What a wonderful start we’ve had in Year 4
Units of Inquiry
During the first few weeks of Term 1, we have been inquiring into the idea that understanding wellbeing enables us to promote it within the community, as a part of our year-long unit of inquiry, Who We Are.
To begin with, we looked at the definition of wellbeing – the state of being healthy, happy or comfortable. With that in mind, students used a thinking routine called Stock and Flow, which supports students to think about interconnectedness within systems. We imagine a bathtub, which has a tap to fill it up, and a drain to empty it, and ask – what if the bathtub is you wellbeing? What can we ‘put in’ to fill it up? What might ‘drain’ from it? The process of inquiry so far has enabled us to deepen our understanding of two of the Key Concepts in this unit – Connection and causation. At the same time, we went through a very similar process to create our class essential agreement – some pictures of this included below.
Students worked in teams to try to group their ideas by highlighting related ideas, and as a class, we came up with a list of categories that we think contribute to a person’s wellbeing. We then created a wellbeing simulation game and explored how our choices may impact our wellbeing. Have a look at the photos below to understand a little of how the process unfolded.
This week, we begin our new unit of inquiry, Sharing the Planet, in which we’ll be inquiring into the central idea that people’s responses to the actions of others affects the harmony of a community. Stay tuned!
Our first unit of learning in mathematics is focused on place value – essentially, how our number system works. We’ve been learning about patterns we see, reading, portioning and ordering numbers, and renaming numbers – for example, how 5324 can be renamed as 532 tens and 2 ones, or 53 hundreds, 2 tens and 4 ones. Alongside this, students have learnt a bunch of fun maths games that support their fluency and understanding of these concepts. Why don’t you try this one out at home?
Draw out six playing cards each (remove 10 and picture cards).
Using your six cards, make two three-digit numbers which add up to as close to 1000 as possible. The winner is the closest to one thousand. (If this is too much of a challenge, try the same game with four cards each, two-digit numbers and aim for 100!) When playing this game, encourage students to use ‘mental strategies’ – they may add the hundreds first, then the tens, then the ones. They might record their thinking or do so in their heads – but this process really reinforces the place value concepts we are learning about.
In language, we have begun inquiring into the question, ‘What makes a good story?’ Students have begun reading and analysing picture books to look for the connection between how stories are structured and organised, developing their own plans for exciting narratives and collecting interesting vocabulary they may use.
I can’t believe we’re only four weeks in… there is so much happening! We are looking forward to seeing you at the Year 4 Assembly on March 2nd so we can share some more.