A few weeks into the Distance Learning experience and we are definitely getting into the swing of things. In math, we have made it through multi-digit addition and subtraction, worked with rounding, and are now into unit conversions. A few students are working on multi-digit division and finding factors of multi-digit numbers. In science we are studying the function of living things, in social studies we are studying Nevada history and in ELA we are learning about the structure of narratives.
I’ve managed to get the desks six feet apart to get things ready for a socially distanced classroom. Another reminder of how different this school year will be.
It is absolutely amazing what the students accomplished during distance learning and it culminated with a Toastmasters experience Thursday night. During the week the students practiced their speeches but also had time for work on biodiversity and adaptations, a virtual field day, and a baby picture quiz. (Thanks parents for sharing the photos.) The Toastmasters event was especially impressive and through Zoom, over 50 people were able to attend.
Ten weeks of distance learning was challenging but the students were great with it; and I am thankful that I got to experience it with this specific group of children and families.
The refrain of the classroom continues to be: learning, despite the distance. It is amazing what the kids continue to get done. We annotated for text evidence, divided with remainders, converted with different metric units, and we finished our animal reports. (We even did a peer edit via the Breakout Rooms in Zoom.) We also got to be part of a Greg Tang experience and participated in the live Mystery Science event.
One of the things the kids have taught me is that learning is still possible despite the distance. We have pushed ahead in math with students applying what they know about multi-digit addition and subtraction to metric conversations. For example 10 kg – 3 kg 268 m. Other students have secured multiplying using the standard algorithm and are now practicing dividing with remainders. We are working on animal reports, revisiting work on forces, and answering text-dependent questions. Moreover, lots of people have come to visit to witness what the kids can do including Trustees Katy Simon-Holland and Andrew Caudill.
We played Pictionary, did PE with Ms. Knuth and ended, as has become our new habit, with a directed draw.
The kids continue to impress as a routine is taking root in our digital classroom. We are working with more fourth grade standards, especially in math with some student tackling multi-digit rounding and others being introduced to the partial products algorithm. We reintroduced our Benchmark reading program and used Microsoft Forms to share answers. We did some work with prefixes and abstract nouns and ended the week with a directed draw of Flamemallow.
Take a look at what the students have created to inform others about how to stay safe, healthy, and academically engaged during this period.
For this lesson, students selected a building they have visited or wanted to visit one day. To do this, they used Google Maps and the Street View. After drawing their building and adding details, they mixed colors to create a mood in the background. This was followed by selecting and applying analogous and complimentary colors for their building.
We continued to explore motion through a series of experiments. Students built wheel-and-axel systems, slopes, and twirly birds. As students did this, they refined their understanding of different forces, developed and tested predictions, and manipulated variables. These important core ideas will be further developed with additional experiences.