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What’s up in math?

October 20, 2021 | Ms. Jonker

We review a lot of important skills in math. Skills like listening carefully to others’ reasoning and repeating it back, using a pencil well, organizing a journal well, and staying organized are all really important math skills that we review every day in math. We also review more standards-based skills like multiplication facts, place value, and drawing pictures to represent a story problem.

In addition to this review, we’ve started a data unit in fourth grade math. Perhaps your fourth grader came home and began counting writing utensils, or announced that they got to eat fruit snacks in math class. That was because of the data unit! Students are learning to create line plots of data sets. Soon we will begin plotting two different data sets on the same plot in order to compare them to each other.

Students have some familiarity with line plots and terms like “outlier” because of their data unit last year. In fourth grade, we are working hard to not only identify things like range and outlier, but to also explain clearly what those details about our data show. For example, students are learning to verbally articulate that if the range of our heights is 52 – 61 inches, no one is taller than 61 inches and no one is shorter than 52.

We have some great connections between this unit and other school activities. In STEAM we are talking about variables, and collecting data on heights was another moment to think “What variables will affect our data? Maybe how we stand? What shoes we wear?”

We are also collecting baby food for the service project this month, and the 4/5 is having some healthy competition. We are keeping track of how many each grade has collected and will graph it soon, as well.

Next week, the students will start their own data collection projects. They will write their own questions, collect data, graph & analyze, and present conclusions.

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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