Grade 4

Closing out the schoolyear with our last package of PenPal letters, sent + received!

Bonjour to all,

Today we have posted our final letters/drawings/ origami art to our friends in France, wishing them a bon été and telling them a little bit about what we will each be doing this summer.

It has been an enriching and heartwarming experience for us all, students and teacher alike! I am amazed to see the instant connection formed between these students, a true comradery, having never met nor spoken, and living an ocean away!

What has amazed me most is to see the spark in my student’s eyes and their eagerness to understand the letters that their French friends are writing, and to be able to write back to them. It has been a great motivator for our curriculum, to see the words and phrases put into use for basic communication.

It has also been enriching to learn more about the Montessori School of Uzès; what their school is like, what subjects they are studying in class, and to get to know their school pets (chickens): Abricot, Black and Grissette!

I also take pride in sharing information about our school. I included a copy of our 2018-19 yearbook with our envelope of letters shipping out today, to share a glimpse of what our school year at BCD looks like! The traditions and special events that we honor, the organized sports that are played here, and the field trips that are taken.

I look forward to continuing this PenPal exchange with the 4th and 5th graders next school year, and incorporating this project into other grade levels as well!

I’ve uploaded some new pictures to our BCD photo 2018-19 French @ BCD album! …

https://photos.app.goo.gl/Y8axH9vNz9NtJCs57

Bon weekend tout le monde!

Mme. Daire

 

 

By |2019-05-31T13:23:40-04:00May 31st, 2019|

Last chance for summer reading materials in French through Bayard-Milan!

Bonjour tout le monde,

Tomorrow, May 15th, I will have a table of sample materials from the French language publishing house, Bayard-Milan, on display for your consideration in the Learning Commons.

My hope is that parents and families of students of all ages at BCD will stop by during or after school to peruse the selections, and consider subscribing to a magazine for your child for some enriching summer reading in French!

From Pre-school through Gr.9, there is something for everyone!

The samples on display will be organized by level and age, and include a plethora of themes, styles, and layouts. Please check out the link below for more information on the different magazines offered, per age.

http://monde.bayard-milan.com/parents/quel-magazine-pour-quel-age/

What is Bayard-Milan?  … “We are journalists, graphic designers, early childhood education professionals, employees or freelancers … for forty years we have chosen to put our readers at the center of our editorial thinking. Listening to them, understanding them, astonishing them, nourishing them with inspirational works and accompanying them at each stage of their lives.”

Here’s a short excerpt on the mission of Bayard-Milan:

“More than anything, today as for yesterday, we have a duty of promoting enchantment in the younger generation. And in this particular situation where our magazines are not the voice of parents or teachers, but of caring accomplices, we can highlight the positive force that exists in everyone and in the many situations one encounters in life. And when you have the chance to live through words, thanks to talented creators, characters who can embody all their life experiences, it’s as if we invent small lights that will mark the lives of children and which they are will remember for a long time.” 

Please carve out a few minutes tomorrow to check out the selection of Foreign Language materials in the Learning Commons, for all grade levels and interests!

Best,

Mme. Daire

P.s for all inquiries concerning subscriptions, please refer directly to the US agent for Bayard-Milan ;

Ms. Catherine LAMY

catherine.lamy@bayard-may.org

*Orders are not placed through BCD.

http://monde.bayard-milan.com/#

 

Merci beaucoup!

By |2019-05-14T14:11:59-04:00May 14th, 2019|

Boston Museum of Science Trip 2019

Dear Families,

I’m so glad to hear from many of you how much you’ve enjoyed the movie of our trip. I confess to watching it more than once myself. Also attached are some additional stills from the trip, but I moved most of the better ones into the movie. I will add that the class was at their best, their behavior to each to each other, to their chaperones and to everyone we crossed paths with was commendable.

As you know, this last month of school is extremely busy and I’m working hard to keep the work, routines, and expectations foremost in our minds along with the many fun and extra activities sprinkled in our days.

I would like to invite you to view the classes final Create-A-State projects on Friday the 31st before the Spring Concert. I know a lot of you are back and forth to school often this month, and I thought that might be easier than yet another trip. The concert begins at 1:30, so I’d like to invite you to come a bit earlier and we will have our presentations in the Learning Commons at 12:30. 

