On this last day of the month of January we did fractions and word problems as well as reviewed older material for tomorrow's MAP test in math. I will be sharing the scores for each student with their parents as they finalize.
I continue to update my calendar as I receive new information and testing days get finalized. I also have the dates for this year's End-of-Grade tests which includes 5th grade science since this affects my hallway.
In science we did a review of the lunar phases. The students did a Socrative activity and I also finished the practice test for the unit: www.millersclass.com/unit-test-practice.html
This week we will enter the month of February which is traditionally our coldest month of the year. The 17th, which is a Friday, was originally a teacher workday that will now be a make-up day. Monday, the 24th is still a teacher workday but could quite possibly be used as another make-up day should any inclement weather come our way. We shall certainly see!
In math, we did review of fractions with the focus being on adding and subtracting mixed numbers with the same denominator. In my second block, the focus is on unlike denominators. I also touched on multiplying fractions with that same class.
We also used the time in both classes to catch up on the exit tickets so there will be too many to list below. I still have the warm-up activities.
In science, the students sketched the phases of the moon.
We end the first full and normal week of January, which also happens to be the last week of January as next week ushers in February. On Wednesday, February 1st, the 4th graders will be taking the math section of the MAP test. This is the second of two sessions with the third and final sometime in the spring. It is not a test of proficiency but more about growth.
The weekly parent email has gone out. I have updated the Important Dates and Events section at the bottom to include known dates through Spring Break (April 7-16, including weekends).
In math we covered adding and subtracting fractions with an emphasis on problem solving. With my second block, I covered adding fractions and mixed numbers with unlike denominators.
In science I did a demonstration to show that shadows are longest at sunrise and sunset and shortest around noon. When the sun is low on the horizon, it is at a 90° (perpendicular) angle to an object. When the sun is directly overhead around noon, the shadows are either shortest or nonexistent depending upon the angle.
I used a black light flashlight and the object was coated in UV reactive paint to make it look better in a darkened room. Glow in the dark paint and black light makes it a lot more interesting vs. using just a regular flashlight!
We are moving right along in fractions. We have hit the most difficult part of 4th grade math and now we are going to start focusing on word problems tomorrow. Today was a review.
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In science we did an activity in which we simulated day and night. Each student was given a card with a time on in in 24 hour increments (ie 12:00 am, 1:00 am, etc.). Students were lined up chronologically and another student held the sun to simulate one day, or one rotation on the Earth's axis.
We got our monthly fire drill in this morning and I am VERY IMPRESSED with how my first block (Ms. Carpenter's homeroom) did. Excellent! For that, they earned some well-deserved free time at the end of the period - that and for doing a great job in math and science.
In science I demonstrated how the tilt of the Earth's axis is the reason for the seasons. For the first part of the experiment, I had a globe with the southern hemisphere tilted towards a flashlight to represent the sun. Since it gets more direct light, it should be warmer. I then used an IR thermometer to take temperature readings of both the northern and southern hemispheres. Sure enough, there was a difference in the temperatures though it was slight since I used just a flashlight for a short period of time. But, it showed that while the southern hemisphere was in summer, the northern hemisphere was in winter due to less direct sunlight, which is exactly where we are right now.
Afterwards, I tilted the northern hemisphere towards the flashlight to simulate summer in the northern hemisphere and repeated the process.