• # Advanced Math and STEM

### Tier 2 Math  - Grades 4 and 5

To all my Tier 2 and Tier 3 students, please remember to check the Tier 2 Math Google Classrooms. There are a variety of extension and enrichment opportunities to choose from. You’ll find activities involving all operations, as well as a variety of fun, logic and algebraic puzzles. Why not try a few during your intervention block, or anytime you’ve completed your work and are looking to grow your brain. Be sure to check for feedback after you’ve completed and turned in assignments. I’m looking forward to seeing all your hard work.

### Tier 3 Math

Our 4th Grade Tier 3 students are nearing the end of the Factors, Multiples, and Leftovers Unit. They can now identify Prime, Composite, and Square numbers. They're able to use the inverse operations to solve multiplication and division problems. They understand that solving a division problem may not be the answer to the problem and that very often they have to interpret the remainder. The distributive, commutative, and associative properties of multiplication were helpful when students were asked to solve problems mentally. These skills will be useful as we move on to more challenging work.

Soon, we will be starting a unit called At the Mall with Algebra: Working with Variables and Equations. It is a fun and challenging unit designed to develop algebraic reasoning. As students learn about variables, equations, and expressions, they’ll use their number sense, logical reasoning and problem-solving strategies. Students are introduced to these concepts through interesting problem-solving situations. They substitute variables to find solutions to expressions. They’ll be working backwards and using inverse operations to determine the value of a variable, and they’ll be using these strategies to solve puzzles and figure out mathematics behind tricks.

We will soon be wrapping up the fraction problem solving unit. Students will be working on a challenging decimal division project next. They will be given a menu with several multi-step decimal division problems. Students will work together to solve appetizer, main course, and dessert problems. After finding the solutions,  they’ll choose a project to present their solutions to the class. We’re looking forward to their presentations in the next few weeks. Next on the agenda, we will be working with Order of Operations, Integers, and Combining Like Terms.

### Tier 3 STEM

Our 4th grade engineers have been busy researching different types of bridges  in order to be prepared for the different challenges in this unit. The first challenge is to build a bridge with only two pieces of paper and glue, which needs to  support the weight of 100 pennies. We will discuss what worked well and how they can improve their designs. The second bridge challenge will be to build a bridge tower that will support different spans and loads. For this challenge, students will complete a budget to buy their materials.  The last challenge of this unit will be to build a Truss Bridge using craft sticks and Elmer’s glue. For this challenge, students will have a \$100,000  budget to buy the necessary supplies. Their bridge has to be level, sturdy and be able to support different weights. The most challenging part for students may be connecting the road and roof of the bridge to the side trusses.

5th graders are becoming automotive engineers.  They acquired background knowledge by researching the history of automobiles and studying Newton’s Laws of Motion. They examined different designs of rubber-band powered cars. Teams  of ‘engineers’ worked together to design and build their own rubber band cars using everyday items. The Rubber Band Racers had to travel in a straight line for a distance of at least 3 meters within a 1 meter wide track. The rubber band cars were tested in the hallway. After evaluating their result, teams made changes to improve on their original design for a better outcome. Results varied from team to team, but in the end, we had several cars that met the criteria. The next automotive challenge was to design balloon-powered cars. Students found these cars traveled faster, straighter, and farther than their rubber-band powered cars. The last car they are going to design is a battery-powered motor with a propeller. Can’t wait to see the results.

### Tier 2 ELA

Tier two students have been busy working on unit three (and beyond) extension activities.  As a reminder, the intervention block is a great time to access tier two materials in the Google classroom. Don't forget to return to your assignment in Google Classroom Tier 2 ELA for my feedback on the assignments you have submitted.

#### All tier three Gateway students composed a creative writing piece that explored perspective and personification. Students wrote several drafts and participated in self and peer editing processes.  Final drafts will be on display on the bulletin board outside room 104 starting in mid-March.

All fourth grade ELA classes finished (or are finishing) our first novel, A Handful of Stars, by Cynthia Lord.  Each group concluded this feat with a multidisciplinary choice project around the book , it’s setting, and themes.  Soon we will be starting new books, one that explores our own country’s history and another that explores Vietnamese culture during the time of the Vietnam War.