Fourth Graders are now beginning to finish their folk song lyrics and add the element of composing music to the process. Many groups have chosen to create their own tunes through the use of Garage Band, while some have chosen the melody of an existing folk song that they feel fits best with their lyrics. In addition to their compositions, students also did a Midpoint Check-In this week. Students were asked to think back to the beginning of this unit and reflect on their work thus far- our visit to The Glenbow Museum,our visit folk artists, their research and initial compositions and what the folk song writing process has meant to them. Grade fours were also asked to think about where they are going next and to advocate for what they anticipate their needs being in the coming weeks.
Last week, students had voiced their desire to co-construct a list of helpful synonyms for their folk song topics. This activity was also completed this week and proved worthwhile for students.
On Friday of this week, fourth graders also began the process of peer sharing and feedback. Each group was asked to listen to or view another classmates work and give feedback. This process was repeated twice and students will be given time to integrate the feedback into their work on Monday and Tuesday next week.
Friday proved to be busy as over 150 delegates form across Canada visited Connect classrooms for the Innovate West conference. Students did a wonderful job of sharing their work and explaining what makes our school unique.
Dear Grade 4 parents,
This week we worked a lot outside. We did a scavenger hunt to look for different types of seeds and learned how to take macro pictures. Macro pictures are really close up photographs. We made a visit to the science lab and planted our own seeds but we don't know what they are because they are mystery seeds. We are going to observe them grow and see if we can figure out what they are before they finish growing.
In math we got a P.O.W (problem of the week) and it was called "What Number am I". We were given clues to what the number was and had to figure it out. Everybody in the end was able to solve the riddle. This week a lot of teachers, principals and educators came to Connect Charter School from all around Canada to participate in Innovate West. They were taken on a tour around the school to learn about how we learn, using inquiry.
Please don't forget to bring a plant clipping or seed on Tuesday to plant in the Community Garden! In the dandelion dig we went outside and dug up dandelions with screw drivers. Then we took the dandelions inside, took pictures, and labelled the parts of the plant. We dissected the dandelions and took macro pictures of the dissected parts. It was a busy week!
By Nicolas, Riley M, Thomas, Stefania, Marcus and Akshat
Fourth graders continue to work on their Folk songs, penning lyrics and composing original music. We are excited about the work that has been completed thus far in class. In the coming weeks, students will finish their final drafts of their verses and choruses, using their research and input from our visiting musicians and classmates.
We have linked below to three blogs and videos that have detailed our inquiry process within the folk song unit over the past few weeks.
We hope you enjoy your long weekend!
Early this week, fourth graders finished answering their guiding research questions and began to organize their findings into paragraph form. Once students had done this, they were able to start crafting the chorus of their song. Students worked on whittling down their information to ensure that their chorus included the most important aspects of their event. Grade fours played with word choice, imagery and description while workshopping this section of their song. Our folk song artists joined us on both Tuesday morning and Friday afternoon to guide students through the writing process. Both John and Tanner spent time with small groups, making suggestions about language, length and accompanying music.
In addition to penning their first compositions, students were also asked to discuss the song, "Farewell to Nova Scotia" by The Irish Rovers. In small groups, fourth graders inquired into the meaning, imagery and language used throughout the folk song. Each group also needed to pay careful attention to instruments used, the melody of the song and the importance of the chorus/ message of the song.
Our focus next week will be on developing 1st and 2nd verses for our songs, each written from a differing perspective. We will be joined again by both Tanner and John on Wednesday.
We want to wish all of our wonderful mother's a very happy Mother's Day!
This week Math & Science ended up being (mostly) outside! Students continued along their journeys in exploring the world of Muffles Truffles and worked hard on finding some solutions to mixed boxes! We have included some of that work in their Math Journals for you to take a look at over the weekend. The following sheet was glued inside their books so you have an idea around what to expect.
"Through the Muffles Truffles problems the grade 4’s have been working on multiplication, perimeter, area, factors and prime numbers. The students are at the stage where they should be able to teach the concepts…That’s where you come in! They have been asked to create arrays (boxes) representing the numbers 1-20 that shows their understanding of the factors for each number. In their math journal they will have glued in the math problem. They are to complete a good copy of their work and discuss their findings with you. The reason we are sending this home is due to the fact that we have spent 3 weeks on this concept. We are hoping you can support your child’s understanding as we build upon these concepts in the upcoming weeks. Once your child has completed their good copy this weekend and discussed the concepts with you, please sign their math journal on the line below. "
*On a side note, please feel free to start practicing the multiplication tables at home!
Science looked at human impact on plants and students explored what plants need to survive through visual imagery and collaboration! Sidewalk chalk aided them in that adventure. Clem's Garden has provided us a much needed space outside to complete math POW's, walking meetings, and bug hunting!
Take a look at some of the photos below for a glimpse into their week!
