Week of September 21

Dear Families,

I’m looking forward to meeting you all for our Learning Conversations on Thursday, October 1st! Just a friendly reminder to please bring your child to this conversation.

Learning Conferences- October 1 (no students at school)

During Learning Conference Day parents and students will be given the opportunity to attend a 15 minute scheduled Zoom meeting. This is an opportunity for your child to share their learning and goals with you.

On September 28, students will post their thoughts on who they are as a learner (reader/mathematician/writer/classmate) on Seesaw. This will give you an opportunity to see the post before the Learning Conference. You are invited to add a comment to this reflection thread in the Seesaw post before the conference on October 1.

During the conference we will follow the format below:

  • Open the Learning conference by sharing your child’s reflection from Seesaw.
  • Discuss their goals and any work samples they may want to share
  • Engage in conferences with parents.
  • Go over how your child has settled and provide feedback on areas we will be working on.
  • Give you the opportunity to ask questions or clarifications.

Explorations This Week

  • We have been exploring the characteristics of Earth’s surface and factors that cause it to change. Who knew that a volcano could develop in your backyard! We have done an investigation into the “Ring of Fire” and are looking more closely at different types of rocks.
  • In reading, we have been discussing the different ways that readers connect with what they are reading. As writers, we have begun to look at what makes a good procedure.
  • Students have set goals in class that will be shared during our learning conversations. These goals will be targeted for 6 weeks and then a new goal will be set. 
  • We have begun a new math unit. During this unit we will be exploring :
    • The value of a number is determined by the place of its digits.
    • Using rounding is an appropriate estimation strategy for solving problems and estimating.
    • We can find patterns in numbers and their relationship that help us solve problems.
    • Understanding the value of numbers and the relationship of those numbers helps us problem-solve flexibly.

Have a great weekend!

Week of September 14

What a week we have had! This week we have started a new Unit of Inquiry under “How the World Works.” We will be inquiring into the Central Idea, Earth’s Surface Changes Over Time. To get us started, we looked at a fossil site and wondered how a group of fossils were discovered in the 1970’s. This has got us wondering how the Earth’s surface has changed and what has caused the changes. A couple of questions to consider at home with your family can be:

  • Have you ever been in nature and been amazed at the beauty that surrounds you?
  • Where is someplace you have been to in nature that you have been really surprised or in awe of how it was created?

Below are a some places that have amazed me by their natural beauty. Do you know where they are?

 

In Mathematics, we have focused on how to read like a mathematician and how to play games as a mathematician. This will be important to think about as we head into a new unit about addition and subtraction strategies next week. Everything we do in math class with content, we also focus on the habits of mind of thinking mathematically. The photo below shows the framework of the eight mathematical practices. For more detail about each practice, please see the links.

StandardsforMathematicalPracticeParentGuide.docx

SMP-Korean

Mark Your Calendar

Learning Conferences- October 1

During Learning Conference Day parents and students will be given the opportunity to attend a 15 minute scheduled Zoom meeting. This is an opportunity for your child to share their learning and goals with you.

On September 28 they will post to Seesaw their thoughts on who they are as a learner (reader/mathematician/writer/learner etc…) This will give you an opportunity to see the post before the Learning Conference. You are invited to add a comment to this reflection thread in the Seesaw post before the conference on October 1.

During the conference we will follow the format below:

  • Open the Learning conference by sharing your child’s reflection from Seesaw.
  • Discuss their goals and any work samples they want to share
  • Engage in conferences with parents.
  • Go over how your child has settled and provide feedback on areas we will be working on.
  • Give you the opportunity to ask questions or clarifications.

Finally, a couple quick reminders:

  • Peace Day: Monday, September 21st (Please have your child dress in white or blue).

  • Moon Festival: Thursday, September 24th (Please wear your Ao Dai).

Next week is

 

 

Week of September 7

We have had another great week at school. Every day we are in the classroom is something to celebrate when you think about how many students are not able to attend school in person or have a very modified program. To give you a little bit of an idea of what our day looks like, I have created a short video.