Please let me know if you cannot attend. The projects will be going home that day, so I’m sure you can get a repeat performance at home if necessary.

Field and Fun Day activities have been selected and that will be a full Day of fun indeed. I will remind you as we get closer, but sunscreen/hats/water and towels are necessary.

Upcoming Dates :

Wed., May 15th, 1:00 – 4th grade to Chocolate Springs

Friday, May 24th – (early start to Spirit Week)- Twins Day

Monday, May 27 – Memorial Day – No school

Tuesday, May 28th- Crazy hair and hat day

Wednesday, May 29th – Fun and Field Day

Thursday, May 30 – Dress your Best Day

Friday, May 31 – Rainbow Day (4th grade color TBD) / Create-A-State Presentation/Spring Concert

Friday, June 7- Last Day of Classes / Picnic

Happy Mother’s Day to all the Moms!!!

 

Best, Katharine

https://photos.app.goo.gl/k2UyAuY1BhD2oa5r7  

 

https://photos.app.goo.gl/xE2TTebYs2U1tkAN8

 

 

By |2019-05-10T15:05:47-04:00May 10th, 2019|

4th Grade Poetry Slam/ April 2019

Dear Families,

“You’ve been slammed” the class announced as we surprised different classes with poetry recitations yesterday and today in honor of National Poetry Month. Tomorrow we’re surprising the Administrative offices, shhhhh!

In Social Studies the class is totally engaged in our final Create-A-State project. All of the physical maps have been completed and now we are on to road maps, regions and products and downtown maps. Landmarks, histories, and flags will follow and some may have time to produce a travel brochure as well.

This class has done a great job of converting our knowledge of factions over to decimals in Math class. We also did some measuring with yardsticks, rulers, and tape measures of each other and various other classroom items.  I like to save the Geometry unit for the end of the year and we will be starting that next week.

The class has gotten much more comfortable with our ELA reading book, Locomotion and the packet that goes along with it. The packet calls for using detailed evidence from the text to explain their answers which connects with all the work we have done this year on how to find the main idea in what we read and how to determine what are supporting details. Thorough reading comprehension includes not just remembering and understanding what you’ve read but identifying which statements support your understanding. They are becoming quite adept at providing evidence and explaining their point of view.

In the slideshow (link below) there are some shots of the class receiving their most recent issue of the Penguin Press. This paper is their creation and has become quite anticipated each week. Also included are some shots of our recent session with the Wise Bodies program. How does a flower reproduce? How many different parts are involved and what do they look like? These are some of the questions we considered and learned about.

As part of our Service Learning unit, we will be visiting Chocolate Springs in Lenox on Wednesday, May 15. Senor Silva and I will drive the class in the school vans. The class has already asked me if they can bring money to make a purchase. I am asking that each child brings no more than $10, if any, and I am hoping that Mr. Needleman might treat us to a small goody as well. The process of how cocoa pods become the delicious chocolate we all know and love is one of the more complex ones and a great example of the many steps of the food chain.

We will continue working on learning how to read food labels and what to look for as well as preparing a presentation of what we have been studying all year about the Food Supply Chain.

We are planning to leave on Thursday at 1:00 for our trip to the Boston Museum of Science which allows us to eat lunch at school and have some recess time as well before the long drive. We will still make a bathroom stop on the Pike on the way. I think most questions have been answered in class but if you still have any last minute concerns, please don’t hesitate to email or call. I will send as many photos as possible back to school and Ms. Hedidnger will get them out to you as soon as she can.

https://photos.app.goo.gl/Jts3qTCNSS5HPzAa9

We will be back in time for dismissal on Friday, if we are any later, I will contact school asap. Last year the timing worked out perfectly, here’s hoping for the same this year.

Best, Katharine

By |2019-04-30T13:00:02-04:00April 30th, 2019|

Please vote for our Grades 7 and 8 French students!

Dear families and friends of BCD,

There’s one week remaining to vote for our Upper School French students!

