4KS Update 5/27

MAY

JUNE

  • 1 June, Wednesday: Summer Sizzler. This will be a fun day where the elementary students will participate in many activities to help celebrate what a fantastic school we have.  The upper elementary students will have their Summer Sizzler in the afternoon from 12:20 to 2:45. Students will need to bring:
    • Clothes that can get wet and their House Shirt
    • Proper shoes to run and play in
    • A change of clothes
    • Sunscreen, hat, and maybe even a coat in case it is cool out
    • A positive attitude and ready to have some fun
  • 8 June, Wednesday: Last day of school; half day for students

 

WRITING

Over the past week writing was again integrated into social studies and reading lessons.

Students continued working on their final projects for our social studies unit, “Take Me to Your Leader,” creating an advertising campaign to convince an audience to support a quality of life issue. Each team of students is working on different products, so there is a wide variety of writing including:

  • nonfiction articles
  • scripts for short movies
  • keynote/powerpoint presentations

Students were able to draw on all of the writing lessons over the year as they applied them to this exciting project.

 

 

READING

 

In this final week of Historical Fiction Book Clubs, we wrapped up our class read aloud and our book club novels. We focused our attention on the endings in our books, and through the ending of the class read aloud, Number the Stars, we came up with two new ideas to add to our reading thinking.

 

The first was that a story’s ending helps us reflect on how things fit or don’t fit together in the book; we pay special attention to parts that surprise us because sometimes those parts are sources of new realizations. When I asked the students to reflect on the ending of Number the Stars through the lens of ‘power’, they suddenly realized how the ending changed their thinking about who really had the ‘power’ in this story- it seemed to be the German Nazis on the surface level, but the efforts of the resistance fighters, the fisherman and the scientists showed that the power of cooperation triumphed over the power of fear.

 

The second idea was all about discovering universal themes across books…how when we have developed some thinking about a big idea in one story, sometimes that thinking helps us find similar ideas in another story. The class was so ready to show me how ‘survival is a group effort’ was true in Number the Stars but was the opposite in Rose Blanche. The Rosens from Number the Stars were able to escape to Sweden because of the help of many, whereas Rose Blanche worked all on her own to feed the children in the concentration camp and ended up killed in the crossfire.

 

This unit of study has been a most thought provoking and rewarding one for our class…the students are certainly encouraged to take their newfound skills into their independent reading lives!

 

 

MATH Unit 11 & 12

 

This week the students have looked at items we use in our everyday lives to help them to estimate measurement and capacity.

Metric length song: https://youtu.be/djTNUp4XIRo

US Standard System length song: https://youtu.be/P9sYvDCnI0g

 

Unit 12

The students will learn to convert units of measure between ounces, pounds and tons. For example 1 ft = 12 inches

They will also record measurement of equivalents from liters to milliliters. For example 3.25 L = 3,250 ML

Another way they have been converting units is from minutes to seconds. For example 5 min. = 300 seconds

 

They should notice when you convert from a smaller unit to a larger unit

( such as from ML to L )? That you need to divide to find the equivalent measure.

 

 

SOCIAL STUDIES

This week in Social Studies we continued with our Project Based Learning Unit on Leaders. Based on our driving questions “What actions does a leader take to improve the quality of life? How can you help?” students are off and running in their groups, answering the second part of the question – How can you help? 

This week I’ve seen some amazing problem solving, excellent teamwork, and highly motivated students taking actions to improve a specific quality of life. Next week we will wrap up this unit and share out with the other 4th grade classes what each group did to help improve the quality of life. 

Home-connection:  Talk to your child about what their group has done and what still needs to be done before the deadline next Friday. 

4KS Update 5/13

MAY

  • Forms for the yearbook were sent home on Wednesday. Please return ASAP along with 270rmb. There is a limited amount, so please turn in as soon as you can! 
  • 18 May, Wednesday: Soccer Day. Students need to bring a water bottle, sunscreen, snacks tennis/sport shoes, and a light jacket. A pizza lunch will be provided.
  • 19 May, Thursday: ES/MS Choir & Orchestra Concert (Grades 4-8)
  • 27 May, Friday: Grade 4 Pearl Tower field trip. We will need chaperones! Please email your child’s homeroom teacher if you can assist this day.
  • 30 May, Monday: 4th/5th Grade Books to Eat Books to Eat – Click here to learn more!.

JUNE

  • 1 June, Wednesday: Summer Sizzler. More details to follow.
  • 8 June, Wednesday: Last day of school; half day for students

 

WRITING

This past week students engaged in a number of writing based activities. During their social studies Leaders unit they began another project, this one researching a current quality of life issue. This required summarizing and recording nonfiction text, a task that involves determining which information is pertinent, and recording it in a quick and simple way that they can interpret later. In the coming weeks they will use their summaries to create a variety of pieces for an advertising campaign—from mini movies to websites to songs.

In addition students engaged in word study, including word of the week, grammar practice and vocabulary practice (words in context, antonyms, synonyms, vocabulary tableau) through new words introduced in our class novel, Number the Stars.

 

 

READING

 

This week in our Historical Fiction book clubs we talked about turning to primary sources to better understand history, and to deepen our understanding.

 

Reading historical fiction is challenging as students are asked to visualize stories that happened at times and in places they know little about or have no experience with. I wanted to draw their attention to how readers of historical fiction can turn to images (photos and illustrations) from the relevant time period, to help them understand their story better. As they say, “A picture speaks a thousand words.” It was really fun to watch the students’ eyes light up when I showed them a photograph of the Danish King- King Christian X, whose name had come up several times in our reading of Number the Stars, that his warm and friendly face helped students understand immediately why the King was so loved and that everyone in Denmark would die to protect him.