This week our focus has been on reflection. One of our lines of inquiry that will be with us the entire year is “Reflecting on our understanding allows us to have deeper self-awareness.” Reflection is a skill that we will use and develop in every aspect of our classroom. Seesaw will be the main tool that families can access to see student’s reflections about concepts and tasks from the classroom. This week you should see two tasks that students have created a reflection for. One writing and one math. Please let me know if you have difficulty accessing these.

Mark Your Calendar

Learning Conferences- October 1

During Learning Conference Day parents and students will be given the opportunity to attend a 15 minute scheduled Zoom meeting. This is an opportunity for your child to share their learning and goals with you.

On September 28 they will post to Seesaw their thoughts on who they are as a learner (reader/mathematician/writer/learner etc…) This will give you an opportunity to see the post before the Learning Conference. You are invited to add a comment to this reflection thread in the Seesaw post before the conference on October 1.

During the conference we will follow the format below:

  • Open the Learning conference by sharing your child’s reflection from Seesaw.
  • Discuss their goals and any work samples they want to share
  • Engage in conferences with parents.
  • Go over how your child has settled and provide feedback on areas we will be working on.
  • Give you the opportunity to ask questions or clarifications.

Explorations This Week

  • Students dissected the year long Central Idea “We use a number of different methods to express and communicate ideas.” This gave us the opportunity to explore, “What methods do we use to express and communicate ideas?”  This is really interesting to continue to think about at home. Are the methods students use the same as the adults?
  • In mathematics, we have explored a few different types of spatial reasoning puzzles while developing our understanding of the 8 Mathematical Practices we use to frame the habits of mind of a mathematician.
  • In writing, we continued to add to our bank of topics we can write about and allowed our imaginations to wonder while reading the book I Wonder…
  • What does it really mean to read? What are the things that readers do? We have begun to think about our own thinking about reading. This will help students take ownership of their own learning as we begin to make goals for learning in the next week.

Something to try at home:

This is an at home using Legos version of one of the types of puzzles we have been making sense of and persevering with in our classroom. In a nutshell, it is almost a 3-D Sudoku. If you are interested in more like this to try, let me know.

Skyscraper Puzzles

Have a great weekend.

Next week is

 

Week of August 31

What a busy 4-day week we had. I hope that everyone enjoyed their mid-week day off. 4A has been busy setting up our routines and settling into our learning community. Two important things to note for next week:

Photo Day is on Tuesday at 10:35. This is for individual photos. We will not be taking a class photo until the second semester.

 ASA’s start Monday. 

Two of the books that we have enjoyed are:

Explorations This Week

  • Mathematicians use tools strategically and reason abstractly and quantitatively.
  • Pulling apart our Central Idea for the yearlong unit for How We Express Ourselves – We use a number of methods to express and communicate ideas.
  • Using a ‘word family’ to understand the meaning and structure of words.
  • As a communicator, active listening and accountable talk help us create a positive classroom environment.
  • Metacognitive work around goal setting in writing.

In Mathematics, we are working on a new number routine called Broken Calculator. In the classroom we use paper and pencils and play with ways to get to specific numbers. The linked game you can try at home to give the same idea as to what we do in class.

This week we also practiced perseverance and explored how many different ways that five squares can be placed together to form a pentomino. Students were given the task to find all twelve different shapes. These shapes are the foundation for a fun puzzle and launching point for some geometry and measurement concepts later this year. Here is a short video that describes pentominos and a puzzle you can do online at home.

Due to our short week, we have not yet posted on Seesaw. New posts will be up on Tuesday.

Next week is

Have a great weekend

 

 

Week of August 24

Back to School Night

Thank you to all parents who were able to attend our Back to School Night (BTSN.) After a twenty-plus year career in teaching, a Virtual BTSN was definitely a new thing for me. A huge thank you for all of the parents who were able to attend. If you were unable and would like to check out the session, I did make a recording of the Session 2. Please contact me if you would like to view it and I can send the link. It really is amazing when you think of the flexibility and adaptability of our students in using technology.

