Hope everyone had an enjoyable Family Day on Monday! We are looking forward to our field trip to the “Be Brave” Hitmen game next Tuesday. There are also daily activities happening next week for anti-bullying week—read all about them on the grade 4 home page. Students also wrote their monthly letter of their learning in February, which went home today.
In math this week, we celebrated the 100th day of school on Tuesday with students working on some “100” challenges in class. Some problems we tackled were:
-Show how to make $100 10 different ways
-Add up the numbers from 1 to 100. You can work with a partner and use a calculator. But first, estimate how much you think the answer will be: ______What is the actual answer?
-Each letter of the alphabet has a point value. A=1, B=2, C=3 etc. Can you write words that equal 100 points? How close can you get?
4A & 4C did an excellent job on these challenges! Students also continued to work on building their personal strategies when working with multiplication, and practicing using these strategies to recall their basic facts. We looked at the patterns in the nine times table and learned a few strategies to recall them more easily. One strategy we looked at was that for every 9’s fact, adding the first number and the last number of the product always equals 9.
Example: 9 x 6
Step 1: Subtract 1 from the number you are multiplying by 9.
Subtracting 1 from 6 equals 5.
6 – 1 = 5 The first number in the product is 5.
Step 2: Adding the first and last numbers in the product will always equal 9.
Add 5 plus 4 to equal 9. 5 + 4 = 9 The last number in the product is 4.
Step 3: 9 x 6 = 54
We also learned a neat finger trick you can use for your nine facts (see below). Hopefully these strategies will assist students in recalling their nine times table facts more easily in their “Mad Minute” questions. We also played a few rounds of “Multiplication Bingo!” which was a lot of fun.
In science, we continued to study levers and where we can find examples of them out in the world. We made first-class levers with rulers, erasers & weights in class, and realized that if a load is heavier, we need to move the fulcrum closer to the heavier end to make the ruler balance. Students also made a simple lever using an eraser and pencil to lift a heavy book. Students discovered that if the fulcrum was closer to the book, it was easier to lift but you had to push down on the pencil further. As opposed to if the fulcrum was further away from the book—you pushed down with less distance but it was much harder to lift. Students documented their findings and observations in their visual journals through writing and labeled diagrams.
Enjoy the final weekend of February!
It was a very short week with no school on Thursday and Friday. Students celebrated Valentine’s Day on Wednesday by handing out valentines to their classmates. We also watched the movie “Shaun the Sheep” which has no real dialogue and had the students work on the literacy skills of inferencing and making connections to construct meaning. Students really enjoyed the movie as they lounged in their pajamas and ate their treat from home—a fun way to end our shortened week!
In math this week, we have continued to practice our multiplication strategies. Students learned how to multiply numbers ending in zeros, which is an important skill to know when estimating products. We also spent some time on “Prodigy” and multiplication websites. Students are encouraged to keep practicing their basic facts over the long weekend so we can continue to see progress in their “Mad Minute” bar graphs.
In science, students learned about another useful simple machine—the lever! Students learned about the components of a lever (the fulcrum, load and effort), and the three classes of levers and how they work. A first-class lever has the fulcrum in the middle between the load and the effort (ex. a seesaw & a balance scale); a second-class lever has the load in the middle between the fulcrum and the effort (ex. a wheelbarrow & a bottle opener); and a third-class lever has the effort in the middle between the load and the fulcrum (ex. a shovel & tweezers). We worked on some fun “Machine Pictograms” (see below) in our table groups. We also watched a Bill Nye video and students needed to listen carefully to complete their fill-in-the-blank questions about simple machines. Next week we will continue to look at levers and do some in-class experiments.
Enjoy your extra long weekend—see you back in class next Tuesday!
It was a cold and snowy week with lots happening at NCS! Report cards went home today and we ask that students return the signed envelope next week. After reviewing the report card, this might be a good time to set some learning goals with your child as we start the second half of the year. Letters went home this week for our upcoming field trip to the Saddledome for the “Be Brave” Hitmen hockey game on February 27th. We ask that forms and payment be handed in by Tuesday, February 13th. We will also celebrate Valentine’s Day next Wednesday by handing out valentines to our classmates (this is an optional activity & a class list went home on Tuesday).
