April 21, 2023
Hello from Grade 4!
Spring is in the air and we are rapidly learning while trying to get outside as much as possible. Below is a summary of what we will be doing in the next month and a half:
Language Arts: Hopefully you have heard a little bit about all the “pizza talk” in the classroom. There are 5 excellent writing tools that students are learning to develop their writing skills so their sentences and paragraphs become interesting and vibrant!
Here are the 5 tools:
- Specifics - adding in the who, what, where, when and why into our sentences.
- Sensory words - describing the 5 senses (sight, sound, taste, touch, and smell)
- Figurative Language - (similes, hyperbole, personification, alliteration, onomatopoeia)
- Strong Verbs - (making sure that the verb, which is the “engine” of the sentence, is strong and descriptive)
- Show, Don’t Tell - (describe what you are seeing as if it was a movie. Don’t just tell what happened)
What is our ultimate goal with these writing tools? We are going to try and persuade the pretend executives from Papa John’s pizza to add a new type of pizza to their menu. Each student will create a unique pizza and then write a convincing description of why Papa John’s should consider it as a new item. Students will be making a plasticine pizza to go along with their write ups, and they will also have an opportunity to write to the Nellie McClung Bottle Drive volunteers to persuade them that we should be the winner’s of the April Bottle Drive and win the pizza party!
Mathematics: Now that we have become proficient with various multiplication and division strategies, we are ready to head onto fractions and decimals. Again we will be using numberlines and pictures to help us understand dividing fractions equally. Below is a sample activity that students will be completing in a few weeks:
Drumheller was an absolute success and thank you to our parent volunteers who came with us on this trip. We would have never survived without your support. Our focus was to introduce students to this unique geographical region and to experience first hand how Alberta’s fossil heritage contributes to the province’s unique character. The museum provided us with an excellent program - we were very happy indeed with the outcomes. Here are a few pictures of our overnight adventures:
Our next area to study is to learn how to write a personal Acknowledgement of the Land. We are reading an in class novel titled “Finders Keepers” ~ by Andrea Spaulding to help us understand the importance of the traditional territories of the Piikani people. The students will reflect on the ethical question, should you return a found treasure/artifact to its rightful people, or should it be kept, and by who?
Students are exploring simple machines! Do you remember learning about pulleys, levers, incline planes, rollers, and wedges in grade 4? We introduced the unit by having students imagine that they needed to excavate a 3,000 pound fossil - without any damage. If you wish, have your child help clean up the yard this spring. There are many simple machines involved when using gardening tools.
Now that our field has dried up, we are heading outside. We will be playing frisbee and disc-games. Additionally, we will be trying our hand at some orienteering, as well as goal orientiented games such as scoop ball, softball and soccer.
March 2nd, 2023
Earlier last month, Grade 4's sent some letters to the City of Calgary Mayor's office detailing plans they had for some small changes each Calgarian could take to lower their Ecological Footprint. Read the response we received below:
Hello Arden and Alecia,
We were so pleased to receive the wonderful package of letters and Activism Art pages from your Grade 4 class! Thank you so much for taking the time to compile and forward to the Office of the Mayor, and I do apologize for this delayed response.
Your students expressed such a variety of wonderful ideas and it is obvious that they spent considerable time researching, thinking, developing and documenting their detailed work on these timely topics. Please tell your students that Mayor Gondek was very impressed with the effort and hard work that went into preparing each letter and page, and that the ideas are all just incredible. It was noticeable that the students took great care to do their very best work, with time spent to ensure correct spelling, neatness and beautiful, inspired art work. Each letter and page told a story and had so much heart!
Mayor Gondek would like to encourage your students to keep working hard and know that they are all valued, and their ideas are heard. From here, this package of letters and Activism Art pages will be forwarded directly to the City Manager’s Office for further study and sharing with city business units.
Thank you Arden and Alecia for your excellence in teaching, and motivating your students to get involved in their communities, knowing they can make a difference, individually and collectively. How proud you must be!
These brilliant young minds are the leaders and doers of tomorrow--it is obvious the city is in good hands.
Jean Hergert (she/her)
Office of the Mayor, The City of Calgary
E email@example.com | W www.calgary.ca/council/mayor
PO Box 2100, Station M, #8069
Calgary, AB T2P 2M5
February 15, 2023
Hello from Grade 4!
We are into the second reporting period and grade 4 is now in full swing! Here is a preview of what we are covering up to Spring Break.
