Saturday, March 9, 2013

Team 16 Update

Team 16 has been busy!  Highlights of the past week:

Math: Students are learning both the partial products and traditional method for multi-digit multiplication.  I have polled the class and about half like the partial products way better and the other half like the traditional way better.  My goal is for all students to get exposure in both methods.  For the students who are comfortable with both methods, they have started a project while I can spend more quality time with a smaller group who need more direct modeling and instruction.  This group will eventually move on to the project as well.

Math Project:  Students are paired up. They come up with a multi-digit multiplication fact that they both agree on.  One student will focus on teaching the partial product method and the other student will focus on teaching the traditional method.  The students will work together to practice, rehearse, and ultimately teach a lesson using their chosen method.  We will record the lessons.  This will ensure the students understand all the steps in solving the problems and their thinking that goes along with it.  This project will take some time and I believe the end result will be worth it.

Buddies:  Our 2nd grade buddies finished their personal narratives.  The 4th graders are teaching their buddies how to publish and record their stories using different technology tools.  Different groups are using Storybird, i-Movie, Garageband, and Scratch.  Next week, we will make the final editing.  This seems to be an exciting and engaging project for all!

MCAS Prep:  We are working hard on reading comprehension and open responses.  We are also working hard writing persuasive pieces that include a topic sentence, 3 examples with 3 pieces if evidence, and a strong conclusion.  The 4th graders are working hard to write bold beginnings, elaborating evidence, adding transition words, and vivid adjectives to their pieces.  The students will be working on a collaborative writing piece on Monday about favorite seasons.  We read and analyzed a strong student sample from Ms. Devlin's class and the students are looking forward to this.

Reading Groups:  I am trying something new with reading groups.  I have paired the students in smaller groups.  They take turns leading the discussions, choosing the assignments, and inviting me to join in when they need me.  I have created posters where the students record their assignments.  This way I can check-in and I know what they are working on.  In addition, if a students forgets the assignment, they can go and check the posters.  This seems to be working really well and all the students seem engaged!

More to come later...

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