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Humphreys’ Headlines

October 12, 2012 MEAP Math
This week our class spent three days taking the MEAP test. On Tuesday and Wednesday, we took the reading portion of the MEAP. On Thursday, we did the first day of the writing portion. We will be taking the MEAP next week as well. On Tuesday, our class will be taking the math part and on Wednesday, the students will be taking the last day of writing. It has been an exhausting few days! The most important things you can do for your child on these days are to make sure your child: Eats a healthy breakfast Gets plenty of restful sleep Brings a healthy snack to school If your child is ill from school, they will make up the test when they return to school. Thank you for your support! Our class has started working on Unit 3 this week. The first section of the unit gives students an opportunity to review and practice basic multiplication facts. We will also be starting our world tour project. The students will be working on solving number stories. Finally, the class will be learning basic algebra concepts and skills such as solving with a variable. (ex. 17+x=25) The students will be tested on addition, subtraction and multiplication tests for the first trimester. The expected time is 3 seconds per problem in fourth grade. That means for 50 problems, the students should be able to complete the page in 2 ½ minutes. Please look in your child’s folder on Friday to see how they did on timings for the week. The best way to learn facts is to practice, practice, practice to help your child to not add and subtract by counting on their fingers! On the classroom blog you will find many math fact games! Your child has visited these sites in class and I encourage you to practice these sites at home!

Science
Our classroom has continued to work on our science unit, States of Matter. We have been focusing on three states of matter: solid, liquid and gas. There is a fourth state of matter, plasma, which we will not be learning about at this level. We learned that solids are made up of matter, have mass and volume and have a definite shape. We measured mass using a balance with gram cubes. The students even made their own balance! We proved that liquids have mass and volume and take the shape of whatever container it holds. We also learned about gas and how gas takes up space by showing how a liquid can’t enter a bottle unless air can escape. We also talked about what molecules are doing inside of the three states of matter. Science has been very fun and hands on so far this year!

Our class also talked about summarizing a story. We discussed what the difference is between a summary and a retelling of the story. We learned that a summary is just the IMPORTANT details from the story while a retell are ALL the details from the story. We practiced a strategy called “The Fab Five” to improve our summaries: The Fab Five: 1. Somebody? – Who is the main character? Who are the other important characters? 2. Wants? - What does the main character want in the story? 3. But? - But what happens? What gets in the way of the character getting what he wants? 4. So? - What does the character do to try to solve the problem? 5. Then? - Then what happens? How is the problem solved? After we learned the strategy, we practiced summarizing by writing summaries of our books in our own reader’s notebooks.

Reading

MISCELLANEOUS NOTES
  Please know that if you have any questions or concerns, please get in touch with me at school (863-6362) or by e-mail (khumphreys@rockfordschools.org). Have a great weekend! Please return the book order by Friday, October 19. Please order your books online if you can – we earn more classroom points with online orders AND you can earn $5 towards a free book! Thanks!