Year 4 Newsletter | Term 2 Week 6

Week 6 comes to a close and it has been another wonderful week of learning, engagement, sharing and growth. Within our Social and Emotional Learning, we are continuing to build our understanding of what we have to do in order to overcome some of the ‘hard yakka’ that happens at school. This can be about the language and self-talk that we engage in, as well as the understanding that sometimes we have to finish the challenging tasks in order to be able to ‘get to the fun’. What has been truly remarkable has been the depth of discussions that we have with the learners and their willingness to engage in discussion with the whole class as well as ‘elbow partners’. Elbow partners are a fantastic tool to ensure that everyone is engaged in discussions and allows for learner voice to be heard. When children turn and talk together, there is a release of pressure to share in front of the class. Following on from a ‘turn and talk’ session, children have more confidence to contribute to whole group discussions. Perhaps share what it was like when you were a young learner at school with your children. Did you have chances to sit on the carpet and talk with a peer about what was being taught? We are sure that there will be differences which can lead to some fascinating family discussions.

Math 

We have begun to inquire into a unit of work on measurement with a specific focus on length. Our goals for this unit are for the learners to become comfortable and accurate with the use of a ruler. Believe it or not, this requires clear instruction about the metric system, converting between units and understanding of decimals. However, to begin with, we have been working on our estimation skills and starting to understand the concept of perimeter as well. We have been having some fun with hands-on activities. As mentioned, we are also using decimals which integrate well with the number focus for the next few weeks. The learners have been fully engaged and enjoying the challenges being presented. Classes have also been putting the final touches on our fractions unit of work. We have summarized the unit by asking the children to reflect on their original understanding and where they have come to at the end of the unit. A summative assessment does not always have to be a pen and paper test as the reflective process is equally as rich as it allows the students to understand their progress first hand.

English

This week our students have continued to build upon their own cultural retellings of Cinderella. Students explored how direct speech is used in fairy tales to progress the plot and used their knowledge of correct punctuation to write the problem in their own story: there is an invitation to an event and the main character cannot attend. Our students have some wonderful and imaginative ideas and it has been great to see their stories developing further.

Within Reading, we have been working our way through the novel “A Friend for Grace” which is the story of a girl in early 1800 London who is sent to Australia for her crimes (she took a horse that she loved for a ride). The tale is about her journey to Australia and who she meets along the way. Our focus in class has been on teaching and using some of the comprehension strategies – such as predicting and making connections. The novel is also a way that we integrate Literacy with our History unit of work. Thus, we can use the reading of the novel and the associated instruction within lessons that might be designated as History. We strive to make these connections with our teaching as much as possible.

History

During our History lessons we have been focusing on what life was like for a child living in Britain during the 1700s. Students then used a Venn diagram to compare and contrast life in the 1700s and life for a child in 2022. Needless to say, I think our children are very happy they were born in this modern age rather than during the industrial revolution. I cannot believe any of the students wanted to be a chimney sweeper or a thread collector! Moving forward we will put ourselves in the shoes of a child convict and imagine what life was like on a first fleet ship. Keep an eye out on seesaw for the diary entry of a child convict.

Science

This week in Science, students shifted their inquiry from layers of the earth and continental drift to different rocks and the rock cycle. Students explored Igneous, Sedimentary and Metamorphic rocks. They examined rocks in the classroom, wondering about:

  • Colour
  • Shape
  • Porousness
  • Size of the grains
  • Does it float or sink in water? (Density)

Students classified rocks, and then recreated the rock cycle during an experiment using chocolate! Students placed choc chips in zip lock bags to create sedimentary, igneous and metamorphic rocks. They demonstrated how different rocks are formed by heat, pressure and cooling. Additionally, we tested our brand new iPads by using Popplet to represent the rock cycle visually. To support learning at home, ask your child about this experiment: what do they know now about the rock cycle?

Homework

We would like to inform you that Homework will be starting in Week 7 and the children will have tasks to complete at home. Our big focus is for the children to allocate 15 to 20 minutes of reading time every day. This can be reading to self or with parents. We will also include some other well-being tasks and something related to our Key Learning Areas. The intention of the homework is to develop self-management skills and to promote connection between what is happening in school with parents. Thank you in advance for your support of the homework activities.

Mr Bruce Home (Head of Year 4), Mr Bruce Home, Ms Kirsten Beecheno, Mrs Neander Walsh