 

We then talked about how readers also gather resources as they read- texts that add background information, to be read alongside the novel, to deepen their understanding of the story. It is amazing how a map, a timeline or article can help us understand our novel better!

 

 

Unit 11 has four main areas of focus/learning targets:

We have started our way into our unit 11. We are looking at  the US Customary System and the Metric System.   Did you know ……. As of 2014, the United States, Liberia and Myanmar are the only three countries that still use the customary system of measurement instead of the metric system?  Even so, the students will have a good understanding of both systems and how to use them as well as how to convert them from one system to another.  
Home Connection: 
Please have you child look around the house to find the weight of food products in both metric and customary units.  Point out another one of our vocabulary words “capacity” when entering an elevator.  Talked to them about what items are sold in grams and ounces. Applying math to everyday items we use on a daily basis, helps your child to understand the concepts we are teaching as well as our IXL program.

*   To review grams and ounces as units of weight and mass.

*   To know the relative sizes of similar units and to be able to make reasonable estimates.

*  To find equivalent measurement conversations in the US Customary System, including those with fractions and those in number stories.

*  To find equivalent measurement conversations in the Metric System, including those with decimals and those with number stories.

 

IXL Skills for Unit 11

 

Geometry

 

SOCIAL STUDIES
This week in Social Studies we continued with our Project Based Learning Unit on Leaders. Based on our driving questions “What actions does a leader take to improve the quality of life? How can you help?” students are now answering the second part of the question – How can you help? We formed groups based on what the students were most interested in helping with. Once in their groups they got together and decided on a specific area to make a difference in. The students excitingly got to work, trying to answer the question of “How they can help?”.  We will spend the next 3 weeks taking action and trying to help improve the quality of life.
Home-connection:  Talk to your child about the issue they chose. Why is that issue important to them? Ask them what they are planning on doing to make a difference.

4KS Update 5/6

MAY

  • 18 May, Wednesday: Soccer Day. More details to follow.
  • 19, May, Thursday: ES/MS Choir & Orchestra Concert (Grades 4-8)
  • 27 May, Friday: Grade 4 Pearl Tower field trip. We will need chaperones! More details to follow.

JUNE

  • 1 June, Wednesday: Summer Sizzler. More details to follow.
  • 8 June, Wednesday: Last day of school; half day for students

 

WRITING

 

This past week we continued to integrate our writing instruction and practice into our other subject areas. In our Social Studies unit, “Take Me To Your Leader,” students conferred and revised text for their leader poster. They had to be succinct and clear since the text was limited, only providing the information required in their checklist.

In our reading unit, “Historical Fiction Clubs,” students continued writing about NTS and their book club novels. This week they focused on the perspectives of the minor characters. Students hypothesized about how those alternative perspectives gave them new thoughts about the story.

We also continued working on Word of the Week and grammar practice.

 

READING

 

This week in reading we continued on with our historical fiction books clubs and the class read aloud- Number the Stars, and we continued to used the teaching points from this class novel to guide the conversations and activities of the individual book clubs. Some of the new vocabulary words we picked up from NTS are gnarled, wryly, staccato, protruding and recurring.

 

This week students learned to pay closer attention to the minor characters in a story, and how they really help to carry the big message in the story. It was very interesting for us to read on with the perspective of a minor character in mind and see if it would change or strengthen our interpretation of the big idea in the book.

 

We also looked at how we could self-assess our interpretation of a big idea by asking ourselves what are the ‘qualities’ of a good interpretation? We used the poem, ‘Things’ by Eloise Greenfield, to help us figure out the three qualities that strongly assess the credibility of an interpretation…

 

1)   The ‘theme’ has to be a BIG idea that relates to the WHOLE story

2)   The ‘theme’ has to be grounded in specific DETAILS from the story

3)   The ‘theme’ is something that considers the CHOICES the author has made

 

It has been a very rewarding week with thoughtful conversations and many “a-ha” moments J We look forward to more learning next week in this exciting unit of study!

 

MATH

 

Due to the many illnesses/absences we have had (including my own!) we will have the Units 9 & 10 math test on Thursday of this week. We will then begin with Unit 11 on Friday.

 

Unit 11 has four main areas of focus/learning targets:

*   To review grams and ounces as units of weight and mass.

*   To know the relative sizes of similar units and to be able to make reasonable estimates.

*  To find equivalent measurement conversations in the US Customary System, including those with fractions and those in number stories.

*  To find equivalent measurement conversations in the Metric System, including those with decimals and those with number stories.

 

IXL Skills for Unit 11

 

Geometry

 

SOCIAL STUDIES
This week in Social Studies we wrapped up the first part of our unit. We have begun to answer our driving question, “What actions does a leader take to improve the quality of Life and how can we help?”. The students finished their posters on an issue and a leader. Each student chose an issue that was important to them, researched that issue and a leader who is making a difference then created a poster to showcase their findings. On Thursday the students went on a Gallery Walk leaving sticky notes on posters with their “take aways” (questions they had, something they liked, something they are interested in). This allowed students to reflect on other issues as well as get feedback on their own poster. This was the first part of our PBL unit and will lead into our main project to make an advertising campaign about what we can do to help with an issue. We will start the second part next week where the students will create a series of advertisement messages that share a single idea and theme, and persuade the viewer to act.
I personality can’t wait to see how this turns out! Stay tuned.

4KS Update 4/29

STUDENT OF THE WEEK

Mia Shepard- for always being focused and attentive. For always producing high quality work!

Mia Shepard- for always being focused and attentive. For always producing high quality work!

