# What Are We Learning?

## Social Studies & Science

SOCIAL STUDIES:

What region of Texas do we live in? Why is Texas the best state? In social studies we are starting our unit on the geography of Texas beginning with a review of map skills and and tools. Students are expected to know how to read a map as well as the tools and features it is accompanied with.

Tools, such as a compass rose, map scale, map key or legend, map symbols, grid system, title, date, and author of the map are all important to our understanding of what the map is representing.

Review of our map skills will then lead into the four major regions of Texas, the Coastal Plains, Mountains & Basins, Great Plains, and Central Plains.

SCIENCE:

What is a spring scale? Do I really need to wear these safety goggles? We are getting down how real scientists do it by starting off with "I Am a Scientist" and learning about different lab tools and demonstrating safe practices.

## Math

MATH:

In math we love numbers...and jokes! Why is 6 afraid of 7? Because 7 ate 9! Get it? We are starting our first unit on place value of whole numbers through the billions place. Students are expected to represent the value of whole numbers and decimals, interpret each place-value position using multiples of 10, and compare and order these numbers.

Basically, the place value of a digit determines its value.

Example:

3,890,245,132

• What is the value (or its worth) of the bold digit? 90,000,000
• What is the place (or location) of the bold digit? Ten million's place

• What are numbers and how are numbers used in everyday life?
• Why is it important to understand the value of numbers?
• How does the place value change when moving to the right or left across a number?

Understanding place value is a foundation skill that is essential as it will carry on throughout the year.

*Please make sure your child is practicing their basic multiplication facts and fact fluency each night for 15 minutes. This is a major skill that 4th graders are expected to have mastered by the end of the year.

Just keep reading, just keep reading, just keep reading... Reading classes are focusing on fictional stories for their first unit. Students will look at a variety of fictional texts such as traditional, historical, as well as poetry.

The featured skills for this week:

The recipe for a great story is called story elements. These are the pieces that make up the story. Story elements include the setting, characters, problem, key events, and the solution. Students will summarize and sequence a story's main events and plot sequence, as well as identify story elements.

Students need to understand that a summary only includes the most important parts of the beginning, middle, and end and that the plot of a story includes a problem the main character is facing and how that problem is solved at the end of the story.

• What is the problem in the story?
• What is the order of events in the story?
• How was the problem solved?
• What are the most important events of the story?
• Who are the characters?
• What is the setting of the story?
• When does the story take place?

*There is so much to learn - you can support your child by reading with them 30 minutes every night!

WRITING:

Yes, kids are still required to write (preferably legibly) just like the good ol' days! This week in writing we will create our Writer's Notebooks and read a mentor text to understand the purpose of our Writer's Notebooks.