May 1

Big Question… Benefits and Challenges of Tech in the classroom

Each year, as I reviewed and revised the Grade 4 curriculum, I prepared for the responsibility of year 1 of BYOD (Bring your own Device). Students in grade 4 are introduced to the accountability for using a computer in class. This opens up many new skills that students in Grades K-3 may not have been aware of. Each year, I am asked the same questions about safety, skill building and ‘What happened to old-fashioned paper and pencil?” – Fear not, there is always a balance! Using technology in the Grade 4 classroom can offer numerous benefits, but it also comes with its own set of challenges. Below are some of those benefits and challenges for both students and teachers:

Benefits: 

  1. Engagement: Technology can make learning more interactive and engaging for students, capturing their attention and enthusiasm through multimedia resources, educational apps, and interactive whiteboards.
  2. Personalized learning: With the help of educational software and online platforms, teachers can tailor learning experiences to individual students’ needs, providing personalized instruction and adaptive feedback.
  3. Access to information: The internet provides vast resources for research, allowing students to explore topics beyond the confines of traditional textbooks and classroom materials, fostering curiosity and independent learning.
  4. Collaboration: Technology enables students to collaborate with peers on projects, share ideas, and communicate effectively through platforms like Google Classroom, collaborative document editing tools, and video conferencing.
  5. Preparation for the future: Integrating technology into the classroom helps students develop digital literacy skills essential for success in the modern world, preparing them for future academic and professional endeavours.
  6. Differentiation: Technology allows teachers to differentiate instruction more effectively, providing additional support or challenges to students based on their individual abilities and learning styles.

Challenges:

  1. Distraction: The presence of technology devices in the classroom can be a distraction, tempting students to engage in non-educational activities such as gaming or social media.
  2. Digital divide: Not all students have equal access to technology at home, leading to disparities in learning opportunities and potentially widening the achievement gap between students from different socioeconomic backgrounds.
  3. Tech dependence: Over-reliance on technology may hinder students’ development of critical thinking, problem-solving, and communication skills, as well as their ability to learn through hands-on experiences and face-to-face interactions.
  4. Security and privacy concerns: Using online platforms and digital tools raises concerns about data privacy, security, and the protection of student’s personal information, requiring careful consideration of privacy policies and security measures.
  5. Tech-related stress: Excessive screen time and digital overload can contribute to stress, fatigue, and other negative health effects among students, particularly if not balanced with offline activities and physical exercise.
  6. Technical issues: Technology glitches, network connectivity issues, and software malfunctions can disrupt instructional time and cause frustration for both teachers and students, highlighting the importance of technical support and contingency plans.

So as you imagine, it is not as simple and straightforward as YES or NO to tech use in the classroom. It as I mentioned above is a balance. I like to think that each year I tweak, it is a balance that amplifies students’ experience in learning and the possibilities of connecting our class to the wider world.

April 19

Explore the World: Why Learning Languages Matters!

Hey there, Grade 4 Language explorers! I am Señor Parkinson, I am a French and Spanish High school teacher (and Ms.M’s husband!)

Have you ever wondered why learning languages is so cool? Well, get ready to embark on a journey as we discover the exciting world of language learning together!

Imagine being able to talk to people from all around the world, understand different cultures, and explore new places without ever leaving your classroom. That’s the magic of learning languages! When you learn a new language, you open doors to new friendships, new adventures, and endless possibilities.

Make Friends Around the World:

    • Learning languages is like having a superpower—it lets you talk to people from different countries and cultures.
    • Imagine chatting with someone from Japan, France, or Israel! You can learn about their favourite foods, games, and traditions.
    • So, learning languages helps you make friends all over the globe! 🌎

Boost Your Brain Power:

      • Think of your brain as a superhero headquarters. When you learn a new language, it’s like adding an extra gadget to your utility belt.
      • Bilingual brains are super flexible—they can switch between languages faster than a ninja! 🥋
      • Plus, being bilingual makes your brain stronger and smarter. 🧠💪

 

Open Doors to Cool Jobs:

    • Imagine working as a travel guide, helping tourists explore ancient ruins in Egypt or bustling markets in India.
    • Or maybe you’ll be a language detective, solving mysteries using your language skills!
    • Learning languages opens up exciting job opportunities. It’s like finding a secret treasure map to success! 🗺️💼
So, young language learners, keep practicing those words and phrases. Who knows? You might become a language superhero one day! 🌟🦸‍♀️

Let’s Get Started!