 

MAY

  • 2 May, Monday: No School; May holiday
  • 6 May, Friday: China Alive Field Trip. More details to follow. Students need a home lunch, snack, and money if they wish to purchase some treats and/or souvenirs. 
  • 6 May, Friday: May Dance Show: Grades 3-12. Reception begins at 5:30pm, show starts at 6:00pm at the PAC. Book tickets here: http://pudong-performing-arts.ticketleap.com/collage/.
  • 18 May, Wednesday: Soccer Day. More details to follow.

JUNE

  • 1 June, Wednesday: Summer Sizzler. More details to follow.
  • 8 June, Wednesday: Last day of school; half day for students

 

WRITING

This past week we incorporated writing instruction and practice into our social studies unit “Take Me to Your Leader.” Students researched a leader who improved the quality of life in some way, taking notes from various sources (websites, articles, books, videos), then creating short paragraphs they will put onto a poster.

We also incorporated writing instruction and practice into our reading unit on historical fiction. Students wrote daily reflections as they read their historical fiction novels, touching on a tip they learned each day (theme, symbolism, character perspectives, etc.). Students also completed a “quick write,” jotting down ideas about how their ideas for theme have changes as they read their novel.

 

READING

 

Another exciting week immersing ourselves in historical fiction and reading Number the Stars! Through our class read aloud we were able to explore new vocabulary words like distorted, tentative, dismay and specter, as well as reading thinking that help us dive deeper into stories.

 

There were two major areas of focus this week: determining themes and deepening interpretation through collaboration and close reading. Students learned to interpret the themes in a book by wearing that interpretation like a pair of glasses, examining the feasibility of a chosen theme by putting the book under those lenses. Through this process students could either make their initial idea more precise or broader, or decide to change their idea and try other possible themes altogether. No matter which outcome, we came to the realization that the theme has more power if we make it about the world and not just the book!

 

As for deepening interpretation, we started with the quote, “One may take a journey of any distance at any time, if he simply chooses to ride a train of thought.” by LaTonya Tarell. It inspired us to think about how in a good book, like in a good conversation, you can feel your thinking being changed when you are open to new thinking as you read and discuss with others. By being on a journey of thought you build richer/more powerful interpretations about the book you are reading. It was wonderful to see the class engage in such discussions about NTS and about their book club books. Even as the teacher I was often taken to new ideas and thoughts because many students in the class came up with connections or reflections I had never thought about! And how that added more depth and enjoyment to our read aloud!

 

MATH

Units 9 & 10

We had a fun and busy week in math. We finished unit 9 and will begin unit 10, Reflections and Symmetry next Tuesday. The upcoming assessment is combined for units 9 and 10. We will have the test once we complete the standards taught in unit 10.

Next week in math we will explore the connections between reflections and lines of symmetry, use frieze patterns to guide the application of reflections, rotations and translations and introduce addition involving negative integers. Please remember to complete at least 40 minutes of IXL each week.

Money

Multiply decimals

Divide decimals

Patterns and sequences

Geometry

Decimals

 

SOCIAL STUDIES
This week in Social Studies the students continued to gather data on an issue that was important to them and a leader who is making a difference in that area. Once the students were able to find enough information they started writing. We started thinking about how we wanted to convey the message though an informational poster. We looked at various platforms to make our poster…however students choose to create their poster it is sure to be artistically unique as well as informative on an important issue.
Next week we will finish researching, writing and making the poster. On Thursday we will display the posters in the grade 4 project area. Then each class will have a museum style walk through – learning about issues and leaders that are important to other fourth graders.
Home connection: Ask your child where they are at in this poster making process. What will make their poster unique and remembered among their audience?

4KS Update 4/22

APRIL

  • 25 April-29 April: Spirit Week 
    • Monday – Pajama Day
    • Tuesday – School Colors Day or Eagle Wear
    • Wednesday – Worldly Wednesday (clothing or colors from your home country)
    • Thursday – Sports Day (Sporty clothes or favorite sports team)
    • Friday – House Shirts
  • 27 April, Wednesday: Grade 4 Track and Field Day. 

MAY

  • 2 May, Monday: No School; May Holiday.
  • 6 May, Friday: China Alive Field Trip. More details to follow.
  • 18 May, Wednesday: Soccer Day

 

WRITING

For the final trimester, we are integrating writing into both our nonfiction reading unit as well as our social studies unit “Take Me to Your Leader.”

Writing across the curriculum boosts critical thinking skills. The writing that students do in social studies is different than the writing they do in the reading unit, so students will learn valuable strategies to apply their writing in many different arenas.
In the coming week in social studies students will choose a quality of life issue, then research a leader who has improved that issue. As they begin their research on this leader, it will require them to look at multiple sources (books, websites, articles, etc.) and write notes based on what they find. This type of writing involves summarizing just the important parts of the information they read.

In our historical fiction reading unit, students will be writing in response to their reading, including:

  • describing the historical setting of their book club novel
  • making notes about the who, what, when, where, why of their novel
  • articulating the historical timeline events as well as the timeline of events related to the main character
  • describing the reasons the main character said/did certain things due to living in a time very different from our own
  • articulating a theme for the novel, and supporting it with evidence from the story
  • explaining how symbols or small details lead to big ideas about the novel
READING
This week in reading we read a picture book called Rose Blanche and began our historical fiction class novel – Number the Stars. Rose Blanche provided a nice kick-off to this new unit alerting readers to read analytically at the start of a HF book, to notice details, since it is set in time/place unlike our own. I will be using Number the Stars, however, as the primary means to show students how to tackle complex texts- to make sense of and get the most out of their reading. Our class discussions have been rich and thoughtful, and they have prompted deeper and more involved conversations/activities in our book clubs. What an exciting unit of study!
The main focus of my teaching this week:
1) Monitoring for sense- When starting a book, the information comes quickly, so we need to “pin it to a mental bulletin board.” This bulletin board should include who, why, what, where, when and why of the book.
2) Thinking across timelines- In HF, there is often more than one timeline of events that intertwine. It is usually the timeline of the protagonist and the timeline of history. To understand anyone, we have to know how a person’s timeline intersects with the timeline of world events.
3) Characters’ perspectives are shaped by their roles- Characters’ feelings and decisions are influenced by the character’s world and their role in that world. When they respond differently than you would, it helps to ask, “Why?”
4) Making significance- Readers stay alert, notice parts that are worth pausing over, ask how it connects to other parts and ask, “What is this part really about?”
5) Seeing big ideas in small details- When you think/write/talk about the big ideas in a book, “lodge” your big ideas in the smallest details from the story. Our class had a blast finding some of the symbols that have surfaced so far in Number the Stars, and came up with insightful meanings for these symbols.
MATH

