News from R4- February 5th, 2020

Hello and happy February!
There is so much going on in 4th grade right now!

See you tomorrow evening for Coloma Information Night!
5:30-6:30 in the LS Center Pod

First off- thank you so much to everyone who came out for the 4th grade beach clean up! We picked up over 24 lbs of trash from Mitchell’s, Its, and the walk alone! We appreciate all your support in getting kiddos to the beach and donating prizes. The students feel successful and proud of their hard work and the impact they made in the community. At Its beach, a neighbor came to ask me who was leading the clean up, and then stood by the stairs to thank people as we left the beach!

In social studies, we’re in progress/ process on projects to learn/ teach about the first people’s of this region. Students chose partners and project types and spent the last week doing research on a tribe from one of the regions of California (see our salt dough maps and California Regions paragraphs!) This week and next, they’ve had ample time to work on creation of their projects in their chosen small groups, partnerships, or individually. On Thursday 2/13 we’ll be joining Brianna’s class to present these to our 4th grade community. We’re learning how to read for information, take notes, and transform these into an informative project. Student are invested and engaged in their projects and I’m excited to see the final products.

In math we’re learning ways to find equivalent fractions- concrete and visual methods as well as by converting the denominator. We’re even practicing adding fractions with different denominators. We’ll be exploring decimals and their relationship to fractions in the weeks to come.

Last week the 4th grades gathered together for a charter revisit. Small groups thought and talked together about what is working well and what might be revised in our community charter. We’ll revisit these ideas in the coming week and keep you apprised of our revisions.

This week is our Disco Week with Krissie. Students planned, designed and are creating automata. These simple machines give them a chance to engineer a simple mechanical system, problem solve, reiterate, and trouble shoot to make it work. I’m excited to see these in action!

Our kelp forest studies will resume/ continue next week. We’re investigating the sea otter as a keystone species. We’ll be looking at kelp anatomy, and the seasons of the kelp forest.

We have a Seymour Center field trip planned for Tuesday, February 25th from 9-10:40 AM. If you’re able to drive on this trip, we’d be grateful! Usually Seymour Center limits the adults that attend the labs, so if you’re willing to drive but not attached to attending, that’s a bonus! Please email me if you’re able to join us! (Note: I’ll be gone 2/14-2/22, so if you can let me know by 2/13, that would be wonderful!)

Julee Brinton will be subbing for me the week of 2/18-2/21 while I’m visiting family friends who are living in Ecuador this year. I’m so grateful that Julee is available the whole time, for consistency, but also because she’s a teacher, and an all-around wonderful human being! The 4th graders will be in good hands with her, and Brianna and I sat down today to do some planning for that week.

This Friday, 2/7, please join us for First Friday and a special performance by Zun Zun!

Please look for “Love Lunch” lists coming home this Friday! Please keep your child’s partner a secret and encourage them to do the same! We don’t often encourage secrets, but this really does make this event fun and exciting! As usual, other Valentines are totally optional, but if your child makes these, please do include the whole class.

Thanks to Audrey’s parents Chris and Brian for our beautiful, recycled, creative class auction project! It’s pair of Adirondak Chairs made out of repurposed skis. 4th graders used tape and stencils to decorate the ski/ slats. Bryan painted the whole thing and assembled it. Look for it in the Herbig room soon and get ready to be outbid! 🙂 Thanks so much Chris and Brian!

Progress reports and ERBs are on their way…please let me know if you have questions, or if you’d like to sit down and talk about these. If we can’t make time before I leave, we can schedule a time after 2/24 when I am back from Ecuador. Thanks for understanding.

Upcoming Dates all in one place:

Tomorrow! Thursday 2/8– Coloma info night! 5:30-6:30 PM
Friday 2/7
– First Friday
Thursday 2/13 – Love Lunch and CA Native People’s Project (due and presented)
Friday 2/14 and Monday 2/17– No School
Tuesday 2/18-2/21 – Julee Brinton Subs for me all week
Tuesday 2/25 – R4 trip to Seymour Center (leave at 8:45- return 11 AM- Drivers needed!)