Grade 4

Grade 4 2016-10-25T15:01:46+00:00

Grade 4

13 Ways of looking at a Fraction

Dear Families,

The distance lab in the Learning Commons is such a great learning environment and the 4th graders took great advantage of it this week to continue our study of improper and equivalent fractions, along with mixed numbers, common factors and how to put fractions in their simplest form. We’ve used… fractions strips, fractions pieces, cuisinaire rods, numbers lines and the ever popular pizza pie; not quite as many ways as Wallace Stevens looked at a Blackbird, but give us time.
After watching a few different videos showing different ways to compare fractions, the kids went to work on putting fractions in their simplest form, and saw that all that work learning multiplication really does pay off!

The Valentine’s party was great fun. Thank you to all the parents who provided the goodies to make it special. It knocks me out to see how genuinely appreciative they are for each and every card they receive and how much work and care goes into their preparation. There are a couple of shots in the slide show that show just how excited they were to share their cards with each other.

We continue to work away at the geography of the USA, the poetry of our reading book Locomotion, atlases, spelling rules, map keys, and keyboarding skills.
I have worked hard to make sure desks and cubbies stay (somewhat) clean, coats are always picked and everything that is used is then put away. These habits contribute to a general respect of our classroom, our school and the teachers and staff that work alongside them to keep it the special place it is.

Thanks to Neal for bringing in his math games from home and to all the parents who were able to sneak away from work and visit the classroom for Bring a Parent to School Day. It makes me proud to see how proud they are to share their work with you.

Enjoy the long weekend!
Best, Katharine

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By | February 16th, 2018|Categories: Grade 4, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Cooperative vs Independent learning in 4th grade / January 2018

Dear 4th grade families,

Each Tuesday morning the Middle School meets as a group and each grade takes turns presenting something they have been working on to the rest of the Middle School. Last Tuesday it was our turn and the class did a first class job on presenting an excerpt they learned from Martin Luther King Jr.’s, I Have A Dream speech. I was very proud of each and every one of them. The video is attached for you to watch.

In math class we have moved on to the world of equivalent fractions and mixed numbers. We have been using both fraction strips and fraction pieces to help visualize those concepts.

In Social Studies we are continuing our unit on US Geography. Today we had an interesting discussion about the pros and cons of working cooperatively. Here were some of the comments:

” If you give someone the answer then they’ll never know it themselves for a quiz”, “Sometimes it’s helpful to work with someone else because they can show you a new way or a strategy for figuring something out you would never have thought of”, ” Sometimes you can give hints, or just guide them”, “It’s fun”, “Sometimes, I like to work alone”,”It can help with social skills, having to work with someone else”.

I believe that students need skills in both working in a team and solving problems independently. Part of my job is to determine when to use each of these strategies and give them opportunities for both. Social Studies is a great time to work cooperatively with atlases answering questions about land forms, determining latitudes, labeling rivers and adding cardinal points. Some of the photos in the attached slide show are from Social Studies class, when they’re humming along is when I have a chance to grab the camera!

As part of our Service Learning project, we will be traveling to Covanta, the solid waste facility in Pittsfield on Wednesday. Mr. Gore will join us and we will get a tour of the facility and see how they turn our garbage into electricity! I will be sending home a sheet on Tuesday about how the students need to be dressed for that day.

We’re looking forward to seeing some of you next Tuesday morning at Bring a Parent to School Day. There is a Lunch Bunch on Tuesday as well.

I am personally looking forward to seeing some of the 4th graders at the private lessons Music recital on Sunday. Such talented students!

Enjoy the snowy weekend,


4th Grade I Have a Dream Speech from Berkshire Country Day School on Vimeo.

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By | February 2nd, 2018|Categories: Grade 4, Uncategorized|Comments Off on Cooperative vs Independent learning in 4th grade / January 2018

Welcome January 2018 in 4th grade!

Dear Families and Friends,

2018 is off to a great and busy start! Line plots, modes, medians, means, perimeters and area have been the themes in math class so far. Always fun to get the Geo Boards out and create line plots on the board.

The final projects on Maniac Magee came in yesterday and revealed a great understanding of the themes of this complex story. From book blurbs and predictions to cartoon strips, the class really grasped the themes of homelessness, racism and prejudice, family and friendship as well as the sense of fun that the story reflects. They will be displayed in our hallway along with some other written work related to Maniac Magee. Please visit our bulletin board!

We are enjoying a short mini-unit on Tall Tales (as Maniac is a bit of a tall tale character himself!) but will soon begin our next book, Locomotion by Jacqueline Woodson. It is written as 60 poems and despite the spare text tells a complex and moving story. This class is so connected to poetry I know that it will inspire even more poetic writing than Love That Dog did at the start of the year.

In Social Studies, we have begun our study of US geography. They surprised themselves, and me, in how many states they could label on a blank map as our starting point.

We had a short but fun visit from the 7th graders this week who helped us with our Spelling Scramble and we have in turn invited them to our classroom for some yoga and qiqong practice soon.

Please remember to send in SLIPPERS, if you haven’t already done so, and a set of dry clothes. If you have any extra set of snow pants that can live at school that would be great, otherwise please send in a pair everyday- it makes a real difference in what activities they can participate in at recess.

Best to all!


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By | January 11th, 2018|Categories: Grade 4|Comments Off on Welcome January 2018 in 4th grade!