This week we have been focusing on the link between fractions, decimals and percents names for numbers, with a special emphasis on percents. The students have been practicing converting among fractions, decimals, and percents. Students then use grid pictures, the multiplication rule for renaming fractions, memorization of simple conversions, and a calculator for more complex conversions. Students will begin to apply whole-number multiplication and division algorithms to multiplication and division with decimals in the last two lessons of Unit 9.

Unit 9 has three main areas of focus:

*Equivalencies among fractions, decimals, and percents

*reinforce the use of a data table, survey data, and rank and compare data reported as percents

*introduce multiplication and division of decimals by whole numbers

Description: creen Shot 2013-04-28 at 8.02.25 PM

Unit 10

In this unit, your child will take another look at geometry, with an emphasis on symmetry. many objects in nature are symmetrical: flowers, insects, and the human body, to name a few, Symmetry is all around- in buildings, furniture, clothing, and paintings.

Screen Shot 2014-03-21 at 6.28.03 PM

The class will focus on reflectional symmetry, also called line symmetry or mirror symmetry, in which half of a figure is the mirror image of the other half. Encourage your child to look for symmetrical objects, and if possible, to collect pictures of symmetrical objects from magazines and newspapers. For example, the right half of the printed letter T is the mirror image of the left half. If you have a small hand mirror, have your child check letters, numbers, and other objects to see whether they have line symmetry. The class will use a device called a transparent mirror, seen below, to see and trace the mirror object of an object. 

Screen Shot 2014-03-21 at 6.28.09 PM

Students will also work with positive and negative numbers, looking at them as reflections of each other across zero on a number line. They will develop skills of adding positive and negative numbers by thinking in terms of credits and debits.

Unit 10 has four main areas of focus:

*Students draw a reflection of an image across a line of symmetry.

*Students draw shapes with multiple lines of symmetry and draw lines of symmetry within a shape

*Students identify and continue patterns in both numbers and shapes and can explain their reasoning.

*Students develop an understanding of positive and negative integers.

IXL Skills for Units 9 and 10

Money

Multiply decimals

Divide decimals

Patterns and sequences

Geometry

Decimals

 

SOCIAL STUDIES

This week in Social Studies we continued with our Leaders unit. The students seek to answer our driving question – What actions does a leader take to improve the quality of life and how can you help? We broke this question up into two parts. First – What actions does a leader take to improve the quality of life? Second – How can you help?
In the coming week we will focus on the first part of this question. Each student will choose an issue that is important to them and research a leader that is making difference in this area. Students will be able to use books from the library, the SAS data base, prior knowledge, interviews and/or “student friendly” search engines to gather information about the leader they choose. Once students complete their research they will start to create a poster.  The poster will have information and other non-fiction text features to showcase the leader and the issue they chose. Once the posters are complete, the fourth grade will have a gallery walk where we can learn about issues that are important to us and who the leaders are that are making a difference in that area. After the gallery walk in two weeks time, we will begin to answer the second part of our driving question – How can you help? Stay tuned for more on this exciting project!

4KS Update 4/15

STAR OF THE WEEK

 

Kanon Kajander- for the excellent efforts applied this week! Particularly your carefully planned and executed Modrian artwork!

Kanon Kajander- for the excellent efforts applied this week! Particularly your carefully planned and executed Modrian artwork!

 

APRIL

  • 18 and 19 April, Monday and Tuesday: DRESS REHEARSALS MANDATORY for Hairspray
  • 18 April, Monday: Earth Week begins.
  • 18 April, Monday: Parent to Teacher survey opens on PowerSchool. Thank you for taking the time to give me some feedback!
  • 19 April, Tuesday-21 April Thursday: MAP Testing. The order of the tests are as follows: Reading, Language Usage, Math.
  • 19 April, Tuesday: Be a “tree hugger!” With any donation you can add your name, (or a friends) to a leaf on our tree in the Cafeteria and help SAS plant trees in Inner Mongolia.
  • 20 April, Wednesday: Mini plants for sale during lunch; supplies are limited!
  • 21 and 22 AprilThursday and Friday: Hairspray Show Time! 7pm start. Students prep after school. 
  • 22 April, Friday: Date with Dad: 2:15 check-in for dads/meet up with child; 3:00-5:00 pm activities. “Dads” may also include uncles, grandfathers, older siblings, or family friends. Transportation provided at the end of the event back to Jinqiao and Gubei. For the perfect date, stay for the musical performance of Hairspray after Date with Dad! Register here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/DWD2016
  • 27 April, Wednesday: Grade 4 Track and Field Day 
May
  • 2 May, Monday: No School; May holiday

 

LANGUAGE ARTS

 

The new reading unit is all about historical fiction…in book clubs! With this particular genre, students will be tackling more complicated texts and more interpretive reading work. Historical fiction will give them opportunities to enhance their reading skills with new and fascinating challenges, as the characters live in places in which they have not lived, in times they have not known. Needless to say, the reading work will be appropriately intense!

