Week of 4-8 December
This week, the pupils have been busy working on addition and subtraction word problems. We began the week by exploring the various types of word problems and by the end of the week, the children were writing their own. We will continue this into next week, but the focus will be on word problems to be solved using multiplication and division.
We also had another session of the very popular Maths Strategy Games. The class is separated into 5 stations: Chess, Mancala, Dice Games, Card Games and iPad games. The children rotate around--they get two 15 minute sessions per week. The class plays very
nicely together and it is such a pleasure to watch them develop maths skills whilst having fun. Here are some photos of this week's session:
We are coming to the end of the novel How to Train Your Dragon by Cressida Cowell. The students practised their dialogue writing skills, learnt about reporting verbs and explored the concept of a character's inner dialogue. Year 4 has been very busy improving their writing skills and will soon have a chance to put all their learning into a final piece of writing based on Cowell's novel.
This week's Spellings List
(test will be Wednesday 13th December)
Rule: Words with the letter pattern ‘–ough’ which make the long /o/, /oo/ or /or/ sound
Week of 20-24 November
This week in Maths, Year 4 has been working on using their multiplication skills to solve integer scaling and correspondence problems. The students used various manipulative resources to support their learning and the class is thoroughly enjoying being challenged!
Have a look at the students working together to solve problems that they wrote themselves:
We've finally come to the end of our Animal Classification and Habitat Unit and the students have very much enjoyed learning the basics of conservation biology and ecology. We began by learning how scientists classify animals (vertebrates vs. invertebrates) and moved onto discussions of local and global animal habitats. We learnt about predators and prey, about the food chain and about the global crisis of animals--including humans--being threatened by factors like pollution and global warming.
The pupils in Year 4 each researched an animal habitat of their choice and built a diarama to show what they'd learnt. Here are the absolutely amazing projects they created:
This week, in addition to the grid, the students were each given an extra sheet of multiplication work to do to support them in rapid recall of the times tables. If you feel your child(ren) is/are secure in the times tables through 12s, please do quiz them on DIVISION facts instead. We are at a point in the year when instant recall of multiplication facts is crucial to their learning, so please practise with your child(ren) as much as possible.
Spellings List 5 is shown below; the test for this list will be on Wednesday 29th November.
Spelling List 5:
Rule: Words with a /shuhn/ sound, spelt with a ‘sion’(if root word end in ‘se’, ‘de’ or ‘d’)
Week of 13-17 November
Year 4 had an fun-filled week of learning about the different kinds of bullying, how we can work together to prevent bullying from happening and--most importantly--what to do if we witness or experience bullying firsthand. We began the week in House Groups; each House designed a poster with an anti-bullying slogan in the centre. Each day of the week, Year 4 took part in different lessons and workshops on this theme. The pupils generated some fabulous writing in response to a short film we watched; some of their writing will be displayed in the hall next week.
In this photo, members of the class are presenting a dramatic interpretation of a poem called "No Difference" by Shel Silverstein:
Week of 6-10 November
We've begun a new novel this week: How to Train Your Dragon by Cressida Cowell. The students' first assignment was to create a dragon of their own, which the students had lots of fun doing. We brainstormed and developed a word bank filed with amazing adjectives to describe dragons and then everyone was off to work designing their original beasts.
Here are some examples:
In Maths, we've started learning about the Distributive Law of Multiplication. The pupils have been learning to build arrays and regroup them using their knowledge of the times tables. Please do help to reinforce our lessons by practising multiplication facts at home with your children.
Aside from regrouping, we have been looking for patterns and links within the multiplication tables. We used 'Number Dials' to help us see the patterns more clearly.
Next week's Spellings List (test is Wednesday 22nd November):
Week of 30 October - 3 November 2017
Welcome back from half-term!
First and foremost, here is a copy of Year 4's Home Learning Grid for this half term. Below that is this week's Spellings list; the test on these words will be Wednesday 8 November.
