The 4th grade students have been learning about natural disasters caused by plate tectonics, as well as non-fiction research reading and notetaking and our current design project wonderfully combines both skills. Students started their project by utilizing research skills to investigate the challenges to the current natural disaster warning systems. Through their research students found out that the main challenges for Tsunami, Earthquake, and Volcanic warning systems are: getting the word out in rural and poor areas, knowing where and how to evacuate, and getting the evacuation message out in time. Once the students discovered the needs they then set about brainstorming and prototyping solutions to the problems. The students have created new and improved ideas for warning systems which include apps, siren drones, digital informational signs, underwater cameras, sleek warning watches, and so much more. After the students pitch their ideas to each other we will be mailing off the ideas to the Red Cross and FEMA. Children really can change the world.
More than just a fun novelty! Did you know that research shows that having a pet in the classroom can improve empathy, respect, and responsibility? Kobe, our classroom bunny, does all of that and more. The 4th grade students are learning a lot about responsibility because they feed and clean up after him everyday, as well as care for him over the weekends! Kobe also helps the students feel comfortable and excited about learning. Everyday eager students arrive early to pet and play with him before school starts and reading and spelling work suddenly become very special when Kobe decides to join you. If you haven’t met Kobe yet, be sure to come on by to give him some pets and feed him a treat or two.
Augmented Reality is here in time for Christmas! The 4th graders have been working with Mr. Lenz and Mr. Chapple to create an interactive 3-D sandbox that allows us to create all the landforms and bodies of water that they have been learning about in class. The computer software registers the height of the different landforms and then projects different colors and contour lines onto the sand to show the differences in elevation. Kids and adults alike have had a blast creating mountain ranges, archipelagos, plateaus, canyons, and more! We invite you to come in and play!
4th grade has been busy creating realistic fiction stories. Each student started their writer’s process by creating believable characters. Since characters are the heart of every good story, that is where we began. To make characters believable the students took care to ensure each character had some good and bad character traits. Once the characters came to life with personalities, the next step was to decide what the character’s struggles and motivations would be. From these struggles and motivations students created a story arc that served as their story map. Finally, after all that planning, it was time to write! It has been a joy to watch these carefully crafted characters and plots come to life. The combination of: descriptive narration, clever dialogue, and relatable protagonists makes these stories real page turners!
Music with Mrs. Miller
Our Holiday Sing-A-Long is right around the corner! We are so excited to show our parents all the hard work we’ve done in preparing for this fun evening. Please have your student to their classroom at 5:30pm on Thursday, December 21st in festive Christmas attire (dressy is not required). Our show will begin promptly at 6:00pm and following the conclusion, we invite you to join us to walking or driving to our neighbors at TouchMark and blessing them with a few Christmas carols. We will sing 3 songs as a school community at the end of our show – and you’ll have the lyrics on your programs to take with you to TouchMark. The residents are very much looking forward to seeing us and we are excited to have this Community Partnership in giving to others. Thanks for all your support!
Sharing with and learning from others is a wonderful thing. Just ask any 4th grader about their 1st grade buddy and they will tell you how special the time they spend together is. Each Friday the 4th grade buddies up with 1st Grade to work on reading, math, and special projects. Last week the 4th graders got to help the 1st graders with their amazing Mario Kart Math. 1st graders needed to solve addition math problems to collect gold coins. Just like the video game! 4th graders were instructed to help them solve the problems, without giving them the answers. The 4th graders eagerly jumped right in, teaching and helping their buddies with; patience, enthusiasm, and skill. After the activity the students reflected on how great it felt to be able to help someone learn. I couldn’t agree more 🙂
Last Friday the 4th graders put on an amazing Energy Exhibition for the lower school and their parents. The exhibition featured their custom, hand made light devices as well as energy learning stations about: waves, soldering, circuit building, kinetic and potential energy. The students were enthusiastic and knowledgeable teachers which helped their visitors learn all about energy. Sharing learning with others is so rewarding! That’s a wrap on our exploration of energy.
Art with Mrs. Santucci
Putting color theory into practice can be a challenge, but the 4th graders tackled the challenge with engaging results. Choosing complementary colors, and a basic shape, the students learned how to change the value of a color and had a ball mixing paint to fill in their shape. Moving from color to line, the next challenge presented was to create a collage landscape using a different line pattern for each section-foreground, middle ground, and background. This project involved detailed application of design, an overlay of paint, careful glueing and an eye for composition. They have just finished, and the result shows the time and work they put in. Next on the journey of creative exploration in art class….clay and 3D design!
The fourth graders have taken on a 40 Book Challenge – which means each student (and the teacher and some parents) are going to try to read 40 books by the end of the school year. Although this sounds like A LOT of reading, with a growth mindset, the students are realizing that they are capable and enthusiastic readers. With only 5 weeks of school under our belt, the 4th grade class has already read over 60 books! WOW! To make our books more enjoyable we have been focusing on reading intensely to grow ideas. Students have been learning how to capture details from the text to: visualize, predict, make connections, notice character traits, and identify different types of characters. Characters are at the heart of a good story, and through all our reading we have meet some truly inspiring and enchanting people and traveled to some beautiful and magical places. “Today a reader, tomorrow a leader.” – Margaret Fuller
4th grade has been working on learning meters, rhythms, the grand staff, and the note names of the lines and spaces. They’ve been doing so well that they earned a Quaver day – where they can use our amazing online curriculum to reinforce their knowledge through fun music theory learning applications. //drive.google.com/drive/u/0/folders/0BzKf9ibAHGPvQVZpaVh3UWwtUXc
We are also preparing for our Veteran’s Day assembly that will take place on Thursday, November 10th at 8:30am. Please make plans now to join us for this very special assembly. Ask your students about “American Tears” – they’re working hard to memorize this wonderful song honoring our veterans.
4th grade has spent the last couple of weeks diving deep into our study of energy. We have learned so much! Through interactive games, demonstrations, videos, and activities students now understand: what energy is (and isn’t), different forms of energy, and how energy is transferred and transformed. Some highlights were going to the design lab to explore potential and kinetic energy with marbles, ramps and pumpkins, and then going to the science lab to design to build windmill blades that would capture the kinetic energy of wind in order to generate electricity. What a fun couple of weeks!
Design with Mr. Lenz & Mr. Seehausen
Ms. Gaines’ 4th grade class has also enjoyed a lot of lab time. Beyond the spaghetti/marshmallow challenge, they have used the lab for a bridge building challenge and ramp experiments. 4th graders came in with the task of designing as many different bridges as possible with only one piece of paper, and each bridge had to hold 10 screws. After enough designs, students took their best one and added screws until failure. The strongest bridge held over 500 screws!
To supplement Ms. Gaines’ lessons on kinetic and potential energy, the 4th graders came to the design lab to run a ramp experiment. Students ran 3 trials of 5 different ramp heights where they timed how long it took for the ball to travel 1 meter. As a fun supplement, students learned how the law of conservation of energy prevents a mass on a pendulum (in this case, a pumpkin) from hitting their face if released from that height. Ask Mr. Lenz for some great slo-mo reaction videos!