Language Arts: Our fairy tales have been written and can be found on Google Classroom. Emphasis was on developing beginnings, middles and endings along with adding in some dialogue and some classic fairy tale elements. Students in room 11 have recorded their tales (room 10 records next week) using an audio link. We plan to have an “Audio-tale fair” on Feb. 24th where students can listen to other students' tales through the computers. Headphones are necessary for this, so if your child still needs a pair at school, please send any type of headset.
Just as you can read book reviews online, we encourage parents to read their child’s fairy tale online as well. Through the Google Classroom, there will be a “Parent Review” form for you to give feedback on their tale. You can even give them a 5 star rating!
Mathematics: Our focus is now on area and perimeter and understanding the difference between the two. We have been using unit blocks to create shapes, and looking at how area is the whole surface, where perimeter is the length around the object. To help solidify this concept, we have created a project where students get to design a theme park based on the novel “Rump” that we just finished reading. Students will be able to design a blueprint of their theme park adding in different criteria. Take a look below at the requirements!
Here are the blueprint requirements for your theme park:
- An Entrance and Exit to your theme park - at least 400 square metres each
- 2 Bathrooms - at least 600 square metres each
- 1 First Aid Station - at least 400 square metres
- 5 Rides - at least 1500 square metres each
- 2 Souvenir Shops - at least 800 square metres each
- Food Court - at least 2000 square metres
- Walkways must be included throughout the theme park
You must plan out your blueprint and label each part. Make sure there are walkways between each section so that your visitors can get to everything.
Science: Light and Shadow is our focus currently in Science. We have been looking at the importance of light sources, how light is reflected off the moon, and soon how light is refracted. We have even studied how the eye absorbs light to make images that are sent to our brain. We will be soon moving on to our next area of study called “Simple Machines” and will jump start it with a field trip to Heritage Park. The program educators put on an excellent interactive workshop in their “Gasoline Alley Car Museum” where students can learn that simple machines are often the beginning point of many complex motors. Stay tuned for field trip forms coming home soon!
Social Studies: We embarked upon the life and times of Mavericks who came to western Canada before the turn of the 19th century. Students enjoyed learning that the Mavericks were strong willed, sometimes rule breakers, independent people, and came to Alberta “uninvited”! With Mavericks shaping the land, along with the CP railroad completed in 1885, the west was open for people to settle and make this place their home. Students are going to be playing a game over a two week time period, where they pretend they are coming to the prairies to live in the 1890’s/1900’s. They will be assigned a home country, pack their belongings, purchase a passage on a ship, then on the train to make their way to unknown land. They will have to manage their money/savings, plan out their homestead and purchase supplies in order to survive their first Canadian winter.
Our students continue to show terrific sportsmanship in the gym and are always willing to try a new game, or sport. Volleyball skills were introduced and mini-matches with beach balls and large volleyballs seemed to fit their skill level perfectly. We are anticipating new jump ropes arriving and it will be time to start an amazing jump rope unit where students get the chance to learn jump rope tricks like “jogger”, “skiier”, “double side swing” and “the wounded duck”.
- March 2nd - Heritage Park Field Trip (walking to Heritage Park from Nellie McClung)
- March 9th @ 6:30 to 7:00 - Mandatory Drumheller Field Trip Parent Meeting at Nellie McClung in Room 11.
- March 9th (after 4:00 pm) and 10th - Parent Teacher Conferences
- April 13 and 14th - Overnight Field Trip to Drumheller Royal Tyrrell Museum
November 1, 2022
Hello from Grade 4!
Here is a preview on what we will be covering in the next month of November 2022:
Language Arts: We are all about fairy tales in grade 4! The fractured process has been creative and both classes have re-written Hansel and Gretel with 2 very different endings depending if students are in room 10 or 11. Next, we will be making a puppet show to present our new fairytales. Tales will be recorded and posted on our Google Classrooms. It is a good idea to have your child’s gmail address and password, so you can log into the class and be familiar with the various projects students are working on.
Towards the end of the month, students will be choosing a fairytale of their own and fracturing it! This means they will introduce another fairytale character, change the setting, and tweak the ending. Students will be learning a variety of writing techniques. We will focus on how to add in quotations to indicate dialogue, and how to “show, don’t tell” using adjectives, and vibrant verbs.
