Bridge Design, Fraction Strips and I Have a Dream in 3/4 grades in January
Dear 3rd and 4th grade families,
Our new unit on Bridges, their history and design, is off to a great start. Mike Wilke from Hill Engineering in Dalton came and talked to the class about bridges yesterday. He mentioned that some students from Miss Halls are designing bridges to compete in a Model Bridge Competition in Albany in February. I’ve been in touch with Miss Halls and they are coming in soon to show us their bridges before this class will be building their own bridges with Mr. Gore in Science class.
We are using our multiplication facts to help us with equivalent fractions and finding their simplest form. The class is working with fraction strips along with other manipulatives. Any notice of fractional amounts at home is also a great reinforcement of the concept. (1/4 of an hour=15 mins., etc.)
Our Book Talk presentations have begun. Some photos of Sascha’s in the Learning Commons are in the slide show below. I believe in presenting as many opportunities for the students to stand in front of their classmates and present their work; so many skills are practiced that way.
The class will be presenting their recitation of Martin Luther King Jr.’s, I Have a Dream Speech for the Middle School Assembly tomorrow morning, as well as for the 1st and 2nd graders later in the day. I had the class watch a video of the original speech before they get their part to learn and then once again after they have learned it. I will attach a video of their presentation with the next blog.
Pencils continue to be a distraction, losing them etc. – if possible, it would be great to send in some new pencils with your child. A box that I would label would be great.
Bird Watching continues, our feeder is a popular spot…..can’t wait to put in our Bird Garden!!
Thank you to the Cook-Dubin family and Tracy Crawford for our recent Lunch Bunch, it was quite a hit with everyone!
Bird Gardens Ahead / December Happenings in 3/4th Grade
Happy December! Here are some events to be aware of this busy month:
I am sending home directions for a Holiday Card so please check homework folders if necessary. On the sheet with the directions will be attached the name of the student that your child pulled out of the hat to make a secret card for. The cards are due by Monday, December 16th or before. If you have any questions about the directions for the card, please contact me.
We will have a small holiday celebration last period on Wednesday, December 18th when we will exchange cards. If you would like to contribute some goodies to our party, please contact Ken Dow or he will, no doubt, contact you.
As you know the Holiday Concerts are both on Thursday, December 12th. Lower School concert begins at 10:30 and the Middle and Upper schools concert starts at 12:45.
Thank you all for sending in proper outdoor gear. Sledding at recess if a lot more fun if you are dry and warm!
Finally, we had a wonderful visit from Ed Neumuth during our Service Learning morning last Wednesday. Ed, a retired veterinarian, is a bird enthusiast and speaks to organizations all over the county as to how to put in bird gardens specifically designed to attract a wide variety of birds and provide them much-neeeded habitat. Our year-long Service Learning project is two-fold; 1) understanding why birds matter and 2) what can we do, as a class, to help curtail the dwindling bird populations. Designing a bird garden is just the ticket and Ed is going to help us design and install one right outside our classroom on the side of Mrs. Benner’s Science Lab.
He will be installing a feeder right on the bridge outside as we want to start introducing this spot to our bird community. We will also begin keeping bird journals in the classroom.
If anyone has an extra pair of binoculars that we could keep here that would be great. I would return them at the end of the school year. Birdwatching might just take over jigsaw puzzles, reading and drawing during our downtimes!
By kallentuck|2019-12-06T10:54:36-05:00December 6th, 2019|Categories: Grade 3, Grade 4|Comments Off on Bird Gardens Ahead / December Happenings in 3/4th Grade
Grade 3 / 4 October 2019: Owls, Pirates and Prime numbers
Third and fourth graders packed in a lot of activities this last month of October.
First off we had to say goodbye to our friend Nicolette who is on her way to Kansas City as I write this. But we also welcomed Peter F. to our class the next day, so he has helped fill the void! Mr. Gore had a small ceremony for Nicolette for her to receive her soccer certificate, photos attached.
We just finished up reading Owls in the Family, a favorite of mine by Farley Mowatt. The comprehension packets worked on throughout and the final quiz had the students recalling and explaining different parts of the story. For a final project, the students will be writing letters to one of the characters in the story.
The Pirate Maps and Captain Logs are also winding down. Once they determined where their treasure was to be buried, they labeled their maps and described how to get there using cardinal and intermediate directions. The Captain’s Logs are also quite interesting…I didn’t know that pirates stayed over in hotels and a few took planes to their destinations. All of that was easily changed in final drafts.