This year we are will continue to use Seesaw to display published work, give feedback on current work, and communicate concepts being taught in the classroom. Seesaw is private; you’ll only see posts created by your child.

The first work you will see is a simple post to make sure all students are familiar with the technology and can independently upload and post to Seesaw. As we spend more time together and begin to examine and explore our yearlong unit, “How we Express Ourselves,” you should see the posts evolve and become reflective pieces about learning in class. Many of the things you see will be works in progress. Some will be finished and “polished” pieces. Today students were given the task of posting their current independent reading book and, in mathematics, student choose from several of the tasks we have worked on in the classroom.

Please Sign Up Now to Access Seesaw from home:

  1. Click on this link: https://app.seesaw.me/s/558-865-581
  2. Choose your child from the list
  3. Create your account
  4. Once I approve you, you can see content from your child

After you sign up, download the free Seesaw Family app and sign in. You can also access Seesaw from a computer at https://app.seesaw.me.

P.S. If you used Seesaw last year or have more than one child using Seesaw, follow the link above, then click the ‘Sign in’ tab at the top of the screen. You do not need to create a new account.

Mathematics

For the first few weeks, our goals are to :

  • Develop a mathematical community
  • Understand certain classroom routines that support our mathematical thinking
  • Know the Eight Mathematical Practices that will frame our reflections and discussions
  • Practice sharing our thinking because we know it helps our learning.

This is one of the routines we were working on today. If the answer is 7, what is the question? How about 12? 3? or 6?

Reminders

It has been incredibly hot lately. Please remind your student to bring:

Water bottles, hats, and extra masks!

REQUEST:

Please send a pair of headphones your child can keep at school.  They should be named and left at school in their individual baskets. Some weeks the students will need them multiple times so it is important that they be available in the classroom at all times.

Also, next week is

Have a great weekend!

Beth Murray

 

Welcome to 4A!

What a fantastic week we have had in 4A! How fortunate we are to be able to come to school together. 

We have spent a lot of time this week getting to know each other. One of our favorite morning activities is the Name Game. We have begun to think about what it means to be a writer, reader and mathematician in grade 4. Some things you might think about to discuss at home could be:

What types of books do you read?

What things do you write?

What is math? When do you think mathematically in your day?

Students have done an amazing job taking responsibility for their materials that have gone back and forth from school to home as we prepare ourselves for the possibility of Distance Learning. In class we have logged on to Raz-Kids and have bookmarked some sights… just in case.

In thinking about our day-to-day life in 4A, please see our schedule. Please remember that we are using a ‘Week A’ and a ‘Week B’ schedule, and while the timing is the same except on Wednesdays, our specials will change from week to week. You’ll also notice that school gets out at 3:30- except on Wednesdays when the finish is at 2:30. You child took home a schedule this week. It is important to put this schedule somewhere special, where everyone can see it and help each other to be prepared for library, PE and instrumental music times. 

Student Council News

Next week we will hold student council elections. There are some changes this year to who, when, and how the Student Council will operate.

Student Council will be an ASA that takes place after-school every Tuesday. Members to the Student Council will be elected by their class. This year, only ONE representative will be elected per ASA session. The representative from each homeroom class needs to make the commitment to enrolling in the Tuesday ASA in order to participate. The first session starts on Tuesday, September 8th.

We believe this will allow more students the opportunity to participate in Student Council because the commitment is only one ASA session. A student may run for Student Council each session.

This year the Student Council will work towards supporting action in the Elementary School, contributing to school assemblies, leading a weekly morning meeting in each class, and developing student agency in the Elementary School.

Headphones

Please make sure your student has headphones to use at school. These headphones will also be used during Distance Learning, should we have to do this. The shop on campus has some great headphones available that include a microphone. These sell for 400,000 vnd.

I look forward to the chance to meet you virtually next week for Back to School Night.

Beth Murray