Courage Assembly, Informational Writing, and Science Experiments

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Posted by christophergoode | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on February 28, 2017

Hello from Class 4B,

 

Many exciting things happening in the elementary school recently and in the coming weeks:

 

Courage Assembly

For those of you who could not attend last week’s assembly, hosted by 4A, 4B, and 5B, it was a raging success, with musical numbers, powerful class-made videos, and live interactive skits. Class 4B wrote, acted in, and recorded not one but two moving plays about the importance of demonstrating courage in difficult situations, which were well-received by all in attendance. You can view them here and here.

 

ELA

We have just begun a new unit on informational writing. Over the next month, we will be close-reading and analyzing informational texts, such as biographies, journal and newspaper articles, encyclopedia entries, and short topic-specific books. Alongside our reading, we will be working over the long-term to produce informational texts of our own on subjects of interest. So, needless to say, the next month will be quite intense.

 

Science Experiments

The TAS Science Fair is just around the corner and Class 4B is in the process of brainstorming and designing group science projects. The scientific method is the current focus in science class, as we formulate scientific questions, devise experiments to answer our questions, and make informed predictions as to the outcomes of our experiments. Parents, if you would like to get involved or discuss science experiments with your child,  you can find information about the scientific method and possible ideas for science fair projects here.

 

That’s all for now. Please, stayed tuned for pictures from the upcoming science fair and videos from the assembly.

 

 

Museum of Vietnamese History, Sound waves, and Christmas Events

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Posted by christophergoode | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on December 9, 2016

Greetings,

The holidays are right around the corner with many exciting things in store for class 4B:

 

Social Studies

We’re focusing on the role of the historian, specifically what kinds of questions guide historical research and how historians go about answering these questions. Last week we learned about primary and secondary sources and the ways in which historians use them to investigate and reconstruct the past. Next Wednesday we will be putting our historian skills to use during a visit to the Museum of Vietnamese History to see some historical artifacts up close.

 

Math

Tuesday morning at 9:45am we will be having our unit 4 math test. This will cover

  1. Decimals through the thousandths
  2. Comparing and ordering decimals and fractions
  3. Adding and subtracting decimals
  4. Measuring objects to the nearest centimeter
  5. Word problems containing decimals

 

Science

The past two weeks of science have been geared towards understanding the nature of sound, specifically how sound can be described as compression waves propagating through a medium. In class, we’ve done several hands-on activities to demonstrate how sound travels and how the pitch of a sound is related to the corresponding sound wave’s wavelength. Plastic cup telephones, balloons, and jump ropes were involved. Parents, ask your kids about it.

 

ELA

We’re continuing our study of traditional stories and finally beginning to turn our extensive pre-writing into drafts of traditional stories of our own. Next week will include building a traditional story as a class, focusing on some of the finer elements of traditional stories, and two writing workshops focusing on story structure.

 

Christmas

Come out to the Winter Concert next Friday at 8:00am to watch our students perform some holiday favorites. They’ve been working very hard and it promises to be a great show. Not to be missed! That’s all for now. Have a great weekend. Homework below:

 

 

Weekend Homework:

Math: Review for test

ELA: Raz-Kids (your level or one level above) 1 hour.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Folktales, Social Science, and Decimals

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Posted by christophergoode | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on November 28, 2016

Hello All,

Here’s what’s been happening with 4B!

In English class, we have begun a study of traditional stories, that is, folktales, fairy tales, myths, legends, and fables. Over the next month, we will be reading and analyzing many of these, both as a class and at home, with the ultimate goal of each student creating a traditional story of his own.

Our Social Studies unit on culture and cultural diffusion ended this week with all students doing quite well on the cumulative test. Today we began our study of the branches of the social sciences, by looking at the kinds of things political scientists, historians, economists, and geographers want to know when studying a  place or group of people. To begin this endeavor, we will focus on what historians do, by analyzing primary and secondary sources and creating theories about the past.

Math class now has us representing parts of numbers with both fractional and decimal notation, bringing the process to life with money, games, and math toys.

That’s all for this week. Thanks for stopping by and, students, don’t forget your homework.

 

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Weekend Homework

Math: IXL T.4 T.6 T.7

ELA: RAZ Kids 45 minutes

Social Studies: Answer one of your social science questions about HCMC.

 

 

Rhino Competition

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Posted by christophergoode | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on November 10, 2016

Junior Landing

Cultural Diffusion, Narrative Writing, and a Field Trip

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Posted by christophergoode | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on November 4, 2016

Hello Everyone,

Thank you to all parents who attended last Friday’s Parent Teacher Conferences! I am very glad to have met each of you and inspired by the amount of support these students have at home. For those parents who could not attend, please email me and we can arrange a meeting that fits your schedule.

THIS WEEK IN CLASS NEWS

Social Studies

Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday we performed a three-class activity focusing on the exchange of cultural elements between groups of humans through trade and conquest. During the first class, students, in small groups, designed and built cities using unique sets of materials and described the attributes of their cities in writing.

