Saturday, October 29, 2016

Updates from 4th Grade

Hello Everyone,

This past week was a huge success with Everybody Engineering. The students created some amazing popsicle towers and worked wonderfully in their groups. It was such a treat to see the different age groups come together listening to each others ideas and problem solving. A big thank you to Marcia Gauvin for organizing another successful year that truly gets the students doing hands-on real-world problem solving.

Our first two weeks of Think3d! have also been extremely fun for the kids. They have loved working through the origami and doing reverse engineering to teach each other how to create their origami animals. It has been wonderful to see different students excel and help each other out in the process.  Their posters will be displayed for you to view at parent-teacher conferences. Here are a few photos of them working on their origami in the first lesson.

Here are a few updates about the coming week:

Halloween Parade-Monday October 31st. Students will begin lining up for the parade at 1:30 so parents may come at 1:15 to help students get in their costumes. There will be a costume show following the parade on the playground with apple cider  and time for students to play together in their costumes.

PTO Harvest Hoedown- Friday, November 4th, 5:30-7pm. This event is being put on by the student council and PTO and will include dancing and pizza for families to enjoy. A notice was sent home this past week to pre-order pizza for the event. This will help us get an accurate count for the event. We ask you return them by Tuesday (Wednesday at the latest). Come check out the scarecrows in our front lobby as well :)

*IMPORTANT* Can you please send in a photo/email a photo of your child in their halloween costume from a years past. This will be used for a halloween-themed writing assessment on Monday October 31st. Sorry for the late notice but I have just come up with the idea and I think it will help them to produce some great realistic fiction stories to end our unit. If you could put the photo in an envelope and tell them not to peek at it yet that would be great. Let me know if you cannot find a photo and I will find one for them to use. Having a photo that they can connect with will be beneficial though. Thanks!

Don't forget your students monthly book talk forms are due Monday, October 31st. We look forward to hearing about their latest read! We are also looking forward to our Writing Celebration on Tuesday. A big thank you to those of you who have offered to bring cider and muffins to make the event special for the kids.

Enjoy the rest of your halloween weekend :)

Kelley & Cindy

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Things to Remember for Oct. 24 - Nov. 4th

Hi Parents,

     One week from today on October 31st, the October Book Talk is due.  Hopefully, you are noticing that this monthly assignment has become less of an ordeal since the format has been the same for all three book talks.  If you notice that your child has written it with a pen or has scribbled out parts, please have him/her rewrite it neatly.  We are happy that everyone seems excited about the books he/she has read but the sentences have to be legible too.

     This week is Everybody Engineering Week each day from 8:15 - 10:15a.m.  The entire school switches rooms for vertical grouping to design and build the tallest building from 1,000 popsicle
sticks.  It is important that everyone be here on time!

     Grades are closing this week, which means that both of us are consumed with grading and meetings.  The report cards will be sent home on Nov. 10th and individual parent conferences will be scheduled for the week of November 14 - 18th.  Look for a sign up soon.

     The Halloween Parade is on Monday, Oct. 31st.  If your child needs assistance with his/her costume you may come in to help at 1:15.  The parade is scheduled for 1:30.  There will be extra hands if you are not available at that time.

     Lastly, the Family Hoedown PTO dance is on Friday, November 4th from 5:30-7:00pm.  See more details in the WES Newsletter.  We hope to see you there!

Cindy & Kelley

Sunday, October 16, 2016

H.O.C. and Curriculum Updates

We have had a busy few weeks! The 4th graders had an amazing time at H.O.C. this past week. They worked so well together in their teams and overcame some amazing challenges and goals. We had two fabulous core group leaders and our chaperones were a great addition to our team. A big thank you to David Steele for joining us! We were so lucky to have him. The kids enjoyed challenges within their core groups, team building games and a hike which included learning about native Vermont trees. The ropes course was a favorite of many students with a zip-line and many challenging climbs. Recreation time each day gave students a chance to explore the castle, troll house and play with their classmates. We ended each day with songs and stories before bed and our last evening included a night journey with a blind-folded walk, games to understand eco-location and winter mints that glow in the dark when you bite into them. These 3 days were packed full of fun, interactive activities that we incredibly engaging and I think each student learned so much. We feel so fortunate to have this tradition passed on for students to experience each year. Thank you for all of your help fundraising with you 4th graders this summer. All the hard work and preparation really paid off! Here are a few photos and there will be many more to come!

