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Math Update

May 11, 2022 | Ms. Jonker

Review is important! We’ve been doing math centers in the fourth grade, focusing on reviewing concepts and skills from the year in engaging ways. Students rotate between 5 centers, each with it’s own activity and topic. Sometimes they complete the activity with a teacher and sometimes they complete it independently. They also sometimes play games in partnerships.

Students follow a chart like the one below to know where they need to be for each rotation.

I asked students what they enjoyed about centers.

“I like that we get work done still, but we get to do cool math games.” – Zoe

“It’s a fun way to learn because we get to do games like fraction war, array capture, and factor bingo.” – Cabot

“My favorite station was the conversions in real life station.” – Julian

“Each center is quick. You have time to do some work and then move on.” – Tate

Centers is a relatively new habit for the fourth grade. Another new habit we’ve established is our homework system. Students select their own math homework assignment for the evening, choosing assignments that are a suitable level of challenge for them. If you have questions about the assignments your child is choosing for themselves, let me know! Students are also able to find the answer key for the assignment they chose so they can check how they did when they return to school the next day. All of this is valuable information for them to know about themselves.

“I like that we get to choose our own assignment, and I like that we can check our answer ourselves; we don’t have to wait for a teacher to check it.” – Zoe

“A pro is we get to choose our own homework. A con is that we need to remember to pick it up at the end of the day.” – Matias

“I like that with this system, everything has a place and it’s easy to find.” – Penny

In STEAM we’re making some cool math connections! In STEAM, students are studying landforms and other events caused by plate tectonics (earthquakes, Tsunamis, etc.). As a math crossover, students are mapping an example of their landform on grid paper, drawing it to scale. This is a challenging and fun task.

“We get to see how math can connect to our landforms study, but the scale and measurements are tricky.” – Caroline

“I like looking at Google Earth and using the measuring tool, but sometimes rounding is tricky.” – Julian


Kat Jonker

Teacher, Grades 4

Kat Jonker is energized by how passionately Mustard Seed School nurtures each student to blossom into the person God has made them to be. She’s honored to teach and learn beside the fourth and fifth grade students here.

Ms. Jonker’s always been surrounded and inspired by dedicated teachers--including her mother! When she began teaching private violin lessons as a high school student, Ms. Jonker began to think about teaching as a career. Soon she realized her passion for teaching and learning as an Elementary Education with an integrated science major at Calvin College. There she flourished as an assistant teacher at Calvin’s middle school chemistry camp. She also led elementary nature programs at Calvin’s ecosystem preserve.

Music remains one of Ms. Jonkers passions and you’ll sometimes get to hear her playing in worship. She’s an avid violin player and spent a disproportionately large amount of her college life in string quartet rehearsals. She listens to music constantly and likes to keep it eclectic, so if you have any music recommendations, send them her way.

Grand Rapids, Michigan, is Ms. Jonker’s home town. Through God-gifted communities of faith there, she found her roots in grace and a life of service.

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