Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Quarter 3 Wrap Up

Dear 4th and 5th grade families,

It's hard to believe that we are already at the end of the 3rd quarter!  It has been a packed quarter learning Reading, Writing, Math and Science. The 4th and 5th grade students have worked very hard these last few weeks, and are very ready for a break.

I have also had a very fruitful quarter completing the clinical practice section of my teacher credential programme in the 4th and 5th grade class. It's been a pleasure working with the students and Ms. Fezekas.

Please see below a bit about what has been happening in the class this quarter.

I wish you all a happy and restful spring break.

Thank you,
Ms. Yaa

Reading: We wrapped up our small groups reading circles that explored the themes of racial bias and foster care.  As a class, we came together to discuss these and other big ideas such as self-preservation in a Socratic Seminar.  Students were able to identify how the different characters in each of the books behaved in their search for home and belonging. We finished the unit by watching the movie for one of the books, "The Great Gilly Hopkins".

The poetry unit culminated in an assembly at which students presented their original poetry. You can read an anthology of the poems here.

Writing:  Our focus this quarter has been on persuasion. Earlier in the quarter, students learned about different persuasive strategies (ethos, logos, pathos, kairos, "big names"), and then chosen a topic to write about. These past few weeks, they put those strategies to use in writing their persuasive essays on a variety of different topics. Topics ranged from gender equality, to racism, to examining the ethics behind zoos and the fur industry.  Students took their essay through the writing process and worked hard creating a final piece.  Ask your child to share their essay with you!

Math: We completed our unit on fractions and began to study data, probability, statistics, and graphing (and percentages for Grade 5). As Walter Bagehot said, "Life is a school of probability." Understanding data management and probability gives students the opportunity to connect with the world around them in other contexts and subject areas.  We will continue with statistics and graphing at the beginning of quarter four.

Big idea: In a probability situation, you can never be sure what will happen next; you can only infer and predict

Science: Our study of different types and sources of energy led us into an exploration of renewable and non-renewable energy sources. Students worked in teams to design a "Green School", which would use renewable energy sources to generate power at reduced cost. In designing their school, they had to consider different energy sources and costs, and make decisions regarding energy-friendly appliances.

Photographer of the Day: This quarter we started the "Photographer of the Day" classroom job. Each day, a student is randomly selected to take photographs of learning going on in our classroom.

Here are some of their snapshots of learning. Enjoy!

Upcoming Important Dates

April 3rd, 2017:  Q4 begins!
April 6th, 2017:  Q3 Report Cards sent home
April 10-16th: Elementary MAP testing

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