In math we have just begun our new unit, Multiple Towers and Division Stories. We spent a few classes finding all the way to break a large array into smaller arrays using our array cards. This was a great activity to help students understand the distributive property and how using smaller known combinations can help to solve bigger problems. For example 14 x 8 can be split into (10 x 8) + (4 x 8) this will be an important strategy for students to utilize and understand as their multiplication and division problems become more difficult. Below I've attached the "multiplication tree" we created as a class for 7 x 8. You can also refer to the family letter for Unit 3 (which I linked in a previous post) to learn more about this unit.

In writing we are nearing the end of our realistic fiction unit. After reading through the students stories this past weekend, I see so much growth from the beginning of the year. Students are using figurative language, dialogue, elaborating on the details in their story and showing versus telling. They have chosen really powerful problems and solutions for their stories and this makes them more interesting and relatable.  Students are beginning to type their stories while practicing their typing skills and building on what they already have.  We have been working on editing these stories through different lenses. The following chart shows the different perspectives they can read and edit their stories with. For example, the "Cardboard Character Lense" challenges students to make sure they are bringing their characters to life and creating a picture in their readers mind. Check out the chart I've attached below and ask your child to explain some of the other lenses!

Monday, October 10, 2016

H.O.C. Packing List

Required Items
  • 2 water bottles (labeled)
  • Casual, comfortable clothes including:
    • Several pairs of socks including wool
    • Fleece, wool, or synthetic mid-layer jacket
    • Long underwear (tops and bottoms-not cotton)
  • Rain boots
  • Rain pants
  • Rain jacket
  • Sneakers, hiking boots
  • Sleeping bag (stuff sack or bungee cord)
  • Pillow
  • Sheet (optional)
  • Stuffed animal/toy/book/picture to sleep with
  • Toiletries (toothbrush, soap, etc.)
  • Towel and washcloth
  • Warm hat and gloves/mittens
  • Backpack (regular school size)
Do NOT Bring
  • Valuables
  • Pocket knives
  • Food including candy and gum
  • Electronics including: phones, ipods,  cameras etc.
  • Anything not allowed by your school
Optional Items
  • Camera
  • Chapstick and sunscreen
  • Journal, pencil, book
  • Flashlight
*Clearly write your child's name on all items you send to Hulbert!

Remember: Synthetic or wool fabrics will keep you warm even when wet. Cotton will not.

Friday, October 7, 2016

H.O.C. Here We Come!

October 7, 2016

Hello Parents,

     We would like to remind you that packing for H.O.C. should not be left to the last minute!  Over this three day weekend, please locate rain gear, a warm hat, gloves and extra shoes or boots.  Pack a toiletries kit with a towel.  Keep in mind, that any medication has to be given to Mrs. Sudol in the original container to be administered by either Miss Willis or Mrs. Siegler in a private setting.  Talk to your child about a comfort toy, book, picture or pillow.  NO food or electronics of any kind should be packed.  All clothing, water bottles, backpack, etc. needs to have a name on it.  Backpacks are necessary for carrying gear for the group hike and the ropes' course.  Please use a stuff sack or a bungee cord to keep sleeping bags from unraveling.  Double check the list sent home on the yellow sheet of paper, please.

     It has been an interesting two weeks with lots of different events.  The trip to ECHO was wonderful and we were thankful to Joanie Steele, Erin Runstein and Kim Lackley for chaperoning.
We were proud of the student's knowledge of rocks and minerals, which helped them gain understanding from the Lake Champlain geology program.  Additionally, we have visited Sculpture Fest, where students answered scavenger hunt questions as they observed the creative sculptures.
Today we are writing about fall by sitting outside on Mt. Peg with our notebooks and using our senses.

     In some Reading groups we are reading non-fiction books about Mt. St. Helens to connect with
geology.  Ada's grandparents sent rocks from Oregon to give us a real connection to the event.
Additionally, students are presenting their September Book Talks.  They are showing improvement from the August ones.  The sheet for the October Book Talk was sent home and is due on Oct.31st.

     Scholastic News student magazines are distributed on Mondays, when we watch a short video on the cover story and read the main article together.  After that, they are sent home to be read and completed by Friday.  This week several were not handed in.  This is an expected assignment in Social Studies and counts toward the 20 minutes of Reading expected for homework each night.  If your child needs more reading support and you cannot give it to him/her, we can make arrangements in school to help.  Just let us know.

Have a nice three day weekend,
Cindy & Kelley