In reading, many students have been involved in a Kate DiCamillo author study, reading books like The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, Because of Winn-Dixie, and The Magician’s Elephant. Kate DiCamillo weaves strange and unique story lines with odd, quirky characters, and her stories are marvelous examples of creative writing. Some students have been reading books and stories that connect to our Social Studies Unit, “Gold Rush!” Stories like Riding Freedom take the pioneers across the mighty Sierra Nevada Mountains to California, in search of gold and prosperity. Students practice reading strategies such as making inferences, cause and effect, sequencing, making connections, and more. Teachers continue to challenge students with depth and complexity, and examine themes in books through the lens of a disciplinarian.
We explored narrative writing from different points of view in California mission journal writing. Then, as we studied the California Gold Rush, students learned about how to research and write a report with a clear thesis statement. These five paragraph essays were challenging, and are preparing students for more independent report writing in 5th grade. We have begun a unit that explores ethical issues during the late 19th century connected to water rights, immigration, and railroads. Our trip to Sacramento was a terrific way to connect to our study of these topics. In May, we will conduct team debates over these important issues in history. Persuasive essay format will also be a part of this unit.
Probability and decimals are the name of the game in 4th grade right now. Finding probability in experiments gives students hands-on experience in this important strand of math. Adding and subtracting, comparing and ordering decimals are some skills students are learning.
Our fourth graders were very proud of their presentation about Israel in honor of Israel’s Independence Day (Yom Ha’atzmaut). After our spring break, they learned a lot about Israel’s history, leaders, culture and the army which protects the country. Practicing the Hebrew vocabulary, dances and Hebrew songs were all part of preparing for the big celebration. We hope you enjoyed seeing your children on stage.
• Ask your child to tell you about what happens in Israel on Yom Hazikaron
• Ask your child about the ethical issues that occurred in California in the late 1800’s.
• Ask you child to tell you about how to write a clear thesis statement using Big Ideas