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!
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,