Our 7th or 8th-grade classes are in the running to win $ 1,000 for the ‘Prix du Public’ award through the Centre de la Francophonie des Amériques Slame tes Accents challenge!

Last month, the 7th and 8th-grade classes each submitted a video which met the requirements of the slam competition (length of the video, vocabulary, and content.) The themes that each of our classes chose to promote in their poetry include unity, respect, and acceptance.

Voting for the ‘Prix du Public’ award began on April 15 and nearly 29,000 votes were received during the first week of voting!

Please help us to increase our chances of winning by inviting your family, friends, colleagues, etc. to vote for BCD and to encourage the hard work that our students have put forth in meeting the challenge of creating their personalized ‘Slam’ in French!

The video that receives the most votes in the 12-14 age group will be declared the winner and that class will win a $ 1,000 grant (Canadian dollars) to use towards an educational event. S’il vous plait, spread the word and vote for our students!

Here are the details to vote:

The voting period is April 15, 2019 at 10:00 am (EDT) on April 30, 2019 at 11:59 pm (EDT);
1 vote per day, per IP address and per category is allowed;
The voting platform makes it possible to share each video on different social networks. It will be possible to share your video to the maximum!

Our 7th and 8th-grade French students video projects can be found in the ‘Catégorie de 12 à 14 ans’ (web address included below) … among dozens of videos submitted by students from countries all over the world! Canada, USA, Mexico, Haiti, Costa Rica, Brazil, Peru and Colombia just to name a few…

http://www.francophoniedesameriques.com/slame/presentation-des-videos/

On behalf of our dedicated and dynamic students and myself, merci beaucoup for your support!

Best,

Madame Daire

 

 

By |2019-04-24T09:22:31-04:00April 23rd, 2019|

Welcome April

Dear Families,

The 3rd trimester is up and running!

In Social Studies we have begun to incorporate all we have learned about map skills into our Create-A-State projects. Each student has created their own state and will construct a physical map, a road map, a landmark map, a downtown map, a map of regions and products and finally a history and a flag. We will invite you all to see the finished work later in May.

In Math class, we are continuing to practice simplifying fractions and finding equivalent fractions. We are also measuring with yardsticks and rulers and figuring out what all those little lines on the ruler really mean. Are we as tall as our arm span? Would I measure this table with a yardstick or a ruler?

In ELA we have finished up The Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson. The timelines projects came in today. Everyone shared their work and were duly proud of it. We have begun our final book of the year, Locomotion by Jacquline Woodson.

As you can see from classroom photos taken throughout the year, we use a combination of collaborative and independent learning in all our classes. I believe students need skills in both working in a team, and solving problems independently. Part of my job is to determine when to use each of these strategies and give them opportunities for both. Social Studies is often a great time to work cooperatively with atlases, answering questions about landforms, determining latitudes, labeling rivers and adding cardinal points. Opportunities abound in ELA and Math classes as well.

Before we start a new project I am often asked, “Can we work together?” Yesterday, we had an interesting discussion about the pros and cons of working collaboratively. Here are some of the comments: ” If you give someone the answer then they’ll never know it themselves for a quiz”, “Sometimes it’s helpful to work with someone else because they can show you a new way or a strategy for figuring something out you would never have thought of”, ” Sometimes you can give hints, or just guide them”, “It’s fun”, ” I like to work alone because sometimes I work at a slower pace” and “I like it when we come up with different answers and compare what you did.” It helped me explain to them why sometimes it works and sometimes, it doesn’t!

Finally, there a few snaps from last week when the class was receiving the first copy of The Penguin Press. In case you don’t know, that is our new in-house newspaper. In-house, in that it is totally written, edited and created by the class. I’m just the copier and that’s fine with me! If you haven’t seen a copy, just ask. It’s worth a read.

Finally, in backpacks tomorrow (Friday) I will be sending home the final paperwork/forms that have to be signed and returned for the trip to the Boston Museum of Science. If they could come back on Tuesday, that would be helpful.

Thanks to Dan and Angelica for a fabulous Taco Tuesday Lunch Bunch!

