I hope everyone had a nice Spring Break. Most of the kids seemed to have a lot of fun on their adventures whether they traveled or stayed home. As for me, my family traveled around the midwest doing college visits for our oldest son who is a junior in high school.
It didn’t take long to get back into the swing of things and boy did we get a lot done this week. In reading, the kids started to learn about mystery books and the importance of being very descriptive without always telling the reader exactly what is going on. Think of clues in mystery books and how the author will sprinkle them in without revealing “who did it” early on. This then transferred to writing where the students wrote paragraphs about a place or an event by “showing not telling”. They seemed to really enjoy this type of writing. When they were done they got together in small groups and read out loud so that the listeners could guess where or what was going on in the passage. It was a lot of fun.
Recess is always fun with the kids playing gaga ball, spud, or their new favorite (thanks Mr. Cora!) team handball. They also heard back from their 2nd grade pen pals from Waukegan. This has been so much fun for them. We are anxiously awaiting their visit during Earth Week. Speaking of Earth Week, if you haven’t ordered your child’s t-shirt yet, and you want to, please make sure to do so by April 4th. They are really cool this year.
We did phenology this week and the fourth graders noticed a lot of things changing on campus. New buds, green grasses, birds, and chipmunks are everywhere. What a wonderful opportunity these kids have to spend time noticing these changes first hand. Some kids even did the scavenger hunt that is available in the mailboxes out behind the classroom.
While this was all well and good, I’ll bet that most kids would say that science was their favorite thing this week. Part of the time we discussed motion and on Friday we introduced matter. The best part is that these lessons are pretty lecture light and heavy on the hand’s on method. The kids had very little help from us and simply worked together in small groups. For the subject of motion they had to build vehicles out of a particular set of materials and determine how to make it travel shorter and longer distances. They then incorporated magnets to see if that could change the trajectory of the vehicle. Finally, they had to combine the magnets and have the vehicle pick up paperclips as it drove over them. It really was a lot of fun to see the different groups come up with different solutions. Then on Friday we introduced matter. Here they had to use different solids such as sand, gravel, calcium carbonate, and salt. Weighing, mixing, and recording was the name of the game at that point. Again, fun to watch the learning happening while they were doing something fun.
A couple of kids have been giving us magic shows this week, so that’s been fun to see what they are coming up with, the rest of the kids seem to be enjoying it as well. Hopefully you heard by now about the April Fools Day trick we played on the kids. So when I got to school on Friday I told my idea to Ms. Hahn and she agreed it would be funny. So with the help of her daughter and my sons we removed all the classroom chairs and put them on our porch out back, out of view from our windows. Then when the kids began arriving to school they, of course, asked about the chairs. I just straight faced told them that Mr. Cora needed a set for something in PE that morning. Because we have a good number of stools and alternative seating for students we let him use ours. Some accused us of playing an April Fools joke on them, but we said no, but that would be a good one. So for the next 30 minutes, they either kneeled down by their desks, stood up by their desks, or very nicely passed stools around every 10 minutes or so. We thought it was so funny, but it was also so impressive how they just adapted to the changes in the classroom and went with it. After about 30 minutes we took them out back to retrieve the chairs!
So that’s it from this week. Please remember that next week we start PARCC testing so please make sure that your child is well rested and well fed in the morning.
Have a great week!
~ Mrs. Steinbeck