Colonial Day and Camp Flintlock
Our fourth grade students had such an incredible day of experiential learning of Colonial America! They were able to connect first-hand to how much energy was required for daily life as they learned how to make hand-dipped candles, write with quill pens, throw a a tomahawk, and make beaded necklaces using animal bone. They also learned more about how Colonial children played and used the natural resources around them in their everyday lives.
Energy cannot be created or destroyed, but it can change form. (Fourth grade enduring understanding). We have been researching different types of energy including: light, thermal, nuclear, electric, and sound energy. We have had fun experimenting with transforming potential energy into kinetic energy with a "Rolling Down Lab." Fourth grade scientists used the scientific method to experiment with changing the height of a ramp (independent variable) with a marble at the top. The marble had potential energy at the top, due to its position. When released, the marble rolled down the ramp and hit a small cup at the bottom. Due to the kinetic energy the marble gained while rolling, it moved the cup at the bottom. Our scientists measured the distance the cup was moved (dependent variable) at different ramp heights. In conclusion, our data indicated that the higher the ramp, the more potential and kinetic energy the marble had.
Conflict in the New World
What does it mean to be an American? Fourth graders have used map skills and timelines to create visual representations of their learning of the conflict between King George III and the colonists on the Road to Revolution.
Students continue to work on the Daily Four through independent reading, partner reading, working with words, and computer time. They also meet for reading groups several times a week where they utilize and enhance their reading strategies in order to deepen their understanding of just-right books they read. Students categorized text structures into five categories: sequential, cause and effect, problem and solution, description, and comparison. They put what they learned into application and created their own text structures for their peers to evaluate. Students also improved their reading and writing by reading with their first grade buddies. They had the opportunity to help their buddies with unknown words and modeled what exemplary fourth grade reading looks and sounds like.
Reading A Remainder of One by Elinor J. Pinczes, has enabled our fourth graders to connect to the conflict of division....things don't always divide evenly! Our fourth grade mathematicians have learned strategies to divide multiples of 10, 100, or 1,000 and to estimate division problems using compatible numbers. They have had fun practicing their estimation skills cooperatively as they worked with partners to play an estimation game. Fourth graders have also practiced using base ten blocks to divide multi-digit numbers. Congratulations to our fourth graders who have mastered their multiplication timed facts through 12!!!