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Burps, Bottoms and Bile

Week 8 - 17/12/18

 

English

To finish our work on the class novel, we looked at a debate based around the question of 'Are humans responsible for ruining the earth?' After discussing initial ideas and a vote, we broke into two groups to broaden our points. Using research gathered from books and ipads, the children then sat in a round, debating the question through a variety of smaller topics including global warming, technology for progress and animal welfare. The final vote was conducted freely, allowing children to choose either side of the argument. 

 

Maths

After analysing our tests, we had varied lessons based around different weaknesses or misconceptions. This ranged from word problems to balancing equations, we investigated various strategies to help with our calculations. Finishing off the week, we used the 12 days of Christmas as inspiration for a maths challenge, finding out how many presents, instruments and even feet were given over the twelve days!

 

Topic

After a wonderful trip last week, we focused in on the beginning and final stage of the digestive system. Developing an earlier experiment with eggs and liquid, we tested whether toothpaste was as effective as the companies suggest. Smothering an egg with toothpaste, we placed it into vinegar, leaving it for 24 hours. We then tested the shell's strength against a control egg and compared the results. Going to the other end of the digestive system, we created our own faeces using plastic bags, tights, spaghetti hoops and food colouring! A very disgusting, but realistic, end product was observed. 

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Week 7 - 10/12/18

 

English

This week in English Year 4 have been continuing to write in the first person. We have compared the view of Little Ben and the Gods in our book Mouse, Bird, Snake, Wolf. We have been focusing on the different language the characters would use to describe the end of the story and how this would change with the different qualities of each character.

 

Maths

In Maths we have been reviewing our own work and identifying our strengths and weaknesses in our topic of multiplication and division. We have reviewed the assessments taken last week and started to readdress the topics we have struggled with. We are focusing on times table fluency at the moment and have continued to assess these through TimesTables Rockstars and the sound check.

 

Topic

This week we have compared the human digestive system with different animals to understand how different animals utilise food. The whole topic has culminated in our trip to Body Worlds on Friday where we investigated the different systems included in the human body including: nervous system, respiratory system, muscular system and circulatory system.

Week 6 - 03/12/18

 

English

This week in English, we finished the story of Mouse, Bird, Snake, Wolf by David Almond. Using a story map, we summarised the main events that happened, especially at the end of the story. Using this map, we then retold the story verbally, working on our description and expression. We then chose one character to retell the story, changing all the events into his perspective. Finally, we started writing the story, focusing on vocabulary choices and linking our sentences together. We will finish the story on Monday. 

 

Maths

This week has been a mixture  of practise and testing. At the start of the week, we looked at multiplication and division facts related to the 9 times table. This involved both fluency and reasoning, applying our understanding of the 9 times table in different contexts. The middle of the week saw the children tested on everything we had learnt from September, broken into two separate papers on arithmetic (fluency) and reasoning & problem solving. All the children tried their hardest and have shown real progress since September.

 

Topic

Carrying on our topic of Burps, Bottoms and Bile, we moved from the mouth into the next stage of the digestion system. Children learnt how the different organs were connected together as well as their specific purpose. They then created a flowchart, charting the steps of digestion from start to finish. 

Week 5 - 26/11/18

 

English
This week in English, we have been looking at how we respond to text. This has included writing in role, discussing different sides of the story and looking at conscience within our story. We have expressed our own opinions and those of different characters in our class novel to get a clear idea of where the story has taken us. As a class we have discussed the importance of writing in different perspectives, especially when using the third and first person.   
 
Maths
In Maths this week, we have been working to develop our understanding of multiplication and division. We have focused on times tables and extracting data from abstract problems to solve number sentences. Towards the end of the week we have focused solely on the six times tables where we have identified rules and patterns with both the three and six times table. 
 
Topic
Following our experiment involving saliva we have considered the function of different teeth. In groups we were given 7 different types of food to bite and chew aiming to identify the different teeth that would be the most suitable. We then ranked these from hardest to easiest to eat and made comments about the functions of the different teeth. The most common results were that the molars are used to chew most foods but the incisors and canines are used to bite and tear the food. 
Within Art, we have continued to work on our different skills in sketching and used our creations from last week as a basis. We have used different techniques such as continuous line, drawing negative space and using our weaker hand to complete different sketching tasks.

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Week 4 - 19/11/2018

 

English

This week in English, we have been looking at the features of a balanced argument. Examining the importance of the features, including an introduction, conclusion and evidence for both sides of an argument, we focused on a range of dilemmas. This included 'should children be given homework?' and 'should children choose their own bedtime?' Linking it back into our class novel, we looked at whether it was appropriate for the three main characters to create their own creatures whilst the Gods slept, especially as the animals became bigger and more unpredictable. 