 

Furthermore, readers are often drawn to historical fiction because the stories are often ones of the struggle toward social justice…you’ll see your children, during this unit of study, realize that reading is really about learning how to live.

 

This reading of historical fiction supports a new social structure- book clubs. We want students to know the shared pleasure of reading with friends. We want them to know what it’s like to come to know someone through the books they read. And we want them to have the experience of building collective interpretations.

 

The first bend in this unit focuses on synthesizing perspectives- it teaches readers to read complex texts with deep comprehension, working with support from a book club to keep track of multiple plotlines, many characters, and shifts in time and place.

 

The second bend in this unit is all about interpretation and intertextuality- as the stories your children are reading become more complicated, one of the most important things they’ll learn is that their novels are not just about what is happening. The books are not just about the plots. Their novels are about ideas. Each book they read will be about more than one idea, and we will be teaching students that reading is about drafting and revising ideas. We will do this work with them first within one text and then across texts and then between texts and their lives. We’ll teach readers to grow nuanced ideas and be changed by the new worlds and characters they encounter.

 

IMG_5343 IMG_5344 IMG_5345 IMG_5346

 

MATH

Unit 9 has three main areas of focus:

*Equivalencies among fractions, decimals, and percents

*reinforce the use of a data table, survey data, and rank and compare data reported as percents

*introduce multiplication and division of decimals by whole numbers

This week the students had a great time incorporating art into our math unit by introducing the artist “Mondrian.” The students used his concepts of abstract painting to produce their own piece of work, and had to decide on the percent, fractional and decimal part of each color used in their piece. This really was a fun way to learn to learn our first area of focus *Equivalencies among fractions, decimals, and percents.

To reinforce concepts learned your child should be doing IXL for the minimum of 40 minutes per week.

IXL Skills for Units 9 and 10

Money

Multiply decimals

Divide decimals

Patterns and sequences

Geometry

Decimals

IMG_5307 IMG_5308 IMG_5309 IMG_5310 IMG_5311 IMG_5312 IMG_5317 IMG_5318 IMG_5320 IMG_5326

 

SOCIAL STUDIES
This week in Social Studies we started our new unit on Leaders. We launched the unit by showing a video on Huang Ming who is trying to reduce the pollution in China through the use of solar energy. Then we introduced our driving question for the unit: What actions does a leader take to improve the quality of life and how can you help?
The students came up with questions they had in order to help understand and answer the driving question. The students’ questions will help drive the instruction for this unit. For example; one of their questions was – What is quality of life? We discussed some examples and the students got into groups and came up with a list of issues that impacts our quality of life. The students then chose three issues that are most important to them and next week will narrow it down to one and research a leader in that field. This project-based learning unit will provide lots of voice and choice into how the students want to best answer our driving  question – What actions does a leader take to improve the quality of life and how can you help? Stay tuned to see how it unfolds.
SPECIAL THANKS~
A special “thank you” goes out to the following students who gave up all of their morning recesses this week to cut over 1,000 leaves for Earth Week that is to happen next week! Thank you for your selfless sacrifice- SAS is proud of you!
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4KS Update 3/11

Andrew Jin- for all your clever ideas and leadership qualities! Thank you also for being so proactive in lending a helping hand to your peers.

Andrew Jin- for all your clever ideas and leadership qualities! Thank you also for being so proactive in lending a helping hand to your peers.

 

MARCH

  • 12 March, Saturday: Dance Exchange
  • 14 March, Monday-18 March, Friday: Visiting Authors Kwame Alexander and Todd Parr; A flyer went home containing information about purchasing books by Todd Parr. Please send in your money with your child if you wish to purchase a book.
  • 17 March, Thursday: Please join us for our Grade 4 Poetry Slam from 12:30-2:30pm. 
  • 18 March, Friday: 4th Grade Field Trip to the Natural History Museum. Students will need to bring a home lunch.
  • 19 March, Saturday: Hairspray Rehearsal
  • 21 March, Monday: Report Cards Live on PowerSchool
  • 23 March, Wednesday:“iDreamofmusic” ES school concert, 10:00 AM, in the Auditorium, no tickets are necessary. Parents, just come right in and take any available seat. Performers should wear their house (puma, falcon, dolphin, bear) shirts. 
  • 25 March, Friday: Hairspray Rehearsal
  • 26 March – 4 April: Spring Break

APRIL

  • 4 April, Monday: No School; Tomb Sweeping Day
  • 5 April, Tuesday: School resumes
  • 7 April, Thursday: Student Led Conferences (School in session)
  • 8 April, Friday: Student Led Conferences (No school)
  • 11 April, Monday: Hairspray Rehearsal
  • 14 April, Thursday: Hairspray Rehearsal and Swimathon. Check out this link to sign up for this event: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/TCK5Y5K.
  • 18 and 19 April, Monday and Tuesday: DRESS REHEARSALS MANDATORY for Hairspray
  • 21 and 22 AprilThursday and Friday: Hairspray Show Time! 7pm start. Students prep after school. 
  • 22 April, Friday: Date with Dad. More information to follow. 

 

LANGUAGE ARTS

During writing over the past week, students completed their spoken word poetry on the theme “strong emotions.” Next they began focusing on the performance aspect of their spoken word. We reviewed the performance techniques, and why they would employ particular elements. For example, they could use a freeze (a pause) just before saying an important point. Or they could make their voice crescendo (become louder) as they approached a meaningful part. They might be full-front at times, or turn their body away at others. They could consider gestures to emphasize points, or use a quicker or slower tempo depending upon the meaning of the line. As they discovered, a spoken word is a true performance, and they use the skills of an actor to convey the meaning of their poem.

