Sunday, April 24, 2016

April 2016

What has the 4/5 class been up to?
Update:  April 24th, 2016

Dear 4th and 5th grade families,

Quarter four is already in full swing!  The 4th and 5th graders have been rather busy these last few weeks. First, with Literacy Week, and last week with the second round of MAP tests for the year!  A big congratulations to all!

This past Friday, we celebrated Earth Day by having Maxwell's mom, Renata, come teach us all about climate change!  A special thanks to her for all of her hard work.  The students learned a lot about what's happening to our planet, how and why it's happening, and what we can do to try and sto and/or reverse the damage.  Even I learned a few new interesting facts!  

This quarter we have also welcomed a new student:  Zane Boatwright has joined us!  Also, now that we are up to 24 students, Ms. Yaa (from the technology department) has stepped in to be an educational assistant.  We are very lucky to have her!  It's going to be a great last quarter of the school year!

Ms. Fezekas

Reading - We started the quarter revisiting the historical fiction genre and discussing what's unique about historical fiction stories.  Students read two short stories about Japanese internment camps during WWII (The Bracelet and Baseball Saved Us) and extracted historical details from them. Students then worked in pairs on another historical fiction story either on famous natural disasters, immigration, or civil rights.  Through these activities, the fourth and fifth graders worked with exceptional examples of historical fiction to prepare them for their next writing unit.

We have also spent some time working with non-fiction texts and reviewing text features and their purposes.  Students are currently finishing up a small project in which they are showing the knowledge they gained about non-fiction text features and what they learned from their non-fiction texts.  All of the texts are on space and the topics range from one of the planets to black holes!  

Up next, we'll be starting a short novel called Seedfolks by Paul Fleischman where students will be practicing interacting with the texts and gathering evidence about each character's traits and reasons for their actions.  

Writing - In our exciting and final writing unit of the year, students will be writing a historical fiction story on an important event in history that they wanted to learn more about.  Events and time periods range from the bubonic plague to slavery in the American south to the bombing of Hiroshima. Students have gathered research about their chosen event and historical details about the time period. This week, students will begin to create their main and secondary characters and plan out their plot. It's been great to see the kids so into this unit!  

Math -  We have begun a unit on geometry in 4 and 5.  Starting with the basic 2-D concepts, students have learned about identifying and naming points, lines, line segments and rays, different types of line pairs, and different angles.  Students have measured and drawn different angles using protractors. They've classified polygons (regular/irregular, concave/convex) and made triangle art that resembles mosaics.  We've focused on triangles and quadrilaterals.  We are currently working on finding the area of parallelograms and triangles before we move onto 3-D shapes and their volumes.  This quarter we will be doing some fun math projects and stations that review skills the students have learned this year.  

Science - The students are just starting to put their iMovie together!  They have worked hard to learn about a threat to the world's ocean and have made a storyboard for their short movie.  They have recorded their voices and chosen the photos and text they plan to use and now they are putting it all together!  When they finish, we will move on to our last social studies unit of the year.  

Upcoming dates

May 2 - Labor Day, no school
May 12 - Elementary Field Day
May 13 - Parent-teacher Conferences

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