 

Maths

We have moved into multiplication and division after finishing the perimeter of rectilinear shapes. Starting with multiplying by 10, we investigated why the numbers move one column to the left. We then built up to multiplying by 100, moving two columns to the left and filling in the columns with 0s. At the end of the week, we started using the inverse (division), moving both one (÷10 ) and two (÷100) columns. 

 

Topic

Carrying on our work on the digestive system, the children investigated the purpose of saliva. Chewing three cracker pieces each for a different period of time or number of chews, they spat the individual cups into petri dishes. Adding iodine solution to the samples, the more starch that appeared in the samples, the blacker the dish got! 

Within Art, we attempted to recreate animals using natural resources (just like our novel). Using a selection of twigs, stones and leaves, animals from mice to dolphins started to appear on our tables!

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Week 3 - 12/11/18

 

English

This week in English we started looking at a new graphical novel called 'Mouse, Bird, Snake, Wolf'. Set in a world very much like ours, it remains unfinished due to the Gods becoming fat and too pleased with their work so far. Finding holes and gaps in the world, the three main characters start creating animals that match their personalities, not contemplating the consequences of their choices. As a class, we considered the positive and negative consequences of their actions, creating a balanced argument that weighed up both sides. 

 

Maths

We have been studying length and perimeter throughout the week. Starting with kilometers, we looked at strategies to convert between metres and kilometres.  Moving to perimeter, we first counted out the answer using rectangles on grids. Moving away from the grid, we were able to calculate perimeter by adding up all the sides. Then, we discussed how else we could calculate the perimeter of rectangles, using the formula (L+W)*2 = P. 

 

Topic

Carrying on our topic of digestion, we continued to look at the first step in the digestion process (teeth). Each tooth has a different purpose and we looked at how their location and design helps break up food ready for its journey down the esophagus. As well as this, we looked at a cross section of a tooth, noting that just like an iceberg, there is much more underneath! Extending our work in Art on Da Vinci's sketches, we used mirrors to focus in on particular facial features, using our observational drawing techniques to build up a range of sketches. 

Week 2 - 5/11/18

 

English

This week in English we have focused on our theme of 'celebrate' through poetry. At the beginning of the week, we looked at Bonfire night, using 'imitation of a poem', our senses and the acrostic style to create a range of poetry about fireworks. On Wednesday, we learnt about Diwali and the story of Rama and Sita. Breaking it into four separate sections, we rewrote each part of the story into a free verse poem. To finish the week, we looked at John McCrae's 'In Flander's Field', investigating the imagery and emotion, before creating our own. 

 

Maths 

The current unit has been improving our understanding of both addition and subtraction, with a focus on different strategies. This week we have tried a range of addition and subtraction strategies, choosing when best to use column or estimation or partitioning. This has yielded some quite interesting results with children agreeing and disagreeing over the best calculation at every turn!

 

Science

Continuing our topic lessons on the body, we have started looking at teeth. Last week we set up an experiment that involved eggs in liquid, investigating how different liquids affect teeth enamel. The children were incredibly surprised on Tuesday when we brought the eggs back out. Some egg shells had stayed the same, one had been stained darker and one shell had completely disappeared! Later in the week we investigated our own teeth with plaque disclosing teeth, turning the children blue and red depending on how well they brush their teeth! As well as this, we have learnt a very brief history of November 5th, Diwali and World War 1. A very busy week!

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Week 1 - 29/10/18

 

English

We have taken a very scientific approach to our English this week, working on our spelling of particularly tricky scientific vocabulary that is used to describe the body. After drawing round certain members of the class, the children were invited to write down where they believed parts of the body were located. Skulls and kneecaps were obviously very easy...appendix not so much! After labelling the bodies, we then looked at writing paragraphs that explained the purpose and importance of the skeletal, muscular and digestive system.

 

Maths

At the beginning of the week we reminded ourselves about four-digit addition, thinking through the importance of clearly carrying digits from one column to another. We then turned our attention to the inverse of addition (subtraction), looking at how the same column subtraction method can be used with numbers larger than four digits. We practised using a variety of models including place value counters, before finishing with questions that tested the children’s fluency and reasoning of this method.

 

Topic

In Science, we investigated how a healthy diet is made up of a variety of foodstuffs with the best way to find a balance between the different categories. We looked at the nutritional information on packaging, trying to spot the healthiest (and unhealthiest) foods on the Tesco website. (The triple chocolate fudge cake was a particularly unhealthy option). We also created a science experiment based on teeth decay, investigating how particular liquids can affect teeth. As we had no spare teeth lying around (the Demon Dentist has taken them all…) we had to use eggs which are made of similar material. Results to follow next week!

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