The board game called Prime Climb is a class favorite and a great way to practice prime and composite numbers. Multiplication is ongoing in Math class and next week we will be rounding numbers as well. I am working for solid numeracy, confidence, and competence with numbers and number relationships. I come at math concepts from a variety of angles because they need to understand the concepts from a variety of contexts. When they look at 48, they need to be seeing not just 8×6, but that is 2 away from 50, and thereby 52 less than 100 and one less 8 would be 40 and divided by 6 would be 8 and is the same as 4 tens and 8 ones and so on and so on. Number patterns and solid multiplication facts go a long way to help with that.
Portfolio work went home today and again I have asked the students to take some time, choose a few pieces that they particularly connected with for whatever reason and write a short reflection about that piece. If you have time to go over their work with them and have them explain and summarize some of the work they have done that is great. It always helps to have an audience!
Please make sure everyone has warm hats, gloves, etc. – this week is supposed to be cold again.
Until then hope your weekend was happy, and a special salutation to any and all veterans in your families and communities.
I look forward to seeing those of you that are able to come in for Parent/Teacher conferences next week. With Halloween sandwiched in between it will be a busy time for all of us.
We are deep in the throes of making our pirate maps as you know because you’re helping with the paper for the directions to the treasure. Some students are totally engrossed in designing and labeling their maps, while others are more taken with writing up their Captain’s Log. I’m hoping the maps will be completed for you to see next week. You can’t imagine the map skills that are being put to use for this project.
We are about halfway through our reading book, Owls in the Family by Farley Mowatt. I have encouraged the students to write in the margins when they spot a simile or an example of onomatopoeia or a word/idea they are unsure of. In answering their comprehension packets, many still say, “…but it’s not in there.” I point out that those very words of the question may not be on the page, but the idea is there for them to infer from. Having them summarize some of the story, or share a favorite part with you is a great way to strengthen their comprehension skills.
In Math the fourth graders are tackling learning mean, mode and median while the 3rd graders are practicing multiplication in a variety of ways. Half the class enjoyed playing the board game, Prime Climb last week and the other half will partake this week.
The slide show attached includes some shots of the class finishing up their globes/continents. Thank you to Ms. Sicurella for making the globes with them in Art class. We finished up placing the continents and oceans in homeroom. I assure you not only will everyone know where the continents are but they will spell Antarctica correctly as well!
We did a close down of the garden with the first and second graders last week. We harvested the leeks and flash froze them to include in our Thanksgiving Soup this year.
I sent out an email to recap the plans for Halloween this week. Let me know if you have any questions about it,
By kallentuck|2019-11-14T07:31:39-05:00October 25th, 2019|Categories: Grade 3, Grade 4|Comments Off on Grade 3 / 4 making Pirate Maps and Globes
Grade 3/4 Welcomes October with Peer Reading and Service Learning
We have begun Peer Reading with the B-2’s pre-school class! It requires a lot of patience to read to a 2 year old who is really interested in so many things other than just the book and the class had to make some adjustments. It wasn’t just reading a story straight through and I was pleased to see them interact and try to get to know their new friends.
We also had a chance to present our dioramas to the 5th & 6th graders at a Middle School Meeting. I like to give the students as many opportunities as possible to present their own work; to stand up and demonstrate what they have created and to answer questions about it. It takes a lot of presence and courage, some have that naturally others need a little more practice.
I have also begun having the class use Reading Journals at home. They have a free reading book here at school and I would like them to read one at home as well. Reading with a parent or on their own is fine, again, practice is everything. In Math we have moved on, for a bit, from Place Value and onto multiplication. We will be working with different ways of graphing and prime and composite numbers shortly.
Scholastic Book order forms went home this week. If you haven’t seen them yet, they are in the homework folders. You are under no obligation to order anything if you don’t want to. If you do choose to order, you can do it directly online yourself (all the info and order #info is in the letter) or send in a check for Scholastic to me and I will send it in. The deadline for the October order is Oct 22nd.
On Wednesday the morning was devoted to planning our Service Learning Project for the year ahead. We had a terrific discussion about the ills of the world and where our efforts might be best realized to their best effect. We have decided upon doing what we can to preserve the bird population as there are many simple actions we can do to help the birds. Hint: be prepared to start drinking shade-grown coffee and use some decals we will make that help to save birds from flying into windows.
Thanks to Maggie M. and Nicholas for our delicious apple cider donuts the other morning!
Some Important Upcoming Dates:
Monday, October 7 – Away Soccer game with IMS. PPU time at BCD is 6:00.
Wednesday, October 9th– No School Yom Kippur.
Thursday, October 1oth– Mountain Day- Hiking in Kennedy Park in the morning/weather permitting. Please have an eye out for the weather that day, fleeces might be needed and proper footwear. No sandals, please. (No bagels for snack that day).