 

Poetry Slam
Fourth grade students and teachers would like to invite you to our poetry celebration next Thursday, from 12:30pm-2:30pm! We will begin in five separate locations so that everyone can enjoy the spoken word poetry performances of their own child’s class, and then gather as one big group in the Black Box Theatre by 1:30pm to enjoy selected performances from each fourth grade classroom. We will have the company of our visiting author, Kwame Alexander, making the occasion that much more special! We hope to see you at our Poetry Slam!
At 12:40pm:
Ms. Merkt- PAC upper lobby
Ms. Shih- ES225
Ms. Frazier- ES226
Mr. Fessler- Black Box Theatre
Mr. Anderson- ES228
At 1:30pm:
Everybody in the Black Box Theatre
 
MATH
This week the students are starting to learn and develop an understanding of perimeter and area concepts. They are exploring formulas as mathematical models for the areas of rectangles, parallelograms, and triangles.
Next week they will  explore applications of area with scale drawings. As you know IXL is an excellent tool to practice these concepts to reinforce the learning that takes place in the classroom.
The students should have a good understanding of P.17, P.18 and P.19 from our first week of unit 8.
Please check out some of the games from our EDM resources below.

Resources:

EDM Resources for Parents

EDM Unit 8 Games 1

EDM Unit 8 Games 2

IXL Skills for Practice

 

SCIENCE
In Science this week we launched the project that we will work on for the next two weeks. The students are tasked to create their own way to communicate a message to a classmate. The message will be directions to find a piece of candy somewhere hidden in the school. The requirements are to not use any words or letters in the way they communicate. As well as making it clear enough for their partner to follow the instructions without any additional words once the message is given.  Good luck students!
In class this week we brainstormed different ways to relay this message. Here are some of the possibilities the students came up with.
  • Binary code
  • Objects to represent words or letters
  • Pictures to represent words or letters
  • Musical instruments
  • Different kinds of sounds
  • Computer code
  • Own sign language
  • Blinking
  • High/low pitch sounds
  • Water movements/ripples
  • Light flashes
  • texting via phone (but no words, just a code in symbols)
  • walkie talkie (no words, just a code sent via sounds)
  • using the big blue blocks to create a code
  • drum code
  • using your body/arms
  • clapping
  • flags
  • making patterns with meter sticks
Over the course of the next few weeks I can’t wait to see how to students tackle this task. The deadline will be March 24th.
Home-connection: Ask your child what they are planning to do for this assignment. Ask them why they choose that way vs. another way.

4KS Update 3/4

Billy Tang- for being a very active participant in our class discussions, a great sport, and a most trustworthy helper!

Billy Tang- for being a very active participant in our class discussions, a great sport, and a most trustworthy helper!

MARCH
  • 5 March, Saturday: Hairspray Rehearsal
  • 11 March, Friday: Hairspray Rehearsal
  • 12 March, Saturday: Dance Exchange
  • 14 March, Monday – 18 March, Friday: Visiting Authors Kwame Alexander and Todd Parr.
  • 17 March, Thursday: Please join us for our Grade 4 Poetry Slam from 12:30-2:30pm. There will be two parts to the event, the first being Spoken Word performances within individual classes, and the second being selected performances from each class with everyone together in the Black Box Theatre along with a very special guest!
  • 19 March, Saturday: Hairspray Rehearsal
  • 21 March, Monday: Report Cards Live on PowerSchool
  • 23 March, Wednesday:“iDreamofmusic” ES school concert, 10:00 AM, Pudong Auditorium. Parents, just come right in and take any available seat. Performers should wear their house (puma, falcon, dolphin, bear) shirts with pants and shoes that they usually wear to school.  
  • 25 March, Friday: Hairspray Rehearsal 
  • 26 March – 4 April: Spring Break

APRIL

  • 4 April, Monday: No School; Tomb Sweeping Day
  • 5 April, Tuesday: School resumes and Hairspray Rehearsal
  • 7 April, Thursday: Parent Conferences (School in session)
  • 8 April, Friday: Parent Conferences (No school) and Hairspray Rehearsal
  • 11 April, Monday: Hairspray Rehearsal
  • 14 April, Thursday: Hairspray Rehearsal
  • 18 and 19 April, Monday and Tuesday: DRESS REHEARSALS MANDATORY for Hairspray
  • 21 and 22 AprilThursday and Friday: Hairspray Show Time! 7pm Start. Students prep after school.
  • 22 April, Friday: Date with Dad. More information to follow.

 

LANGUAGE

In the past week we continued with our new poetry unit “Song of Myself: A Spoken Word Unit.” We watched another spoken word performance, this one by high school student Miranda Gutierrez who describes her plans to become a teacher. As students analyzed her performance, they realized that she really wants to teach kids more than just writing and reading—she wants to teach them that they have the power to make the world a better place. Students analyzed the specifics of her performance–her gestures, the tempo, the pauses, the use of crescendo and decrescendo in her voice—and why these were all effective choices. This also allowed us to add more “Dos and Don’ts” to our performance chart.


We used this spoken word example to highlight two more poetic devices: alliteration and onomatopoeia. We looked back at Joshua Bennett’s spoken word piece, Tamara’s Opus, and found the many uses of these devices. We read aloud several poems with examples of alliteration, and students enjoyed trying to recite these in a fast tempo. Here’s one example:

 

Song of the Pop-Bottlers

Morris Bishop

 

Pop bottles, pop-bottles

in pop shops;

The pop-bottles Pop bottles

Poor Pop drops

 

When Pop drops pop-bottles

Pop-bottles plop!

Pop-bottle-tops topple!

Pop mops slop!

 

Stop! Pop’ll drop bottle!