Mathematics: We have moved forward and are now building on our knowledge of place value. We are working with 4 to 5 digit numbers, and we are happy to learn that students can regroup quite well! This means they can figure out that 25 hundreds is actually 2, 500.
An area that many students require practice with is placing values on a number line. For example: Where would 1, 345 and 1, 700 be placed on a number line? Students have to draw a line. Then mark beginning, mid and end points, as well as correct increments so that the values make sense. If you are looking to practice some math at home with your child, here is an example:
Science: Our exploratory study of ecological footprints and how Calgarians can make small changes have challenged our critical thinking skills. Critical thinking is the analysis of available facts, evidence, observations, and arguments to form a judgement. We are tracking how to reuse, reduce and how to perhaps upcycle. Our next topics to explore are renting vs. purchasing and sustainable fashion
We are also introducing a fun twist to all of this science exploration. It is called activist art. It is a term used to describe art that is grounded in the act of 'doing' and addresses social issues. It can help students tap into their own voice by using art as a means of communication.
In Social Studies, students are giving the Alberta regions a make-over! Students are working in groups and they are researching the industries, the landforms, the wildlife, plant life, and who are the indigenous people that live on the land. They are developing their research skills by using books, and learning how to jot down notes on what they read. The information they are looking for involves students reading, then processing what they are reading and making logical conclusions. Students will then present their findings on an interactive map in the classroom. They are creating a new flag, a regional slogan, laws, and selecting a regional animal. Parents will have an opportunity to take a look at this giant map when you come to the school Nov. 24, and 25th for parent teacher conferences.
We love going to the gym everyday as a grade group. Floor hockey is our next sport that we are going to explore. Obviously we have many budding hockey players, so they will help Mrs. Luu and Mrs. Turnbull as assistant coaches! We are also going to play the Harry Potter spin off game called “Quidditch” at the end of the month. Our goal is to utilize the gym as much as we can before it is back outside in December, as our gym gets transformed for the Winter Concert.
September 29, 2022
Hello from Grade 4!
Here is a preview on what we will be covering in the next month of October 2022:
Language Arts: In case you haven’t heard, the entire school (grade 1 to 6) will be attending “The Jungle Book '' play at ATP on December 6th. Not to mention we have Calgary Opera coming to our school to help write an Operetta on a “Fractured Fairytale”. With all of these rich storylines and exciting highlights, we have decided to jump right into fairytales ourselves. In October, students will be collectively writing a class fractured fairytale on Hansel and Gretel. Dramatics and puppetiring will be our next step to present the twisted tale, in hopes for families to view through video recording….with editing!
Towards the end of the month, we will begin reading our first class novel. It is also a fractured Fairytale called “Rump” by Liesl Shurtliff. We are really excited to read this novel with grade 4 students for the first time! Here is a link if you would like to learn more: https://www.amazon.ca/Rump-Fairly-True-Tale-Rumpelstiltskin/dp/030797796X
Mathematics: We are continuing to foster our “growth mindset” for all things math in that attempting, trying, asking for help, are an important part of learning. We know that parts of math can be challenging, and it is good to be challenged - it means you’re learning!
We brushed up on our analog clock reading skills, and introduced 24 hour time. Room 10 and 11 are having a “The Floor is Lava” class against class TIME OFF! This is for fun, but to also teach us how to read the clock quickly.
The skills in October that we are building on are building numbers sense with place value! Keep a close eye on the Google Classrooms, as they will have links and helpful documents for parents and children to continue practicing at home.
Science: Hopefully your child has impressed you by talking about an ECOLOGICAL FOOTPRINT. We hooked the students by presenting a pretend “Notice” issued by the City of Calgary. The statistics are indeed factual, and it opened the students eyes that the City of Calgary is ready to make some changes to how we use electricity, food consumption, our transportation, and what we buy.
The exploratory study will most likely take us to December. We are wanting students to experience a hybrid study of the importance of plant growth and change, alongside learning about the waste in our world. We have plans to discover upcycling, composting, decomposition, landfills, bottle depots, food choices, seed harvesting and regrowth, and just having less “stuff”!
Phys. Ed.: Division 2 is a great time to introduce more sports and skills. We enjoyed covering some dribbling and passing skills for basketball. (Terry Fox’s favourite sport!) Now we are carrying on with a seasonal sport and introducing throwing and catching a football. Both grade 4 classes have been combining their gym time together with allows students to play with a variety of classmates, and to also see their friends.