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!
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