Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Work Flow

Hello Readers!  We finally got some snow to cover the barren land the rain created over winter break.  Snow on the ground just seems to make January feel more like winter.  Now in the second week of school in the new year we are trying a different approach to completing classroom assignments and responsibilities.  The idea is called Work Flow.  It's simply a different way of presenting weekly tasks and projects.  Students are responsible to complete all of the tasks in the flow by the end of the week.  Items get added and erased as our focus shifts. 

Research is quickly becoming a major component of the education process for all age levels.  In fourth grade we are beginning research for two different subjects and topics.  This will be a delicate balance for students but hopefully the research skills learned will be directly applied to both topics. Numbers research is for our GVC project.  (The purpose of this project is to built a website that gives something back to the global community.  We are focusing on the way numbers connect everyone.) We are investigating the way numbers are presented and utilized for various things in our lives.  Example: One student recently discovered ISBN on the back of books and is now researching the origins, purpose and value of ISBNs on books.  Ecosystems research is for a science project that leads into students creating living ecosystems in the classroom.  For more information on research and age-appropriate research sites for your children, please click the "Research" tab at the top of the blog. 

Winter MAP testing starting in District 97 this week and will continue through January 26.  Our class took the reading test on Monday and will take the Math test on Tuesday, January 24.  Complete students reports and data will be available during parent/teacher conferences in early February.  These test results are great for measuring student progress and developing student centered learning goals. 

Scholastic News is becoming an integral part of our weekly routine.  Not only do issues provide current events for students but activity sheets focus and enriching skills and concepts listed in our nation's Core Common Standards.  Many of these standards are also some of the standards that the annual ISAT assesses.  There are great articles and coverage of many major American and world events.  So if your child comes home one day talking about a controversial topic or referencing popular news events, they probably got it from Scholastic News.  Today's news is tomorrow's history!