We had our first all-school read-a-thon! Many students came to school in their pajamas or other comfy clothes. They brought blankets, sleeping bags, stuffed animals, and pillows. They could bring books from home or read books that were already at school. The day was filled with reading and literacy-based activities. Students also spent time with their first grade reading buddies.
On October 31, many teachers and students at LES dressed up as their favorite book characters! Students were excited to share about their favorite book characters and to see each other’s costumes. During the all-school parade, fourth graders got to see the costumes of preschool, kindergarten, first, second, and third grade students. It was a fun and exciting day!
Fourth grade scientists have been conducting experiments to explore how sound waves and light waves travel. In the light lab, students started in partnerships, reflecting light rays off of mirrors. One partner held the flashlight while the other partner held a mirror. The student with the mirror had to reflect the light from the flashlight to a point of their choosing in the classroom. Partners then switched roles and materials. After accomplishing the task, partnerships were combined into groups of four. They had to work as a team to reflect the light to one anther. One teammate held the flashlight and aimed it at another teammate’s mirror. That classmate had to reflect it to another classmate in the group, until everyone was was contributing to reflecting the light around the circle. Once this task was accomplished, students were put into increasingly larger groups. These larger groups had the same task of having to work together and communicate in order to reflect the light off of every teammate’s mirror. Some students conducted their own experiments, investigating how light acts when reflected off mirrors of various angles and various constructions of mirrors. Students concluded that though light travels in waves, it appears to travel linearly.
In the sound lab, students listened to echos, felt their vocal chords vibrate, and constructed purposeful contraptions out of a small styrofoam cup, a paperclip, and yarn. Students experimented with listening and speaking while the cup muffled their voice or covered their ears. Students noticed the effect the tightness of the string had on sending sound waves. Students came to the conclusion that sound waves are vibrations that travel through air (or a substance) and bounce into a person’s ear.
Fourth graders visited Morse Hill in Shutesbury for a full day of cooperative games, challenges, and problem-solving activities. Students learned about trust, teamwork, and supporting one another. The day included low ropes course elements and high ropes course elements. With the support of their classmates, students challenged themselves to trust, share ideas, balance on wires, reach great heights, and work as a team.
Fourth graders just completed the SAFE program. The Leverett Fire Department generously spent time teaching fourth graders about fire prevention and what to do if they see a fire or smoke. We are so lucky to have a fire department that brings this program to our school. During fourth grade, many students begin staying home alone or babysitting. The SAFE program teaches vital information for them to know. The first two lessons were taught in our classroom. The third and final class was at the fire station. Students practiced making 9-1-1 calls and participated in a SAFE trailer activity. In the SAFE trailer, students identified hazards in a model kitchen and practiced escaping from a room that filled with (fake) smoke.
What a lovely day for a hike! On Mountain Day, fourth and sixth graders hiked to the top of Mount Skinner. Students journeyed up steep, winding paths through the woods. At the top of the mountain, students ate lunch, played games, and observed the wonderful view.
It was wonderful getting to see and meet so many families at open house tonight. It was a pleasure getting to chat with everyone that came. I am continually grateful to be working in a community and school where students’ families are so invested in their children’s learning.
This is the slideshow that was running during open house:
This is the brochure about curriculum that was available this evening. Pease let me know if you would like a paper copy.
Dear fourth graders,
I hope you are having a wonderful, exciting, and restful summer! I cannot wait to hear all about the adventures you have been on and the fun things you have done these past months. I truly look forward to getting to know each and every one of you.
I love to teach. I am so lucky getting to do what I love everyday. When I am not teaching, I like to swim, explore, do yoga, go for runs, read a book on my porch, visit Cape Cod, boogie board, help my family, and hangout with my friends. I swam on Amherst Tritons Swim Team and Amherst High School swim team when I was younger, and was captain my senior year. I love to swim laps in a pool or across Puffers Pond. I love to try new things and explore new places. Cape Cod is one place that I frequently return to; I love it there. I especially love getting to boogie board in the large ocean waves.
This year will be filled with fun, excitement, and learning. You will learn to type faster and more accurately, fluently multiply multi-digit numbers and add fractions, write multi-paragraph essays with topic sentences, read and analyze complex texts, bounce light rays, grow garlic, map the United States, find locations based on their longitude and latitude, and much more. We also spend time in the greenhouse with Dawn.
I look forward to seeing you soon!
Today was the fourth grade witting celebration! It was an end-of-year celebration, reflecting on the many skills and concepts learned this year. They learned to write narratives, persuasive essays, poetry, and nonfiction essays. They learned to write full sentences, edit for run-on sentences, write paragraphs with topic sentences and detail sentences, to elaborate, and so much more. Their stamina has grown this year. Students shared aloud something they have learned this year, shared their poetry anthologies and nonfiction paragraphs, taught a writing skill, helped to put that skill into practice and created a piece of writing in a small group, and shared the created writing pieces aloud.
We are so lucky to not only have a greenhouse here at Leverett Elementary School, but to also have Dawn, an incredibly knowledgeable plant expert. Fourth graders visit the greenhouse and learn from Dawn each spring. One of the fourth grade standards is to understand that plants have structures, to identify them, and to describe their differences. To do this, we grow garlic in the classroom and learn from Dawn. This year, we spent time working in and around the greenhouse, and had Dawn visit our classroom. At the greenhouse, we made a plant structures salad, examining the parts of plants that common foods in salads are. Building on their knowledge of plant structures, students learned about seed dispersal and were challenged to create a seed, identify which way it would travel, and to test out the creation. Today, students worked in stations at the greenhouse. They planted their garlic, planted pumpkin seeds, weeded, turned compost, beatified the fairy garden, cleaned out the bird baths, and watered the flowers. It is important for learning to be hands-on whenever possible.