23rd April 2018

Welcome to the Summer term and thank goodness we have finally had some sun! 4DE have had a great first week back and really gotten stuck into our new topics.

In Maths we have started to look at how to read, write and represent decimals. Everybody has impressed me with their investigative work as we tried to find out how many different decimal numbers you could make using 3 counters and a place value chart. We will continue to study decimals for a few weeks so please look out for any real life examples of decimals in action (eg. prices, measurements, etc) I am also pleased to announce that many children have passed their weekly times table rock stars tests and will be moving up to the next set of questions. Alannah, Emily and Ozzy all passed their 11 x tables, Summer passed her 3s, Justin and Elijah passed their 12s and Jack and Daisy completed their 7s. Just a reminder that by the end of Year 4 children are expected to know ALL of their times tables so please remember to keep up the practice at home!

In English we have been learning the story ‘Stone Age Boy’ to fit in with our new topic, ‘Are these your teeth?’ which will see us study Prehistoric times from the Stone Age to the Iron Age. We introduced this topic by allowing each table to dig through a rubbish bag to hunt for clues as to who the rubbish belonged to. This allowed us to put our inference skills to good use and was a great hook to the idea that there are no written records for Prehistoric times – all our knowledge comes from evidence left behind. Take a look at our photos to see what sorts of things we found.

We completed our work on sound in Science this week and had great fun investigating how sound comes from vibrations. We worked in groups to use drama to show how sound is heard when molecules in the air collide and cause sound waves, which travel into our ears and cause tiny hairs to vibrate, sending signals through nerves to the brain to let us know that we heard something. The teachers judged which group we thought presented this most effectively and you can watch the winning video below.

We have also begun to look at blogging in ICT. We are using Purple Mash to do this and I have asked children to continue with their blog entries at home. This week we are writing blogs entitled ‘All About Me’ and I have suggested that children might like to add photos of themselves, family or pets to their posts. This is a closed blog that can only be seen by the class and we have discussed the importance of being safe and not disclosing personal information when using public blogs.  I look forward to reading your blog entries next week!

2nd April 2018

What a fabulous end to the Spring term! We celebrated Mountain in style, with the teachers getting off to an exhausting start as we tried to set up tents before the children arrived at 8:55. Mrs Piper and myself were particularly impressed with our hilarious attempts and were very pleased when Mr Haslam turned up to save the day! I’m sure that those of you who saw our Everest Base  Camp will agree that the prayer flags that the children made looked amazing strung up between the tents and we really had fantastic weather for our outdoor adventure. About time too!

We had a great day trying out different activities that might be required if we are to ever attempt to reachthe summit of Mount Everest. This included hiking with heavy backpacks, rock climbing, tying knots, making detailed inspections (and drawings) of climbing gear, writing diary entries and of course, cooking some delicious super noodles (although we were let down by the gas stove and had to move this activity indoors!) Well done to everybody for an amazing day and great teamwork. 

We have been researching and preparing questions for the six mountaineers that our teams were named after: 
Arunima Sinha
Brian Blessed
Reinhold Messner
Apa Sherpa
Bear Grylls

We did research at home and school, reduced our questions to just four, then created a diamond 4 to decide on our best questions. Mr Fleet is going to Tweet them for us. Fingers crossed for some replies!

We continued with the mountain theme in English and have worked hard on writing a dialogue between two mountaineers as both a play script and a narrative. Have a look at Bethany’s amazing effort.
Have a safe Easter and I look forward to a fun packed Summer Term.

P.S. Don’t forget to make an Easter card for our Enterprise competition!

26th March 2018

This week we have continued to study how speech is presented in different texts and thought about how the way it is written changes how we read it. This has led to discussions about synonyms for ‘said’, adverbs and the importance of punctuation. In Guided Reading we worked in groups to read a script and record this so that we could discuss strengths and ways to improve. We are working on the reading target, Read aloud and perform play scripts, maintaining the audience’s interest in character and plot, and everyone has excelled in achieving this.

We are continuing to work on developing our short scenes from The Firework Maker’s Daughter. Everyone has written a play script using their filmed performance and next week we will use the skills we have practised this week to create a narrative version. Take a look at one of our videos and play-scripts and see how you think we have done!

In Maths we are almost at the end of our fraction unit and becoming more confident in our skills. We will be completing our Hot Task next week to show how much we have learnt, so I have attached a few images that you can explain to your parents (who I’m sure will be amazed by your mathematics skills!)

For Sports Relief we took part in Odd Sock Day and a 1 Mile Run. I was amazed by the fitness levels of some students! We had to complete 13 laps of the playground to achieve our 1 mile total, but many who finished went on to complete 20 laps in total! Well done for taking part and not giving up everybody.

Next week is Y3/4’s Mountain Day. In preparation for this we have been creating Tibetan prayer flags to hang around our Everest ‘Base Camp’. The class have really shown their understanding of what a prayer flag is and why they are important to the Sherpa community, but also have again blown me away with their artistic talents! Some of the prayer flags from 4DE look like the real deal! Have a look at a few of our examples and see if you agree.

19th March 2018

This week in 4DE we have enjoyed creating our own ‘unseen scenes’ from The Firework Maker’s Daughter. Everybody chose to focus on the conversation that Chulak and Lila had when they discovered that Hamlet (the King’s white elephant) could talk. As well as giving everybody a chance to show off their skills as cinematographers and actors, (and I must say we have some AMAZING actors in 4DE – look out Hollywood!) the purpose of this exercise was to give us an opportunity to practise writing speech for different text types. The children have completed various activities investigating and sorting the different ways that speech can be written, and decided that the two main types are narrative and play script (although we have also discussed other possibilities such a comic strip speech bubbles and text messages). We recorded our short scenes using a tablet and then worked in groups of two in the ICT suite – one partner carefully watching and listening to the recorded video, the other typing this up to create a script. This resulted in some very impressive play scripts. I am very impressed with the progress that the children have made in a week and we all now seem to be confident play-writes! The challenge will come next week when we recreate our scripts as narratives and I look forward to sharing the results of these with you.

It has been a challenging week in Maths as we have investigated the different ways of recognising and calculating equivalent fractions. We have used fraction walls, created and compared drawings, and investigated the relationship between the numerator and denominator when comparing fractions. Everybody has managed to find a strategy that works best for them, but similarly we have all found a technique that is more challenging. Well done to everybody for showing huge perseverance. We have also had many discussions about how much easier equivalent fractions are IF YOU KNOW YOUR TIMES TABLES!!! I cannot stress enough how important it is to know all your multiplication tables up to 12 x 12 (which can be practised on the fantastic Times Table Rock Stars). It really will make learning in all areas of Mathematics so much easier and I appreciate your support in sharing this message and practising as much as possible at home. There are also some great fractions games in the Maths area of Purple Mash which you might like to practise at home.

In our Topic lessons we have started to learn about Sherpas in Nepal. We have investigated family life, religion  and community, and will be spending next week designing and making prayer flags. We plan to hang these during our Mountain Day, coming up on March 28th.

As Easter moves ever closer, we have been taking time as a class to discuss Easter Enterprise. We have agreed that our class will organise an Easter card competition. We plan to charge 50p to enter and will award prizes for the best entries. We need to decide on prizes and how to advertise our event and will be working on this over the final two weeks of term. It was very exciting to learn that we came third and received a bronze certificate for raising the most money at Christmas Enterprise. We hope that we can be just as successful with our Easter Project!