Mrs. Paxton & Mrs. Melville
We have moved into our Science unit - Plants and Plant Growth. Before our journey to the Weaselhead on Wednesday, the students made predictions as to what they would observe. There were many insightful discussions around wildlife, new plant growth, flowers, pollination and erosion.
Wednesday was a lovely, spring day. We are very fortunate to have had the gorgeous weather for our Nature scavenger hunt. Due to the floods last June the Weaselhead is undergoing river bank restoration. We remained on the north side of the river during our exploration. Please see below for a glimpse of what the students discovered.
Fourth graders have spent the week focusing on their chosen research topics on Alberta's history. Students chose topics from Ranching and The Stampede to The Blackfoot Way of Life and Frank Slide. Guiding questions were co-constructed with each class on Monday morning to ensure that students had a voice in what facts and findings would be the most important and interesting. With the use of websites, texts and encyclopedias, students have been successful in researching their topic and many are moving on to writing out their research in more of a story format. *Students have been encouraged to finish the jot notes for guiding questions over the weekend if they have not already done so*
From here, students will begin crafting the chorus of their folk songs by whittling down the information and employing descriptive word choice and imagery. Our folk song artists (John E Buckle and Tanner James) will be joining our classes on Tuesday and Friday of the upcoming week to help pen the initial drafts of choruses and verses.
Attached below is a link to the first video in a series documenting our inquiry process surrounding out folks song unit, "Making Alberta's History Sing". We have been planning and executing our lessons based on a inquiry cycle of learning. The first step of the cycle is "Tuning In" which we have done with our Glenbow Museum Visit. We are now in the "Finding out" stage of the inquiry cycle. An image of this inquiry cycle is also posted below.
Southern Alberta History Tour Parent Night & Booklets
Thank you to everyone who was able to come to our information session on wednesday night for our 2014 Southern Alberta History Tour. For anyone who had prior commitments, you can find our powerpoint presentation under our "links and important docs" tab. You can also access the student booklets and volunteer packages that are due back Wednesday, May 7th. Parent volunteers will be contacted by Friday, May 9th.
This was an exciting week for our 4th graders. We had the privilege of hosting two folk artists during our Humanities classes. Tanner James, our first visiting musician, is an accomplished folk singer/song writer who has won awards for his work. He spent a class playing original compositions and popular folk songs for our students. He also answered questions about the nature of folk music. Tanner described folk music as being "for the folk"; music that is easily accessible to the people. Our second visit was from John E. Buckle. He is a retired engineer, who spends his time writing and recording music. His work can be found on Youtube. John took the students through the process of writing a folk song using a Gordon Lightfoot Song as a model. The process starts with a story, that is translated into lyrics and then put to music. The final step is the production of a recorded song. Both musicians will be coming back in the next few weeks to work with the student as they compose their own folk songs about Alberta's history.
We have included a video to give you a glimpse of both visits.
Reminder: There is a Southern Alberta History tour information session Wednesday, April 30 from 6:00 - 7:00.
Information packages and volunteer forms will be handed out at the meeting.
Muffles Truffles has taken over our Math class! Muffles is the owner of a truffles shop that sells many boxes of truffles, including assortments! Students in grade 4 are working through multiplication and division by helping Muffles out with some problems.
We started with the problem below and students explored arrays, multiplication, division, addition, repeated subtraction, grouping, etc. After they were comfortable they created posters in groups of 2 and shared their work through a gallery walk - where students added feedback through post-its.
This week Muffles had a customer come in with $20.00 and ask how many different boxes could he buy! Muffles needed help and that's where our 4's come in! They have worked really hard this week at designing new boxes for Muffles that are not just 2x5 or 5x2... Ask your son/daughter to explain what they found!
30x30 Challenge in Science! There were numbers everywhere this week as students were introduced to the new challenge for May...
Over the last decade, researchers have realized what most of us know intuitively: nature is good for us! It is well documented that being regularly immersed in a natural setting, like a park, field or forest, can lower blood pressure, anxiety and stress levels, and boost immunity. ‘Green time’ has also been shown to reduce feelings of anger and depression, while increasing energy, creativity and even generosity.
Living in the digital age, most of us spend too much time in front of screens and little time outdoors. It’s time for us all to get outside. During the month of May, we’re asking Canadians to pledge to spend 30 minutes in nature every day for 30 days.
Last year, we inspired over 10,000 Canadians and 300 workplaces to join us in cultivating the ‘nature habit’. They took to the great outdoors, doubling their time outside. Our research showed that participants were sleeping better, felt calmer and less stressed. Impressive results for a half hour a day!
We hope you’ll join us in taking Canada’s 30×30 Nature Challenge, so we can reap nature’s benefits together. See you outside!
Students also started taking a look outside through Green Time and were introduced to the term pollination this week... from a little Bee.
Dates to watch for: Weaselhead Trip!!!
4.1/4.3 May 1st (am)
4.2/4.4 May 1st (pm)
Please email Mrs. Paxton or Mrs. Melville if you would like to volunteer.