Friday, October 11th – Grandparents Day. We are so looking forward to having grandparents and friends in our classroom that day. If grandparents are unable to come, we will match that student with another friend and their Grandparents. No one will be alone!
Monday, October 14 – No School. Indigenous Peoples Day.
Thursday, October 17th – Bagels for snack if ordered.
I’m really looking forward to Grandparents Day. They really bring out the best in the kids and it’s great for the students to share their classroom and all the work they are doing.
Great weekend to all,
p.s. the slide show below has a little bit of most things mentioned above plus some shots of a math card game that brought out the card sharks in us all.
By kallentuck|2019-10-04T15:25:58-04:00October 4th, 2019|Categories: Grade 3, Grade 4|Comments Off on Grade 3/4 Welcomes October with Peer Reading and Service Learning
2019-20 Grade 3/4 – So much depends upon…
Thank you all who were able to come to Back to School Night. I hope you got a little taste of the variety of materials we use, my curricular hopes and dreams as well those of the students. We gave this some thought and they divided their Hopes and Dreams for the year ahead into academic goals and personal goals. I told them I am confident they will all be able to achieve their goals, at least to some degree and I am. Some included, “…learn how to read a map and how to draw a dog”, …”to keep going even through tough times” “…to participate more with my good ideas in subjects in school”, ” to get better at soccer and to read more books” and one we all struggle with, “…to not get rude when I am angry.”
The slideshow attached will give you some idea of the different activities from this past week. Working in the garden with the Pre-Schoolers, presenting our dioramas to our classmates as well as the 1/2 graders, reading through a new Poetry packet and choosing a poem to work with next week, practicing using longitude and latitude to find different locations on a map and finally – Kayaking!! They had a perfect day for it and had a blast!
Portfolios went home today along with a sheet with some questions for them to choose from to answer about their work. Perhaps you could take some time and review the work with them and help them decide which one (s) to write a short reflection about. I know this is a challenging assignment, we will work on it as the year progresses but I think it is so important for them to start taking some ownership, pride, and responsibility for all the work they produce here at school. Self-reflection is an important first step in becoming independent and life-long learners.
We will start peer reading with the B-2 preschoolers next week but otherwise will follow our normal schedule. We will join the Lower School for Mountain Day ( our annual hike in Kennedy Park) the following week on Thursday, October 3rd and I will send more info about that as we get closer.
Enjoy this beautiful weekend, sounds like a lot of you will visit the Apple Squeeze or just get to spend some time outside for these wonderful days of summer becoming fall.
By kallentuck|2019-09-20T16:30:27-04:00September 20th, 2019|Categories: Grade 3, Grade 4|Comments Off on 2019-20 Grade 3/4 – So much depends upon…
Grade 3/4 off to a great start!
We’ve had a busy and wonderful start to the year!
We’ve finished our Hopes and Dreams, both personal and academic, for the year ahead, created some class rules to help us achieve those dreams, reviewed the ideas behind Growth Mindset, started our Poetry Folders, filled in our continents/oceans maps, visited all our special classes at least once, and…managed to have some fun while doing it.
Our routines are becoming more familiar each day and I look to you for some help and support with that. Please remind your child to check their planner each night to help remember what may be due for the next day. I told them on the first day that the planner will be (one of ) their best friend this year. I will sign it at the end of each day after a short conference making sure everyone understands whatever assignments are entered.
As I plan ahead for our many projects, I want you to know that while I do believe in the importance of student voice and choice and the power that that autonomy can give to some, others will need more structure and I am prepared to step in when I sense the need. One of the strengths of a multi-age classroom is that students can learn at their own rate. One of my many goals for the year is to create a learning family that is dynamic, flexible, challenging and accommodates all levels of learning.
If possible, before you drop off please tell your child how they are getting home that day; i.e., parent pick-up, afterschool program (p.m.), etc. If plans change during the day, just email me and copy Melissa Kruse in the office ([email protected]) or vice versa, so we can get them safely to the right place.
I look forward to seeing as many of you as possible on Back-To-School night on September 18th and will be checking in by phone before then. Needless to say, if you have any concerns or questions, please email me directly.
Thank you for sending in inside shoes and a change of clothes, for some I know that is still on the list. I was so happy to hear that everyone was able to join the soccer team, it’s such a great opportunity at the end of these beautiful fall days ahead. It also helps strengthen the sense of family and belonging here at BCD. They all seemed pretty excited about it this morning.
I hope the photos (just click the September in 3/4 Grade link below) below give you some sense of the work we’ve been doing already. They include some shots of our visit to the Distance Lab to work on the Four 4’s problem, filling in our continents maps, drafting our Hopes and Dreams, organizing our cubbies and a little Choice Time.