This week, the students have been merging their History and English lessons in order to explore the story behind Guy Fawkes Day and the failed Gunpowder Plot of 1605.
The children spent all week reading and studying the historical events and, on the literacy side, each student wrote a cinquain - a 5 line poem (similar to haiku) - either about Guy Fawkes and his plot or the modern experience of bonfire night. As an Art lesson, the class used glitter, pastels and chalk to decorate a cutout of the Houses of Parliament against a background of a night sky filled with fireworks. Some of the best works will soon be displayed in the corridor just outside the Hall next to our British Values board, so parents - please do have a look at Year 4's hard work when you are in the building.
Here are some photos of the pupils reading poetry about Guy Fawkes Day in small groups:
This week, our focus was on column addition and subtraction. The students used a wide range of manipulatives to explore the concept of regrouping. Here are photos from some of our lessons:
Week of 16-20 October
The half-term holiday is upon us and the students in Year 4 have been very busy since we began in September.
Here are a few highlights from this last week of school:
Topic: Ancient Egyptian History
The students enjoyed a drama-based lesson on Egyptian Gods and Goddesses. Each small group came up with a short skit that revealed their chosen God or Goddess's powers. The students then "competed" in Ancient Egypt's Got Talent.
Week of 9-13 October
This week, we worked on using rounding skills to estimate sums and differences. This is a mental maths skill that is particularly useful when working with money, which will be part of next week's challenges.
Here is one example of outstanding work in estimating sums and differences:
In addition to estimating, we worked on regrouping, and the class used Base 10 blocks to support their understanding of this concept.
Many of the students were superstars when it came to regrouping:
In English, we learnt about the persuasive writing that goes into writing adverts. The pupils investigated many of the "hooks" advert authors use to grab the attention of their readers--who are actually potential customers! We discussed many strategies--slogans using alliteration, celebrity endorsement, special offers, logos and vivid colour pictures, promises and powerful word choice.
Here are some of the adverts the class came up with:
History Topic and Art
Year 4 is still learning about Ancient Egyptian culture and this week, the class used sketching pencils and watercolours to create their own cartouche - an oval frame that traditionally would surround the name (written in hieroglyphs) of a powerful leader, a priest or even a God or Goddess.
Here are a few of the finished paintings, followed by a key to decipher the individual glyphs:
We are all looking forward to our upcoming visit to the British Museum to view the magnificent Egyptian collection, which will be an exciting opportunity to view actual Egyptian artifacts up close.
Week of 2-6 October
This week in Maths, we worked on rounding 4-digit numbers to the nearest 10, 100 and 1,000. We also used our estimation skills to determine where a number might appear on a given numbers line; this is referred to as using a line of magnitude and, after some practise, Year 4 has become quite adept at this skill.
Whilst all the class did very well with this, we are particularly proud of:
The students are still enjoying James and his adventure in the giant peach. This week, we focused on describing a setting using strong adjectives, fronted adverbials and complex sentence structure.
Have a look at Barney's description of the horrid garden that belonged to his horrid Aunts:
Our Science curriculum has taken us in a new direction--we are now studying about living things-the characteristics of life, habitats, classification and the human impact on the natural world.
We began by getting to know "The 7 Characteristics of Living Things" and the pupils use the acronym Mrs Nerg to help them remember each of the characteristics and their meanings. The class was buzzing with curiosity; we enjoyed a full half-hour of discussion and the group was eager to learn more. I have no doubt that this will be one of the highlights of the Science curriculum!
Here is the board the class helped to put together after our lesson:
Week of 25-29 September
This week, we've focused on recapping Place Value concepts, particularly reviewing the value of each digit, determining 'greater than/less than' and ordering them in 'ascending and descending' lists. We've extended our learning beyond our prior work in Year 3 into working with 4-digit numbers.
Additionally, we have introduced the concept of negative numbers, which the students picked up extremely quickly and have enjoyed using number lines and various manipulatives that are available to support their understanding of concepts both old and new.
