Friday, April 28, 2017

A Look at April

Hello 4th and 5th grade families!

It's hard to believe that May is just a few days away!  The end of the year will be here before we know it.  These first few weeks of Quarter 4 have been full and exciting.  MAP is now over and Invention Convention and Parent Teacher Conferences are just around the corner.  Here's a bit about what we've been up to and some pictures of our seed sign projects, snapshots of class time, and our Literacy Day poster.

Enjoy the long weekend,
Ms. Fezekas

Reading and Writing:  This final quarter of the year, we are working on the genre of historical fiction.  All students are reading a book that takes place during WWII; either The Diary of Anne FrankNumber the Stars, or Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes.  All books center around the theme of courage and bravery as well as provide insight into life during or after the war.  We were lucky to have Mr. Lysha teach a few sessions to the class that give an overview of WWII.  Also, we had a guest speaker, the grandmother of a few Danish-German students here, come to tell her story of what she remembers during the war.  She was a real primary source and the kids were able to connect much of what they've learned to her experience, especially those reading Number the Stars as it takes place in Denmark.

Linking with reading, each student is writing an historical fiction story which takes place during the war.  Students are focusing on theme, plot, and writing descriptively (showing, not telling) to write a 5-8 scene short story.  They are conducting extra research to add in historical details to enrich their writing.  Ask your child what they're reading and writing about!

Math:  Both groups are finalizing their graphing projects and learning new geometry concepts.

Grade 4:  The fourth graders' graphing project involves 4 survey questions; they've chosen their sample and type of graph and are paying close attention to the parts of graphs in order to accurately represent their data.  In geometry, they've learned about points, lines, line segments, and rays, and are finishing up lessons on measuring, classifying, and constructing angles and using algebra to find missing angle measurements.  In the coming weeks, we will cover types of triangles, types of lines, and quadrilaterals.  We will end the geometry unit by learning about 3-D shapes before moving on to decimals.

Grade 5:  The fifth graders' graphing project involves discovering how to describe a 'typical' AISB student using several graphs and measures of central tendency.  The students created a group survey and administered it to all students in grades 1-5.  Though this project is quite complex, the students are rising to the challenge and are creating high-quality work.  The fifth graders are also studying geometry.  We are combining decimal and fraction work to find area, perimeter, and missing angle measurements in triangles and quadrilaterals.  We will soon move on to circles and then surface area and volume of 3-D shapes.

Social Studies:  This quarter, the students are learning about different styles of governments.  We began the unit by looking at a child-friendly version of the UN Declaration of Human Rights.  The students understand that governments must protect people's rights and citizens must not infringe on others' rights and should take an active role in creating a productive, peaceful society.  The students have researched autocracies (absolute monarchy, constitutional monarchy, dictatorship), democracies (direct and representatives), oligarchy, and anarchy.  For the remainder of the quarter, they will be tasked with making a certain government style work in various conditions in a simulation-style project.  It is challenging and open-ended and I am sure it will cause some deep thinking and problem-solving.  I'm excited to see what the students come up with!

Upcoming Dates:

May 1st:  Labor Day, No School
May 5th:  Invention Convention, MPR, 8am-10am
May 12th:  Parent-Teacher Conferences
May 25:  Africa Day, No School