Monthly Archives: February 2017

Understanding Fractions

This week we began taking a deeper look into fractions. Right now we are starting with fractions of a whole (e.g. how many pieces of a whole pizza are you getting). When this understanding is more solid, we will work on fractions of a set (e.g. how many buttons out of a group of 12 are pink? – 3 of 12 would be equal to 1/4)

Concepts we’ve discussed:

  • A fraction is a portion of a WHOLE
  • A fraction is a number between 0 and 1
  • The bottom number is called the denominator
  • The top number is the numerator
  • The denominator tells us how many EQUAL parts the whole is divided into
  • The numerator tells us how many of those EQUAL portions we are looking at
  • When comparing fractions, we must compare using the same size whole

Today we worked as a class and then in small groups to order various fractions on a number line between 0 and 1. Fractions are a very tough concept for many grade fours. It is often challenging for them to understand that a larger denominator means a smaller portion of the whole (e.g. 1/10 is smaller than 1/2). You can help your child at home by cutting multiple pieces of paper into different fraction portions and comparing their sizes. Also, draw a number line and have your child place different fractions in the correct place on the line. Once they truly understand the meaning of what a fraction is, the math work will come easy.


Image result for prime meridian

As an add on to our learning about Canada’s political and physical regions, we have been learning about maps.

Students have read about the equator, the prime meridian, the northern and southern hemisphere’s, and western and eastern hemisphere’s. We have also been looking at the cardinal directions (North, South, East, West) and the intermediate directions (NE, NW, SE, SW).

Talk to your child about which part of your house faces North, South, East, or West. Play “hot and cold” or “I spy”  like games by asking them to find something using the cardinal and intermediate directions. e.g. “I spy something North East of us that is purple.”  or “Stand in front of the fridge. Walk South. Stop. Now walk West. Stop. Now walk North East. What object are you standing at now?”

I grew up remembering the cardinal directions as “Never Eat Shredded Wheat.” The students informed me that they like to use, “Never Enter Stinky Washrooms.”

Image result for Canada and cardinal directions

Upcoming Report Cards

Report Cards are coming home on Friday. A reminder that a B grade means your child is meeting the ministry standard for their grade. One or two Cs may mean they just have a little bit of work to do. They are approaching the required expectations. Focussing on the next steps in the report card comments will help them do better.

If your child is getting mostly Cs or Ds, I have connected with you about this. There are a few parents I was unable to reach. If your child has received several Cs or Ds on their report card and we haven’t talked, please let me know some dates that we could meet. I would like to discuss how we can work together to help your child improve.

I would also like to remind parents that the learning skills are one of the most important sections of the report card. Generally, improving areas covered in the learning skills results in improved grades.  These are great focus areas when filling out the goals page with your child for the upcoming term.

There are no interviews scheduled for these reports, but as always, I am happy to schedule a meeting with you at any point to look at school work or discuss next steps.

Valentine’s Post Office Writing

To put practice applying our recent sentence writing lessons, we wrote letters for our school Valentine’s post office today.

As you may know, the grade 7 and 8’s have organized a Valentine’s post office. Students can purchase stamps for 10 cents to have a kind letter sent to another student in the school. The money raised will add to our fundraising causes that support school needs, such as buying technology or special class supplies.

We will add names to our letters on the last day before the post office closes. Our letters will be sent to grade 1 and 2 students who did not have a letter mailed to them by a friend. This way we helped have fewer students feel left out. I have purchased enough stamps for each student in our class to create one of these letters. If you wish to contribute to our class’ good deed, please feel free to send in some change and we will add another letter to the pile. Any support is appreciated.

We still have a few corrections to make before they can be sent out, but here are a few examples of what we started.

For those who wish to participate, we will still do a regular Valentine exchange in our class on Valentine’s Day and have a small celebration. Here is a list of our class names:

Canada – Political and Physical Regions

We have been leaning about Canada. Help your child at home by practicing the names of all of the provinces, territories, capital cities, and capital of the country (Ottawa). Can they name and label them all? This is a great opportunity to discuss how to read a map.


As well, practice naming all of the physical regions and look up some of the characteristics that make each physical region unique.

Patterning in math

Our posts have been lacking…sorry.

We have been working on patterns. Over the course of many weeks, students have worked with number patterns. We have looked at growing and shrinking patterns, using addition, subtraction, multiplication and some division. We have also looked at input and output patterns in tables.

Recently, we have been working with geometric patterns. There are many hands on opportunities here.

Earlier in December and January we learned how to read and interpret pictographs, circle graphs (pie graphs), bar graphs, and double bar graphs.  We have learned to collect data and made our own graphs.  You can have your son or daughter log into the Hub. There you can connect to their email and should see results for our data management quiz.