So, are you ready to dive into the wonderful world of language learning? Whether you’re interested in Spanish, French, Hebrew or any other language, there’s a whole world of fun waiting for you to explore! Talk to your teachers, check out some language apps or books, and get ready to embark on the adventure of a lifetime.

Leave a comment below in a language of your choice and say hi!

The world is waiting for you, Grade 4 language explorers – let’s go! 🌍✨

April 17

Guest Blogger: Skycoo_Forever shares about the Grade 4 Model Seder

A Seder is when you get to dress up in fancy clothing. This is the order of how you would do the Sedar at home but it is in Hebrew.

קדש, ורחץ, כרפס, יחץ, מגיד, רחצה, מוציא, מצה, מרור, כורך, שולחן עורך, צפון, ברך הלל, נרצה

And now these are the 10 plagues of Egypt                דם

צפרדעים

כִּנִים

זבובים

שְׁחִין

בָּרָד

ארבה

חוֹשֶׁך 

here is my model Sedar book

There are some specific songs that you will sing here they are

The Ballad of the Four Sons                                    
(to the tune of “Clementine”) 

Said the father to his children,
“At the seder you will dine,
You will eat your fill of matzoh,
You will drink four cups of wine.” 

Now this father had no daughters,
But his sons they numbered four.
One was wise and one was wicked,
One was simple and a bore.

And the fourth was sweet and winsome,
he was young and he was small.
While his brothers asked the questions
he could scarcely speak at all.

Said the wise one to his father
“Would you please explain the laws?
Of the customs of the seder
Will you please explain the cause?

And the father proudly answered,
“As our fathers ate in speed,
Ate the paschal lamb ‘ere midnight
And from slavery were freed.”

So we follow their example
And ‘ere midnight must complete
All the seder and we should not
After 12 remain to eat.

Then did sneer the son so wicked
“What does all this mean to you?”
And the father’s voice was bitter
As his grief and anger grew.

“If you yourself don’t consider
As son of Israel,
Then for you this has no meaning
You could be a slave as well.”

Then the simple son said simply
“What is this,” and quietly
The good father told his offspring
“We were freed from slavery.”

But the youngest son was silent
For he could not ask at all.
His bright eyes were bright with wonder
As his father told him all.

My dear children, heed the lesson
and remember evermore
What the father told his children
Told his sons that numbered four.

מה נשתנה הלילה הזה

מכל הלילות

מכל הלילות

שבכל הלילות אנו אוכלין

חמץ ומצה, חמץ ומצה

הלילה הזה, הלילה הזה

כולו מצה.

שבכל הלילות

אין אנו מטבילין

אפילו פעם אחת, אפילו פעם אחת

הלילה הזה, הלילה הזה

שתי פעמים.

שבכל הלילות

אנו אוכלין

בין יושבין ובין מסובין

בין יושבין ובין מסובין

הלילה הזה, הלילה הזה

כולנו מסובין.

שבכל הלילות

אנו אוכלין

שאר ירקות, שאר ירקות

הלילה הזה, הלילה הזה

כולו מרור.

מה נשתנה הלילה הזה מכל הלילות 

Here are some pictures from our Sedar at grade 4

April 15

Independent Study Skill practise – Preparation for Grade 5

As we approach Passover break, we start to think about the final months leading you to the summer break and (maybe!) the terrifying transition of Grade 5!!! Can I let you into a secret… it’s not scary upstairs! It is so much fun!

What may feel overwhelming is the unknown and not knowing what to expect. As we prepare for this, we complete several ‘walkthroughs’ to familiarize you with the space before the summer break.

Another area that students regularly feel overwhelmed about is the amount of homework and tests/quizzes. The content isn’t usually the big issue, it is developing independent study skills that you may be unfamiliar with. With this in mind, you are going to be practising independent study skills for this week’s homework. The below slide deck is a fun way to practice these skills:

Parent link alert! Here are some tips to help your child develop these skills – comment below if you have strategies that have helped develop independence