Stop, Pop stop!

When Pop bottles pop-bottles,

Pop-bottles pop!

 
They discovered that both alliteration and onomatopoeia create interesting patterns, are fun to say and listen to, and bring attention to important words and phrases. Next, students created their own alliteration poem, the “All About Me” poem.

Next week students explore the use of imagery, or words/phrases that appeal to our five senses, and look at how T.S. Eliot used this device in a poem. We will also look at similes and metaphors. Students will then write a “list poem” that incorporates imagery and similes/metaphors. Finally, they will begin to draft their spoken word.

MATH

 

This week the students were reintroduced to the concepts of perimeter and area. 
They will be learning formulas for the area of rectangles, parallelograms, and triangles.
The IXL practice of P.17 and P.18 help to reinforce this concept.  Please see that your child practices a minimum of 40 minutes per week.  
Three Learning Targets your child will learn:
  • I can use multiples, a number line, or a visual model to multiply a fraction by a whole number, including those in number stories.
  • I can use a formula to calculate the perimeter of a rectangle, including those in number stories.
  • I can use a formula to calculate the area of a rectangle, or when the area is known, find a missing length or width, including those in number stories.
 IXL Skills for Practice

 

SCIENCE
This week in Science we continued our unit on waves. We read an article on Morse Code and practiced decoding and writing a message using Morse Code. We also studied the ear and learned how we process sound. We read an article on hearing sound and learned key parts in our ear and what their purposes are.
Next week we will watch a video on the eye and talk about how we see. We will learn that light travels in waves and reflects off of objects. The characteristics of the light wave is how our eyes are able to determine the color of an object. Next week students will also be creating their own way to communicate. We will think of ways to send a message (other than spoken and written language) to a classmate with directions to find a target. It should prove to be yet another fun filled learning week.
IMG_4376 IMG_4375 IMG_4373
4KS students used their bodies to show what a ‘wave’ looks like, paying particular attention to the crest, trough, amplitude and wavelength! Can you tell which group would have the highest pitch if their wave came to life?
Eagle Leader Learning Showcase Assembly
Fifth grade Eagle Leaders ran an assembly this morning involving each grade level to showcase something they have been learning, and fourth grade decided to go with ‘energy’! Please view the video below for the live Rube Goldberg machine we created with a surprise ending. Thank you Eagle Leaders for this opportunity!

4KS Update 2/19

Isabel Chapman- for your brilliant on-the-spot Spoken Words poetry performances! Bravo for your courage and ability to entertain!

Isabel Chapman- for your brilliant on-the-spot Spoken Words poetry performances! Bravo for your courage and ability to entertain!

FEBRUARY
  • 20 February, Saturday: Quiz Nite at Kerry Hotel, Pudong
  • 25 February, Friday: PTSA meeting. Buses run from Gubei and Jinqiao.
  • 27 February, Saturday: Hairspray Rehearsal #3
MARCH
 
  • 4 March, Friday: End of Trimester 2. Elementary Assembly sponsored by Eagle Leaders at 2pm
  • 17 March, Thursday: 4th Grade Poetry Slam. 12:30-2:30. More information to come!
  • 14 March, Monday-18 March, Friday: Kwame Alexander and Todd Parr Visiting Authors
  • 21 March, Monday: Report Cards Live on PowerSchool
  • 23 March, Wednesday: ES school concert @ 10:00am. Note from the music teachers: We will be having a musical performance entitled “iDreamofmusic” at 10:00 am on March 23rd!  The performance will take place in the Elementary School Auditorium and no tickets are necessary.  Parents, just come right in and take any available seat.  Performers should wear their house (puma, falcon, dolphin, bear) shirts with normal pants and normal shoes.  No special outfits are necessary.  
  • 26 March-4 April: Spring Break

 

 

LANGUAGE

This week in writing and reading we began a new unit called “Song of Myself” which focuses on poetry—specifically on a type of poetry called Spoken Word. This is performance-based poetry that focuses on word play and personal story-telling. Performers weave in poetic elements such as rhyme, repetition, rhythm, etc. This unit addresses many Grade 4 Common Core standards in literature, reading foundational skills, and language, and also addresses a number of theatre standards that will help students become more confident speakers.

Students began by watching a Spoken Word performance at the White House by a young man named Joshua Bennett. He performed a piece about his deaf sister, and how he had refused to learn sign language like his other siblings. It was a moving and emotional performance that helped students understand the type of poetry they will be writing.

Next they learned the history of Spoken Word, discovering its roots in ancient Greece and how it flourished in America in the 1920s during the Harlem Renaissance. They realized how it gave a voice to struggling African Americans.

Students then played a game called “Consequences” in which they created a “poem” within their team, with each member writing one line at a time—without looking at the previous lines. While they found this enjoyable and funny, they realized that writing a Spoken Word requires much more focus and planning than this activity did!

During each lesson in this unit, students will focus on one poetic device. This week it was rhyme and they saw examples in poems.

Oh, God of Dust and Rainbows

Oh, God of dust and rainbows, help us see

That without dust the rainbow would not be

By Langston Hughes

 

Students also explored the performance techniques used in Spoken Word, such as crescendo, hold, gesture, and motivation. These are the methods they will use when they eventually perform their Spoken Word.

 

 

 

MATH

The students are nearing the end of unit seven and will be assessed on this unit next week. Please see that your child is reviewing the IXL skills each week that accompany the skills we have taught.

