Friday, February 1, 2019

2/1/19 Parent Newsletter

Dear Parents,

What a wonderful week it has been here in 4th grade!  It was nice to have a full week together, with no illnesses.  We have accomplished much this week!

The book project fantasy games were amazing!  I love this book project and love to see the creativity in all the different types of games they make.  We had the chance to play them on Thursday and it was so much fun.  Thank you for your support with their games.   Some of the students are leaving them here to play during quiet time or snack. Others chose to bring them home.  I included many pictures below so you can see them. Our next book project will be on a non-fiction book and will go home at the beginning of March, after the winter break.

In writing, we have moved to writing persuasive essays. This is a new type of writing for kids even though we still use the personal opinion essay structure they have been working with already.  To understand the idea of persuasion, students are working in teams to write commercials for different cereals.  We have learned about the main strategies of persuasion:  pathos, logos, and ethos.  Most commercials/ads use one or more of these. We looked at examples of each like pathos, which appeals to the heart or human emotions.  Students have been designing their commercials and are using one or more of these strategies in how they present and persuade people to buy their cereal brand. We will be filming these on Tuesday, and I hope to be able to share them on this blog on Friday!!  We will also be trying out some of these next week in our persuasive writing about what the best season is.

We have been our reading unit on non-fiction and have been digging deep into text features and how they help us when reading nonfiction. We will then move into identifying the main idea and supporting details when we read, organizing this information and putting it into our own words, as well as summarizing non-fiction articles.

In math, we have been focusing on fractions of a number like 24, 60 and 100 using arrays.  We have learned how to find equivalent fractions and comparing the size of different fractions.  We will be diving into decimals next week and how they relate to tenths and hundredths. The students are really enjoying
this unit as it is more concrete then some of our other units! They are also seeing the connection between fractions and multiplication.  So it also helps with practicing their facts!

We  have our annual field trip to the Vermont State House and Vermont Historical Society in Montpelier on February 21.  This is a Thursday and will be an all day trip.  We will also be able to do a mock trial in the Supreme Court in addition to bringing a bill to the state house and going through the steps of how a bill becomes a law.  Hopefully, the house will be in session so we can see how the real lawmakers do it!  I will be sending home a permission slip next week.  We are really looking forward to this trip and welcome all chaperones!

Our new share is a science theme.  Students can do a fun (short) science demonstration/experiment.  They could bring in a science or STEM type toy or object.  I have books available that some students looked through and these will be available all week. Have fun with it!!

Finally, we will be putting on a play/musical as a 4th grade class.  I think it's very appropriate as this is the last  year for our 4th graders here at UID, and the end of era of our wonderful little school.  I have done many plays in the past and the PTO agreed to help us purchase one this year! Thank you PTO.  Briefly, the play is called "The Environmental Show" and is about a rock band who get stranded and learn about recycling and protecting the earth from some very interesting and enchanting creatures!  More information to come when we receive the script and music!  Needless to say, the students are beyond excited!!!

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend.  Hopefully it warms us so everyone can get outside and enjoy all the fresh snow!!

Tracy and Sylvia

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