Year 4 was introduced to a new, fun activity that involves solving for missing numbers using only the digits 0-9. Two of the shining stars of this exercise were Amelia and Eva:
The class is still enjoying the Roald Dahl novel James and the Giant Peach. We completed a piece of extended writing (as well as a few smaller writing assignments) based on the first 3 chapters of the book; many of the pupils' works are on display in the main corridor of the school--I encourage all parents to stop and have a look when you are in the school!
Please do check in with your child(ren) and if they have any missing school supplies, they do need to bring 20p per item. Our class did another supply audit today and many of the pupils need to purchase new glue sticks as a matter of urgency. Their supplies are vital to their success in class--please support them in this!
Additionally, we do need to have the signed copy of both the Internet Safety Contract and the Home School Agreement returned as soon as possible. Thank you to those who have already done so.
Finally, I want to wish all of the Year 4 families a Shanah Tovah and a healthy fast on Yom Kippur. Please do not worry about Home Learning for this week--enjoy the chaggim with your families and friends.
Week of 18-22 September
History/Geography - Ancient Egyptian Civilisation
This term, we've been studying the daily life of the people who lived in Egypt during ancient times. The students have been learning about the various jobs people held--farmers, soldiers, stonemasons, scribes, fisherman, jewellery makers, boat builders, slaves and special priests who were responsible for the complex process of mummification of the dead. The students particularly enjoyed hearing about how bodies were prepared for burial and the class had a grand time "mummifying" some of the members of Year 4!
To introduce the proper procedure for running scientific experiments--namely, the Scientific Method, Year 4 engaged in a fabulous afternoon of SLIME MAKING!
The pupils learnt about the states of matter and about chemical reactions. Before the experiment began, they made a prediction about what they believed would happen when they mixed the ingredients together. They ensured that their experiment was a "fair test" by changing the amounts of the ingredients they used, leaving some ingredients out altogether and by replacing the active ingredient with water. Once the slime had been created, they each wrote a detailed account of the materials used, the steps they followed and ultimately, whether or not their prediction was correct.
Here are some photos of the students hard at work:
Week of 11-15 September
The class has begun to read James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl.
During the first two chapters, the class was introduced to James's terrible Aunts: Aunt Spiker and Aunt Sponge. These two malevolent sisters treat James horribly and author Roald Dahl uses vivid figurative language--particularly metaphor and simile--to describe the wretched women who are now James's guardians.
As a creative writing exercise, Year 4 was challenged to use descriptive and figurative language to create a THIRD horrible Aunt. They worked in pairs and each child offered much of his/her imagination to collaboratively write outstanding descriptions of a new, awful Auntie.
Once the children wrote their amazing (and quite humorous) descriptions, they were then asked to stand up in front of class and "become the Auntie" in a popular drama exercise called 'The Hot Seat'. The students behaved as if they were the Aunt and were able to answer questions from the class about who she is and what makes her so horrible.
Here are some photos of the class performing:
Welcome to Year 4!
We hope you have had lovely holidays and are now gearing up for working hard in Year 4. We are both very excited to be teaching you this term and we are ever so excited as we have a year full of fun things planned!
This term we will be looking at animal habitat and classification in Science. In Maths, we will be working on place value and number patterns, so make sure you have been practising your times table as they will come in handy. In English/Literacy we are reading the well-known book James and the Giant Peach--and we have lots of fun activities planned around this book as a theme.
Make sure you have everything you need - you need a proper water bottle, your PE kit (with EVERY item clearly named) and small amounts of pocket change in case you need to buy additional supplies OR you wish to donate tzedakah on Fridays.
Dates Worth Noting:
Homework books and spellings lists will be given out on Fridays. Please give them back to us by Wednesday so we can mark them. Your marked books and new spellings will come back to you each Friday. I look forward to seeing all the creative projects you come up with!
Have you seen the Kids' Zone on this website? It is a fabulous online resource where students can play games and visit some interesing websites. Do take the time to explore it at home with your families!
From Mrs Royle and Miss Levenson