Saturday, March 22, 2014

The Fourth Grade Journey Continues: Spring

As targeted efforts come to an end, new paths begin. That sums up spring in fourth grade--a transition time with regard to curriculum.

We're tying up our heavy concentration on writing skill development, and we've completed multiple interdisciplinary learning units.

Now the focus is on synergy as well as new units of study.

Endangered Species Projects
With regard to synergy, our reading/writing efforts to date will be synthesized in our upcoming endangered species project. A project that will go through another revision that points the project in the direction of the following learning targets:
  • Integration of reading response and writing skill learning into a thoughtfully crafted fact-filled informational Google slide show, script, and presentation.
  • Focus on developing reading fluency, speaking skills, collaboration, and creativity.
The Fraction Unit
The fraction unit brings new content that will be integrated into the curriculum with problem solving, multimedia composition, skill work, and model making.  This unit represents multiple standards and will take up a large portion of our daily teaching in the next month.

Math Skills, Concept, Knowledge Review
A math skills, concept, and knowledge review will be the focus of the last week in April--a time when we play games and create projects that help everyone review all the math they've learned this year in preparation for May MCAS tests.

Lots of reading will fill our days too including independent reading, small group reading, and whole class shared reading. We'll look for ways to integrate ebooks into this effort.

Special Events
Trips to a play, zoo, and animal sanctuary will broaden students' learning too. Field Day, concerts, and end-of-the-year special events will enliven those hot days at the end of spring as well.

Professional Learning and Effort
With one foot in this year and one foot in the next I'll continue the effort to re-certify my NBPTS, build learning design knowledge and effort, synthesize my blog into the book, Classroom Choreography, organize and box school supplies (there'a reconfiguration and building update coming), order supplies for next year, revise scope and sequences to respond to standardized tests and new standards, and prep for summer institutes (learning design, math models, and team research).  

To date, it's been a busy year--another year of substantial learning and effort.  I'm really excited about the growth in the classroom program this year, and I continue to look for the best ways to collaborate and share ideas with the greater school community. 

In this time of change and growth with regard to the evolution in education, systems are filled to the brim with new initiatives, transitioning roles and efforts, and both "tried-and-true" traditional practice and new age learning tools, materials, and processes.  It's a busy time in education--both an exciting and daunting time, a time that requires stopping now and then to reflect, and right the path with students' success as the central focus.