The adventures of a fourth grade teacher in East Central Illinois.

Review Day

We move along at a pretty good clip here in Room 31 at Wiley Elementary School in Urbana, Illinois. Once students have shown me that they have mastered a concept or skill, we move on to a new one, but we keep spiraling back to the work we’ve done before. Every now and then, though, we have a day that is mostly review of these previously-learned skills. Today was such a day.

And a good thing, too, because nearly 25% of my class was out sick. One of the downfalls of having community schools in which everyone is friends with everyone else is that illnesses tend to get passed around pretty quickly. I’m not terribly worried, though, because we will loop back to review the material we reviewed today, so everyone will have ample opportunity to demonstrate mastery before I ever sit down to fill out a progress report!

So, what did we review today?

We started our day with the students reviewing their morning routines. Rather than write out everything I wanted them to do this morning, my morning message asked the class to think about our routines and show that they could remember them without prompting from me. As an incentive, I offered five minutes of extra recess time if everyone was able to follow our routines correctly. A few extra minutes outside is a great motivator!

For physical education, we went to the gym and reviewed what it means to be responsible in movement activities. I allowed the students to play with the large bin of kickballs we have at our school and monitored to make sure that everyone was moving around, everyone was participating, and everyone was being safe.

When we returned to the classroom, we started our second reading unit on American Stories. After brainstorming what it means to be an American, we previewed the selection for this week, which is a story about Mexican-American author Tomás Rivera and his first visit to a library. The students thought about their own experiences at libraries and then we reviewed how to write a response to a reflection question. The question for today was: Why is the library important to you?

Later in the afternoon we had a fluency review lesson for math. We played Around the World to practice the multiplication facts and then the students worked independently on factor triangles and inequalities. We also had our Mix-Up Math sessions, in which the two fourth grade classes mix together for review and enrichment. The two groups have been exploring the principles and properties of multiplication as they work on becoming conversant with the process of multiplying numbers together.

It was a good day today. We did a lot of review but the students are showing that they are remembering the things we have learned so far. With the Fall Holiday next Monday, we have just eight days left of the first quarter. I am so impressed by how much my class has already accomplished! This week and next are going to be exciting as we move forward and prepare for the second quarter of the school year!

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