Have a great weekend,

Katharine

To view photos in Google Photo, click this link:

https://photos.app.goo.gl/cZb8Zs5HYF4Cpo5C7

By |2019-04-12T12:55:58-04:00April 12th, 2019|

Mois de la Francophonie in full swing at BCD!

Good afternoon all,

Before we part ways for Spring break, I wanted to share a brief update on what the different classes in the French curriculum here at BCD have been up to lately.

From poetry writing and presentations, cooking demo’s, PenPal exchanges, cultural and geographically themed projects, and learning songs, French students of all ages at BCD have been busy abeilles! (bees)

The 7th and 8th-grade French classes are now putting the finishing touches on their Slam Poetry videos – for submission to the Slame Tes Accents! international competition proposed through the organization, Francophonie des Amériques. The students were challenged to create a poem as a class and choose how they wanted to Slam their poem, employing the pre-requisite vocabulary and meeting other requirements for the contest. The 7th grader chose a theme of ‘unity through different accents’ and ‘self-confidence’ under the umbrella of the international French-language community. Their project was filmed in a casual, walk-through style in the Learning Commons.

For their part, the 8th-grade class embraced a ‘high-tech’ approach, using a drone, filmed outside, and with voice-over audio. Their message is aimed at the importance of recognizing the shared community of the French-speaking community around the world, no matter skin color, orientation, religion, current events or other cultural facets.

I’m very proud of the energy, enthusiasm and quality of work that these students brought to their projects. The organization will announce the winners in April.

For more information about the contest, please visit : http://www.francophoniedesameriques.com/slame/

 

The 6th graders took a cultural microscope to the different regions of France, each choosing a region of the Hexagon and shining the spotlight on and outlining notable facts for each. If you are looking for any fun + tasty recipes to try over the Spring break, have a look at their posters for guidance! 

Our 4th and 5th graders have prepared their third round of letters to their friends in France. It has been an incredible experience to see the connection grow between these classes on both sides of the Atlantic as the school year has evolved. This project strengthens not only vocabulary use, sentence structure, talking about oneself, asking questions and letter writing, but more importantly, it brings the ‘human element’ into our French language learning experience. The children have been able to establish a relationship with their PenPals and with the Ecole Montessori d’Uzès since September; learning more about ‘a day in the life’ of their pen-friends, both personally and academically. Through these letters, here are some of our takeaways : we were all saddened to hear of the tragic deaths by fox of two of their school chickens, Le Chef and Flash, 🙁 we were intrigued to learn of shared interests in Harry Potter books and favorite flavors of ice cream, and felt a general curiosity and interest about the importance of the celebration of Carnevale in France.

I welcome you all to visit the French classroom in Ryan 22 to see our PenPal board, read the letters and see the beautiful drawings done by our PenPal friends.

Our Kindergarten and grades 1-2 friends are starting to prepare for the performance of a classic French song at the Spring concert. More on that to come!!

Best wishes to everyone for a safe and fun Spring vacation.

Bien cordialement,

Mme. Daire

P.s.. check out the BCD photo album to see some pictures of our continued adventures in French!

https://photos.app.goo.gl/Y8axH9vNz9NtJCs57

By |2019-03-15T12:43:41-04:00March 15th, 2019|

4th grade Welcomes Parents and Friends

Dear Families,

Thank you all for making the time to come in for conferences. It is so helpful to share their learning, their strengths, weaknesses and to join in common goals.

The slide shows below illustrate some of the fun of our Valentine’s Day party (thanks for those goodies, parents!), and our visit time with parents and friends as well.

Also, I quickly photographed their thank you cards to the folks at High Lawn Farm, because each and everyone was so terrific I didn’t want them to be forgotten.

https://photos.app.goo.gl/YvJ6YmJ6E5p3sG5L7

https://photos.app.goo.gl/syy6qMpXYpc8oKh69

Next week begins the 3rd and final trimester of the year! The only difference, besides curricular, is that they add a shop class to their schedule and I lose them to that once a week. They are duly excited to head up to the shop and work with Mr. Katz to create, build, hammer, nail, and glue!

