Friday, November 18, 2016

Q2 update!

Hello Fourth and Fifth Grade Families!

We are already three weeks into quarter two and only a few weeks away from December Break! We've been busy working hard on our new units.  Here's a snapshot of what we've been up to.

Ms. Fezekas

Caring Month:  November was AISB Elementary's first character trait month.  We focused on the trait of being caring.  We celebrated acts of caring by giving out "caring bracelets" made of yellow ribbon.  Students received bracelets for helping each other with problems, being kind to the younger students, and helping to clean up the environment.  It was nice to see the kids acknowledge each other in this way.  We will continue this until the end of the month.  Next up in December: Open-mindedness!

Reading:  We have begun this quarter with a focus on poetry.  As a class, we've read two books by Sharon Creech: Love that Dog and Hate that Cat.  Both of these short stories share a narrator: a boy named Jack who doesn't like or understand poetry.  Throughout the books, Jack discusses poems by famous poets such as Robert Frost, Edgar Allen Poe, and Alfred Lord Tennyson and learns about poetic devices such as alliteration, assonance, meter, simile, and metaphor.  Ask your child what they've learned from these books and how Jack's character developed!  We will be continuing with poetry and figurative language for two more weeks.

Writing:  Linking with reading, the students have been trying their hand at different types of poetry. So far, we have tried "found poems," "diamante poems," and an "If I were in Charge of the World" poem.  Students will have an opportunity to write several poems in a style of their choosing with the intent to publish a few.  Additionally, students have had time to choose their genres and topics and all are currently immersed in a piece.  Ask your child what they've been writing!

Grade 4:  The fourth grade students have reviewed area and perimeter concepts.  Students discovered not only how to find the area and perimeter, but how to solve for the unknown dimension, how to find the new area or perimeter when the object is doubled or tripled in length or width, and how to find both dimensions when only given the area and perimeter.  Students applied these skills in several word problems as well.  Area helped lead us into our current unit of multi-digit multipication.

IXLs for these skills: BB1, 2, 3, and 7, D8, 24, and 11.

Grade 5: The fifth grade students finished a unit on whole number and decimal multipication and used these new skills to convert measurements of various units.

IXLs for these skills: C15, C18, I3, 4, and 9, Z11 and 19.

Social Studies:  After we shared our Quiz Boards with the third graders (see pictures below), we began our first Social Studies unit of the year: Change and Life in the City.  We've looked at photos of major world cities and how they've changed over time.  We developed questions to ask a primary source about how Bamako has changed physically, environmentally, socially, economically, and technologically.  All students conducted an interview with someone who has lived in Bamako for a long time to get first-hand information about how the city has changed.  We also visited the hydro-electric dam in Sotuba to discover how it affects the city in a variety of ways.  Students took photos that I will share on here soon!

Upcoming Dates

November 25th - No school, Thanksgiving Holiday
December 9th - Winter Show, 1:30
December 12th - No School, Public Holiday
December 17th to January 3rd - December Break

One of two turbines spinning at the Barrage de Sotuba!

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