Friday, 17 March 2017

Before I go into anything else, I have to say what a wonderful couple of days the class has had with managing its behaviour on Thursday and Friday. With only a couple of exceptions, everyone focussed, followed directions and worked well together. As a result, we managed to have a lot of fun in our lessons and got a lot done. Really looking forward to the same thing next week, and that it wasn't just a "one-off."

Of course, the biggest news is that projects are due on Monday, as that is the day we will start giving the presentations and assessing them. I have already had a couple of them turned in and have had a few children breathlessly tell me about their A2 posters or their colourful brochures. I am really looking forward to seeing what creativity they have put into it.

We have started a new English topic on narrative poetry and the class really got into the idea of memorising a poem. We studied the "Willow Pattern" by Tony Mitton and rewrote our own version of it on Thursday. I've had a few children even shine by showing me their ability to self-edit and redraft their pieces.

In science we studied pitch and echolocation, which was a great way to explore how sound travels through air and water. The children generated a lot of their own questions and did their own investigating. Next week we will perform a test that they have designed themselves.

We're nearing the end of our gym course in PE, and still have so many children to sign off on abilities so that we can hand out skill award badges. I hope we can get to them all, but we were delayed early on by behaviour problems and we now only have two lessons to go.

We've also been studying Easter in RE and how important it is the people of a Christian faith. It has spawned a lot of questions that I hope to be able to address in the next couple of weeks.

As with last week, here is next week's promised spelling list so that you don't have to go hunting around in backpacks and crumpled piles of paper:








Have a great weekend!

Friday, 10 March 2017

Happy Friday everyone. With only three weeks to go until the end of term we're gearing up to do our assessments of the children's learning and finishing up several units. Speaking of which, it's only one more week of working before the Geography project is completed and turned in on the week of the 20th of March. We have just finished our English unit on persuasion, and yesterday's Extended Writing was all about writing ad copy to convince someone to travel to either New Delhi or Mumbai. So at this point everyone should have the tools they need to give a truly persuasive presentation.

We've been looking at the Christian holiday of Easter in RE and more specifically the concept of the Eucharist. In Geography we spent time on laptops looking at India using the powerful Google Maps software that comes free with the popular browser. We were able to walk some of the Mumbai and New Delhi streets and virtually tour some of the hot spots.

In science we are continuing our exploration of sound, what it is and how it works. We looked at waves, frequency and how sound needs a medium to vibrate in. Most recently we've been looking at decibels and how they measure sound volume.

In maths we've been working on identifying key words in word problems that tell us whether to add or subtract, and then doing two-step problems to find solutions. We also went over factor pairs again and used them to make mental calculations easier. Next week we will look at our geometric shapes again, including identifying shapes by name and finding symmetry in different 2-D objects.

As many of the children have been forgetting/hiding their homework books and spelling lists on Mondays, I will print next week's here for you all to see. Hopefully this will eliminate the hassle of finding a family whose student did bring them home.

This week we are on week two of looking at the list of most often misspelled words for Years 3 and 4. I have seen many of these spelled wrong in children's books, so don't let their apparent easiness fool you. They all contain letters that are either hidden in pronunciation or are pronounced differently from what children may think.

Here they are:








I hope this makes your Monday evenings a little less stressful.
Have a good weekend and I will see the children bright and early Monday morning.

Friday, 3 March 2017

It was National Book Week and the school had some special things planned. We had the special book exchange on Tuesday and every child in the class was able to exchange for at least one book. The books were all donations from other students throughout the school, and the generosity was apparent as the selection was very good.

On Wednesday the class was introduced to Alexander Martin, author of the Stanley Smartpants series. Martin read to us from some of his books and gave a tutorial on how to create and describe characters. He then led a workshop where he had the children try to describe his titular character. He sweetened the pot by suggesting that anyone with a particularly good description might have it put into his next book.

The class then began telling a story with a character they had made up. We will be submitting these to Martin, who will pick a "winner" and give that child a free book. We changed our extended write for this week so that the children could write theirs in class. I will be looking through these over the weekend and am quite looking forward to the imaginations of Year 4.

Today, of course, was dress as your favourite character from a story day. It was wonderful to see so many ingenious costumes in the class.

Next week will be back to "normal," with a full week of maths, English, science, geography, art and RE.