading and Representing Whole Numbers
Addition and Subtraction
Multiplication and Division
“Math Makes Sense” Practice and Homework Book:
Can be found at the Virtual Learning Commons under “Student Links”:
Practice Problem Solving Questions
Hour of Code
Math Facts Games
Math Fact Fluency Activities & Games
Light and Shadows Resources:
Light and Shadows Glossary of Important Terms
BBC Light & Shadows
How We See Things
Light & Shadow Activities
Waste and our World Resources:
Waste and our World Glossary of Important Terms
Recycle City Game