In math this week, we have been working on describing and applying mental math strategies for multiplication. We worked on some multiplication strategies by representing an equation in multiple ways including in arrays, repeated addition, words, fact families and sketching it in equal groups. Students learned they can use skip counting to multiply, and we practiced this skill when we played a class game of “Sparkle” which the students really enjoyed! We also learned how you can double (or halve) the facts you know to calculate other multiplication facts. For example:
Solve: 4 x 8
Think: 2 x 8 = 16
Double the 16 or think 2 x 16 = 32
So: 4 x 8 = 32
Then 8 x 8 = 64
This is a great strategy to use for the 2, 4, & 8 times tables, as well as the 3 & 6 and 5 & 10 times tables. We also started our "Mad Minute" multiplication booklets and I encourage students to practice their basic facts everyday to gain mastery.
In science, students continued learning about our new unit "Wheels and Levers." We practiced the skill of highlighting important information when we went through an informational sheet about each of the simple machines. We looked more closely at the wheel & axle and the importance of this invention. We talked about rollers and how they were the forerunner of the wheel and axle. Students discussed where we can find rollers in the world around us, like rolling pins, paint rollers, steam rollers and roller ramps for loading and unloading (like the luggage at the airport!). Students experimented with objects in the classroom to use as rollers in moving a book across the floor or a desk. Some of the materials used were: paint bottles, markers, crayons, glue sticks, and pencil sharpeners. It was agreed that a cylindrical and smooth surface worked best. The students had lots of fun experimenting and sharing their results with their peers! We discussed how when we move a heavy load, we have to use a great deal of force to push it because of friction and gravitational force. A wheel and axle fixes this by reducing the friction and as a result it takes less effort to move the load. Students researched more information on the laptops about the wheel & axle to include on a visual journal page to document one of the best inventions in history.
Today, grade four students worked on a design challenge in their homeroom class. They were presented with a problem, and asked to plan and then build their solution to the scenario. Students did a great job collaborating and problem solving together to come up with some practical solutions. Many groups used the “cylinder” provided to build a wheel & axle, or use it as a roller in their human transport device. The challenge scenario is attached below.
Have a great weekend!
Use the websites below to add information and examples to your visual journal page on wheels & axles/rollers:
In math this week, we started work on multiplication concepts. After our initial brainstorming in groups last week, we discussed in more depth what multiplication was, vocabulary associated with multiplication, and different strategies they knew to solve multiplication facts. In grade 4, students should be able to recall multiplication and related division facts to 7 x 7. They should also be able to understand and apply strategies for multiplication and related division facts to 9 × 9. We played the multiplication games “Closest to 20” and "Closest to 50" to practice and reinforce their basic facts. Students also worked on a multiplication booklet that was good review of the work from previous years in terms of arrays, relating multiplication to addition, and skip counting. Over the next few weeks, we will be learning and practicing different mental math strategies to determine basic multiplication facts to 9 x 9, and working up to 3-digit by 1-digit multiplication to solve problems.
In science, students wrote their “Light & Shadows” test on Tuesday. The test will go home next week in their assessment duo tang for a parent signature. Students started work on our new science unit “Wheels and Levers” by doing some initial research using interactive sites about the six main simple machines, which include the lever, the wheel & axle, the pulley, the inclined plane, the wedge, and the screw. Students learned that simple machines make our work much easier, and were able to get an initial understanding of how these simple machines assist us in our everyday lives. We also watched an informative video called “All About Simple Machines.” Some things we learned from the video are that simple machines help us use less force to move things, and they have very few moving parts or no moving parts at all. In the coming weeks, we will be looking at each of these simple machines in more detail through experiments and hands-on activities.
Stay warm this weekend!
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
Length, Perimeter & Area
“Math Makes Sense” Practice and Homework Book:
Can be found at the Virtual Learning Commons under “Student Links”:
Practice Problem Solving Questions
Multiplication Interactive Games
Hour of Code
Math Facts Games
Math Fact Fluency Activities & Games
Plant Growth & Changes:
Plant Growth and Changes Glossary of Important Terms
Plants for Kids
Easy Science for Kids
Plants Elementary Science
Wheels & Levers Resources:
Wheel and Levers Glossary of Important Terms
Simple Machine Facts
Simple Machines Interactive Sites
Light & Shadows Resources:
Light and Shadows Glossary of Important Terms
BBC Light & Shadows
How We See Things
Light & Shadow Activities
Waste & our World Resources:
Waste and our World Glossary of Important Terms
Recycle City Game