Celebrating Black History Month
Black History Month (BHM) is a whole month dedicated to celebrating, learning and sharing appreciation for Black heritage. Students created BHM art and did an inquiry into what the specific colours stand for? We discovered that the colours run a little deeper than we thought.
Black: Melanin/Our shared identity
Green: Mother Nature
As of 2018, Viola Desmond has been the face of the $10 bill. Students completed some research to learn some more about influential Black Canadians who have made significant contributions to Canadian history. Students then chose who they think should be the face of a new $15 dollar bill to pitch to the Bank Of Canada. They practiced sketching the individual and paid attention to realistic details. They designed their bill and were required to have on it, the name of the individual, a realistic drawing of them, and any other relevant drawings they thought were important to include. They then created a pitch to convince the Bank of Canada to choose their bill!
February 7, 2022
In January, the Grade 4’s focused on building their writers toolkit in Language Arts. To learn about including specifics in their writing they celebrated “Razzle Dazzle Day”, where students and staff were sure to dress very specifically with all their favourite accessories. To learn about sensory words, they celebrated a “Beach Bag Day” where students brought in beach bags packed with many items to experience the beach through all their senses. To solidify their understanding of strong verbs, we celebrated “Strong Stuffy Day” . Each student brought in their favourite stuffy to use during strong verb role play. For figurative language, we celebrated “Figurative Figurine Day” where students brought in a figurine to use as a model of various figurative language. Finally, for the very important skill of “Show, Don’t Tell”, students experienced the deliciousness of Chocolate Cake on National Chocolate Cake day and were tasked with describing the experience through showing. We are very excited to put this toolbox to use as we craft a Spin-Off story from our Novel Study of Fish in a Tree!
February is going to be an exciting month for Grade four as we focus on Black History Month. We will be learning about prominent Black Canadians from the past and present. This week we will be researching information about Viola Diamond. Ask me why she is important! We also will be looking at a number of artists and creating art based on the talents and style of Joan Butterfiled. Her vibrant colours and multimedia expression will be the inspiration for our own creations.
December 3, 2021
It’s been a busy time in grade 4! The students have been working hard on making our Kraft For A Kause and Loonies For Lunches successful. This student-led project has students asking meaningful questions such as;
- Why is fundraising so important?
- How many people do we have the potential to feed?
- And what can we learn from this experience?
With a focus on math, students have been able to collect, display and analyze data to solve math problems, create graphs to make a conclusion about a KD math problem and brianstorm and choose relevant research questions!
Next week we will begin taking our knowledge of upcycling from science and creating cultural care packages for the Grade 3’s. In this care package a personal holiday tradition will be explained as well as a recipe, handmade bracelet and cultural flag. Students will then wrap their personalized gifts using an upcycled container and will add some pizzazz with an array of craft and decorative supplies. We can't wait to share our packages and bring some joy to another classroom!
Finally, we were fortunate enough to have artists from the theatre company “Tricksters” facilitate an online storytelling workshop. The workshop was engaging and interactive! It involved a lot of brainstorming and some fun role playing. Every class will have 2 sessions to plan 2 class stories. Stay tuned for our final story before winter break.\
November 1, 2021
October has been a month of exploring topics further and learning how to continue building on those amazing skills that were learned in grade 3!
We have many highlights this month and it turns out that grade 4 students are terrific learners and advocates for our school community.
PLACE VALUE IN MATH - Did you know that large numbers can be represented four different ways? Well students did this by creating a sculpture out of base ten blocks. Using 1000 cubes, 100’s flats, 10 rods and units, some very creative towers were designed. Estimations were made on how many blocks were in each sculpture, and then students actually counted the final total. (easy, when you can count in base tens) Expanded form was used to tally everything up, and finally students learned to write a cheque! This cheque was made out to Nellie McClung for the total value of the unique towers. Such fun to take real life examples and add them into math!
WAYS OF LIFE IN THE 1850’S - We had such beautiful weather in October and we took advantage of this by walking to Heritage Park. (it is only 3 km one way!) We were invited right into the village and Janice and Marlene (Métis and Blackfoot descendants) taught the students about the ways of life in the 1850’s for their people. We learned how first peoples treasure and respect the land and how the Métis people were key in the fur trade with the voyagers. We could have spent a whole day learning more about this time period, as it is the foundation of Alberta’s discovery, not to mention the Hudson’s Bay Company. The next time you find yourself in the Bay, point out the famous Hudson’s Bay Blanket and try to guess how many beaver pelts would you need to trade for a blanket.
PLASTIC IS NOT FANTASTIC - We have some recycling detectives in our school. These detectives have a mission! That is, to make sure waste is going into the correct bins, so we can reduce waste in our landfills. We have reminder notices around the school with catchy slogans such as “Don’t be a hulk, buy in BULK”,”Plastic is not fantastic”, and ”Wash that can, Dan!”. We are exploring the idea of upcycling and reusing. Students are designing new inventions, like a new Ritz pencil box, (much more durable than our current pencil boxes!) plastic bag backpacks, wallets and bird feeders. Students are realizing that it all comes down to choice. Do we want to recycle? Reuse? Or simply reduce? Students have also discovered another R-word “REFUND”. For them, all refundables now equate to a potential pizza party! There isn’t a single juice box found in the garbage anymore!
Indigenous Week in Grade 4
This week we took a deep look into Indigenous culture, Residential Schools, and ways to recognize and honour Truth and Reconciliation. Students engaged in multiple learning opportunities such as planting Indigenous plants, creating meaningful art around Indigenous symbols, using poetry to express their understanding of orange shirt day and playing Indigenous games in physical education.
A recurring symbol for our studies in grade 4 has been the feather. The feather represents many things to different Indigenous cultures, such as hope, honour and bravery. Students thoughtfully created orange feathers through the use of pastels in orange tones. Students then expressed their understandings of the impacts of Residential Schools through poetry in connection to these feathers.
The grade fours had the opportunity to discuss and plant sage with Ms. Knight. During this, they learned about the many uses of sage, and other Indigenous plants. They also got to experience the burning of dried sage after hearing an oral story from Mr. Dyck or Ms. Tami.
We look forward to continuing to learn from Indigenous ways of knowing throughout our year in Grade 4.
September Update | The First Few Weeks in Grade 4
September has been all about getting to know each other and creating a classroom family. Students worked on a recipe for what will make for a successful grade 4 year. By using units of measurement, descriptive language and creativity, students built their own recipe with a set of ingredients and directions. The symbol for our recipes was a cupcake and we used pasticine to model a vibrant cupcake.
Our Brown Bag Autobiographies were a huge hit! Students were given the opportunity to bring in items that show who they are. Watching the students share items from home, pictures and collectables was a time during our school day where each and every student was engaged and fascinated by who their classmates are. We learned so much about one another and fine tuned our listening and audience manners!
The grade 4 team introduced our sharing circle that we like to call “ Spill the tea”. Every Friday we will gather as a class and sip on herbal tea while sharing our reflections from the week. Students were astonished that we gave them “fancy” cups and warm tea to drink! Some liked the taste, others decided to sip water.
We look forward to continuing to build connections with your families and our school community!
The Grade 4 Team