Monday, September 13, 2010

Still Testing

As the school year settles down, many routines become ingrained in the minds of students.  Some learn quicker than others but more importantly, we all learn.  It's helpful to have a daily academic routine.  Many people thrive on consistency and predictability while others yearn for new experiences and unexpected challenges.  Whatever the personality, our classroom tries to cater them all with a variety of learning experiences, expectations, opportunities, and challenges.  

When the sporadic series of first month evaluation testing subsides, regular curriculum schedules can fall into place.  In order to complement some of our curricular programs, the fourth grade teachers deem is necessary to offer different kinds of activities, lessons, and worksheets.  A pair publications we like to use, especially for Social Studies, is Time For Kids and Scholastic News.  Both periodicals have great websites full of current events, young pop culture news, and tons of online activities.  

Open-Court Reading is the curriculum guide we use for whole class Basal reading.  While we are now reading about one story a week, that will not always be the case.  As the year progresses, our class will engage in novel studies and extension lessons.  Weeks when we do have an Open-Court story students will be assessed on their story comprehension, vocabulary, and writing analysis skills through a traditional paper and pencil test.  These tests are necessary components of fourth grade language arts and will prove helpful in preparation for standardized testing

The last item for this week's post is a mention of the not-to-far-off field trip to The Grove in Glenview, Illinois.  As a National Historic Landmark, The Grove is a wonderful place for students to learn about and explore the biodiversity of Illinois.  The changing season is prime time for an educational excursion to a site full of history and wildlife.  Check the "Upcoming Events" section on the right hand side of the blog for this trip and other happenings.