Sunday, September 14, 2014

Benchmarking and New Daily 5!

Well, this week wasn't quite as much fun because we had to take our beginning of the year benchmark tests in reading and math. While the tests were challenging, they were a little bit fun because we got to take them on the computer!

Even with the benchmark tests that will help our teachers see what we need to work on throughout fourth grade, we still worked on several different friends. In Social Studies we continued to learn working with others. We specifically talked about how to talk to somebody when we don't agree with them. It's hard to stop and think sometimes when you're angry, but we did learn that saying the right thing can make the difference between being a problem solver and a problem maker! "I Statements" can be used for positive or problem things that other people do to us or for us, and sometimes we just need to walk away. We know this is a lesson that we'll be working on for the rest of our lives, but it is going to be a focus in our classroom this year.

We were very excited to learn TWO new Daily 5 activities! First, we learned about Read to Someone. Read to Someone is a great Daily 5 activity because it lets you practice every part of reading! Here is the picture of our Read to Someone poster so you can do it at home (coming soon - check back Monday!) and some pictures of us practicing! Now when your child tells you that you have to sit EEKK (it stands for elbow elbow knee knee), you know what they mean!

We also learned about media! Media is when we get to use the iPads or laptops to help us be better readers and writers. There are games to play, books to read, and as the year goes on, we will have projects to do as well! Check out the poster to see what we have to do while we're doing Media. (Poster coming soon! Check back Monday!)

Besides learning two more Daily 5 sessions, we also started talking about and reviewing the elements of fictions stories. Even though we've been talking about characters, setting, problems, events, and solutions since kindergarten, we never knew these things made up the plot of a story. And we really didn't know that we could use a picture to help us remember them! Well, this week we learned how. Mrs. Bair read us the book I Need My Monster, and we used it to retell the story elements to create a plot map. This week we're going to try our hand at identifying the story elements on our own and see if we can create our own plot map. This is definitely something you can do at home while you're reading with your child to do their homework, so here's an example of what the story elements are and what a plot map looks like if you'd like to give it a try:

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