Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Workshop Wednesday... and more fractions!

I have felt like a kid all week knowing Spring Break is right around the corner. I keep a mental countdown in my head that does include Science Lab tomorrow, the half-day next Thursday, and it most definitely included the science assembly we had today. Somehow, in my mind, assemblies or any time I'm not actually teaching equates to being closer to a much needed break. See--just like a kid!

Anyway, I'm linking up with Ideas by Jivey for Workshop Wednesday: Reading Organizers. I tend to think in terms of graphic organizers myself, so naturally we make these in my classroom all the time. We make them in most all subjects, because they are such a great teaching tool to sort out information. 

We've been reading On My Honor here recently, which the kids LOVE. Just this week we've been analyzing what the characters say, do and think, which is RF.4.3 I believe. I whipped up this Y-Chart Sunday evening... something quick and to the point. We all read together initially, then my students went back and re-read with a partner, while looking for the specifics on the organizer. Next, (which will be tomorrow and Friday), my students will create a thought bubble, speech bubble and action strip as a final product to show not only what the characters thought, said and did, but also analyze what this means. For example, if Joel thought about not telling the truth to his parents or police, how was he really feeling.. what would lead him to not wanting to tell the truth. I would post a picture of the finished product, but we haven't done it yet!

We frequently use summarizing organizers such as SWBST (someone wanted but so then) for fiction and the 5 W's + H for non-fiction (Who, what, when, where, why, how). One thing I've implemented this year with this organizers is a writing piece. My kids seem to get so lazy and used to jotting down notes of who they're talking about, and what that character did, but then when it comes to actually summarizing, as in a paragraph, they skimp out on me! Writing a paragraph after jotting down the notes has always been required, and so now after that I also have them make a connection either with that character, between the book they summarized and another book, or a connection to the world. We practice this weekly.. I'm convinced I have the world's laziest 4th graders. Really, I'd enter them in a competition!

Fractions... Again!

Seriously.. I'm over fractions. Well actually I think I'm over school/grades/conferences/bullying/disrespect/etc. and would like my break... so that I can go back to said activities with more motivation.

This is week... 112? of fractions for us, and we're moving on to multiplying fractions. Yesterday we discussed and worked with estimating fractional sums. I was worried at first that my kids would be confused, so at the last minute I had an idea that I whipped up super-duper quick.. hence the hand-written copies!

After discussing whole group, we partnered up and tackled estimating fractions. We used the phrase: "If_____ is closer to _______, and ________ is closer to _________, then ________ + __________ is about ____________." If that was confusing, try this one: "If 8/9 is closer to 1 whole, and 1/9 is closer to 0, then 8/9 + 1/9 is about 1 whole." **This can also be used for comparing fractions, so my kids told me. :)

Instead of completing boring worksheets, we pulled fractions out of a brown bag and recorded them on the sheets in the picture. I don't know what it was about the non-cute brown bag, but Lord knows they loved it.. and could do it! I looked over their responses yesterday and had to clarify some simple misconceptions, such as 5/6 is closer to 1 whole, not 1/2. Many number lines were drawn.. out of force, though, because they're lazy I tell you! :)

Two more days until Friday.. I think I can, I think I can! Don't forget to go link up with Jivey! 

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  1. Found your blog through Jivey's linky. Always happy to find another Grade 4 blog. I teach grade 3/4. I am really loving those Y charts - have to start using those!

    Looking From Third to Fourth

  2. On My Honor-such a great book! I forgot about it...thanks for sharing!
    Hunter's Tales from Teaching

  3. Great idea for the fractions! We use SWBST as well, I require my students to use the words in their paragraphs and yet some still don't. Your "Y" chart is great :)