The upcoming test will cover skills such as:

    • 1/7, 1/2, 1/5, 1/10, 1/3 Putting fractions with unlike denominators in order from smallest to largest.
    • Explain how to change a mixed number into an improper fraction.
    • I can show more than one way to break apart a fraction into the sum of two or more fractions.
    • Understanding word problems such as : John walks 1 and 1/3 miles to school and Nina walks 5/6 of a mile to school. How much farther does John walk than Nina?
    • Understanding line plots and and can analyze the data by labeling and charting a graph.
    • How to find Equivalent fractions and learned a strategy to find out if two fractions are equivalent by cross multiplication
    • Finding the amounts of  a fraction such as …..3/4 of a 100 =

Define the words and show examples of each using a visual of pattern blocks:

  • Mixed Number
  • Improper Fraction
  • Equivalent fraction

Home Connection: Ask your child some story problems using money and fractions.  For example,

If ______ had six quarters, but spent 2/3 of them on a bottle of water.  How many quarters did they spend?  Make up some story problems using money and see if your child can use a strategy to solve this problem.

 

 

SCIENCE

This week we started a new unit in science on waves. During this unit we will look at waves and their applications in technologies for information transfer. We started the unit off with a game on making sounds using only our vocal coords and then guessing what that sound was imitating. It was a fun way to start the unit and we learned that using sound waves to transfer information is much harder when no words are involved. We also brainstormed prior knowledge on waves. Following this we distributed different articles on waves and students got into groups, learned all about their article and then taught their article to the class. This week we also did an experiment using glass flasks, water and a metal spatula. We went through the scientific process and made a hypothesis on how the pitch would change depending on the amount of water the glass flask held. This was a great way to show how sound waves move and that it is a type of energy.

Next week we will watch a Bill Nye video on waves, do another experiment on the movement of waves using the nature reserve, study sound wave characteristics and learn how the ear process sound waves. It should prove to be another fun and educational week in science.
Home connection – Ask your child what it was like when they had to teach their article to other students. What did they teach? How did they go about deciding what information to share? What was difficult/easy about teaching?
IMG_4342 IMG_4343 IMG_4344 IMG_4345

4KS Update 2/4

FEBRUARY

  • 8 – 12 February, Monday – Friday: Chinese New Year Holiday; No school
  • 17 February, Wednesday: Wednesday Swim Club begins. Dear Parents: The Wednesday Swim Club will be starting again on Feb. 17th.  This is not a learn to swim program but 14 sessions where swimmers can improve on their stroke technique, endurance, speed and starts/turns.  This is open for all elementary students grade 1-5 with some exceptions.  If you have any questions, please write directly to Coach George at:  george.carpouzis@saschina.orgIf your child does joins the club, please fill out the form attached, bring in the payment at your convenience to the Aquatic Center and contact your child’s teacher that they will be going to the swimming pool after school on Wednesday and not on the bus. 
  • 19 February, Friday: Hairspray Rehearsal #2
  • 20 February, Saturday: Quiz Nite at Kerry Hotel, Pudong
  • 25 February, Friday: PTSA meeting. Buses run from Gubei and Jinqiao
  • 27 February, Saturday: Hairspray Rehearsal #3
MARCH
  • 4 March, Friday: End of Trimester 2
  • 21 March, Monday: Report Cards Live on PowerSchool
  • 23 March, Wednesday: ES school concert @ 10:00am

 

WRITING

 

Over the course of this week students completed their literary essay. Students applied what they had learned to write a deep and thoughtful essay related to a short story. Their goal was to go beneath the surface to really explore what a book was teaching us—a message, life lesson, or theme. They were challenged to retell parts of the story in an impactful manner and to cite evidence that supported their big idea, and to explain what this evidence told them.

After the break we begin a unit on poetry, allowing students to express themselves through another form of writing.

Grammar & Word Study

  • Word of the Week: jovial
  • No Excuse words: Mr., within, pull, color, dear, women

 

READING

 

This week in reading 4KS students discussed the theme, or main idea in the class read aloud, Loser. We redefined what it means to be a ‘winner’ or ‘loser’ with examples from the book, and came up with the lesson that we believed the author, Jerry Spinelli, wanted to teach his readers. We did so by examining the book title, patterns we noticed in the story, the needs or conflicts of the characters, and the symbols that carried meaning and represented certain qualities in people or situations.

 

MATH
The students have enjoyed using pattern blocks and conceptual drawings to understand the concepts of fractions and to also break them down or decompose them.
The students are also applying real life word problems to their daily routine and are applying strategies to show how they came to their solution.  It is amazing how students can use many different methods to solve a problem and use what strategy works best for them.
Unit 7 has four main areas of focus:
  • To review fractions as parts of a whole (ONE), fractions on number lines, and uses of fractions,
  • To guide students as they order fractions and find fractional parts of sets and regions,
  • To provide practice identifying equivalent fractions, and
  • To review basic ideas of probability, comparing predicted and actual results, and guiding the application of fractions to chance experiments.

 

SCIENCE
This week in science we baked cookies in a ‘home made’ solar powered oven. We learned what light energy is and went through the scientific process to test if we could bake cookies by only using the sun’s energy. What a delicious experiment! Our final project for the unit on energy was a performance task where the students got to show off what they know about how energy can be changed, transferred and used by designing a Rube Goldberg Machine. Here is a video showing an example of what a Rube Goldberg Machine is if you haven’t heard of it before – Rube Goldberg Machine
The students were tasked with creating a Rube Goldberg Machine to turn off a light. They were asked to use at least 3 types of energy that we learned about (magnetic, electrical, kinetic, sound, etc). Once they wrote the steps they were to draw a diagram, label the parts of the machine and the energy transferred. It had to, in theory be able to work. Some of the students wanted to make their own Rube Goldberg machines over the Chinese New Year break. Though it’s not required, should they attempt it I encourage them to video tape it and bring it back to show the class after the break.
When we come back from the break we will start a new science unit on Waves. More on this to come.