Today I received a lovely package in the mail containing the first responses from our French PenPals in France! I’m looking forward to sharing the letters, drawings, and photos with the class tomorrow.
The school that we are exchanging letters with this year is located in Uzès, France. It is a smaller school than BCD, started just three years ago. There are two classes; elementary age from 6-10 with 10 students and the middle school class with 20 students.
This is the first year where they have introduced English language studies into their curriculum.
Here is a link to the school’s website:
At the moment they are learning about the first human beings and mushrooms, so have included some of that in their letters – my idea for our next letter to them is to on the theme of the end of the year holidays in the United States. I will encourage each student to write about how they celebrate with their family and friends.
We will also write to them about Thanksgiving and our special tradition of ‘Soup’ at BCD.
The Head of their school has asked if with our next letter each student could include a photo of themselves? If you would like your child to send a photo with their next letter, please send one into school with them next week.
We will have our second letters in the mail by Friday, December 7th, so that they arrive in France before the students leave for the holiday break.
I look forward to the evolution of our PenPal exchange with the French students this year, and to the evolution of our own student’s skills in writing, reading and understanding French!
***Please visit the French 2018-2019 photo album for pictures from class!
By Mary Daire|2018-11-29T11:43:33+00:00November 29th, 2018|Categories: Grade 4, Grade 5|Comments Off on Grades 4 & 5 French PenPal project continues!
Grade Five Update
Here’s an update on all of our academics!
History: We’ve transitioned from the Middle Kingdom the New. This week we will be taking a closer look at Hatshepsut, a female pharaoh who had a lasting impact on Egyptian culture. We will also present the research projects that the students complete in pairs last week. These projects involved researching a god or goddess and learning how to complete a bibliography and to rephrase facts to avoid plagiarism. The students showed cooperation and creativity in crafting their posters. Each group will be graded using a rubric provided at the beginning of the project.
Math: We have been working with multiplication concepts. Students are expected to know their 12s. Some students need to be practicing at home; please check in with your child or with me if there is a concern. We’re building upon our previous lessons in estimation and decimals by learning different strategies for multiplying across decimals and working with digits up to three numbers. In class, students have been spending a lot of time working on word problems and math puzzles that help them to develop their problems solving skills and foster a growth mindset. These puzzles are not designed to be solved in a single step or even during a single attempt and require students to play around with concepts and organize their data. I am encouraging them at home to work on problems independently and without parent instruction of algebra. It is important that they learn to try different strategies and struggle a bit on their own. Thank you for your support.
English: In grammar, we have been exploring basic syntactic structures of subject and predicate. Students learned to distinguish between simple, complex and compound variants. They are all improving in their understanding and ability to identify elemental parts of speech (verb, noun, adjective, and adverb). I am emphasizing in their weekly spelling test that the definitions of the words need to be ones that the students actually understand. In class, I am teaching them how to highlight and use sticky notes to mark important passages in Where the Red Fern Grows.
Writer’s Workshop: While the first half of the trimester was devoted to the Ideas trait, we are currently working on ways to organize paragraphs. This past week we took a closer look the components of a well-written paragraph: topic sentence, details, and concluding sentence. We discussed the distinction between topic and topic sentence and we practiced writing topic sentences as well. The students are becoming more familiar with the form and function of transitional words and phrases, and their importance to paragraph cohesion.
Integrated Studies: We try to devote one period per week to Typing Club. Some students may need additional practice at home; I will begin to assign some students practice this week.
Please let me know if your child is not here for Thanksgiving Soup.
PTR projects are due on November 20.
Now that it is cold, please be sure your child wears a coat and brings a hat and gloves to school for recess.
Many of the students are complaining of hunger in the afternoon. Thanks to Arlin for sending in a bag of healthy snacks. We would love to have occasional donations of similar snacks, clementines, bananas or apples to have on hand.
Thank you to all of you for coming to conferences. I enjoyed sharing the successes and challenges of the kids with you, and appreciate all of your support and help.
Please let me know if you have any questions.
By jlederman|2018-11-11T14:15:56+00:00November 11th, 2018|Categories: Grade 5|Comments Off on Grade Five Update
Grade 5 Nature’s Classroom Day 3
Greetings from Wakefield!
I’m not going to try and mask my enthusiasm for Day Three: Nature’s Classroom.
Blue skies, crisp England air and sunshine—check!
More opps for crab catching and coastal exploration—check!
Hamburgers, mac and cheese, hot chocolate with whipped cream…and Kool-Aid—check!
It’s all the hallmarks of a successful day with my amazing class in Rhode Island.
This morning after breakfast, students learned about sea turtles and their environmental challenges through an environmental simulation. “We tried to keep our sea turtles alive by surviving different endangerments like plastic bags, sharks, birds, and pollution,” explained Libby. After lunch, students had a choice of doing yoga and meditation with Luna and doing a creative civilization exploration with AJ. The field groups went exploring again out in the woods and along the shore. They also prepared for tonight’s big event…Thursday Night Live!—a variety show in the vein of SNL starring…the 11 of them! Each field group will have a chance to write and perform their own skits. Tim and I know from past years, this is one of the most memorable parts of the NC experience. Weather permitting, we’ll conclude tonight with a campfire and making s’mores.
Tomorrow we plan to arrive back at BCD by dismissal. Please be prepared to encounter wet and soggy belongings. It’s likely you might end up with some things that don’t even belong to your child—so do us a favor and wash them and send them in to me and we’ll have a lost and found fashion show in homeroom.
This has been such a tremendous week of growth and new experiences. At lunch the students at my table were talking about how much closer they feel to each other and to me and Tim. Once you’ve all stood around in pajamas together (girls and boys separately, of course), and combed out the knots in your friend’s hair, you can never go back, right? Even though it’s only been a few days, relationships have evolved and each person will be able to see his/her peers in some new way. I’ve loved being with them, and want to thank you for sharing your insightful, curious, and fun kids with me.