Have a great weekend,

Katharine

 

By |2019-03-01T14:35:51-04:00March 1st, 2019|

4th Grade’s High Lawn Farm Trip/ Service Learning/Farm to Plate

Dear Parents,

I just wanted to share some of the shots from our trip to High Lawn Farm in Lenox this past week. It was part of our Service Learning curriculum on Farm to Fork…just how does our food get to our plates? Why is that important for us to know and how can we share that information to make our world a better place?

To be able to see first hand the amazing operation they have there really strengthened our understanding of the Food Supply chain. We saw the Farmer, Processor, Distributor steps all in one place. Later that afternoon we studied the paths of apples, chickens and peanut butter, where they are grown and how they are processed and distributed to the stores.

Josh Needleman of Chocolate Springs in Lenox has invited the class to come in for a discussion of the many steps that chocolate takes- from the cocoa tree to our taste buds. (He asked to wait until his busy time is over, so we will head there after Easter sometime.)

It’s important for kids to know where their food comes from so they have more of an appreciation for food and farmers,” said Alexa Fiszer, a lead environmental educator at Common Ground. [An urban farm/educational center in Connecticut.] “This [appreciation] often helps evolve kids’ understanding of the food production system and the ways in which it has evolved over the course of history.”

I want them to remember that everything comes from somewhere, and often many hands are needed along the way to get it there.

Also included in the slide show are some shots of work being done on our Tall Tales and using fraction strips to help with the concept of equivalent fractions.

There is a video of our recitation of MLK’s I Have A Dream Speech, you may have to turn up the volume for that one. What a great job they did with that, they have set a pretty high bar for next year’s class.

Finally, please send in a set of dry clothes. These warm days often create a muddy mess. Indoor shoes, sneakers or slippers as well – some kids are wearing their heavy snow boots all day.

The class and I are looking forward to seeing some of you for Bring a Parent to School Day next week & Happy Valentines’ Day to ALL!

 

Best, Katharine

https://photos.app.goo.gl/1qHotcttg945TXkr5

By |2019-02-08T10:03:50-04:00February 8th, 2019|

Tall Tales and Long Division/January 2019

Dear Families,

Now that we have finished reading Maniac Magee we can recognize it as a Tall Tale. Not that it shares all the elements, but certainly enough to qualify. We’ve been reading them, from Pecos Bill to Sally Ann Thunder Ann Whirlwind and just this morning, Mr. Fawett invited us up to listen to some early American Folk Songs, many of which tell a Tall Tale. Soon we will craft and write our own.

In Social Studies we are deep into completing our USA maps; identifying oceans, lakes, mountains, rivers states and their capitals, understanding time zones, longitude and latitude and defining geographic terms. Finally, they shade the different regions and create their own unique maps that share the correct information displayed as they choose.

We will share our recitation of Martin Luther King’s I Have A Dream Speech this Tuesday morning with the rest of the Middle School. We have reviewed some of the more difficult vocabulary and geography as well as watched and discussed the speech; when it was given, why and the continuing impact it has on our country. I will tape it and put that up in my next blog.

Finally, long division/zeros in the quotient have been relatively painless for this group and we will be moving onto fractions and decimals shortly.

Thank you, Christina and Amanda, for our delicious lunch bunch of last week. Always a special and appreciated treat for the class.

Also, if you haven’t already, please send in a set of dry clothes and some inside shoes. Pants and shirts get wet this time of year. Also, it helps our classroom rug if we’re not tracking salt and snow from the outside.

As you know, the ERB’s will be happening next week, the first two periods of Monday-Thursday, with Friday as a make-up day if necessary. I might shift the schedule a bit to make up for some lost periods but otherwise,  there is really nothing special to do to prepare, except for a good night’s sleep and that works for everything!

The slide show below includes some shots from Open Book Quizzes, USA map work, some math work in the Distance Lab and of course, the ever-popular Lunch Bunch!

Best, Katharine

https://photos.app.goo.gl/J6wudWftFYzTBf2q7

 

 

By |2019-01-25T10:23:19-04:00January 25th, 2019|

At Berkshire Country Day School,
we value connection.

Tell us a little more about you and your child so we can connect and learn more about what you are looking for in a school.