Friday, January 27, 2017

Addition, Literary Essays, Asia & Energy

Hello from 4th Grade!

We hope you are all enjoying the wintry mix! We were happy to hear about lots of outdoor activity at home from students including skiing, sledding, snow man building and snowball fights!

Report cards go out Monday so you should receive them soon after. We are very proud of our 4th graders this past semester and you should be as well. They have shown some great improvements in behavior and are working hard in class to meet their goals. We hope they are feeling good about their progress here as well.

These past few weeks we began a few new units. In math we started our unit in Addition, Subtraction and the Number System. If you haven't had a chance yet, be sure to check out the Family Letter and Related Activities to Try at Home. These will help you to understand the strategies we use in class and how you can help support your kiddo at home. We have been discussing addition strategies and the 4th graders have made some great discoveries about the difference between subtraction and addition strategies.

In writing we began our writing about fiction, or literary essay unit. The students each chose a short fiction story to focus on for the quarter. They will be coming up with a thesis about their story and using evidence from the fiction books to support it. It has been very fun to hear the big ideas these students have about their stories and how deep they are thinking about them.
                                            Sharing Persuasive Essays with Fifth Graders

In reading students have been split into literature circle groups. They are reading fiction stories taking place in different Asian countries. We will be teaming up with the Cafe staff to make some dishes from these countries. The students are excited to be able to cook and try something some of their characters in their stories may have eaten. You may notice your child has daily reading and writing assignments in order to prepare for their group. This will help them to begin to gain more responsibility in doing assignments as we approach 5th grade!

In science students are learning about energy. They have conducted a variety of experiments with motion,  including the Rube Goldberg experiment. Currently, they have been doing experiments with electricity and making circuits.  Ms. Gauvin and Mrs. Siegler are team teaching this unit.

Be sure to congratulate your student on their hard work this past semester. Setting a goal for the next term is always a great idea, even if it is just to keep up the good effort.  We look forward to the next half of the year with them :)

Kelley & Cindy

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

New Math Unit

Here is the family letter and related activities to try at home for the new math unit, Landmarks and Large numbers.
Unt 5: Family Letter
Unit 5: Related Activities

New Year's Post

January 10, 2017

Happy New Year Fourth Grade Parents,

We were happy to have everyone together again after the long break!  We finished our 100 acre plots in cooperative groups and most groups have presented their project to the class.  Since these are large pieces of cardboard, it is not easy to send them home and they have shared ownership among 3-4 students.  May we suggest that you stop by the class before or after school to see the masterpieces?

With the conclusion of reading the book, Green Mountain Hero, there have been several assessments.
One was on the book, which is historic fiction and the other was on Vermont history, which has been taught in conjunction with it.  We will continue our study of life long ago in Vermont all year but next term will will be focusing on a new science unit on Energy.  Ms. Gauvin and Mrs. Siegler will be team teaching it.  Due to the shortened Fridays, we will be including a science lab first thing on Monday mornings.  It will be important to be at school on time to accommodate this switch.

Our understanding of life on a farm in the 1800's was presented by Stu, from Billings' Farm, last Thursday.  He kept the students interested in farm life by having them act out chores, school tasks, etc. with artifacts from their collection.  On Tuesday, January 24th we will spend the day visiting the Monroe family at Billings'.  Students will assume all of the tasks for the farm, including barn chores, cleaning clothes, and making the lunch.  We need a chaperone to join us; more details will be sent home next week.  Let us know if you care to join us.

Several weeks before the vacation we started a "behavior chart" with positive tallies for good behavior.  Students have enjoyed earning extra P.E. time and now will get rewarded by Ms. Klocek.
Most students have made the connection between his/her own actions and the consequences.  Grades close this Friday and report cards will be sent home on the 30th.  As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please let us know.

Cindy & Kelley
Colton skating at Winter Workshops!

Students making candle holders for holiday gifts.