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During class two, students were allowed to begin trading resources with adjacent groups, and, while doing so, learn about the cities with whom they traded. After trading, students returned to their cities with new ideas and resources, added new features to their cities, and then described the benefits of trading with and learning from the other groups.

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In the final class, students were given the option to emigrate to other cities, and the welcoming cities were allowed to decide whether the immigrants, upon arriving, would enjoy the same rights as the original group members. Following a final period of city development, groups were then given the option to attempt to conquer another city from which they wanted resources. This final option resulted in one city’s taking over another. The members of the conquered city group truly experienced the devastation of losing control over something they worked very hard to build, but in the end the conquering group, while maintaining ownership of the conquered city, helped to add more features to its conquest, providing ideas and resources that the conquered city would otherwise not have enjoyed.

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This three part lesson ended in a very interesting discussion of what happens when groups of people interact with one another and how cultural elements and ideas spread. Next week in Social Studies we will begin to look at what countries and cultures have had an influence on Vietnamese culture.

ELA

Students are completing the final stages of their narrative writing project. Using Microsoft Office Online, students are peer-editing and providing feedback on one another’s narratives in preparation for final revision and publishing next week. Following self-assessment and publishing of the final draft, the class will begin a unit about traditional stories, legends, fables, and myths from around the world.

Science

Last Wednesday, we wrapped up our unit on senses and the nervous system with experiments testing visual processing and measuring reaction time. This week, students demonstrated their knowledge and understanding of these experiments by describing, in writing and with a diagram, the process modeled in the experiments. During the next Science unit, we will be looking at earth science, specifically geology and the movement of tectonic plates. More experiments to come.

Math

TIME ZONES. Students are currently studying time zones and time zone maps to be able to determine, based on limited information, what time a plane lands in a foreign time zone, or how long a flight takes based on times of departure and arrival in two different time zones.

Field Trip

And finally, a big thanks to The Cu Chi Wildlife Rescue Station for hosting us and making today’s field trip truly awesome. What an interesting variety of endangered animals! Parents, for more interesting details about this wonderful animal shelter, ask your children to describe and show you pictures of the amazing animals they saw.

That’s all for this week. Have a great weekend and don’t forget to do your homework!


Weekend Homework:

Math: IXL O.6

Writing: Proofread your story for grammar and spelling mistakes using Microsoft Online

Reading: 2 hours.

 

 

Hello All and Welcome to the Class 4B Blog!

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Posted by christophergoode | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on October 21, 2016

Greetings!

I am happy to announce that the 4B Edublog is now up and running. This blog will be used to communicate to the school community all of the wonderful and exciting things being done in our classroom this year. So check in whenever you like for posts, pictures, links and more. We should be updating at least once-a-week from here on out. (You will also be able to find homework and in-class assignments here, should a school day be missed.)

 

This week in class news:

In keeping with the spirit of the approaching celebration of Halloween, our ELA class has turned its narrative writing focus towards the study and development of SCARY STORIES.

During our meetings, we are currently looking at how scary stories are structured and how authors use different literary techniques to create tension and suspense. After having read and analyzed several scary short stories as a class, we are now beginning the pre-writing phase of producing scary stories of our own. This weekend, we will organize our ideas for characters, setting, conflict, and major events using story maps, and, come next Monday morning, begin first drafts of our stories using the story maps as outlines.

In science class,we are currently studying the anatomy and functioning of mammals’ eyes. Last week, we investigated how a human’s cornea lens, pupil, and retina use light to send information about reality to the brain. This week we’re looking at how pupils change in size to regulate the amount of light hitting the retina and optimize vision. In order to do so we have made model eyeballs with changeable pupils, using paper, sunlight, and magnifying glasses to produce images by focusing sunlight on paper.

In social studies, we’ve just begun to explore the idea of culture. After identifying and naming the many aspects of culture, today we each began research on a culture of our choice. Using iPads that we checked out from the school’s library, we researched the traditional foods, dances, architecture, religion, language, etc. of our chosen culture group, and today began to create culture posters illustrating the four aspects of that culture which we find most interesting. Moving forward we will be examining how aspects of different cultures spread and influence one another over time.

Last but not least, math. We’ve just come to the close of a unit on organizing data using bar graphs and line plots. This week, after a day of review games, we’ve gotten into factors, multiples, and prime numbers. Everyone picked up on these concepts very quickly and was quick to demonstrate their understanding through a prime number counting game.

With many interesting projects, stories, and scientific investigations on the way, we have much to look forward to in the days to come.

That’s all for this week. Thanks for stopping by!


 

Parents, next Friday is Parent-Teacher Conferences. I look forward to meeting you all there.


 

Weekend Homework:

ELA: Write out one of the major events in your story map. Include descriptive words, dialogue, actions, and the thoughts and feelings of your characters.

Math: IXL A5 – Prime and Composite Numbers

Read Read Read (for at least 2 hours this weekend).

 

 

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